My first Piano Sonata and Piano Concerto were both written for, dedicated to and premiered by Michael Kieran Harvey. Since 1991 Harvey has presented the Piano Sonata around the globe, and won the Ivo Pogorelich International Piano Competition while playing that work.
Following the premiere of the Piano Concerto in 1997, Michael asked me to write a second sonata, to be premiered at the 1998 Sydney Festival. I wanted the new work to have a far more solid structure than the first sonata, which evolves organically over its entire span.
After a declamatory introduction, the first movement is in two clear halves. The first relies on a perpetually roving left hand part over which a variety of gestural material is developed. The second is a slowly repeating 'ground bass' which accompanies bell-like sonorities and free-form melody in the right hand.
The second movement features fast motoric rhythms with a strong jazz influence and jarring syncopations. The centre of the movement drops suddenly to half tempo to explore the 'dreamier' side of the same material before returning with a climactic recapitulation.
Piano Sonata No. 2 was commissioned by Graeme and Margaret Lee, Michael Kieran Harvey, and the Sydney Festival.
SPECIAL NOTE: It appears that an early version of the score is missing musical content in several places. Please click here for full details.