SONATA No. 3 for Violin and Piano (2002)
(Now Playing: III. Tocatta)

Written for and first performed by Alexander Kerr, Violin and Lisa Leonard, Piano, during the Linton Chamber Music Series in Cincinnati, Ohio, February 17th, 2002. First broadcast on Radio Andante from the classical music website,, on June 1, 2002.

I. Prologue
II. Quasi una fantasia
III. Toccata

In your face from the onset, the brief Prologue acts as a frame for the substantial second movement that follows. Nearly jumping out of its shoes, the Prologue immediately conveys a powerful raw intensity featuring violin arpeggios that flame up from the piano's exact, pulsating, rhythmic drive. This balances the subtle yet vibrant, lyrical opening of the second movement. Quasi una fantasia presents a wonderfilled, heartfelt excursion for the violin and piano. Daunting in its range of expression, the overarching, unique design of the work soars and takes its listener along for the flight. Nearly vocal lines for the violin sing and are ornamented with exquisite, intricate passagework throughout. The piano writing is richly varied and orchestral, utilizing the sustain pedal to great effect. For instance, by capturing melodies that then resonate as harmonies, Aikman creates a musical world of chiming sonorities that seamlessly interplay with enchanting violin themes. It is clear for anyone with ears to hear that during this dramatic sonata, you are on a deeply moving, substantial musical tour. The third movement is a toccata based on a fragment of a musical line from the band, Yes. After the violin and piano race each other to the finish, they shake hands in the very final bars where a remembrance of the Prologue returns to triumphantly frame the work as a whole.