picc.1.1.ca.1.bcl.1.cbsn - 4.2.ttrbn.btrbn.1 - timp - perc(2): xyl/3 low tom-t/BD/Susp.cym/glsp/3 medium tom-t/large tam-t/BD/crash.cym/tgl - harp - solo pno - strings
Score and parts for hire
The idea to tackle a second piano concerto came from my friends, Geoff and Vicki Ainsworth, who turned out to be the principal commissioners of the work. The Sydney Symphony Orchestra generously offered a vehicle for the first performances, and agreed that Piers Lane would be the perfect soloist. The notion of composing music tailored to a specific performer implies that they have strengths to be celebrated and, conversely, weaknesses to be ameliorated. Piers Lane appears to be unbelievably good at everything on the keyboard, so writing music for him brings a liberating sense of having unfettered reign over the instrument. Although this work has no narrative or extra-musical provenance, I have named its three movements to suggest their predominant characters: Rhapsody, Nocturne, and Cloudless Blue. The first two speak for themselves, although ‘nocturnal’ here includes some surprisingly energetic activity. The third could be called ‘diurnal’ to balance its nocturnal neighbour, but that word carries no musical history while also failing to capture the sense of brilliant Australian summer that I wanted to summon in a presto finale.
Carl Vine, April 2012