Movement 1: Allegro energico
Movement 2: Lento e sotto voce
Movement 3: Molto allegro
The neo-Baroque elements are most marked in the sonata-design first movement, Allegro energico, based on a memorable strident rhythmic motif, which recurs at important junctures in different keys rather like a Baroque ‘ritornello’ form, leading to a climactic final statement that resembles a sonata recapitulation. It is interspersed by fluid passagework and Bachian contrapuntal textures, yet infused with a modal flavour that seems to blend Middle Eastern colours with the impressionism of Bloch, Debussy and Ravel. Folkloristic elements are more pronounced in the last two movements, the more expressive of which is the slow movement that inhabits the pastoral mood suggested in biblical psalms, shepherd pipes and Bedouin chants. There is an exotic magic to the long winding melody that weaves melismas around the main notes of a simple mode. The finale is fizzing Hora, a dance that, speeded up from its slow Eastern European roots, became an Israeli national dance. Here it is treated as a moto perpetuo in rondo form, adorned with exuberant violinistic pyrotechnics that concludes the Sonata with virtuoso panache.
from notes by Malcolm Miller © 2007