SONATA FOR SOLO VIOLIN IN D MAJOR, OP. 115
Commissioned by the Soviet Union’s Committee of Arts Affairs as a pedagogical work for talented violin students, Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) wrote Sonata for Solo Violin in 1947 and intended it to be played by a group of violinists in unison. It was premiered in 1959, six years after Prokofiev’s death, by Ruggiero Ricci at the Moscow Conservatory.
The brilliant and simple first movement is in classical sonata form, and the second movement in theme and variations is lyrical and introverted. The mazurka-like finale is witty but often challenging to violinists as it contains fast occurring double-stops and four-note chords.
Timo Andres (b. 1985) is quickly becoming one of the most well-known young composers. In early 2004, he decided to write a violin sonata in three movements for sight-reading by beautifully capturing the “simple” element between the piano and violin. The inspiration for composition of the Violin Sonata includes Schubert, late works of Prokofiev, and early piano music of Copland. The Violin Sonata is dedicated to the composer’s brother, Wells.
Libby Larsen (b. 1950) is a Grammy Award winning composer and co-founder of the American Composers Forum. She wrote the bluesy and relaxed Blue Piece for violin and piano in 2010 which was premiered in the same year at the Kansas Music Educators Conference.
Judith Lang Zaimont
As the title implies, the vibrant Grand Tarantella is in a fast upbeat tempo in 6/8 time. Grand Tarantella won the Delius Competition Prize, and the first performance of the piece was given at Jacksonville University in 1970. Judith Lang Zaimont (b. 1945) is winner of many awards including an Aaron Copland Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Rain Worthington serves as Artistic Administrator and Composer Advocate for the New York Women Composers, and her album DREAM VAPORS was recently named one of American Record Guide’s “Best of 2016.” Jilted Tango in 4/4 time is about the “push and pull in a dance of love” and was premiered in 2009 in Brooklyn, NY,
A Grammy Award winning composer Michael Daugherty (b. 1954) wrote Viva for solo violin on commission by violinist Vadim Gluzman who gave the world premiere in Santa Ana, California in January 2012. In this playful short piece, “catchy polytonal musical riffs are layered and phrased in devilish grooves.”
THREE STATES AT PLAY
Award winning and critically acclaimed British conductor and composer Benjamin Ellin wrote Three States at Play, an explosive showpiece for solo violin, which was commissioned and premiered by Artem Kotov. Three States at Play is in three movements, and the serene chorale-like middle movement is framed by outer movements which are rhythmically very active.
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