Weisgall’s (1912-1997) Sonata for Piano (1982) is post-tonal, with frequent accidentals (notes not in the key signature). His long-lined themes tend to include all 12 scale notes, and out-of-sequence repetitions. The 1st mvmt’s, quickly changing meter creates free rhythms, like speech. Though dissonant, the music is not harsh. The 2nd mvmt begins with a slow, quiet upward climb and contains dynamic extremes and bursts of anxious figuration. The finale is generally propulsive and jumpy, with dotted rhythms and dissonant chords.|
Hindemith’s (1895-1963) Ludus Tonalis (Tonal Game) – Studies in Counterpoint, Tonal Organisation & Piano Playing exemplifies his idea that music should demonstrate a sublime working out of musical principles. The piece nods to Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier and The Art of Fugue, and is a response to Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7, which H regarded as a cheap, effects-laden nationalistic work. Between the Praeludium and Postludium (the Praeludium played from end to beginning with the score turned upside down), lie 12 three-part fugues, each followed by an Interludium that connects one fugue’s tonality to the next’s. The studies’ characters vary widely: Fugue 4 robust, 5 jaunty, 8 bright, 9 playful, 11 expressive and formal. Interludium post-Fugue 4 has brisk perpetual motion; post 6 a brusque march, post 9 is “cat-and-mouse,” post 11 is a Chopinesque waltz.