Astra Score 9
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Sonata no. 4 for piano

Keith Humble

Sonata No.4 was written for the 10th anniversary of the death of Don Banks, Humble’s closest colleague among Australian composers, and was first performed at an Astra concert by Michael Kieran Harvey in 1992, with the composer in attendance. 

The work builds musical continuities from clear motivic shapes derivable from the opening ‘Don Banks’ motto (D Bb A Eb). The first movement sonata-form is followed by a familiar scherzo and trio where a ‘marche funebre’ substitutes for the trio. In this brief central movement, Humble draws in references to other music significant to his musical life, serving to intensify the funereal character of the movement: J.S.Bach’s valedictory “Es ist genug” melody, the Mahler-farewell bells from Schoenberg’s op.19/6 and the fourteenth of Bartok’s op.6 Bagatelles (“elle est morte”)