First Sonata for Strings


string orchestra
String Orchestra

Commissioned by Musica Viva Australia

First Performance
29.11.83, Sydney Opera House, Australia: Australian Chamber Orchestra

Score 0-571-51785-4 on sale, parts for hire

Programme Notes

Peter Sculthorpe First Sonata for Strings (1983) I Sun Song (Estatico - Più mosso) II Chorale (Con pietà) III Interlude (Risoluto - Calmo) IV Chorale (Con pietà) V Sun Song (Estatico - Più mosso) Programme note This work is based on my String Quartet No 10, commissioned in 1983 by the Kronos Quartet. In writing for the Kronos Quartet, it seemed fitting to use source material associated with the United States. The outer movements, then, and the Interlude, incorporate transformations of motives and rhythms found in songs of the Pueblo Indians. In the First Sonata for Strings the idea of duality is clearly discernable. It could be said that the New World, in the Sun Songs and the Interlude, is juxtaposed with the Old, in the quiet homophonic strains of the Chorales. The Sun Songs have a very slow rate of harmonic change, suggesting the breadth of the Australian landscape. The Chorales, on the other hand, have a much more rapid rate of change, and the actual harmonies are more complex. My overriding intention in writing this work was to fashion music of straightforward line and structure. Such a music, I believe, relates easily to Australia. Peter Sculthorpe

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News & Reviews

'First Sonata for Strings' reviews

‘… had an unmistakable Australian accent in its throbbing phrases for low strings and in the dream-time patience of drawn-out melodies, which can only be called though the word is in disrepute among most contemporary composers beautiful. This must be one of his most appealing works.’ The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (Fred Blanks), 31 October 1986 Read more

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