Sonatina for Violin and Piano - (2008)
for Peronnik Topp
- [ 3 pages, circa 1' 30" ]
While performing Parsifal in concert with the fine Sinfonieorchester
Aachen under the baton of Marcus Bosch, I had breakfast in the hotel each
morning and struck up a conversation with a guest violinist playing in the
concert, Swiss-born Peronnik Topp. Our conversations over several mornings
covered chamber music, issues of new music and its future, as well as
anecdotes about a number of musical experiences. From various "resonances"
out of these conversation emerged a four movement Sonatina for
The first movement is a series of scales and triadic passages, structured
with parallelism and some simple trading of gestures between the players.
Small influences from rag rhythms and the occasional major-minor dominant
seventh, setting the Sonatina squarely across several centuries of
[ 4 pages, circa 1' 55" ]
The second movement opens with some double stops for the violin, as a
prelude to a simple melody in the violin with a counterpoint melody in the
piano over a minimal harmonic progression.
Peronnik has joked about composing something simple, including lots of half
notes, such that the melody line for the violin sits on rhythmically
displaced half note values for a large part of its voicing. Later in this
set of melodic variations, the violin and piano exchange voices.
While composing this Sonatina, I was working in parallel on a small
cycle of "curses" drawn from Yiddish folk sayings, titles
Kloles. For that, I chose a very small passacaglia form with
parallel sevenths in the piano accompaniment's upper voices later in the
work, over which the violin would sing in minor scales emphasizing augmented
seconds as the musical reference to East European Jewish music.
The last movement is a joyous, up-tempo romp in 12/8 meter with simple
parallel triadism and scales across several mensural relationships, making
up a rather complex giocoso for both players. While a slower tempo for the
main body of the movement is noted, whatever quicker allegro the players
might wish to choose should be bound by clarity and good humor.
[ Total duration - 16 pages, circa 7' 35" ]
Peronnik Topp was born in 1981 in Basel, Switzerland, began violin studies
aged 7. Topp has studied at the Zurich School of Music, the Academy of Music
and Theater in Rostock, Germany, and the Vienna University of Music. In 2008
he recieved his concert diploma. He has toured throughout Africa, China,
Europe, Japan and USA and in 2005 he was leader of the World Youth
Orchestra. Topp has played with the Berliner Symphoniker, Zürcher
Kammerorchester, Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester, Staatstheater Cottbus,
Staatsorchester Wiesbaden, Sinfonieorchester Aachen, Theater Hagen, Orquesta
sinfonica de Tenerife, as well as with the BBC Philharmonic and the Hallé
Orchestra Manchester. Since August 2007 he has been with the Beethoven
The score for the Sonatina for Violin and Piano is available as a
free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of
the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on
the graphic below for this piano-oboe score and separate oboe part, fifteen
pages in total.
Sonatina for Violin and Piano
full score A4
Sonatina for Violin and Piano
violin part A4