A sonata for euphonium and piano in three movements, with a mix of modal, atonal and diatonic styles
- 13 minutes
- For Kevin Mizzi
The Sonata for euphonium and piano was written in 2013, an idiomatic transcription of the Sonata for bassoon and piano (Op.36). Lasting about 13 minutes, it has three movements: Vivo – Larghetto - Allegretto con spirito.
The first movement is free-ranging tonally, continually developing the initial euphonium material – a neo-Baroque motif with prominent use of a minor seventh interval. The time signature is continually changing, predominantly between 2/4 and 3/8, to give a highly-charged rhythmic, and perhaps unsettled, effect.
The central movement is expressive, melancholy and desolate. The rhythm is more regular here – largely a steady 6/8 flow, but harmonically, the highly chromatic style is almost atonal to enhance this forlorn atmosphere. The movement explores the entire range of the euphonium and the piano accompaniment converses contrapuntally, sharing the numerous motifs with the euphonium. It concludes plaintively with reiterations of the euphonium’s initial four notes.
The finale reverts to a more relaxed, and uplifting, mood. The euphonium’s initial scalic motif also has a neo-Baroque flavour. This originates from a solitary piano figure (bar 202) in the first movement. In fact, these outer movements have numerous melodic and harmonic links to consolidate a sense of overall organic shape. Ultimately, the whole movement derives from its very first bar, and constantly develops this material.
- 29 March 2015: The premiere of the Euphonium Sonata (Op.36c) at the University of Florida School of Music, Gainesville, Florida, with Zachary Sullivan (euphonium) and Katherine O’Dea Plympton (piano)
- 20 May 2016: Kevin Mizzi (euphonium) and Alex Vella Gregory (piano). Malta Society of Arts, Palazzo de La Salle, Valletta, Malta.
Video: Zachary Sullivan (euphonium) and Katherine O’Dea Plympton (piano) perform the premiere of the Euphonium Sonata
“It's great to know more repertoire for euphonium. Interesting compositions are always a great discovery!”
Ricardo Antao, Professor de Eufonio e Musica de Camara, Portugal, Sept. 2014
"I've been working on your Sonata and I must say that I am incredibly excited to perform this work…"
Zachary Sullivan (euphonium), University of Florida, School of Music, Feb. 2015
- This was published in April 2019 by Forton Music