by Christopher Fulkerson
This piece, my Opus One, is about ten minutes long, and was completed in 1976, when I gave its first performance at my Senior Composition Recital. It is in three movements:
1. Maestoso scorrevole
The first movement is in Sonata form, which I had studied extensively, especially in the Beethoven String Quartets; thanks to Professor George Nemeth, my Undergraduate Musicology Advisor, I knew most of them before graduating. The Charles Rosen study The Classical Style had recently been published, and I read this, not least because it was dedicated to Helen and Elliott Carter. I date the beginning of my real understanding of composition from my reading of this book. I also studied the music of Bela Bartok in my Composition adviser Dan Beckler's encyclopaedic class about his music (I was a double major), and had gone over Hindemith Mathis der Maler Symphony and many neo-Classical pieces, as well as the occasional Harris or Schuman symphony. Nevertheless, I was unaware that the opening idea of my Sonata resembled that of Beethoven's Bagatelle Opus 33, #7. Discovering this fact only recently, I would now suggest that the Beethoven might make a good recital companion to my Sonata. The slow movement is a simple Ternary form, and the Finale is a fugue, in which some ideas from the earlier movements appear before the end to round the entire Sonata.
Writing and playing this Sonata was a milestone for me; the know-nothing would-be guitar-playing Rocker in garage bands who never once played a single song through (with another person, that is) before attending college actually did a serious composition recital and played his own Piano Sonata. However, none of my professors attended.
The score is 23 pages in the composer's youthful attempt at a fair hand. Hard copy of the score is $10.
First posted 1/11/2010. Last Updated 1/18/2010.