SONATA No. 2 for Violin and Piano (1994)
Commissioned by Cathedral Arts
(Now Playing: II. Homage in Memoriam)

Aikman's Second Sonata for Violin and Piano is in three contrasting movements. The first - Habanera, a rhythmic dance of Cuban origin in moderate tempo - features the piano that introduces a theme heard in various ways throughout the entire work. In Habanera, the violin enters at about one-third of the way through the movement with an augmentation of the same theme that continues in the piano. Beyond this point, virtuosic requirements slowly yet constantly increase until the climax where the violin trill triggers a canon between the instruments. The activity level gradually subsides and Habanera ends calmly as it began.

The second movement - Homage in memoriam, a theme and variations - features the violin. A lyric violin theme opens the movement. The piano plays a supportive role, chiming chords derived from the theme of Habanera. A steady pulse and a broad increase in dynamics creates an almost inevitable quality until - after the point of highest intensity - a remembrance of the opening returns. The piece never really ends. It only ascends to a higher range. In memory of Ida Mae Whitton Adams, the composer's dear grandmother.

The third movement is a quick-paced, virtuosic toccata featuring both instruments equally. Memories from each previous movement appear amidst the high-energy, dazzling character of this movement.