1 Composed 18-24 June 1996.
2 Composed 3-8 July 1996.
3 Composed 12-19 July 1996.
4 The compositional process in these three works was decidedly mystical. There were instances of spontaneity where an entire movement would manifest itself in just a matter of minutes. There was also a visitation during the composition of Sonata No. 17. As I began composing the slow movement for that work, I felt the touch of my father who had died over four years before. I was immersed so remarkably in the fire of inspiration, I did not even realize that it was his birthday at the time I was composing this slow movement. For the first time in my life, I understood what Elliot Carter meant when he stated:
"I have a feeling that somehow there are these shadowy things behind me,
these compositions, which are in a way not me, myself; really, they deserve
the [credit] and not me. They have this strange life; I'm not sure that I invented
them. These strange beings began to come to my mind and gradually somehow
insisted on being written in their strange and unusual way . . . I was just sort of
something that wrote them down, because they were rather trying and sometimes
difficult and demanding. And sometimes they did things I have never done before
and made me do things that bothered me and upset me and sometimes excited me ?
and puzzled me, too, sometimes." (from Joscelyn Godwin's Harmonies of Heaven
and Earth ? Mysticism in Music from Antiquity to the Avant-Garde, Inner Traditions,
Since that day of visitation, I have had more and more experience with these "entities" which seem to have a life of their own, most recently in the case of the Sonata No. 20 mentioned above.
5 " . . . they shall become one flesh . . ."
6 Particularly " . . . let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth - - for your love is better than wine . . ." (1:2); " . . . my beloved is mine and I am his . . ." (2:16); and " . . . for love is as strong as death . . ." (8:6).
7 " . . . unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven . . ."
8 " . . . But the kingdom is within you and outside you."
9 The Romantic Sonata essentially reflects the notion of holy desire throughout its three movements. Romantic physical love in its purest and holiest sense reflects God's love. The Mystical Sonata represents the totally spiritual love extant between two lovers. Ê Ê