A Short Sonata is a work written at around Grade 8 standard for euphonium and piano. In each of the work’s three movements, different qualities of the instrument are utilised and explored.
In the first movement, an Allegro in 6/8 time, these qualities are the instrument’s general agility, and its ability to play fast-moving melodies in a way that drives the music forward. Throughout, different ways of phrasing similar material are used to create interest and a varied sound.
In the second, slow movement, the resonant and majestic way in which the euphonium can deliver lyrical melodic lines is explored. The movement is made up of four long phrases which peak dynamically at the third, giving room for interpretation and feeling.
The third movement exploits the instrument’s ability to play loudly and aggressively, using lots of accented notes, hairpin crescendos and quick double-tonguing.
A Short Sonata was the winner of the first Stainer & Bell Award for Brass Composition, held at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff in May 2010.
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