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Piano Sonata

Piano Sonata (mockup)Jason Brauer
00:00 / 16:52


Solo piano
17 minutes



Year of composition

Program Note

On a practical level, Piano Sonata reflects my need for a solo piece to play when giving an elevator pitch for my music. However, I realized after writing it that it is a mirror to my emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first movement progresses like a normal, lush sonata-form Allegro is supposed to before a cataclysmic event breaks apart the normal order. The development wanders around in dark obscurity, grasping at pieces of the way things were before, but rather than a recapitulation of the main theme, it arrives at another false climax that crashes into the depths. The second movement asks what might happen if the decadent right-hand flourishes of a Chopin nocturne rebelled against the need for order and hijacked the piece, cycling between apathy and sharp, horrible realization. The third movement, a rondo with a short attention span, opens with a brash parody of Minute Waltz before jump-cutting to a delicate, twinkling second theme and a grandiose third theme in octaves. Finally, after the rondo has run its course, we at last get the restatement of the original theme from the first movement, followed by a murky, unsure coda that leaves no clear answers.

Performance History

Jason premiered movement 2 in October 2021 and movement 1 in May 2022, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.

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