Piano Sonata No. 5 : Distant echoes
by Colin Spiers (1998)
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Library shelf no. 786.2183/SPI 2 [Available for loan]
This work is the last 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 fifth sonata returns to a more fragmented form, where the mood shifts from ecstatic heights of the preceding sonata to a more 'human' level of experience. This transition has been designed to be abrupt, in that it is suggested that this piece follow the fourth sonata after the briefest of pauses. Here, the subtitle ("Distant Echoes") refers to two things: the reworking of material from the 'distant' first sonata; and the 'echoing' of the structure (and mood) of Scriabin's own fifth sonata. The work thus forms an hommage to the composer who inspired the entire sequence, as well as closing the circle of the series's broad cyclic form. It is dedicated to the composer's cousin Suzanne Hollywood, an actress who was on the verge of a significant career before her life was tragically ended by a cerebral haemorrhage at the age of twenty-six.
Duration: 15 min.
Dedication note: Dedicated to Suzanne Hollywood. To the memory of my gifted cousin, Suzanne Hollywood (1947-1973)
The composer notes the following influences, styles, genres etc associated with this work:
- In the form/style of: Sonatas
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