Sonata breve no. 4
for oboe and piano

John Burge
John Burge
Composition Date: 2006
Duration: 00:14:00
Genre: Woodwinds, + Keyboard, Oboe / English Horn


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Oboe
  • 1 x Piano
Click here to download full work (8.61 Mb - Not printable)

Programme Note:
John Burge’s Sonata Breve No. 4, was composed in 2006 for Barbara Bolte, Principal Oboe with the Kingston Symphony and Oboe instructor at Queen’s University. Each of the previous Sonata Breves were written in appreciation of performers who had a close musical and personal connection with John Burge and this is certainly the case with this work. As a member of the Kingston Symphony, Barbara Bolte has premiered and performed many of Burge’s compositions. A sensitive musician, he never hesitates to write her an expressive solo. On a more personal level, for a number of years she also gave oboe lessons to John’s oldest son. With the oboe lessons coming to an end, the time seemed right to provide Barbara with a small gift in the form of this piece.

Like the previous Sonata Breves, this work is in two contrasting movements. The more common title for short sonatas is Sonatina, but works with this title are often less technically difficult and demanding. The Sonata Breve series maintains a level of virtuosic expectation for both the performer and listener but in just two movements. The first movement of this piece has a leisurely pacing with many long-held notes in the oboe part. The second movement has a more quirky rhythmic profile and a returning theme that creates a rondo-like structure. The harmonic colour of this entire work is characterized by simultaneous voicings of two minor triads a semitone apart. Often these two triads are e minor and d sharp minor and the juxtaposition between these two keys provides the primary point of tension in the work. This tension is momentarily relaxed in the short, slow introduction to the second movement, which is for the most part in E major.

Premiere Information:
01/02/2008 Queen's University Kingston, Ontario Barbara Bolte, oboe; John Burge, piano School of Music, Queen's University


  • Call Number:
  • MI 5212 B954so4
  • Genre:
  • Woodwinds, + Keyboard, Oboe / English Horn
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • November 17, 2008
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score ((7), 24 p.)
    31 Pages
    Height: 32 cm
    Parts page count: 10
    1 part (10 p.) ;
    Height: 32 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • Piano and Oboe
    2-Largo espressivo-Allegro humoresque
Request a Repertoire Consultation
Suggest Modification for this Record

Available For:

  • Loan
  • Purchase
Available Products for this piece:

TitleDetailsPriceAdd this Product
Sonata Breve No. 4 for Oboe and Piano: Score
(downloadable PDF)
Canadian Works for Oboe & PianoCanadian Works for Oboe & PianoCD $19.98
Sonata breve no. 4 for oboe and piano: Score and Parts
Score and Parts
(downloadable PDF)
Sonata breve no. 4 for oboe and piano by John Burge (Score)
Printed on demand
Sonata breve no. 4 for oboe and piano by John Burge (Score and Parts)
Printed on demand
Sonata breve no. 4 for oboe and piano
Library Loan
Copies of this work are available for loan from: Toronto, Montréal, Calgary, Vancouver