Fourth Piano Sonata (2005) was commissioned by and is dedicated to pianist Donna Amato.
The work is in three movements, each using the exact same musical material. Each
movement presents a trajectory towards a greater integration of the disparate pieces of
The first movement, Mourning at Sunset, presents the basic material in clearly defined
blocks. An opening section of forceful, declamatory chords alternates with a more lyrical
section of interlocking lines. The forceful music returns before a slow, desolate section is
presented. This builds to a small climax before dying down again. The opening then returns.
The second movement, Beyond Distant Echoes, is slow and ethereal. Sounds of distant gongs
alternate with brittle, spasmodic interjections.
The third movement, Whispers of Mortality, is inspired by the finale of Frederic Chopin's
Piano Sonata in B-flat minor. It is fast and fleeting and "too short." The musical material
has transformed into pure running roulades of raw notes. The movement evaporates into the