Piano Sonata

Piano SonataJason Brauer
00:00 / 01:04

Instrumentation

Piano solo
17 minutes

Duration

2021

Year of composition

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 first movement of a sonata 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 crashing false climax. The second movement asks what might happen if the decadent right-hand flourishes of a Chopin nocturne rebelled against the need for order and took over 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 a 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 at the end, followed by a murky, unsure coda that leaves no clear answers.