Sean William Calhoun | Composer and pianist

Sonata for Viola and Piano (2012) – 25'

I. Pedal 1 — Prelude
II. Toccata
III. Pedal 2 — Interlude
IV. Passacaglia
V. Pedal 3 — Sarabande
VI. Jig
VII. Pedal 4 — Cadenza
VIII. Fugue
IX. Pedal 5 — Postlude
The Sonata for Viola and Piano, composed for violist Christopher Lowry, is cast in nine movements. The odd-numbered movements all have a pedal point on C — while the octave varies, a C sustains throughout the movement. The sonata divides into groups of three movements — The first three are a violent Toccata framed by subdued Pedal movements, all closely related thematically. The next three draw from Baroque styles — a Passacaglia on a twelve-note line, a Sarabande with three of the viola’s strings tuned down, and a vigorous Jig. The last three begin with an improvised cadenza for the violist over a C tremolo in the piano; a Fugue follows, based on the main theme and motive of the sonata, and a Postlude brings the sonata to its close.


Recording by Christopher Lowry, viola; Richard Jeric, piano