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© Copyright 2019 Ichthus Music Press

Ritornello

  • Instrumentation: Piano solo or duo

  • Duration: 15'

 

Program Note

 

This piece began as a sonata for violin and piano, until it became obvious that the violin part was only present in support of expanding piano writing. This large, quasi-sonata utilizes a mirrored form that roughly looks like this: A-B-A-C-D-C-A-B-A. The repeated return of the "A" section lends the piece the name "Ritornello", which was the term for a piece that, like a rondo and da capo aria, used a repeated section as grounding. This form was eventually replaced by the Sonata-Allegro format.

 

The piece begins with an accented, rhythmically active "A" section. It softens in character, tone, and rhythmic nervousness through the "B" and "C" sections, leading to a serene, almost jazz-ballad-esque "D" section, which represents the center of the work. The piece works its way back to the "A," retracing it's steps. On the back end, however, it retains the softer character developed through the middle of the work.