Sonatina, Op. 13, No. 1 (orch. Aug. 2008) is a piano solo by an icon of Soviet Russian nationalist composer Dmitry Kabalevsky. Full professor of the Moscow Conservatory in the 1930s and 1940s his most daring works were operatic and symphonic tone poems but because of earlier life interests in becoming a concert pianist, his output for younger piano students and his keen idiomatic awareness of its limitations and possibilities, make this work (a popular favorite for young musicians) a staple in the repertoire. A separate three movement work, this simple sonata form Sonatina explores the relationship between polychordal structures with strong, identifiable themes and development, recapitulation in the third movement, much to a satisfying and rewarding experience.
This orchestration for small orchestra maintains all of the key elements within his seminal work. Scored largely in tutti sections, this colorful ride through the tonal centers serve the thoughtfully crafty work that is balanced, fits within the fingers of young pianists comfortable ranges and allow for melodious playfulness in a typical Russian twentieth century sound, similar to Scriabin.