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Ponce - Cello sonata

Ponce - Cello sonata. You can download the PDF sheet music Ponce - Cello sonata on this page. Manuel M. Ponce's musical catalogue has a considerable number of sonatas for various instruments. Amongst his solo works there are two sonatas' and a sonatina for piano, as well as five sonatas and a sonatina for guitar. A cello and piano sonata, and two more sonatas written for the uncommon combination of violin and viola, and guitar and harpsichord, respectively, were created for instrumental ensembles. Of this group, the aforementioned Cello and Piano Sonata stands as the most representative, a fact that, to some extent, relates this work to some major ones like the Trio romantico within chamber music, and the piano and violin concerts, in the orchestral scope.

Ponce's inclination towards this musical structure is not rare, given that the sonata is an extraordinarily representative form of instrumental music. Nonetheless, the present work stands out due to the magnitude of its movements, the profound development of its musical ideas and the difference of style in each section. This Sonata is, undoubtedly, one of the most outstanding creations in the Mexican cello repertoire. Its brilliant and detailed writing for both instruments and the structure of its four movements recall, in some way, the famous Sonata by F. Chopin for the same combination. Ponce, by chance or reference, composed his in the same G minor tonality. Both works share an initial long Allegro in the form of a sonata; a second movement in ternary form, in the form of scherzo, with an intermediate section, lyric and contrasting; a third movement of meditative and cantabile nature, and a mainly rhythmical final Allegro.

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PDF format sheet music

Instrument part: 12 pages. 3026 K


Piano part: 42 pages. 11542 K


Ponce - Cello sonata - Instrument part - first page Ponce - Cello sonata - Piano part - first page
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The Sonata featured by this critical edition, dated October 27th, 1922, seems to have been started somewhere between 1915-1917 in Cuba. The "cinquillo cubano" that signs its start and that prevails during the first movement proves this belief. Yet, the rest of the movements is an example of Ponce's Romantic style, which was clearly influenced by the creative European trends of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with particular references to Spain and France. Its first performance was on October 8th, 1922 at the "Teatro Principal" in Mexico City by the Urugayan cellist Oscar Nicastro, to whom the Sonata was dedicated, and by Ponce himself at the piano. It is worth mentioning that the performance took place before the work was actually finished, a curious detail that adds to the anecdotes that surround the Zacatecan composer.

His writing shows a series of novelties in the harmonic field as well as in the instrumental. Variously nurtured by the Impressionist style, the Sonata manifests an equilibrium in its writing in what involves the thematic materials and technical complexities. The work, which could have rather been called Gran Sonata, contains a wide variety of themes in which prevails a lyric tendency. The aforementioned joins energetic and intense writing which transits to moments of grand tenderness and languishment.

Finally, it is interesting to mention two details which were made evident through the study of the autographed manuscript of the work. On the one hand, it was clear that the dedication to the cited cellist Oscar Nicastro does not appear in the autographed manuscript and is first found on the first edition. On the other hand, on the second movement, after the tempo signature, appeared the following footing: alia maniera d'uno scherzo. Afterwards, Ponce scratched the last word and changed it for studio.
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