composition

Ragtime Sonata after Joplin

for Soprano Saxophone and Piano

  • Genre
    Chamber
  • Commissioned by/written for
    Otis Murphy
  • Year completed
    2013
  • Year revised
  • Timing
    10:00
  • Catalog number
    232a
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  • copies sold
  • 5
    known performances
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Often, a composer in writing a piece of music will find it going in a different direction from what he originally conceived and planned. Such happened with the Ragtime Sonata after Joplin. The piece was intended to be a Sonate après Poulenc, to be written for Claude Delangle, Professor of Saxophone at the Paris Conservatoire. Shortly into the work, however, I realized that the work was headed in a distinctly "ragtime" direction, and so I didn't fight where the piece was taking him, and let it take its course to become the work that it is here. Determining to make Prof. Delangle's work come to fruition, he wrote that work shortly after the completion of the Ragtime Sonata, which was composed between January 20-28, 2013. Having written a ragtime style piece first, I thought of dedicating it to my friend, Dr. Otis Murphy, who had stopped by my office for reasons I cannot recall. I played him a bit of what I'd written, and his enthusiastic reaction convinced me that he was just the person to pay tribute to in this work. Each of the movements is influenced to a greater or lesser extent by the ragtime form and style, although unlike some of his works in his "after" series (which now includes works written in the style of Vierne, Brahms, Glière and others, mainly for instruments that have little original romantic music, this work isn't necessarily intended to sound like Joplin. There is little doubt that the ghost of Joplin hovers over the piece in at least a few spots, but it has been put through the filter of my zany personality.

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