Piano Sonata in Free Form (Hilton Head, S.C.)
In 1985, my wife and I spent a week on Hilton Head, South Carolina, where we were reunited with some old and dear friends. It was one of the most enjoyable weeks of my life, and a piano sonata grew out of it. The first movement is subtitled “Rebekah’s Dance.” Rebekah was our friends’ then three-year-old daughter who enjoyed performing a kind of whirling dervish in which she would spin round and round till she actually lost her balance and collapsed in a heap of giggles. The opening and closing sections of the movement were inspired by this diversion. The middle section contains a motif from an ancient Spanish dance. The second movement is very free and flowing, reflective of the ocean’s waves, and is subtitled “Sea Fever,” referring to the famous poem by John Masefield: I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, / And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.... The final movement is a series of small snapshots of our week on the island. The work is currently out of print, and I have no mp3 files to present. Consider that fortunate. The movements are:
1. Allegro—Andantino—Allegro (“Rebekah’s Dance”)
2. Freely, with feeling (“Sea Fever”)
3. Allegretto (“Vignettes”)
Copyright © 1998 by John Craton
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