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Sonata: For Piccolo and Piano.

Sonata: For Piccolo and Piano, by Gary Schocker. Theodore Presser Co., (588 N. Gulph Rd., King of Prussia, PA 19406), 2005. Piccolo and Piano: 20 pp; Piccolo: 8 pp. $18. 95.

Zart Dombourian-Eby, a highly regarded piccoloist and flutist, definitely made a wise decision when she commissioned Gary Schocker to compose Sonata: For Piccolo and Piano. Schocker is the most published, living flute composer and has composed for other instruments, as well as for voice. He is also a well-respected teacher and has presented master classes worldwide. His works are rapidly becoming staples of flute repertoire and are appreciated for their craftsmanship and balanced compositional style, as well as their appeal to musicians and flutists in particular.

Sonata: For Piccolo and Piano is another outstanding addition to Schocker's growing list of compositional successes. It is a four-movement work that represents a continuation of his stylistic use of lyrical and memorable motives that are seamlessly woven throughout his works.

Schocker's use of a conversational style between the piano and piccolo create a high level of interest in the journey the two instruments take throughout the piece. This work has a neoclassical feel and sounds familiar from the first listening because of the artistic development of the motives presented. The fourth movement has an American folksong style, reminiscent of Aaron Copland and includes a snippet of "Shortnin' Bread."

The chirp-like conversation between the piccolo and piano are a common thread throughout the piece and the listener is drawn into the story and is sometimes surprised by the creative turns the conversation takes. The difficulty level of the piece is high and will require a performer with an advanced level of technical and artistic ability. This sonata is definitely a welcome addition to the piccolo repertoire and will be performed often. Reviewed by Alice Hammel, Richmond, Virginia.
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Author:Hammel, Alice
Publication:American Music Teacher
Article Type:Book review
Date:Apr 1, 2006
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