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Piano Sonata No. 2 : Desperate Acts

by Colin Spiers (1992)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Colin Spiers from the CD Sonata

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Work Overview

This work is the second in a series of five single-movement piano sonatas that can be performed as a set in a recital lasting approximately two hours (including a twenty-minute interval). In this case the first three would be performed in the first half of the concert, while the final two would be performed in the second half. This aside, it should be noted that they can, of course, function as standalone works. The single-movement structure was inspired by the example of Scriabin's last five sonatas, although each approaches this in completely different ways.

The second sonata is a type of fractured sonata form comprising five thematic groups, which are, in turn, interrupted by a percussive toccata, a demonic scherzo/waltz an eerie nocturne and four interludes. This large mosaic structure is intended as a portrait of a person who fears that they are losing their sanity (hence the subtitle: "Desperate Acts"). It is dedicated to the memory of the composer's paternal grandfather Colin Gordon Spiers, who taught many generations of children as a school teacher in Brisbane.

Work Details

Year: 1992

Instrumentation: Piano.

Duration: 18 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Dedication note: "To the memory of my grandfather, Colin Gordon Spiers (1899-1991)"

First performance: by Colin Spiers — 1993. Nickson Room, University of Queensland.

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for/to
1995 Jean Bogan Prize for Piano Composition Winner Colin Spiers


Performances of this work

1993: Nickson Room, University of Queensland.. Featuring Colin Spiers.

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