Sonata for Solo Violin
The Sonata was written for and dedicated to my wife Maria, herself an accomplished violinist. Since she is half Faroese (from her mother), I incorporated in the first movement an old folk song from the Faroe Islands, Sigmunds kvæði a traditional tune that is danced as it is sung and used by this small Nordic island community for hundreds of years.
The Scherzo second movement offers contrast in sonority, tempo and mood, hence is pizzicato, quick and playful. The third movement is slow and contemplative, alluding to the old English version of the ‘Pavane’. Its melancholic character (‘melancholy’ in the seventeenth-century English sense), is underlined in the middle of the movement with an oblique musical quotation to one of the last works of a famous German Romantic composer and marked in the score with the words ‘Ernste Gesänge’.
The final movement is a ‘toccata’, that is to say a quick and constant stream of sixteenth notes from beginning to end, quixotic, energetic and effervescent.
Each of the four movements uses a particular number of bars, noted in the score in conjunction with the dates of their composition; the meaning is personal, albeit perhaps not quite as elusive as Elgar’s famous ‘Enigma’.