Benedict Todd

Organist · Composer · Conductor

Sonatina for Cello & Piano

Sonatina  for ‘Cello & Piano

I.Allegro, molto espressivo
II.Più allegro
III.b   Ground

  • Composed: December 2014
  • Duration: 7 min
  • Instrumentation: ‘Cello and Piano
  • Commissioned by: New Music South West (NMSW)
  • First performance: Robyn Austin (‘Cello) and Steven Kings (Piano) at the Victoria Rooms, Bristol, 11 January 2015

  • Programme note: Written very fast over the course of the last three and a half weeks of 2014, this Sonatina took shape as a purely ‘absolute’ piece: that is, one which was written without extra-musical stimuli; which functions based purely on its own internal motivic material. The idea of a Sonatina (that is, a diminutive Sonata) thus appealed both due to its historical structural connotations, as well as the association with small-scale (often instrumental duo) chamber works. Although the first movement here is not in the strict shortened sonata form perhaps implied by the moniker, it does draw on ideas of motivic play and recurrence inherent to this form, although here the inevitable moments of recapitulation tend to prove rather less successful than in many traditional models. Indeed, the music of this movement eventually disintegrates, reforming in the guise of the second, which is altogether more energetic and yet, despite the at times rather dissonant chromatic harmony, also more playful. This is followed, in the third short movement, by sudden brief respite - seemingly hanging in space, before the fourth intervenes and attempts to draw together earlier threads. Somehow, this manages to arrive at a point of conclusion whereby the very opening material, now viewed in a new light, or perhaps from a different angle, seems to make a new kind of sense.

  • Recording:
  • This recording was made during the New Music South West concert on 11 January 2014 in the Victoria Rooms, Bristol. The performers were Robyn Austin (‘Cello) and Steven Kings (Piano).

  • This score is available. Please click here to purchase scores and/or performance materials.

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