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Sonatina : for cor anglais

by Brett McKern (2006)

Audio Sample

Performance by Rachel Tolmie, John Martin from the CD On the sorrow of war

Work Overview

This one movement work (hence Sonatina not Sonata) was commissioned by Rachel Tolmie. It was desirous that there was new Australian music for the Cor Anglais, but the request was for a work that was not of the usual lament-styled writing ascribed to the instrument, but something fun or even comic. In this context this cheeky work has arisen. It has short, regular-length phrases so far as bars, but bars change time signature often. The opening eight bars for the Cor Anglais form a sort of refrain, but the overall form is ternary. The role of the instruments changes from time to time, and the motive from the opening changes parts and function. A canon at the beat (bars 29-32) recurs, as does a swapping between major and minor modes. The juxtaposition of usual chords in unexpected ways for such a tonal work adds to the comic effect, as does the combination of articulations: staccato, accents and slurs. As well as the strong sense of harmony, a rhythmic drive imbues the piece.

Work Details

Year: 2006

Instrumentation: Cor anglais, piano.

Duration: 5 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned by Rachel Tolmie.

First performance: by Rachel Tolmie — 2006.


Performances of this work

2006: featuring Rachel Tolmie.

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