Sonata

for violin and piano

Francis Pott

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for violin and piano

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Composer Francis Pott
Composer

Year of Composition

Instrumentation

,

Duration

ca. 26-27'

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Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-fp1svp1

Notes

The Violin Sonata was written in 1997 and first performed in the Jacqueline du Pré Concert Hall at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, that year by Peter Sheppard- Skaerved, violin, with the composer, piano, during the latter’s nine-year tenure as John Bennett Lecturer in Music for the College. General dissatisfaction with both the work’s form and its texture then consigned it to a period of obscurity – which lengthened as an intention to revise the score was repeatedly thwarted by choral and organ commissions and the demands of a busy university academic and administrative career, latterly (from 2007) as Professor of Composition at the University of West London. Finally a period of relatively free time arose in 2019,
and the job was done.

The Violin Sonata has a certain amount in common with its companion, the Viola Sonata composed in 2013. Cast in a fairly conventional three-movement form, it dispenses with a scherzo, whereas the Viola Sonata embeds a brief one in the middle of the slow movement; but both works embody free cyclic procedures, with key motifs from both the first movement’s principal subjects recurring in modified guises across the span of the work as a whole. The first movement offsets conventional sonata form with a relatively discursive and expansive central development, the slow movement is mostly somewhat inward and understated, and the finale combines and reworks thematic
cells from the preceding movements, revisiting elements of both before a headlong coda whose ending recalls that of movement one.