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A Major Piano Sonata*


*not actually in A Major

May 9--October 29, 2008
Duration: about 17 minutes             Photo; me age 3

for John Noel

Font required for Finale scores: (1)

This was premiered on my Feb. 22, 2011 concert at Duke. John Noel, piano

      video (YouTube)    

 Entire Score, PDF         Coverme


I. Heavy Pedal     [5:40]            MP3        Score


II. Roll Over Stockhausen [6:39]     MP3      Score

    Moderato again

III. Tell Chuck Berry the News  [6:10]  MP3     Score

    Allegro knucklebuster



          I first attempted a piano sonata in 1980; it was performed once  at NTSU in Denton Texas for a very small audience. I have salvaged some ideas from the middle movement for this sonata’s middle movement, and also some thematic material from the early third movement for this sonata’s finale.
While most of my works include piano, it has been a challenge to compose a solo work; my inner ear is more attuned to less percussive instruments or voice, and to a variety of tone colors. It is not surprising that this piece took an unusually long time to write, although the elapsed time is also due to other activities this summer and fall.
The photograph on the cover is from my first piano lessons at age three, in Denton, 1958. The only performance I gave on piano was in kindergarten, when I was dressed as a clown and had a large star, dyed blue, carved into my otherwise very short hair, which was dyed white. Currently I only play in the privacy of my boudoir to help compose and rely on others for performance.
          John Noel premiered the sonata at Duke University on February 22, 2011, and in appreciation the piece is dedicated to him.

Musician Biography

John Noel, pianist, native of Henderson NC, studied at the NC School of the Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, Juilliard, the Schola Cantorum, and Rice University. He spent three years in Paris on a Fulbright Scholarship, a Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship and a Société Générale Scholarship. He has performed in many European countries. John performed on three Robinson concerts, in 2010,  2011, and 2013. He now lives in Houston Texas.