Piano sonata no. 1 (solo piano)
by Michael Kieran Harvey (2006)
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In 2005, sick of watching the comedy bloodbath on TV and numbing myself with alcohol, I decided to write a sonata inspired by reason and science. It is dedicated to the eminent psychiatrist and poet Professor Saxby Pridmore AM, who helped me overcome my addiction to alcohol, and to whom I am eternally grateful. In the climate of the "Danish cartoons" debacle, the sonata is prefaced by Voltaire's quote:"I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it". I based the musical material on the name of the French libertine, soldier and satirical pornographer the Marquis de Sade (S(E flat)-A-D-E).
The work begins and ends with the incorrect tone-row, and like a mutant virus, it creates its own parasitic world. Structurally there are three distinct sections with an epilogue. Scattered throughout are little homages to the great atheist composer Shostakovitch (his initials form the phrase D-Eflat-C-B). Despite his own "conceptual emergency", severe alcoholism and acute suicidal episodes (due to the random pointlessness of the terror surrounding him), he nevertheless found a reason to continue living. That reason was art.
Duration: 21 min.
Dedication note: Dedicated to Saxby Pridmore
Commission note: Commissioned by the Port Fairy Festival, Victoria
First performance: by Michael Kieran Harvey — 8 Oct 06. Port Fairy Festival, Victoria
- In the form/style of: Sonatas
Performances of this work
22 Oct 06: Tasmanian Conservatorium Recital Hall.. Featuring Michael Kieran Harvey.
8 Oct 06: Port Fairy Festival, Victoria. Featuring Michael Kieran Harvey.
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