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A Sonata Recital

Synopsis

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by JOSEPH SZIGETI and HARRIET COHEN
T His fairly recent work of Bax is for the most part in rather stern mood, and the first movement, which he calls ' Fantasy,' bogins with an introduction which is marked ' slow and gloomy.' Beginning with two forte bars. it is afterwards made up of rising and falling figures to close on a long-held very soft pause. It is followed by a section with the indication ' rough and fierce,' built up largely on a strenuous scale figure, and out of it grows a more flowing theme which the composer has marked very passionate.' The mood becomes more tranquil for a moment, but then rises to exuberance before returning to the ' fierce and rough ' tune. The movement closes with a reminder of the opening, and leads straight into the second, which is called ' The Grey Dancer in the Twilight.' It is in a fast waltz measure, with a graceful swaying tune for the violin ; the middle section of the movement, marked ' mysterious and remote,' as well as ' very rhythmical,' is shared in a very interesting way between the two instruments. The waltz dies away very softly and slowly at the end, to sink almost to silence, and after a long pause, there is a ' slow and serious ' section with a rippling figure in the pianoforte and a broad melody for the violin. It leads us directly to the third movement—' very broad and concentrated, but extremely expressive.' Violin and pianoforte have counter melodies, and for a time it is the pianoforte which sings out most prominently. Soon, however, the violin has a new melody marked ' wistful and languid,' and a little later, ' very languid.' But a passionate mood follows on that, to sink down again to very quiet tone.
The composer has marked this last section ' drowsily.'
Again there is no actual silent break before the fourth movement, which begins with real ferocity. At the outset the time changes between 11-8 and 3-2, but soon the theme so given out emerges in a four-in-the-bar 'shape, to make way almost at once for a more vigorous movement. After a few bars vivace, there is a little return of the interlude which came at the end of the waltzj and then we come back to the ferocity of the opening. An echo of the first movement follows that, leading to a very quiet and serene section, in the expressive mood of which the movement reaches its rather solemn and very quiet end.

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