This Sonata for Oboe and Piano, is a 16-minute work cast in four relatively brief movements. The opening movement showcases the oboe's most haunting quality in its opening monolog for the solo instrument. This opening sololiquy might best be described as non-tonal, rather than atonal, since it emphasizes certain tones, without any concomitant emphasis of a key center. When the piano enters, the non-tonal style continues, but with occasional divagations into tonal centers.
The second movement is a kind of grotesque march, where tonal centers go in and out of focus during the course of the movement. An interesting feature of this sonata comes in the third movement, a slow movement, wherein the opening material from the beginning monolog is reiterated almost note for note, changing only rhythms and enharmonic spellings. Underneath, the piano is now given a part that firmly fixes tonal centers with rather lush romantic harmonies, which nevertheless shift around a good bit.
The work closes with a very energetic and syncopated finale, which is characterized by a synthesis of tonal, atonal, and jazz-influenced sonorities, as well as some contemporary devices.
This work is a great new edition to the oboe solo repertoire and will be appealing to both performer and audience. The music is recorded by Valarie Anderson. (CD2254)