Sonata for Piccolo and Piano by Melvin Lauf
This sonata could be called “The Struggle for Balance.” The first movement “Andante con malinconia” is a very melacholy setting. It starts with a very gloomy murky overcsat mood. Approaching measure 18, the cheerless bass line pushes its somber tone off to the melody of the piccolo. The piccolo tries to recover and find some freedom from this dismal state. But to no avail, the piccolo line is flying and trying to escape by measure 61, hoping that a clearing is just around the corner. The climax is at measure 79. Some piccoloists might prefer to play the last A down an octave in order to help give the movement a calm surrender.
Without reaching any static balance or true resolution, the second movement begins. “Allegro con brio” can be summed up in one word: frustration. The piccolo line struggles to dominate over the piano. By measure 25 it appears that the piccolo has given up its control to the soaring dreamlike melody of the piccolo, all the while giving a caressing yet rhythmic drive. But the piano does not yield, and by measure 50, the piano is back in full force. The piccolo however is not conceeding; matching the piano outburst for outburst. And in the end the piccolo has the last say landing on a high C.