Violin Sonata (“Grove”, 3 movements) (composed April 2014) is a Piano and Violin duet in traditional sonata form. The piano writhes with dissonant agitation and the violin lines take on saving urgency. Similarly, the second movement of expressive long-limbed melodic lines are engrossing music, full of dramatic flair and savory, seductive harmonic control that is moving to its core.
The music is tonal and accessible, with heavy-handed chordal shapes and density that show off its opulence and principal themes in contrasting dance-like music that highlight the deft musical showcasing of the Violin’s character, giving the piece a cinematic flow from one who is supremely comfortably writing or piano and knows how to write for the instrument so that it rarely drowns out the Violin’s lyricism. It is a deservedly rich, attractive and picturesque piece for the duet that is reminiscent of moments of Britten’s operas, sure-footed in its well-crafted, well-scored textures and glittering musical flourishes that are redolent of its antecedents yet no less cleverly spun – a compelling mix of harmonic control, rich lyricism and powerful passion. It is affecting and wrenching, impactful in its ambitiousness and full of lavish designs; a work of considerable merit.