Stephen Hartke

SONATA (1998) for Solo Piano Duration: 14 Minutes 1. Prelude 2. Scherzo: Epicycles, Tap-Dancing and a Soft Shoe 3. Postlude My piano sonata was composed as a gift for Vicki Ray who has been a dear friend and musical ally for many years. The piece is cast in three movements, the outer two being related both in thematic material and in their essentially somber mood. The central movement is considerably more playful and dance-like. The 'epicycles' of the movement's title refer to two bits of material, one of which starts the movement, that are generated by the nesting of simple rhythmic wheels within wheels, thus producing lively syncopated melodic figures. Some of the resulting motives suggested tap-dancing to me, so I ran with it, going so far as to place a rather idiosyncratic soft shoe as a 'trio' to the tap-dancing's 'minuet.'
Sonata for Solo Piano
Recording: Xak Bjerken, piano Chandos 10513
Vicki Ray, piano CRI 830
YouTube: Piano Sonata Movements 1, 2, & 3 Xak Bjerken
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