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Sonatina By Gherman Okunev


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At the time of the Siege of Leningrad, when the city was completely surrounded by Nazi troops for nearly three years, Gherman Grigorievich Okunev (1931-1973) participated in many concerts in hospitals for the wounded soldiers. He was awarded a medal “For the Defense of Leningrad” when he was 13. After graduating from the Leningrad Conservatory in 1956, Okunev became the first professor of composition at the Frunze Music College in the Kirghiz Soviet Republic (now Kyrgyzstan). In 1961, he resumed postgraduate studies with Dmitri Shostakovich in Leningrad and joined the composition faculty at the Conservatory there in 1964. He was an author of two symphonies and a sinfonietta, concertos for piano and for oboe, two ballets and a large number of vocal and chamber compositions. His life was abruptly interrupted by a tragic car accident.

Okunev composed his Sonatina for Trumpet and Piano in 1970; it was published in 1976. The three-movement work is through-composed under the apparent influence of Béla Bartók. The first movement, Andantino recitativo, is declamatory and rhythmically free. The second movement starts and ends with a tender cantilena played by the muted trumpet, while the middle section gets somewhat more ostentatious and agitated. The final movement includes some jazz elements and juxtaposes a non-stop ostinato in the piano part with insistent trumpet responses.

Take a look at sample pages of the solo and score provided to the left and then click above for a complete download of the music. Included in this download is the solo part, piano score, and MP3 recordings of the entire piece as played by Russian trumpeter Iskander Akhmadullin.

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