Composer Benjamin Cornelius-Bates
Use Voluntaries, recital use
Difficulty Moderately diff.
Catalog no. 160-834
Price $15 (U.S.)
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Benjamin Cornelius-Bates’s “Sonata I” was commissioned for the 2018 American Guild of Organists National Convention Kansas City. The commission explicitly requested a work of only intermediate technical difficulty so that it could be accessible to a large number of organists. In addition to the whole piece being a striking concert work, the four varied movements of the sonata can serve as individual service voluntaries.
"Many wonderful pieces have been commissioned for our 2018 Convention, and I am excited about each of them! In particular, I can't wait for everyone to hear and fall in love with Benjamin Cornelius-Bates' "Sonata No. 1." We came to know of Ben's works during the Greater Kansas City AGO's 75th anniversary composition competition; the piece he created for that competition was exciting and interesting, but also not super difficult--that's a tough balance to strike. Therefore, for our convention, we asked Ben to compose a piece specifically intended for the intermediate performer - be that a young organ major or a part-time church musician. He has composed a four-movement work that contains toccata figures, soaring melodies, and intelligent registration suggestions that will work on nearly any instrument. The Sonata as a whole will make a wonderful recital piece, and the individual movements are sure to find their way into church organists' voluntary libraries world-wide. I have had this piece in my office since the summer of 2017, and have found it particularly torturous that it cannot be played (in public) until the premiere at the convention. You better believe I'll be playing this piece in church on July 8, 2018." --John Deahl, KC AGO convention committee