Duration: 13:00
Date of Composition: 1987

Recording by Luiz Carlos de Moura Castro on Euterpe Records: Euterpe 96305

Recording by Fermin Bernetxea on CRI: CRI CD 869
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PROGRAM NOTES: Sonata Brasileira is an extension of the keyboard styles of Schumann, Chopin, and Liszt, mixed with post-minimalism and the influence of post-modernism.  By post-modernism I mean the use of many codes from the past (19th-century virtuoso grand piano style, allusions to tonality, the large gesture) formulated in late 20th-century terms.  The fourth out of six piano sonatas (so far), Sonata Brasileira was written for my friend, the Brazilian-American pianist Luiz de Moura Castro during the winter of 1987.  Since at that time I had never visited Brazil, the musical quality came to me while imagining what the Brazilian landscape must be like, what it must feel like to be there.  The result was an expression of a dramatic nature, nostalgic melodic lines, many many notes in irregular patterns, unordered patterns and an almost compulsive repetition that longs for ecstasy.  There is an erotic energy in these expansive musical images that cannot end, bet instead fades into a sleep filled with dreams of itself.                                   

-James Sellars