Richard Lambert Music

Violin Sonata (Op.36d)

A sonata for violin and piano in three movements, with a mix of modal, atonal and diatonic styles

The Sonata for violin 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 violin 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 violin and the piano accompaniment converses contrapuntally, sharing the numerous motifs with the violin. It concludes plaintively with reiterations of the violin’s initial four notes.

The finale reverts to a more relaxed, and uplifting, mood. The violin’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.


This recording of Violin Sonata was produced using computer software called Sibelius: it is not a live recording.


You can view and purchase the score of Violin Sonata from Score Exchange.

If you wish to listen to the piece on that website, select the ‘MP3 file’ link instead of playing the embedded score for better audio quality.

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