Sonata no. 1
for solo piano
by Maddie Stephenson
Program Notes – by the composer:
Sonata no. 1 is the first serious piece that I have composed, as well as the piece I have spent the longest amount of time on. I began writing it in December of 2017, and did not complete it until November of 2018, almost an entire year later. Having spent so much time revising and learning to play this piece, it is now very special to me.
I wrote the movements in order, however originally I had intended for the first movement (Allegro molto vivace) to be the third movement. After completing the Mysterioso movement, I decided to make this one the third movement of the sonata instead. This decision was mainly based on how the piece would flow together sonically, but it also made sense when I analyzed the piece more in depth.
The first movement introduces a type of scale that is explored throughout the entire sonata. A simple motive (E-A-G#) can be heard not long after. This motive is also present throughout the piece. The second movement begins with the same scale in a different inversion, and soon a new motive is introduced. This motive, along with the one from the first movement, and the fundamental scale, can all be found in the final movement.
In writing Sonata no. 1, I have discovered and honed my compositional methods in ways that I could not have planned. It’s been a pleasure writing this piece, and I hope to write many more like it in the future.
February 12, 2019