Roman Maciejewski

Works in detail

Sonata for piano and violin

We do not know the circumstances in which the piece was written. It has been assumed that it originated in 1938 in England, but perhaps Maciejewski began composing it already in Paris, under the influence of the lessons with Nadia Boulanger? This is suggested by a fairly modern musical language, more difficult than in most of Roman Maciejewski’s works, full of dissonances and chromaticisms, and marked by shifted chords or tonal indeterminacy. The Parisian provenance of the work is also suggested by the score – the manuscript features a French version of the title, Sonate (violon et piano).

The name “sonata” places the piece within the neoclassical strand of Maciejewski’s oeuvre, although contrary to the tradition of the genre the work consists of one movement preceded by a substantial introduction, Improvisando languido. A dialogue with the musical tradition can also be seen in the presence in the structure of the work of elements of the sonata allegro (although combined with a sequencing of sections).

In constructing the work Maciejewski uses the variation and concertante techniques, thanks to which he is able to highlight the violin part. However, the piano does not play an accompanying role only. It can even be said to be competing with the violinist; in addition, it adds colour and harmony to the composition (in which we can observe a connection to a type of texture characteristic of Szymanowski’s style).