John Harbison: Violin Sonata No. 2


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Additional Info

  • Composer
    John Harbison
  • Publisher
    Associated Music Publishers Inc
  • Arrangement
    Violin/Piano Accompaniment (VLNN/PFA)
  • Format
    Score and Parts
  • Genre
    20th Century


Composer’s Note:

My second sonata for violin and piano was composed simultaneous with, or closely after, the first sonata. In many ways it is a contradiction, and interrogation of the character of that piece, which was commissioned by Music Accord for performance by Cho-liang Lin and Jon Kimura Parker on the Lincoln Center Chamber Music society concert series.

The first movement, Serious Song, is ceremonial. It contemplates past trials, first with composure, then with uncomfortable unease, finally with quiet resolve.

The second movement, Ballade, has a narrative, free-associative tone. Most of the harmonies are familiar objects displaced from their native haunts.

Waltz, the final movement, might better be called: thoughts about waltzes, or even reasons not to write a waltz right now, though some of the reluctance is eventually broken through.

This piece was written without commission and lasts just over twelve minutes. It is dedicated to Rose Mary Harbison, who gave its first performances in the summer of 2013, our 50th anniversary year, at Weekend of Chamber Music (Jeffersonville, NY) and at the Token Creek Chamber Music Festival (DeForest, WI).

John Harbison

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