|Genre Categories||;; ; ;|
|Work Title||Violin Sonata No.4|
|Alternative. Title||"Athena" for Violin and Piano|
|Composer||Sydeman, William Jay|
|I-Catalogue NumberI-Cat. No.||IWS 36|
|Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp.||1985|
|Average DurationAvg. Duration||13 minutes|
|Composer Time PeriodComp. Period||Modern|
The violinist Athena Norcia of Berkeley fame asked me to write this piece. She was clear that she loved Copland, the blues and Prokofiev. This was extremely felicitous as I shared her enthusiasms. It is therefore not surprising that the different movements reflect our shared passions – perhaps the piece could be construed as triple homage. In any event it seems to get played around town, which should indicate that our tastes are borderline universal. Well, actually it gets played around a fairly large town, as the last performance I recall was in the town of Enschede in Holland. Incidentally, the Blues movement is my particular favorite.
Upon reviewing the original handwritten manuscript, I can only extol Athena for having plowed through it, and give my editor Rick Shinozaki plaudits for creating a truly legible version. Speaking of plaudits, I find the Coplandesque first movement really quite lovely, with the more rhythmic second movement a nice contrast (all quite tonal and straightforward). In the Blues, the piano plays a repeated figure while the violin gets real bluesy above it. The fourth movement has a fluffy (like clouds speeding by) quality which makes it all come out alright in the end.
– W. Jay Sydeman