Piano Sonata No. 1, op. 2
Mvmt. 1: Allegro
Mvmt. 2: Nocturnesque
Mvmt. 3: Alleregretto
Dedicated to Deborah Vukovitz

Produced by Henry Lim
Recorded at Jan Popper Theater, Schoenberg Hall, UCLA, March 24, 1998
Recorded and engineered by Jeff Richmond
Edited, mixed, and mastered by Henry Lim at the UCLA Music Library

Henry Lim, piano
"Con Arhythmetic"

I nicked the idea of additive/subtractive rhythmic schemes from Philip Glass, who nicked it from Indian music.  My premiere piano sonata hammers this principle into absurdity.  The Allegro uses it as a conduit of developmental tension, the Nocturnesque churns out a spiral in the bass as it extends per revolution, and the Alleregretto adds a series of notes until it's able to resemble a phrase only to get subtracted down into its initial single utterance.  I find these simple mathematical patterns to be very adaptable to the sonata form, especially according to the textbook demarcations of the "exposition", "development", "recapitulation", etc.  Not to mention suitable for Field or Chopinesque nocturnes (which I imagine being includeable as slow movements), with their repetitious left hand figures for which the right can sigh over, ever so romantically.  But then again, most traditional sonatas utilize subtle extentions of motifs by addition, Beethoven is an obvious example.  It's an easy way to build anticipation that Glass seized in his "minimalism" and the Indians already knew.

I'm particulary fond of the transitions from each movement.  Beyond the related arithmetical formulas, they juxtapose in a recognizeable "fast-slow-fast" backdrop that retains a more conventional convention.  And they mimic, or dare I say mock, three different styles of music: minimalism, romantic, and classical, respectively.  The Allegro is without a melody.  It's all chords and broken chords, pulsing mechanically.  Then the Nocturnesque brings in some upper registered lines to fill in what was missing, but in a, what I like to term as, romanticism turned inside out manner--hinting at the external "beauty" that it might sound if played backwards and inverted.  Lighter and more harmonically 18th century, the Alleregretto meshes a "melodic" line with broken chords in a blunt summary of the previous two movements' voicing configurations.  (I like the cute counterpoint in this movement).

   Available on the album Opp. 1-3
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