Sonata No.1 for Piano (1969) is an early work in which the “sonata form” dictates the structural architecture but not the tonal relationships. I attempt to rather use free -flowing contrapuntal techniques, such as inversion and imitation within vertical structures. (i.e. harmonic polyphony)
The First Movement (allegro) adheres to the segments i.e. enunciation, development and recapitulation using a ‘contracting’ motif pivoting around the major third. The themes are more percussive than melodic, with aggressive dissonants and syncopations on repeated notes. The melodic shape of the second theme also resolves into a rising and falling major third. A percussive “marcato” shifts between 3 /4 and 6/8 leading to the development of themes which shifts around chromatically, and abounds in contrapuntal techniques. Rising thirds bring us back to the recapitulation in the original ‘atonal’ register. Some leaping octaves end this movement rather abruptly.
The second Movement is a CANON with “misterioso” as a mood indication. Rising semitones (with an octave displacement) are followed by a falling minor third. The dissonant major seventh gives it a haunting quality. The left hand enters at a two- bar distance and two octaves lower. The alternating quaver movement gives way to a figure of a double-dotted quaver, followed by a demi-semiquaver which begins a much freer contrapuntal section where the imitation is rhythmic rather than melodic. A texturally thick climax is reached with tension in double dotted rhythms .This winds down in rising semitones until the original Canon is resumed. An augmentation in the left hand follows and a unison melody (4 octaves apart) leads ‘attacca’ into the Third Movement -
RONDO. The main subject is based exactly on the first five notes of the Canon, but rhythmically altered in a 9/8 meter.-‘Scherzando e marcato’ sets the tone for leaping rhythmical gestures. Again free contrapuntal techniques are employed, especially inversion. The second motif is quieterand in dotted crotchets (again displaced semitones) There is much usage of the First Movement’s opening theme, i.e. major thirds and falling semitone. After a lively ‘development’ the theme returns in a ‘quasi Canon’ and summarises most of the material heard before in the entire Sonata.