composed in 1962, revised in 1983
dedication: to Arthur Tomson (1936-81)
published by Novello and Co
first performed by Arthur Tomson, Tchaikovsky Competition, 1962
Revised fp 14/4/93, BMIC, by Steven Neugarten
recorded by Steven Neugarten on Metier MSV CD92008
[tape of revised fp (14/4/93) at BMIC]
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 Thomson, and was intended to reflect some of the 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:
"The studies share material in a way that at once makes the group of
them inseparable and closer in form to a sonata than a suite. The first study
is enlivened with rambunctious cross-rhythms ornamented like overlapping
birdcalls. There follow a left-hand quasimarch, a memorial chaconne, a rapid
and "Mercurial" study, and a final "Recessional" that
replaces the one originally composed in 1962. The last study's long notes
contrast with high and sharp Bell-like sounds, and forge a funereal close to
the music. A wonderfully pianistic work."
Fanfare, July/August 1999
"This is a gripping piece, vividly visual and dramatic within its
spare, angular style; Connolly is a composer of genuine importance who has been
disgracefully neglected by the recording industry."
Michael Oliver, Gramophone January 1996
Op.1 originally 'Fragments from William Blake' for soprano and chamber ensemble (1963)