Branches
sonata for violin solo

Composition Date: 1995
Revision Date: 1999
Duration: 00:20:00
Genre: Strings (bowed), Solo / Ensemble, Violin

Instrumentation:

Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Violin
Programme Note:
Upon completing my Third String Quartet and sketching a fourth, I received a commission from the Canadian artist Victor Shultz to compose a solo work for his violin recitals. Mr. Shultz suggested I employ fragments from an upcoming, and still pregnant, concerto; I adopted his idea, but used instead some "droppings" from the two previous string quartets.
The resultant work ises only very small "twigs" of 2nds and 3rds - derived from a motto of my own name - as the genesis for all of the material. The six sections are therefore somewhat akin to variation form, each one Branching out from a central trunk, "developing" as a sonata, but fully, sometimes adamantly, testing the dexterity of the soloist.
The Introduction (I) exposes the entire work's thematic kernels - "dipping-in" piece-meal, as an appetizer - and the successive movements each hone in on a single aspect: an expansion of the previously-heard material. The Intrada and the following two pieces are played attaca; the second deliberate and impassioned, the third more lyrical and delicate. The fourth is a vivace, but ephemeral, scherzo. The last two sections are likewise linked: the fifth, a quiet hymn written in memory of Anna Cholakian Shultz, Victor's wife, who died during this period, and the sixth, a vigorous molto perpetuo which is a truncated recapitulation of movements II and IV, and brings the sonata to a frenetic conclusion.
In keeping with its chamber-nature, the work is alternately declamatory, intimate, subtle, and decorative, and for me resembles - hence the title - the ornamental design, the interlaced lines of a Gothic window tracery.
BRANCHES is approximately 20 minutes in duration and was completed in Fairport, New York in November of 1995. The sonata is dedicated to the Russian violin virtuoso Oleh Krysa, my colleague at the Eastman School of Music, who gave me the premiere performance.
S.H.

CATALOGUE INFO:

  • Call Number:
  • MI 3111 H691br
  • Genre:
  • Strings (bowed), Solo / Ensemble, Violin
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • October 4, 2010
  • Type:
  • Print-music, published
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (14 p.); 36 cm.
  • Additional Information:
  • Commissioned by Mr.Victor Schultz, new York City, NY

    A grateful composer acknowledges, with thanks, the editorial assistance of Mr. Oleh Krysa.
    I INTRADA: Dedamando
    II Drammatico, energico
    III Pesante - tranquillo, molto delicato
    IV Scorrevole, misterioso e molto leggero
    V HYMN: Adaggissimo, placido
    VI Con impeto, frenetico
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    Published by Merion Music (Presser)
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Branches sonata for violin solo
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