Piano Sonata No. II


(duration ~ 12:00)
piano solo

To purchase the score for this work, please see the print music catalogues

One of the techniques I employ to kick start the creative process when commencing a new piece is to imagine the performer on the concert platform, poised ready to play, then if I listen really carefully I can actually hear the piece I am about to write, or at least bits of it, in my inner ear.
Being familiar with the musical strengths of the musician for whom I am writing is a key factor in this strange and esoteric process and ideas evolve from focussing on the musical identity and trademark sounds of the player, their personalities somehow permeating the phrases and textures of the work.
In a single continuous movement, the piano sonata No. II is comprised of two clearly defined sections. It opens with a series of sustained & fluid gestures, somewhat introverted & contemplative in character, marked “very freely with expression”.
The second section is introduced by a “teasing” of dissonant figures in the upper register, leading to highly virtuosic music driven by a powerful rhythmic impetuous. Perhaps the antithesis of Debussy’s “piano without hammers” where the “fingers should penetrate the notes”, the piano now becomes a mechanism for the exploration of agitated percussive textures & poly rhythms, incorporating vague references to jazz “stride” & allusions to Rock n’ Roll piano “licks”.
Sonata No.II was composed for Michael Keiran Harvey under the auspices of the A.N.U. as part of the H.C. Coombs creative arts fellowship 2004.