Updated: Mar 13
This month I was challenged to write a piece for violin and piano in just four days. When I say four days, I mean finished, reviewed and score-handed in four days.
This piece was meant to be the core of a lecture I would give, together with my co-director, Gisela Paterno, at St. Cuthbert’s Philbeach Gardens
The piece is a double challenge, it has to be short and also easy for the performers who will have very little time to practice it.
The 7th of July I was very lucky to watch Mitridate Re di Ponte by Mozart. It is from that concert that I got the main theme for my little pedagogical piece.
Early Mozart and Aria da Capo stimulation were enough to make up my mind. I decided to write an Aria da Capo “Sequence for Violin and Piano”.
Harmonically-wise, I went for a very simple structure, almost minimalist. A simple sequence in Cm opened by a steady antecedent followed by a sequential consequent starting on a deceptive cadence finishing into an authentic cadential progression.
The piece is organized so the piano showcases the main theme first on its own and one voice at a time. Then the Violin engages with the piano which all of a sudden becomes accompaniment.
During A, the role of the violin is the one of a soloist. It plays a rather free melody which is juxtaposed to the quasi ostinato performed by the piano.
B is expectedly contrasting… The violin texture becomes thicker and the piano slowly gains importance, forgetting the ostinato. Now harmony is the Queen.
A much faster and open chord progression is put in place. The character of B is bright and driven balancing up the rather steady and settled mood of A. We finally come back to a transposed A.
A’ will then be rephrased in the same way as an Aria da Capo the accompaniment remains the same while the violin shows off.
Hope you find this insight helpful for your own challenges!