Music 223: Piano Sonata 2

Hi Everyone

I have such a backlog of piano compositions to share with anyone who might want to listen, that I hope I’m not testing your patience. However, I want to get the music “out there”. I’ve already passed the age at which all 4 grandparents shuffled off, and am almost at my father’s age… So I want to make sure all the piano music was available so that it could disappear into obscurity on its own merits!

This Second Piano Sonata is a bit darker than the first and is a bit longer. It doesn’t tell a story as such, nor is it autobiographical. For those of you who want to listen but need some sort of image to help with this type of music, it maybe helpful to think of an abusive or disintegrating relationship, which by the 3rd movement starts to crawl out of the tunnel. With this in mind it doesn’t make for an overly pleasant listening experience, but it is a sonata and not music to be played in the supermarket to enhance the shopping experience!

Thanks

Click on a link to listen
1st movement – audio
2nd movement – audio
3rd movement – audio

Click on a link to download the written music
1st movement – sheet music
2nd movement – sheet music
3rd movement – sheet music

19 thoughts on “Music 223: Piano Sonata 2

  1. umashankar

    Armed with the guidance you had provided in the preface, I let the tryptic fill my room. Many stories rushed to fill my thoughts as the three pieces unrolled. It’s amazing how intense your music is shared with your readers with a rare fondness.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Thanks Uma. I’m glad you were able to listen with a bit of volume! I suspect that many these days can’t work out much about (western) music unless it’s soothing background sound or some sort of song. It means that many of the musical forms are misunderstood – sort of like thinking that every poem should be an ode; or playing everything with the same raga. Your comments, as always, are deeply felt and appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Sally Ember, Ed.D.

    I really liked the first part and the middle parts of the first movement, but I didn’t feel that the second and repeated final sections fit into the rest very well. The transition between the second and the third was all right, but the others (first into second, penultimate into final) didn’t do it for me/were missing, somehow. I was thinking: “‘fugue’ morphed into ‘invention’ without any reason or warning, then returned to ‘fugue.” Weirdly disconnected.

    I also missed any ind of theme or motif except for the left hand’s rhythm and format that popped up repeatedly. Was there an actual melody or theme? I couldn’t hear it clearly anywhere.

    BTW: I don’t know enough about classical sonata forms even to know if this composition is a proper sonata or not, so take my ideas with a grain of salt, I suppose. (I mostly know Bach and Mozart, with some Beethoven, Clementi, Shubert, Shuman and a few others thrown in.) Will listen to the other two movements tomorrow (Sunday) I hope.Thanks for creating and sharing!

    Also, as a lifelong and sometimes professional pianist, myself, with very small hands,i found the crashing, fast octaves and chords played by the right hand to be impressive! And, the juxtapositions of the rhythms were also cool to hear and imagine myself playing.

    Best to you,

    Sally.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Thanks, Sally, for a full, generous and thoughtful comment. I appreciate it very much and find it helpful. I could of course write half a book in response, so the shortness of this response has no bearing on the value of your comments! First, there’s really no such thing as a sonata form – there is, but most people have generally fossicked about with theme one in the tonic, theme 2 in the dominant, a mess up and a recapitulation. I agree with you that the transition between the development section and the return of theme one is clumsy – and I should change it, and maybe will! I wanted the second theme to be as contrasting as possible with the first theme – the first theme being the abusive party and the second them being the defenceless and timid victim.
      Regarding a melody… Beethoven wrote very few of them!! Just a few chord progressions! e.g. the opening theme of the 5th! My second theme (the soft timid one) is pinched from a Scarlatti sonata (K9). I’m a little bit obsessed with Scarlatti’s 555 sonatas – I think they’re vastly underestimated as he is. And of course, he called them “Sonatas” which further stretches in our day and age the definition of the word. I shall continue to contemplate your comments Sally. Thanks again
      Bruce

      Like

      Reply
  3. Sally Ember, Ed.D.

    Okay. Listened to 2nd movement. Seemed almost completely separate, except for the somewhat similar syncopated left hand to right hand midway through. My take? Chopin meets Debussy and argues with him, then they team up to kill Kabalevsky? Whoa1

    I liked the broken chords/arpeggios/almost melody right-hand part midway through the best.

    I hope the 3rd movement ties them both together….

    Going on, now.

    Sally

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Sally Ember, Ed.D.

    3rd movement wins for my favorite! Loved the ways you DID bring the first two into it. Liked the themes, arrangement, most everything.

    One idea: Since the first movement had trills and no grace notes, maybe change the grace notes in the 3rd movement into trills, to tie them together even better?

    The crashing randomly treble chords were impressively Scott Joplin-esque and well-aimed, but not sure motif-wise what they’re doing in this sonata.

    Cute ending, but since nothing else was “cute,” it was kind of surprisingly jarring. Hmmm.

    I’ve never been much of a music critic and don’t have much of a formal music education (except for mostly classical piano lessons for 10 years), so hope some of this is helpful.

    Best to you,

    Sally

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Thanks so much, Sally. You critique is certainly greatly appreciated. One of the things in trying create anything (I think so at least) is that “rules”, be it for theatre, novels, poems, music, are invented AFTER the creation of works. So for example, particular forms became “rules” because someone broke the rules. I like the thought of Chopin meeting Debussy! And also rather like your idea in 3rd movement of turning the grace notes into trills.

      Like

      Reply
  5. Andrea Stephenson

    I read the comments above with interest but since I know absolutely nothing about classical music, all I can do is listen! My favourite, I think, was the second movement – the drama of the strong notes with the silences. But I also loved what I think may be the ‘trills’ in the third one – the notes that sound like a descending waterfall.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Thanks so much, Andrea. I always think it’s unfair to make fun of the comment – “I don’t know much about modern art but I know what I like”. I don’t need to know how to make ice cream to know what flavour I like! I thought you’d pick the second movement!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  6. inese

    Beautiful. Didn’t think about an abusive relationship though. Just about life in general 🙂 Second and Third movements are my favorites. Changing rhythm is a hallmark of your music, I think. It is definitely not a background music – I am not against the background music – but something strong and wistful at once, and also very sincere.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. Lifetap Project

    As someone who is just starting their piano journey, this was certainly very interesting to broathen my horizons and realize there is a lot to this instrument that you may not find at the surface. Thank you for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

I delight in having my dull life coloured by your intelligent perceptions, your wit, and your vivacity.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s