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Justin Connolly

Publisher: Novello & Co

Sonatina in 5 Studies (1983)
Publisher
Novello & Co Ltd
Category
Solo Keyboard(s)
Year Composed
1983
Duration
15 Minutes
Orchestration
Availability
Programme Note
Justin Connolly Sonatina in 5 Studies (1983)
The original version of my ‘Sonatina in Five Studies’ was composed in 1962, while I was a student at the Royal College of Music in London. It was written for a friend and fellow-student, Arthur Tomson, and was intended to reflect some characteristic aspects of his playing. After his college years, he became a distinguished scholar of oriental languages, and never played in public again. Following his early death at the age of only forty-five, I resolved to re-cast the piece as a tribute to the memory of a friend whom I remember with great affection and respect.

The five studies are:
1.Vernal, a fast-moving, dance-like piece featuring rhythmic ostinati and sudden changes of texture
2.Martial, a brief section for the left-hand alone, mixing march rhythms with those of other rhythmical styles.
3.Memorial: Chaconne, a somber, meditative study; the music of the preceding movement twice tries to interrupt its way towards a defiant climax.
4.Mercurial, a study in constant semiquaver motion, with complex interplay between different accentual systems. The central section is a development of elements from the first study.
5.Recessional, the longest of the studies, makes use of a solemn cantus firmus in very long note values, echoed by bell-like tones played at a faster speed. The music returns to the mood of the work’s opening, but life’s dance falters, and the ostinati, broken by silences, become locked into static chords, from which no renewal of energy can take place.

© Justin Connolly

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