COMPOSER 1945–2013

Opus 54a

Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano (1972)

for Violin and Piano

  • Allegro grazioso
  • Passacaglia (Lento e mesto)
  • Allegro

Duration: 12 min.

Dedication: to Bob and Sue Salzman

Performance materials available from the publisher.

With a stylistic heterogeneity characteristic of no one else but typical of Rosner, the three-movement Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano opens with a simple, warmly bucolic melody in a modally inflected C Major, accompanied by folk-like triadic arpeggios in a gently rocking figuration. It is followed by a thematically related but emotionally contrasting passacaglia—a darkly somber elegy reminiscent of Vaughan Williams at his most austere, which reaches a powerful climax. This movement—like the opening movement of his horn sonata and the third movement of the String Quartet No. 4 (all passacaglias)—represents the most distinctive and personal aspect of Rosner’s compositional personality. The concluding movement is a loose but highly developmental sonata rondo that opens with a coolly Hindemithian theme, which is immediately followed by a lightly syncopated motif with a decidedly “pop” flavor. This material is developed quite extensively, until a fugato raises the intensity to a tempestuous climax that culminates in, of all things, a bluesy, proto-minimalist cadenza, after which the sonata drives forward to an exuberant conclusion. (Notes by Walter Simmons)

This work is the same as the Sonata for Oboe and Piano. It may be played effectively on either instrument.