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It's been awhile since I've posted anything to the forum, let alone really been active. Life is like that sometime.

This work was born out of my own quarantine after being tested positive for Covid-19. While not exactly the main influence over the work -I'm sure it adds a little to it.

The 3rd movement is close to how I envision it. I'm working on a revision to make it sound more coherent and complete. I'm not too excited about the ending -I think the material can be expanded some more. Just got to find the right way to do it.

I present you my 4th Piano Sonata. Hope you enjoy!

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1st movement:  Since this movement is marked "with feeling" I begin to wonder while listening to this whether you intended to create a specific mood with this music.  It certainly is creepy in many places like for example m. 111 where you bring back the primary motifs.  In other places it seems to build much tension.  This strikes me as a sort of extended motivic invention in sonata form.

2nd movement:  I can't seem to find any organizing principle audible or visual to the chromaticism in this movement.  I wish that you had somehow based everything on the introductory chords or the primary melodic material but I can't seem to find any much needed associations to tie all this together.  A cool thing that you do though is, in the fugato section you introduce the subject at the "tonic" and "dominant" levels respectively in the exposition and after a brief episode reintroduce them again at those same levels an octave lower, in a total of 4 "voices".  You also bring back the introductory material at the end in a sort of recap apparently choosing to end on the G which you somewhat emphasized in the beginning as well.  I just wish the main theme was somehow related to the rest of the material in the piece and the subject of the fugato section.

3rd movement:  After bringing back my favorite motif that you introduce in the 1st movement this quickly finishes without adequate development nor finalization?  It just sounds unfinished at the end.  Makes me wonder whether you just accidentally uploaded an unfinished version of this piece.

Anyways - those are my impressions of this piece.  There are many enjoyable parts of this sonata that I wouldn't mind listening to again.  Of course this is just my opinion and if there is an overarching organizing principle behind all of this please let me know!

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31 minutes ago, PaperComposer said:

1st movement:  Since this movement is marked "with feeling" I begin to wonder while listening to this whether you intended to create a specific mood with this music.  It certainly is creepy in many places like for example m. 111 where you bring back the primary motifs.  In other places it seems to build much tension.  This strikes me as a sort of extended motivic invention in sonata form.

2nd movement:  I can't seem to find any organizing principle audible or visual to the chromaticism in this movement.  I wish that you had somehow based everything on the introductory chords or the primary melodic material but I can't seem to find any much needed associations to tie all this together.  A cool thing that you do though is, in the fugato section you introduce the subject at the "tonic" and "dominant" levels respectively in the exposition and after a brief episode reintroduce them again at those same levels an octave lower, in a total of 4 "voices".  You also bring back the introductory material at the end in a sort of recap apparently choosing to end on the G which you somewhat emphasized in the beginning as well.  I just wish the main theme was somehow related to the rest of the material in the piece and the subject of the fugato section.

3rd movement:  After bringing back my favorite motif that you introduce in the 1st movement this quickly finishes without adequate development nor finalization?  It just sounds unfinished at the end.  Makes me wonder whether you just accidentally uploaded an unfinished version of this piece.

Anyways - those are my impressions of this piece.  There are many enjoyable parts of this sonata that I wouldn't mind listening to again.  Of course this is just my opinion and if there is an overarching organizing principle behind all of this please let me know!

 

Thanks for the lengthy review. 

Movement I: Motivic development is a hallmark of my compositional technique. I tend to relish simple Motivic units, so glad you picked up on that in this movement.

Movement II: This movement is loosely based on a twelve tone row. The fugato uses the row itself in its entirety. Eventually, I'll get around to expanding the fugato itself and the false start section that occurs after the first statement of the row at the beginning. The purpose of the false start was to leave the listener feeling offset by the movement.... bewildered and confused. 

Movement III: Like I said in the description, the third movement isnt quite finished. Material wise, I'm not gonna add any new stuff. I am going to expand and further connect the movements.

I think the sonata, as it is, is tightly connected both thematically and harmonically. The expansions I plan to do will be updated once finished. 

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6 minutes ago, PaperComposer said:

Ah.  I thought there might be some serialism in here after I wrote my critique and looked at your profile.  Are all your pieces serial or do you also have some more tonal ones?

 

Most of my pieces by far would not be classified as "serial". I've not written a CP tonal work in over a decade... I'm sure there's remnants on this forum of them somewhere though lol.

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So here are some thoughts. I really like the ending of the first movement, but I think it's in general pretty well paced. Really challenging to play too. I don't understand the necessity to add the repeat bar at the end of the ...erm, exposition. Since in your mp3 it goes right through (thanks,) I do think the repetition wouldn't accomplish much. Another thing is that I don't really like the extreme chromatism since it makes everything just sound the same. Funny how that works, but despite the rhythm and motives, the entire first movement sounds harmonically flat to me.

 

The second movement I think sounds more distinct, even if it has that pretty stereotypical 12-tone character in segments, which, again, tends to make everything sort of flat-sounding. However, you do actually change things up and that makes it a lot more memorable, specially the bit before the fugato. In fact, I really like the beginning with the long chords and when that repeats it's pretty cool. As for the fugato itself i don't really care for the start, but it evolves into a repeating pattern like the first movement which is pretty cool and I also like the ending.

 

As for the 3rd movement, i dunno. It sounds like you could as well just tack this on at the end of the 2nd movement since it's not really its own thing (being mostly a reprise of movement 1 as conclusion.) Notably it doesn't really conclude, but yeah I think that's the biggest issue with pieces that have so much chromatic in them that you can't use harmony in any functional way to "end" things, so you need to rely on dynamic or rhythm (this is why so many modern stuff always ends super piano or really loud, but there's usually an over-emphasis on those elements since harmonically they can't function that way.) Even if you intended to have the piece not conclude, I think there are other ways you could've done it, like the ending of the first movement which gave the impression that the pattern would go on and on forever.

 

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