Violin Sonata—Greetings and Farewell


Violin and piano–22′

A 5-movement violin sonata that evokes the spirit of Schubert through reference to his song “Sei mir gegrüßt.”

Listen to the third movement of Greetings and Farewell, played by Michael Sutton, violin, and John Jensen, piano.

Click the image below to preview the score:

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Violin Sonata, Greetings and Farewell

1997, rev. 2017
Violin, piano
Duration: 22′
Score and part included.

Program note

two-shot of smiling men for violin sonata cantilenaGreetings and a Farewell, a sonata in five movements, takes as its point of departure a key phrase of a beloved Schubert song, a song that was used by Schubert himself in his Fantasy for violin and piano. The text of the song’s refrain reads: “Sei mir gegrüßt, sei mir geküßt!” (“I greet you, I kiss you!”) This fragment is quoted directly in the last movement of my sonata, and used as raw material elsewhere, notably in the fourth movement, in counterpoint to the jig theme. Schubert seems to wander through this work, melancholy, sweet, fierce, occasionally exuberant, appearing mostly only in shadow, but briefly—in the last movement—in the flesh. The central movement has been performed independently as Cantilena.

Greetings and a Farewell was written in 1997 on commission from The Schubert Club in celebration of the Schubert bicentennial, and was premiered at Landmark Center in April, 1997 by violinist Michael Sutton and pianist John Jensen. It was revised in 2017. The work is dedicated to Nell Slater.

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