Author Topic: Piano Sonata in A Major  (Read 203 times)

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hk106

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Piano Sonata in A Major
« on: August 18, 2020, 11:17:20 AM »
Hello!

Hoping for some feedback and constructive criticism from the kind and talented folks at this forum, as I've completed my newest creation, my sixth piano sonata.

A few things to know about me that will give you an idea of what to expect from this music:
- I'm an amateur and hobbyist with no formal training.  I've been at it for about five years or so.
- I've attached the sheet music, but do keep in mind that this music was composed for Finale's playback feature (I have zero expectations that a pianist will take an interest in trying to play my music), so there will be many notation errors and formatting issues.  Unless they affect the playback, than I'm not too concerned at this point.
- I tend to write in a musical language inherited from 19th century classical music.  I do admire and respect more modern approaches, but I'm presently content to continue working within the same sort of idiom that many of my favorite composers used.

The sonata is in four movements:
- The first movement is in sonata form. https://soundcloud.com/user-871866847/piano-sonata-no-6-in-a-major-movement-1
- The second movement might be described as ABACDCABA form.  https://soundcloud.com/user-871866847/piano-sonata-no-6-in-a-major-2nd-movement
- The third movement is an intermezzo in ternary form.  https://soundcloud.com/user-871866847/piano-sonata-no-6-in-a-major-movement-3
- The fourth movement is in rondo form.  https://soundcloud.com/user-871866847/piano-sonata-no-6-in-a-major-movement-4

Thank you!

mjf1947

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Re: Piano Sonata in A Major
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2020, 01:46:24 PM »
Hi,

I just listened to the first movement.  Yes ... it's definitely in the classical tradition.

You develop your theme quite well and I enjoyed all the permutations. 

I am not pianist so I cannot comment on the technical aspects.

Although, at measure 136 there is a wide interval in the left hand and the trill at 145 - I not too sure about.

So I'll let the pianists here comment further.  And yes the opening thematic material is quite lovely.

Mark

hk106

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Re: Piano Sonata in A Major
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2020, 10:02:43 PM »
I greatly appreciate the feedback and kind words, mjf!  I'll take another look at those two measures you mentioned.

Michel.R.E

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Re: Piano Sonata in A Major
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2020, 01:12:21 PM »
it might be time to start commenting on other people's submissions as well.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

Jerry Engelbach

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Re: Piano Sonata in A Major
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2020, 03:00:38 PM »
hk106,
 
You wrote five previous sonatas as well? That's quite ambitious. I'm interested in who your favorite composers are, who inspire you to write in this style. A lot of it sounds more late 18th-century/early 19th-century than what I would think of as purely 19th century: more in the classical rather than the romantic tradition.
 
You have a good harmonic sense, although in some places a progression seems arbitrary and doesn't quite feel like it's moving the music along. I'm too lazy at the moment to go back and try to locate them.
 
Overall, I feel that the piece is over-embellished, to the point of obscuring the themes.
 
In the sonata-form movement, I want to hear more clearly the statement of the first and second themes, and how you develop and recapitulate them. The music starts and before the theme is well articulated immediately goes into a lot of busy-ness.
 
The second movement feels draggy. Perhaps it needs more variety.
 
The third movement is refreshingly lively. I would not call it an intermezzo. It might be more appropriate as a last movement.
 
The last movement has more of the slow melody I would expect from an intermezzo. For me, the last movement of a sonata cries for a faster melody, and, again, less embellishment so we feel more clearly the contrast between the statement of the rondo's theme and each variation.
 
Your writing sounds ideomatically correct for the piano. If I were a more accomplished pianist I could easily play it. You have a definite feel for the music of that era. It's without question an excellent effort.
 
You said that you haven't corrected the formatting, so I'll skip that.
 
Cheers,
Jer
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hk106

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Re: Piano Sonata in A Major
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2020, 11:28:06 AM »
Hey Jerry,

Thank you for listening (to all four movements no less!), and I'm grateful for all of your feedback, including the constructive criticism.

I'm interested in who your favorite composers are, who inspire you to write in this style. A lot of it sounds more late 18th-century/early 19th-century than what I would think of as purely 19th century: more in the classical rather than the romantic tradition.

Fair point, the 19th century ranges from mid-Beethoven to the tone poems of Richard Strauss, so you may be right that my work so far is more directly inspired by the earlier half of that century.  Specifically, I would say Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin and Brahms are the piano composers I spend the most time studying.

Quote
The second movement feels draggy. Perhaps it needs more variety.
Yeah, you may have something there.
 
Quote
The last movement has more of the slow melody I would expect from an intermezzo. For me, the last movement of a sonata cries for a faster melody, and, again, less embellishment so we feel more clearly the contrast between the statement of the rondo's theme and each variation.

I originally was going to label the third movement a "Scherzo," but while there is a playfulness to it, I wasn't sure there was quite enough mischief or humor to justify the label.  I see "Intermezzo" as a light interlude between movements that might have more emotional gravity.

As far as having a last movement that has a more moderate tempo, I'm following the example of Beethoven sonatas like op. 7, op. 28 and op. 90, and Schubert sonata D. 958.  In the last movement, I'm usually trying to recapture the mood/vibe of the first movement (I tend to see the outer movements as defining the a sonata's general "temperament"), and this particular sonata was an attempt at something more lyrical and leisurely.
 

Jerry Engelbach

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Re: Piano Sonata in A Major
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2020, 12:16:27 PM »
hk106,
 
Well, to slightly belabor the tempo of the last movement: Schubert's last movement is pretty lively. The Beetnoven op. 7 is slow, but op. 28 skips right along. Op. 90 has only two movements, and the while second is not fast, it does have a walking feeling.
 
To me the ideal example of a late classical rondo is the last movement of Beethoven's Pathetique.
 
Just my impressions of your piece.
 
Cheers,
Jer
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