Sonatina No. 2 in A Major for Violin and Piano

Written for a young teenage violinist, this sonatina was designed for the advancing student, presenting technical challenges for one progressing beyond the Accolay A minor concerto. The movements present vignettes from a teenage girl’s life — albeit a teen growing up in the 1920s — and represent an attempt to appeal to the classically minded youth of today.

The first movement is subtitled “Stripling Dialogues” (Allegretto) and reflects stereotypical feminine chatter that often suddenly devolves into conflict and antagonism, and then just as suddenly resolves. The second movement is “Young Romance” (Andante) and is overly sentimental, as young affairs of the heart are wont to be. Here we witness a young lass in the throes of infatuation who envisions her love as the real thing. Hopelessness of the situation rears its head, but she nevertheless moons dreamily over her beloved while alone at night in her bed. The final movement is “Ragtime” (Allegro). In this movement our heroine and her coevals pretend at being en vogue women of the world. Their childhood training in ballet cannot be entirely subdued, however, and thus what otherwise would be a very earthy attempt at a rag is tamed by more delicate restraints with sometimes humorous results.

The sonatina is written mostly in first through fifth positions, with brief excursions into sixth. It incorporates most techniques expected of the advancing student, including natural and artificial harmonics, right- and left-hand pizzicato, rhythmic challenges, and frequent double stops. The work may be played by omitting some of the more difficult double stops if necessary, focusing on the melody line instead.

The sonatina was written for and dedicated to the young violinist Marina Stant. It is published by Wolfhead Music.

mp3 files (Sibelius playback):
1. Allegretto (“Stripling Dialogues”)
2. Andante (“Young Romance”)
3. Allegro (“Ragtime”)

Copyright © 2005 by John Craton

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