Dr Jane Stanley’s Piano Sonata will be premiered in November at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music by Bernadette Harvey. The piece has been in development for a couple of years since the commission was received in 2014, and it is part of a major project led by Bernadette and supported by the Australia Council for the Arts which involves commissioning, performing and recording substantial works for solo piano from Australian composers.
Originally from Sydney, Jane first collaborated with Bernadette when she was still based there as a postgraduate student. About this project, Bernadette writes: “The Sonata Project allows me to publicly acknowledge my love for the piano and to leave a legacy for future pianists. It will generate a rich and large body of new, serious solo piano sonatas by Australian composers and augment the number of works written by Australian women.”
Three other piano sonatas will be performed alongside Jane’s piece by Aristea Mellos, Melody Eötvös and Ross Edwards.
Here is an excerpt from Jane’s programme note:
“The invitation in 2014 to compose a piano sonata posed an intriguing challenge. ‘Sonata form’ immediately suggested to me the principles of duality as well as tension and resolution and a form that exhibits the characteristic elements of exposition, development and recapitulation. For me, ‘piano sonata’ implies a piece of weighty, substantial proportions. It also suggests virtuosity. These are two characteristics that I pursued from the start. I’d always considered sonata form to be intrinsically linked with tonality though, so the question in my mind was how best to apply this in a post-tonal context.
The concert will take place on 11 November. At the same event, a CD produced by Tall Poppies featuring the recently recorded sonatas will be launched.
Further information about the Sonata Project and November concert can be found here.