Daryl Runswick Viola SonataCaleb Sibley, viola
Aleksander Szram, piano
Viola Sonata (2012, revised 2015) was written in memory of my friend John Rolton. As with my other recent sonata-titled pieces I didn’t feel the old ‘sonata form’ appropriate to a contemporary piece. Structural devices have life-spans like anything else.
I approached the issue of structural unity-with-contrast by applying various treatments, always to the same material. In Viola Sonata this is the long melody heard at the beginning, re-introduced many times in different guises. Thirteen short sections, lasting 1-2 minutes each and running without a break, contain each a new interpretation of the basic material. The sections are juxtaposed rather than merged, and the technique is not so much of development as re-imagining or variation. The harmonies are made from modes, two of them alternating, one ‘minor-ish’, one ‘major-ish’. The thirteen sections are arranged in groups to form a ‘first movement’, a ‘scherzo’, a ‘slow movement’ and a reprise of the opening.
Recorded at The DReam Room, London, March 2015
Engineered and produced by Daryl Runswick
The piano is Bösendorfer No. 23270
Piano technician Allen Wright
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