In his new sonata, Aspects of Return, native cello-speaker Jakub Jankowski draws on psychology, philosophy and poetry.

Composing for cello and piano as an ensemble is always a challenging undertaking. Both instruments are radically different and speak in very different musical languages. Unlike the majority of cello sonatas – which are virtually all written by pianist-composers – mine is written by a native cello-speaker.

Jakub Jankowski Composer Jakub Jankowski

The piece is titled Aspects of Returnand is cast in three movements – Prologue, Nocturneand Capriccio– each of which are centred around this common theme. Our lives are full of attempts at returning to the past or to previous states of being. This virtually always proves to be an impossibility, either because what we are returning to has changed, or we ourselves have changed along with our perceptions. Each movement of my sonata is supplemented with a quotation and presents a different aspect of this paradox of return. While the authors of these quotations come from very different backgrounds and disciplines – psychology, philosophy and poetry – they all point to this central idea of return in unique...