Tag Archives: Piano Sonata

Piano Sonata in c# minor, 4th Movement

Over the last few weeks I have posted (out of order) the first three movements to my Piano Sonata in C# minor which I composed in 2007. Today is the final movement, the 4th!

As I mentioned, I wanted each movement to grow out of what came before, and the fourth had bits of all of the other three included, though not in any obvious way. So here it is

(Click here if you don’t see the video below)

Anyway, a friend/music mentor had been asking for a fugue since I had started my serious study of “classical” music. This person owned an art gallery and had earlier, before I studied composition, commissioned four (4) pieces of music from me over a handful of years. I recently posted the first piece he commissioned, Sortes Vergilianae (The Fanatic), to YouTube and thought I did a post here, but can’t find it. Hmm, maybe I will some day. Anyway, click on that name if you are interested.

Back tot he story, Gary wanted a fugue, but I hadn’t studied fugue in depth, so I kept telling him “no”. Unfortunately, he passed away before he got his fugue. So I decided to write a fugue in the fourth movement here in his memory. Well, almost. I still hadn’t studied fugue and, though I understood how they worked, I didn’t have the form exactly right. So the middle of this is filled with fugue-like sections (fugato), though I think a purist wouldn’t call it “fugue”.

I do like the huge contrasts of super simple and super dense passages in this.

Here are links to the four videos:

1st movement
2nd movement
3rd movement
4th movement

If you start with the 1st, there are links from each video to the next one. And here are links to the three other blog posts about them:

1st movement blog post
2nd movement blog post
3rd movement blog post.

I hope you enjoy!

Piano Sonata in c# minor, 2nd Movement

Some of you may have seen my posts on the 1st Movement and the 3rd Movement of my Piano Sonata in c# minor that I have posted recently. I wrote the four movement sonata in 2007 when I was in the middle of my classic composition studies. It was the first, and one of the few, pieces that I wrote because I was inspired to write, not to answer a challenge or to use as a study.

So, now is time for the 2nd Movement, the adagio. Here it is:

(Click here if you don’t see the video below)

Continue reading

Piano Sonata in c# minor 1st Movement

A couple of weeks back I posted a video for the 3rd movement of my Piano Sonata in c# minor. After thinking about it, I have decided to put up the entire sonata, one movement at a time. So, without further ado, here is the first:

(Click here if you don’t see video below)

A little background. Well, a very little, since I already wrote about this piece of music, here. Anyway, long story short(er), As I was working my series of 24 piano preludes, I was posting them to a music forum. A lot of people told me to make a longer version of the prelude in c# minor, so I did. I wasn’t quite satisfied with ending there, so I renamed it “1st movement” and went on from there, not calling it complete until I had the four movement piano sonata completely written.

At the time, late 2007, I was very much in a learning stage and every piece of music I wrote served a purpose in my musical education. Until this piece. Yes, I was still learning, and tried to push my boundaries, putting new ideas into practice, but the big thing here was that this was the first piece of music that I wrote in my “classical phase” “just because”. It was the first piece of this time period that was written because I was inspired to write.

Because this was something composed because i was inspired instead of because i was learning something new, it has a special place in my heart. Of course I also like it better than most of what I wrote in that time frame.

Anyway, I hope you like it too!

Piano Sonata in C# minor 3rd Movement – Scherzo (Video)

Back in 2007 I was working on a series of 24 Piano Preludes. As I finished each prelude I would often post it on a music forum. The Prelude in C# minor got a lot of attention, and several people said I should expand it and make a larger piece out of it. And so I did. But after that, I decided to continue and create an entire Piano Sonata.

This piano sonata is one of the best things I did back in my “classical” days. The 24 Preludes, when taken as a whole, and The Hamlet Symphony are the only other pieces that in the same league, though I do like my “classical” sonata in g minor.

Of the Sonata in C# minor, the 3rd movement, the Scherzo, is a favorite. Compositionally it isn’t as good as the other movements, but it is a heck of a lot more fun – Scherzo means “little joke”, and this was a joke all around.

Continue reading

Video – Piano Sonata in g minor, 1st Movement

Piano keyboard

First, here is the video:

(Click here if you don’t see the video below)

Years ago I studied classical composition.  After fiddling about for a year or so, I took lessons with an established composer.  As part of my lessons I wrote a little “classical sonata”.  It was more or less in a Mozart style, though perhaps it was closer to Clementi.  If you don’t know Clementi, look him up!    Although there are shining moments on this “sonatina”, I wasn’t satisfied. Continue reading

A Smile a Day – Day 15 – Beethoven

Beethoven

When I started my deep study of music I had CDs from over a dozen different 20th century composers.  I had over a dozen CDs by JS Bach.  I had over a dozen CDs from Medieval and Renaissance time periods.  I had zero, none, not a single Beethoven CD.  In the rock world in which I grew up Beethoven was the greatest villain.  That’s really odd because he was a rebel in so many ways.  He lived the rock and roll spirit in so many ways.

I did several deep study’s of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven.  The last time I spent months going over his string quartets one note at a time.  I poured over the scores to the symphonies.  I ate the piano sonatas for breakfast.  I went out and tried to find ever last scrap of music he created, published, or like many, never published in his life time.  There is no doubt he was the greatest master of all times, even beating out my favorite, Bach.  Continue reading

A Halloween Ditty

Hamlet

Years ago I wrote a little Halloween ditty.  It was just a quick hack job, but it came out OK.    Of course, in best Liszt tradition, I incorporated the Dies irae.  Shortly after I wrote it I wrote the first movement of a sonata that used a similar theme.  I now have a hard time listening to this because it sounds like a ghost of the much better piece.  Here is the original Halloween music: Continue reading

Careful What You Wish For – Prelude to Sonata

The Sonata Engine

I was only a little way through my series of 24 preludes when I was forced to take a bit of an unintentional detour.  I had been posting each newly minted prelude to a music forum I was following at the time. When I posted my Prelude 6 in c# minor it quickly became a forum favorite.  Everyone suggested that I stretch it out into a longer form.  At first I resisted but I finally turned my 45 second prelude into a piece of music over six and a half minutes long.  I called it “Careful What You Wish For” and posted it back to the forum Continue reading

A Matter of Timing

Trent on trumpet - phot by Trent P McDonald“Ha!  That sounds so ‘Trent’!  It’s like whenever you play fast runs you get excited and speed up.  Relax.  Stay in the groove.  Flow with it.”  She was right, I’m rhythmically impaired.  Since my college days when Teresa made that observation, I’ve worked hard to bring it under control.  I’ve used a metronome, improvised over wildly diverse music and often scat to anything with a constant beat.  I’ve vastly improved but still tend to accelerate on fast parts. Continue reading