Sonata in D

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Composer: S. Paxton

Instrumentation: Double bass and piano

Difficulty: Suitable for intermediate players
Exam syllabus: Grades 5 and 6

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Description

The Sonata in D is one of “Six Easy Solos for Violincello or Bassoon, with Basso Continuo, in which are introduced some favourite Scots Airs’. It was composed around 1778 by Stephen Paxton, and English cellist who lived in London for some 30 years.

The Sonata has four movements and provides an excellent introduction to the bow strokes associated with the classical period. The rhythms are not complicated though there are various appoggiaturas, acciaccaturas and grace notes to be investigated and a good variety of articulations. There are a few places where the left hand needs to be agile, but mostly the notes lie under the hand.

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ISMN: 979-0-708191-29-2

 

1st movement: Allegretto

The 1st movement, Allegretto, provides an excellent introduction to the bow strokes associated with the classical period. The rhythms are not complicated though there are various appoggiaturas, acciaccaturas and grace notes to be investigated. The notes require position work up to 4th position.

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Set for Grade 5 exams by

  • ABRSM (2012-2019) 
  • ABRSM (2020-2023) 
  • Trinity (2016-2019) 
  • Trinity (2020-2023) 

2nd movement: Largo sostenuto

The 2nd movement of the Sonata in D is based on a very old Scots Air, The Bush aboon Traquair, dating from the early eighteenth century. It is a simple melody in A major needing a good legato bow stroke. The highest note is an F# on the G string and there are good opportunities to explore finger substitution in order to play the appoggiaturas.

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Set for Grade 6 exams by

  • ABRSM (2012-2019)
  • ABRSM (2020-2023)

3rd movement: Vivace

The 3rd movement of the Sonata in D is a lively piece in 3/8. There are accents and daggers to bring out as well as the lifted bow stroke typical of music from the classical period. The range is up to F# on the G string and there is an opportunity for an improvised decorated cadence on the pause towards the end.

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Set for Grade 6 exams by

  • ABRSM (2012-2019)
  • ABRSM (2020-2023)

4th movement: Allegro-Grazioso-Allegro

The 4th movement of the Sonata in D has two fast and busy outer sections full of semiquavers sandwiching a graceful dance interlude in the middle.

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