I Write The Music

Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994) – Piano Sonata (1934)

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on August 15, 2017


Published on May 23, 2016

00:00 – I. Allegro
10:27 – II. Adagio ma non troppo
18:08 – III. Andante – Allegretto
Pf. Gloria Cheng
Lutosławski’s Piano Sonata, the only composition preserved from his early student years, was completed on 29 December 1934. That three-movement work was modelled on the music of Debussy and – to a certain extent – Ravel (especially his Sonatine). The composer himself acknowledged Szymanowski’s influences. The rich palette of sound colours reveals impressionistic origins and, in most of the Sonata (and especially its first movement), the basis of the timbre is the quick succession of broken chords, providing, by means of the pedal, a glimmering background for the subjects and independent motives. The Sonata places certain technical demands on the pianist . In order to perform it correctly, considerable dexterity is required as well as a mastery of passage-work and octave technique, sensitivity to instrumental colouring and skill in bringing polyphony into prominence vividly. In later years Lutosławski’s attitude towards his youthful Sonata was so critical that, though the manuscript survived the turmoil of war, he never decided to publish it. In the 1970s Ryszard Bakst acquired a copy of the music and recorded it for Polish Radio, albeit against the wishes of the composer. Danuta Gwizdalanka, Krzysztof Meyer (excerpt from the book Lutosławski. A Road to Mastery)


Sihyeon Choe 


Carl Vine – Piano Sonata No. 1 – Uses Cross Rhythms

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on August 8, 2017



Published on Jan 11, 2016

– Composer: Carl Vine, AO (8 October 1954 — present)
– Performer: Michael Kieran Harvey
– Year of recording: 1991

Piano Sonata No. 1, written in 1990.

00:00 – I. [no dynamic tempo marking]
08:23 – II. Leggiero e legato

Australian composer Carl Vine uses a lot of open fourths and fifths in this piano sonata, and chords/arpeggios are often based on stacked fourths or fifths. The sonata is reminiscent in its form of Elliot Carter’s piano sonata, and in its intensity of Samuel Barber’s piano sonata.

Notes by the dedicatee, Michael Harvey:
“Drawing on the lithe beauty and contrapuntal elegance of the earlier Piano Sonata (1946) by Elliot Carter, the [1st] Piano Sonata by Carl Vine is a work characterised by intense rhythmic drive and the building up of layers of resonance. These layers are sometimes delicate and modal, archieving a ‘pointed’ polyphony by the use of complex cross-rhythm, at other times they are granite-like in density, creating waves of sound which propel the music irresistibly towards its climax.

The scheme is similar to the Carter Sonata – Two movements, with the slow section built into and defining the faster portions of the first movement. The second movement is based on a ‘moto perpetuo’ which soon gives way to a chorale section, based on parallel fifths.

In discussing the work, Vine is reticent about offering explanations for the compositional processes involved, feeling that these are self-evident, and indeed the work is definitely aurally ‘accessible’ on first hearing. However one of the main concerns in this sonata is the inter-relationship between disparate tempi, which is the undercurrent of the work and its principle binding element.

The work is dedicated to me and was commissioned by the Sydney Dance Company to be choreographed by Graeme Murphy. The first concert performance of this work was on 23 June 1991 in Melbourne. The first dance performance of Piano Sonata was in the Drama Theatre of the Sydney Opera House in May, 1992.”


Beethoven – Piano Sonata 23, Op.57 “Appassionata” (Color-Coded Analysis V2)

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on June 25, 2017


The Daily Beethoven

(Make sure “Annotations” is ON to see section labels)

Piano Sonata No.23 in Fm, Op.57 (‘Appassionata’)
1.Allegro assai @0:00
2.Andante con moto (attaca) @9:06
3.Allegro ma non troppo @15:33

Piano: Annie Fischer

(Version with Alfred Brendel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89hcfg…)

Note: at this time the annotations will not appear on mobile devices, so if possible please watch from a computer.

For more videos of this type see:
Color-Coded Analysis of Beethoven’s Music (INDEX):

Introduction to Sonata Form:

This analysis was assisted in large part by Donald Tovey’s “Companion to Beethoven’s Pianoforte Sonatas”.

My Analysis Cheat Sheet:
-SONATA FORM: Most common form, almost always in the 1st movement and often last movement of a work. The basic sequence is Intro, Exposition, Development, Recapitulation and Coda.
-EXPOSITION: Main theme(s) are presented, usually in the home key and then a modulated key
-THEME / THEME GROUP: musical “paragraph”. These can be broken down into 1 or more “tunes”. These are grouped according to key and end on cadences. The 1st Theme Group is in the home key. The 2nd Theme Group is in the dominant or other key.
-CLOSING/CADENCE SECTION: a theme group which closes the Expo or Recap (it follows the 2nd theme) and revives Theme 1 to provide closure.
-MODULATING BRIDGE/TRANSITION: material to get from 1 key/theme group to another, often w sequencing.
-DEVELOPMENT: free-form “working out”/”fantasia” section where earlier themes are subjected to variations and atomizations. Possibly a new theme is introduced (“Eroica”).
-RECAPITULATION: Repeat of the Expo, except that this section remains in the same key throughout and there can be theme variations from the initial Expo versions of themes.
-CODA: Follows the Recap, kind of a second development designed to finish off the work.
-SEQUENCING: repeating a phrase on different starting notes (keys)
-TERNARY FORM: 3-part form in A-B-A, usually a Scherzo or Minuet
-SCHERZO/MINUET: 1st pt. of a 3-pt. Scherzo form, usually AA.BA’.BA’ in 3/4 time. Lively.
-TRIO: Middle section of a Scherzo movement, slower, broader than the Scherzo section
-RONDO: Similar to Sonata form except that the Development is replaced by a new section and there is less transition material. A principal theme (A) alternates with contrasting themes (BCD…). (Ex.ABACABA.)
-FUGUE: form in which a subject(s) undergoes canonical permutations
-VARIATION: repeat of a theme with variation
-CADENZA: unaccompanied instrumental solo
-BINARY FORM: Structure in AB. 2-Part Song form.
(Disclaimer: I do not have a music degree, all of the above is purely from memory and observation)


Jan Ingenhoven – Sonata for cello and piano No. 1

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on May 6, 2017

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Chopin – Yo-Yo Ma Performs Sonata for Cello & Piano in G minor, Op. 65 Complete with Sheet Music

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on August 30, 2016

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Murray Perahia – Beethoven – Piano Sonata No 23 in F minor, Op 57 – “Appassionata”

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on August 19, 2016

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Brahms Sonata f-moll for two pianos – Anastasia & Lubov Gromoglasova

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on July 26, 2016

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S. Prokofiev – Flute Sonata, op. 94

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on July 6, 2016

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Maslanka SONATA, Mvt. 1 Moderate, performed by Otis Murphy, saxophone

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on June 20, 2016

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Mozart Piano Sonata No. 8 in a-minor KV 310, Grigory Sokolov

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on May 29, 2016
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Wynton Marsalis – Hindemith Trumpet Sonata

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on May 28, 2016


 As controversial as he is popular, Wynton Learson Marsalis is one of the most prominent jazz musicians of the modern era and is also a well-known instrumentalist in classical music. Currently the Musical Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center Wynton Marsalis has received many awards for his musical proficiency. These awards run the gambit of Grammys to a controversial awarding of the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his three and half hour jazz oratorio CD box set Blood on the Fields, the first jazz album to win this award. Born in a musically oriented family in the New Orleans jazz scene at a young age Wynton was exposed to many legendary jazz musicians. Some of these musicians were Al Hirt, who gave Wynton his first trumpet when he was 6 years of age and Danny Barker, a legendary jazz banjoist who lead the Fairview Baptist Church band which Wynton was playing in when he was eight. Wynton was very active musically during high school and was a member in many New Orleans musical organizations such as the N.O. symphony brass quintet, the N.O. community concert band, N.O. youth orchestra, N.O. symphony and a popular local funk band called the Creators. In 1978 he had a two-year stay at the Juilliard School of Music before joining the Jazz Messengers to study under master drummer and bandleader, Art Blakey. Not long after that he toured with the Herbie Hancock quartet before forming his own band. After many concerts and workshops Wynton rekindled widespread interest in an art form that had been largely abandoned. He has invested his creative energy and status in being an advocate for a relatively small era in the history of jazz. His advocacy in this area has garnered much controversy for his “classicist” view of jazz history considering post-1965 avant-garde playing to be outside of jazz and 1970s fusion to be barren. This viewpoint was promoted strongly in Ken Burns’ documentary Jazz; a documentary Wynton was artistic director and co-producer. However despite his controversial views few disagree that his musical abilities in both jazz and classical music are high impressive and worthy of the high praise it often receives.

Emmanuel Pahud Bach – Flute Harpsichord Sonata in e minor

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on May 25, 2016
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Mishka Rushdie Momen : Janáček Sonata I.X.1905, Part 2

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on April 11, 2016

Mishka Momen

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Beethoven: Sonata A major op.101 – Shinyoung Lee – Piano Class Prof. Fock

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on April 4, 2016
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Beethoven – Spring Sonata – Violin, PianoMajor Op 24 “Spring” 1st Mvt (Allegro) –

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on March 9, 2016
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Hindemith – Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 11 No. 4

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on March 5, 2016
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Francis Poulenc – Sonata for Oboe: ii. Scherzo

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on January 4, 2016
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Eric Ewazen – Sonata for Trombone and Piano – Derek Bourgeois – Concerto for Trombone

Posted in Musical Forms, Trombone by Higher Density Blog on October 27, 2015
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Schubert Sonata in A Minor for Flute and Piano , Sarah Miles, flute; Rebecca Casey, Piano

Posted in Composers by Higher Density Blog on September 14, 2015
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Musicians @ Google – Joshua Bell and Jeremy Denk – Cesar Franck: Sonata for Violin and Piano

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on August 27, 2015
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