The Sonata Accademica was written during the summer of 2008 after I took an in-depth course on sonata form in its various guises. The work began as a challenge to myself to make use of what I had learned about how composers of various aesthetic viewpoints handled this basic musical mold. Would I be able to create a form with all the requisite structural points? Would I be able to craft melodies that would stand in clear opposition to one another? The resulting first movement is in a neo-classical mold, with two themes in opposing keys that battle for dominance. The second movement is an exploration of how the precepts of sonata form may be applied in a dodecaphonic context.
The third movement, while not in sonata form, serves as a conclusion to the entire work. Large scale structural key areas from the first movement are finally balanced (the first movement’s move up from D minor to F major is answered with a move downward from D to B), while making use of certain melodic gestures heard in the preceding music.
I am grateful to Joey Kluesener and Evan Paul, the dynamic duo who gave the first performances of this original version of the work, and who are heard here. I made some subsequent editorial changes, as well as a version for alto saxophone and piano.