This work received its world premiere in March, 1982 in Hong Kong.
Sonata á tre was commissioned by the Verdehr Trio, in residence at Michigan State University, and composed in Ithaca, New York during late 1981 and early 1982. Written in three movements, the work features each performer in one movement. The violin opens in a solo preludium followed by a toccata-like conclusion. The second movement features the piano in a slow fantasia leading into elegiac music. The third movement begins with a clarinet cadenza and later the violin and piano join in a fast finale.
The title “sonata” refers not to the “classical” meaning of the sonata but rather to the earlier baroque meaning of the word. The music, however, is part of today’s world as new possibilities of techniques (individual and collective) have been used and new sounds explored. Sonata á Tre is written in a virtuosic manner and, hopefully, for the excitement of solo and chamber music-making. It is dedicated to the Verdehr Trio.