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Piano Sonata #4

Digital Sheet Music [PDF]: Score

Piano Sonata #4 : 'A. Gramsci' [eScore] / Michael Kieran Harvey.

by Michael Kieran Harvey (2018)


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Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) was an Italian philosopher and writer. The "Gramsci" sonata takes the seven individual letters of Gramsci's surname to construct a work inspired by his struggle against fascism. Classical music and in particular classical piano music has a manipulated image inextricably linked with upper class luxury, wealth and hegemony. This work seeks to provide a perspective on a figure critical of these connections, who faced many physical and political obstacles in his resistance to Mussolini, who thought him so dangerous he sentenced him to incarceration for 20 years. Although he was physically disabled, Gramsci's writings were powerfully influential. His credo was stoic: "Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will." The sonata is in a single movement and the prime number seven features significantly. Its mood is relentless and violent, with a deliberate harshness of tone. Moments of respite are brief, and the use of repetition is rhetorical. Extended techniques begin and end the work, symbolically overriding the intricate "hegemony" of the piano keys, and the role of the piano as an ancient form of music computer, in favour of direct human contact on the strings.

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 digital (PDF) facsimile score (46p. -- A4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced — Virtuoso technique required

Duration: 25 min.

Dedicated to Arabella Teniswood-Harvey

Commissioned by Kawai Australia.

First performance by Michael Kieran Harvey — 15 Nov 18. MONA, Hobart


Includes programme notes and performance directions.

Typeset edition.

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Piano Sonata #4
Score: Piano Sonata #4 : 'A. Gramsci' / Michael Kieran Harvey.


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