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Ananda Sonata


 for Violin and Piano

May 12--June 16, 2007
Duration: about 17-18  minutes

for Ananda-Eric Pritchard


  Full Score PDF      Violin Part    Cover

This was premiered on my Feb. 28, 2012 concert at Duke.
Eric Pritchard, violin; Thomas Warburton, piano

    video (YouTube)


I. Hard Times      [5:42]      MP3       Finale Score

   Allegro non troppo

II. Allah       [5:01]       MP3       Score

   Adagio alla mantra

III. Prime Times    [6:47]

   Highly Eccentric        MP3     Score

          Ananda-Eric Pritchard asked me to write a violin sonata for his recitals early in 2008, and as I had none in my catalog, it sounded like a very good idea. One of my early compositions was a sonata for violin and piano, written during my first year of college (1973 at Eastman), but it was immature and derivative and has not survived. This work, on the other hand, is fully mature and ready for consumption.
          I’m not by nature a programmatic composer, so the first movement is not intended to have a  literal title; however I’ve had a pretty tough time much of my life and in some way, a good deal of my music cannot help but reflect some of this. After I had written most of the first movement that it seemed right to call it “Hard Times”. The second movement is intended as a kind of mantra; quite a few of my works are best heard with a repeated series of words mentally set to the music, and this is no exception. Since Ananda is involved with Sufism, it was most appropriate to use Allah as the mantra. And the last movement started off in 12 but then I knocked off a note leading to 11 per measure, then decided to continue the prime number meter idea and ended up with most meters in 5, 7, 11, and 13. In addition there are some fancy compound rhythms and some tricky playing, especially for the piano. The technical requirements for the first movement are moderate and the middle is easy, but the last movement does require real proficiency. If this results in only the first or second movements, or both, being performed at a future concert, this is perfectly acceptable.

Musician Biographies

Eric Pritchard, violinist, has been a member of Ciompi Quartet since 1995 and was formerly the first violinist of the Alexander and Oxford Quartets. Mr. Pritchard has taught at Miami University, San Francisco State University, City University of New York and the North Carolina School of the Arts. He was winner of the National Federation of Music Clubs Award in Violin as well as the first-prize winner at the Portsmouth (England) International String Quartet Competition and the Coleman and Fischoff national chamber music competitions. He has performed widely as a recitalist and as soloist with the Boston Pops and orchestras in Europe and South America. His major teachers were Eric Rosenblith, Josef Gingold, Ivan Galamian and Isadore Tinkleman and he holds degrees from Indiana University and the Juilliard School. He has performed many works by Bill Robinson since 2006.

Tom Warburton retired in May of 2005 after 36 years on the musicology faculty at the University of North Carolina.  There he taught a variety of courses, both in music history and music theory; he also received two teaching awards.  He has published on a variety of topics, several in recent years concerning music of the United States during the twentieth century.  For three years he was organist at Trinity United Methodist Church in Durham and for seven years he served as Minister of Music at First Presbyterian Church, where he conducted the Adult and Handbell Choirs.