RHAPSODIC SONATA

For viola and piano
Composed: 2011 (revised 2015)
Commission:  Ellen Rose, violist
Duration:  21 minutes

PROGRAM NOTES

I.  Caritas
II....fair as the moon, bright as the sun...
III. Blithesome Spirit

Rhapsodic Sonata portrays musically a person who is on an internal journey.   In the first movement the viola begins with a mood of questioning and anger, contrasted with the atmosphere of blurred color and more tranquil melodic fragments in the piano. Under the influence of the piano, the passionato mood of the soloist gradually dissolves, with only occasional references to the opening tensions. Near the end of the movement the chant, Ubi Caritas is quoted followed by a related melody, first in the piano, and then the viola.   The second movement, ...fair as the moon, bright as the sun... is simply a love song.  Opening with soft, breathless, quick motion in the piano, "like a light breeze through white clouds", it quickly goes to a melody in the viola that exudes warmth and pleasure.  The same chant, Ubi Caritas, is referred to near the end of the movement in the piano.  The last movement, Blithesome Spirit, in a light-hearted mood, becomes buoyantly playful, mischievous, and sometimes a bit jaunty.