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Piano sonata no. 1 (solo piano)

by Carl Vine (1990)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Michael Kieran Harvey from the CD Tensile flame

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Body of work


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Body of work : a retrospective.

Library shelf no. CD 744 [Available for loan]

Piano sonata no. 1


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Piano sonata no. 1 / Carl Vine.

Library shelf no. 786.2183/VIN 1 [Available for loan]

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Work Overview

Drawing on the lithe beauty and contrapuntal elegance of the Elliot Carter Piano Sonata (1946), the Piano Sonata by Carl Vine is a work characterised by intense rhythmic drive and building up layers of resonance. These layers are sometimes delicate and modal, achieving a 'pointed' polyphony by the use of complex cross-rhythm, at other times being granite-like in density, creating waves of sound which propel the music irresistibly towards its climax.

The scheme is similar to the Carter Sonata - two movements, with the slow section built into and defining the faster portions of the first movement. The second movement is based on a moto perpetuo which soon gives way to a chorale-like section, based on parallel fifths.

In discussing the work, Vine is reticent about offering explanations for the compositional processes involved, feeling that these are self-evident, and indeed the work is definitely aurally 'accessible' on first hearing. However one of the main concerns in this sonata is the inter-relationship between disparate tempi, which is the undercurrent of the work and its principle binding element.

Work Details

Year: 1990

Instrumentation: Piano.

Duration: 18 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — AMEB Professional

Dedication note: Dedicated to Michael Kieran Harvey

Commission note: Commissioned by Sydney Dance Company with funds provided by Australia Council. Performing Arts Board.

First performance: by Michael Kieran Harvey — 23 Jun 91. Elm Street Hall, North Melbourne, Australia.

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for/to
2002 Classical Music Awards - Instrumental Work of the Year Winner Carl Vine


Piano Sonata (1990) First Movement


Performances of this work

7 Jul 2016: at Sydney International Piano Competition: preliminaries (Verbrugghen Hall).

30 Nov 2014: at Ashley Hribar and special guest Rachel Johnston (Wayville House Concerts). Featuring Ashley Hribar.

20 Nov 14.

19 Nov 2014: at Brett Dean in Residence (Royal College of Music, London).

12 Aug 2014: at ANAM Recital - Julia Hastings (VIC), piano (Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM)). Featuring Julia Hastings.

5 Oct 13: featuring Robbin Reza.

4 Oct 2013: at 2013 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards (Iwaki Auditorium). Featuring Robbin Reza.

14 Jul 2013: at Jian Wang & Bernadette Harvey (Newcastle Conservatorium Concert Hall). Featuring Bernadette Harvey.

13 Jul 2013: at Jian Wang & Bernadette Harvey (City Recital Hall Angel Place). Featuring Bernadette Harvey.

6 Jul 2013: at Jian Wang & Bernadette Harvey (Melbourne Recital Centre). Featuring Bernadette Harvey.

4 Jul 2013: at CACHE in POINT (The Red Rattler Theatre).

4 Jul 2013: at Jian Wang & Bernadette Harvey (Llewellyn Hall ANU School of Music). Featuring Bernadette Harvey.

10 Sep 2012: at Australian National Piano Award 2012 (Eastbank Centre).

6 Jul 2011: at Jessica Zhu, piano (St Vedast alias Foster).

9 Jun 2011: at Australian Solo Piano Works (Alistair Mackerras Theatre).

9 Jun 11: Sydney Grammar School, NSW. Featuring Liam Viney.

25 Oct 2010: at Joyce Yang in Recital (City Recital Hall Angel Place). Featuring Joyce Yang.

10 Aug 2010: at Coady Green, piano (Melba Hall). Featuring Coady Green.

6 Sep 2009: at Patricia Pollett & Liam Viney (QACI Performance Theatre). Featuring Liam Viney.

11 Nov 2008: at Pianospheres: Liam Viney (Zipper Concert Hall). Featuring Liam Viney.

23 Jun 91: Elm Street Hall, North Melbourne, Australia.. Featuring Michael Kieran Harvey.

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