C.46 - "Allegro in A"

Composed: ~September to October 2013

     Woah, where did this one come from? – I had completely forgotten it!

     This was to be another string concerto in a similar sense as "C.21", this time for a single soloist, but as I struggled further and further just to write the Allegro, I decided not to write the other two movements and only finished the first. Stylistically, it also has influence from Bach and general Baroque concerto writing.

     The subject has a touch of wit and humour, perhaps with an influence from Haydn. The soloist showing off while the tutti remaining on a pedal was something very Bach-influenced, particularly with a dominant chord appearing over a tonic pedal – I remember that influence being particularly from Bach.

     The harpsichord is intended to be improvised, but of course to simulate an improvisation, I wrote out the entire part. Irony truly knows no bounds! I also swapped the roles of the instruments at bar 92, giving the melody to the bass instruments and accompaniment to the upper voices and soloist, another witty technique I am surprised to see. You can also note the use of the good old 'ii7b – V – I' cadential pattern learnt from Bach chorales, which I was using all over the place in several pieces. I do enjoy how the subject automatically modulates itself into the dominant without any further work – that was a handy coincidence and surprisingly smooth! I vaguely recall using the downward semiquaver phrases of bar 33 as a reference to "C.37 - Aria", however insignificant the link actually appears!

     On page 14 there is another boxed note I left for my future self should I ever return to this piece to create a 'Print Score' (the term I call the professional quality score that is ready to be printed - certainly not the case here!) which, as previously stated, I often do just as composers would leave notes on their physical manuscripts. I also recall struggling from bar 115 onward, as you will likely pick up on with the abrupt shift to the dominant minor and the rather dissonant chromaticism that follows.

Reminiscence written on 4th June 2016

Last updated: 20th October 2018

© 2019 Jonathan Shaw