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01684 773883

Paul Lewis
SONATINA for Lever Harp
Goodmusic GM270

Catalogue Number: GM270

ISMN: 9790222310100

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Sonatina for lever harp image
Unusually for a work of mine, the Sonatina is neither pictorial nor programmatic, but is simply about the music itself and the instrument it is written for; it is in fact an attempt to contribute a substantial work to the largely neglected area of higher grade compositions of a non-folk nature for the instrument.
Though of smaller range than the pedal harp and unable to play in as many keys, the lever harp has the ability to play in more than one key at a time by the tuning of groups of strings to different keys, something that is obviously impossible on the pedal harp. Thus the Sonatina is able to move from tonality in the first movement through atonality in the second to bitonality in the third.
1. Toccatina Allegro energico (fast and energetic.)
Rapid classical-sounding semiquaver passages in 4/4 repeatedly give way to a lyrical but jazzily syncopated melody that slips from key to key through an ever-changing succession of different time signatures. Quasi-classical 4/4 has the last say and the movement ends where it began with a flurry of C major semiquavers.
2. Intermezzo Largo mesto (slow and sad.)
An atonal-sounding melody is played by the right hand while the left bends notes by means of lever slides. The second time round, left hand minor key harmonies add poignancy to the melody and piquancy to its "wrong notes". The movement ends serenely, unambiguously and perhaps unexpectedly in F major.
3. Scherzetto Allegro non troppo (not too fast.)
The extrovert finale pitches two quavers per beat in the left hand against three in the right and starts in C major, changing to C minor and back again. Thereafter it is pervaded by bitonal ambiguities and "false relations". Finally the opening is re-stated but an attempt to end fairly and squarely in C major is foiled by a dissonant sting in the tail.

Sonatina is dedicated to Anna Dunwoodie who encouraged me to write more advanced music for the lever harp than I might otherwise have contemplated. Paul Lewis

Duration 9½ minutes

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