composed in 1962, revised in 1983
dedication: to Arthur Tomson (1936-81)
published by Novello and Co
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
Ian Lake 1962 performance listed as "Toccata in Five Studies", in The Musical Times Vol. 103, No. 1435 (Sep., 1962), pp. 661
Op. 1 originally 'Fragments from William Blake' for soprano and chamber ensemble (1963)