An analysis of two sonatas for violin by a contemporary Polish composer, Aleksander Lason (b. 1951) is presented in the paper. The artist is currently one of the outstanding composers of native contemporary music. He has published diversified works including large, orchestral works, as well as chamber and solo works. Lason’s two sonatas for solo violin were his early works and, in terms of style, they refer to the genre of the 20th century music which attempts synthesiz- ing of traditional, formal traits and an individual, specific for the composer, lan- guage of sounds.
The text of the paper is divided into four parts, including a foreword. The foreword introduces the reader into the subject of sonatas for solo violins in the 20th century music and provides general information about works that are the subject of the paper, and quotes remarks on selected traits of Aleksander Lason’s language of sounds. The first part “The Sound Language of Sonatas” reveals the characteristic and specific properties of the creative skills of the author of the sonatas, with particular attention paid to melorithmicity and means of producing the violin tone colour. Analytical remarks emphasize such traits of the com- poser’s sound language as:
— the melodic basing passage on short-interval movement, constantly synco- pating cadence, the principle based on building the narration through crea- ting numerous variants of the introductory musical thought, tone colour fac- tors, such as: high register con sordino, molto vibrato and senza vibrato, (Sonata I);
— inspiration with Hebrew music, precise use of definite pitch scales, ametric- ity of musical narration, rhythmicity based on precisely selected means – syncopation combined with small figures (Sonata II).
The second part of “Architectonics of Sonatas” is devoted to the formal is-
sues of the discussed works. Both sonatas are based on a 4-part pattern, even though they show significant differences in their construction. Sonata I is influ- enced by the romantic model with a fast part in the second position of the cycle and a slow, lyrical part three, whereas the subsequent parts of Sonata II follow one another attaca, which makes the work resemble the quasi-one-part concept of the whole. In both, Sonata I and II, stress is put on the original variant of the reprise form (in three parts), based on repeating the musical material of the first section in the final part of the slow section with the use of retrogradatory tech- nique. In analytical sections of the paper, the works are discussed separately. The discussion is illustrated by 12 examples of musical notation.
The third part of the paper is “Résumé”. It contains a detailed list of stylistic traits taken from tradition (general, formal patterns, use of the “crab canon” me- lodic patterns, use of the violin first of all as the melodic instrument, virtuoso elements) and Aleksander Lason’s individual traits (principles of shaping – ex- changeability of micro-formal units, introducing sound nuances, accurate scale solutions combined with rhythmical freedom). The analysis leads to the conclu- sion that the new interpretation of tradition in the composer’s sonatas, mentioned in the title of the paper, involves filling up the well known traditional, formal patterns with new, individual kind of shaping that in turn blends different trends existing in the 20th century music.
The last section of the text, “Remarks on the Reception of the Works” pro- vides information about performance of the sonatas and quotes press reviews. Aleksander Lason’s sonatas for solo violin are among the works functioning in concert and pedagogical practice (at the academic level), and this is why the issue of reception is discussed in the paper.