Thomas Wilson: Cello Sonata [download]
Composed 1971 for cello and piano; duration 22 mins approx.
Handwritten score (75p) and part (15p) scanned to pdf for immediate download.
This work, completed in January 1971, was commissioned by the Glasgow Chamber Music Society for Joan and Hester Dickson who gave the first performance in February 1971. A wide range of techniques is required of both instruments, from the relatively orthodox to percussive effects of different types, piano harmonics etc.
The piece falls into several parts. The first section is an exchange of monologues in which both instruments expose the main material of the work. A fast but delicate section follows, leading to a slow rhapsodic cadenza for piano during which the cello holds a continuous high harmonic. The fourth part is a canonic scherzo, brittle and rather erratic, in which the cello seeks by various means to shake off the attentions of the following piano. A central episode is arrived at which has visual elements in that the cellist is required to play the piano and the pianist the cello. Thereafter the canon restarts, this time the piano leading and the cello following. The fifth section is slow and expressive and is dominated by the cello. In the sixth part a resolute forthright idea given out by the cello is contrasted with the more flippant material of the piano. Finally a Coda recalls the material of the opening and the work ends quietly.