Russell, Armand - Sonata for Trombone and Piano The first movement, “Prologue”, consists of an Exposition (bars 1-42) with a main theme in bars 1 to 22 and after a brief diversion in bars 23 to 37 returns to the main motive in bars 38 to 42.
The central part of this movement presents a series of four development sections in bars 43, 59, 71, and 83 broadly related to the main theme with contrasting passages interspersed within each development section. The main theme is returns clearly in bars 104 to 118 and followed by a short, related coda.
The second movement, “Variants” is a set of variations on the theme presented in the opening 17 bars. Each of the seven variations is associated with a descriptive term: boldly, energetically, solemnly, capriciously, delicacy to contention, adversarial, conciliatory, and finally a calm coda. The final movement is titled an “Epilogue”. The form is like that of an arch form but with a few irregularities.
Specifically the general structure is ABCDCEBA. Before the first A section there is an introductory seven bars and a few transitions occur between some of the sections. While the movement is predominantly active the central D section offers a lyric and slow paced contrast. The irregularities consist of the intruded section E and the returning BA being somewhat foreshortened. Sections B and C are both characterized by syncopated passages and frequently repeated syncopated figure unites several phrases of section C so as to make the sections CBC appear like an internal three part form in itself. This work is about 16 minutes in length and is appropriate for advanced performers.
Published with permission from Gordon Cherry.
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