Piano Sonatinas (Preview)

PrometheanEditions

by Douglas Lilburn | Piano

Douglas Lilburn

Piano Sonatinas

PROMETHEAN EDITIONS


Douglas Lilburn

Piano Sonatinas

PROMETHEAN EDITIONS

WELLINGTON


Douglas Lilburn Piano Sonatinas (PEL12)

Sonatina No.1 (1946) © Alexander Turnbull Library Endowment Trust

Sonatina No.2 (1962) © Alexander Turnbull Library Endowment Trust

Published exclusively by Promethean Editions Limited

First edition © 2019 Promethean Editions Limited

Publisher: Ross Hendy

Series Editor: Robert Hoskins

Music Editor: Rod Biss

Music Typesetter: Ben Woods

ISBN 978-1-77660-552-1 (print)

ISBN 978-1-77660-532-3 (ebook)

ISMN 979-0-67452-302-8

Promethean Editions Limited

PO Box 10-143

Wellington

NEW ZEALAND

http://www.prometheaneditions.com

No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by

any means without permission in writing from the Publisher.


Douglas Lilburn

Piano Sonatinas

INTRODUCTION

Douglas Lilburn Biography ........................................ iv

Collections ....................................................................... v

MUSIC

Sonatina No.1...................................................................1

Sonatina No.2................................................................ 14

PEL12 – iii


INTRODUCTION

DOUGLAS LILBURN BIOGRAPHY

Douglas Lilburn (1915–2001) grew up on ‘Drysdale’, a hill–country farm bordering the

mountainous region at the centre of New Zealand’s North Island. He often described his

boyhood home as ‘paradise’ and his first major orchestral work, Drysdale Overture (1937),

written while a student under the aegis of Ralph Vaughan Williams at the Royal College

of Music in London, conjures up the hills, bush and stream as primal sites of imaginative

wonder. Recalling the impression of Drysdale Overture, Lilburn wrote: ‘I’m left with that

lovely Mark Twain image of Jim and Huckleberry drifting their barge down that great river,

looking up at the stars and wondering “whether they was made, or only just happened.”’ At

this time Lilburn wrote his Festival Overture and the Sonata 1939, together with other works

that expressed national pride: a cantata entitled Prodigal Country (1939), and the Aotearoa

Overture (1940), which has become a New Zealand classic. Although these works were written

in his student years, their content, style and general confidence reveal Lilburn as an

achieved artist.

Returning to Christchurch, Lilburn banded together with an innovative group of painters,

poets and publishers who were to prove influential. Settings of Allen Curnow and

Denis Glover, for instance, resulted in two iconic works: Landfall in Unknown Seas (1942),

a voyage of spiritual discovery for narrator and string orchestra, and the song cycle Sings

Harry (1953), the musings of a middle-aged bachelor who, returning to the mountains

where he grew up, begins to reassess and evaluate the course his life has taken. Two more

works, an orchestral tone poem A Song of Islands (1946) and the Chaconne (1946), find their

parallel in the regional paintings of Rita Angus.

In 1947 Lilburn joined the staff at Victoria University College in Wellington and completed

several works that received high critical acclaim, including two symphonies, two piano

sonatas, and the Alistair Campbell song cycle Elegy (1951) – a vision of the titanic indifference

of nature.

Lilburn composed the Symphony No.3 (1961), along with Sonatina No.2 (1962) and Nine

Short Pieces for Piano (1965–66), in response to a stimulating period of sabbatical leave.

Masterpieces of concentrated form, these works explore the boundaries of his instrumental

writing. From this point until his retirement, Lilburn chose to take on the new territory of

electroacoustic composition.

Lilburn’s final years were spent quietly at home in Thorndon, Wellington, tending to his garden

and, until the onset of arthritis, playing his beloved August Förster piano. He received

the Order of New Zealand in 1988.

PEL12 – iv


COLLECTIONS

A New Zealand Christmas (PEL10)

These four collections of delightfully fresh Christmas pieces were Douglas Lilburn’s lighthearted

musical gift to Lawrence Baigent and Leo Bensemann, both proficient pianists;

together they give us an endearing glimpse of the composer during the 1940s war years. For

a more detailed account of each volume, including a description of the source material and

a detailed editorial commentary, see volumes 4, 6, 7 and 8 of the Douglas Lilburn Complete

Piano Edition.

Preludes (PEL13)

This gathering of shorter pieces by Douglas Lilburn includes works that are among his

most popular. Clear-eyed and felicitous, they are nevertheless shot through with something

transcendental — a strange and beautiful excitement. For a more detailed account of these

works, including a description of the source material and a detailed editorial commentary,

see the parent volumes of the Douglas Lilburn Complete Piano Edition.

Sonatas (PEL11)

The four sonatas contained in this volume display an expansiveness of feeling that is an

expression of Lilburn’s dedication to the open spaces of his homeland whilst relishing the

received sonata structures of the great classical masters. The first two express the exuberance

of his early musical language while the later ones reveal Lilburn in full possession

of the genius and creativity that made him New Zealand’s pre-eminent composer of the

twentieth century For a more detailed account of the genesis and reception of these works,

a description of the preserved source material and a detailed editorial commentary, see

volumes 1, 2, 3 and 6 of the Douglas Lilburn Complete Piano Edition.

Sonatinas (PEL12)

In these two sonatinas, Douglas Lilburn achieves his mastery of early and late style, in each

case a style he handles with magical suppleness. For a more detailed account of the genesis

and reception of these works, a description of the preserved source material and a detailed

editorial commentary, see the volumes 4 and 8 of the Douglas Lilburn Complete Piano Music

Edition.

PEL12 – v


PEL12 – vi


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PEL12 – 22 PEL08 – 42


THE DOUGLAS LILBURN

COMPLETE PIANO MUSIC EDITION

COMPLETE PIANO MUSIC

VOLUME 1

Occassional Pieces (1942–73) • Sonata (1949)

VOLUME 2

Moths and Candles (1950) • Six Short Pieces (1962–63)

Sonata for Piano in A Minor (1939)

VOLUME 3

Nine Short Pieces for Piano (1965–66) • ‘Seven Short Pieces’ (1965–66)

Sonata (1956) • Three Sea Changes (1945–81)

VOLUME 4

A Musical Offering (1941) • Prelude (1948) • Sonatina No.1 (1946)

‘Short Piece’ (1965) • ‘Untitled Piece’ (1965) • ‘Untitled Piece’ (1981)

VOLUME 5

Chaconne (1946) • Fred’s Birthday (1965) • Rondino for a Birthday (c.1943) • Six Pieces (1946)

VOLUME 6

‘Christmas 1942’ (1942) • ‘Poco Lento’ (1960) • Hommage à D.A.F. (c.1965)

Sonata for Piano in F Sharp Minor (1939) • The Young Pine Tree (1945)

Theme from ‘Variations on a Theme by Douglas Lilburn’ (1948)

VOLUME 7

‘Christmas 1943’ (1943) • Five Bagatelles (1942) • Prelude (1951) • ‘Three Pieces’ (1965)

Three Preludes (1943)

VOLUME 8

‘A Christmas Offering’ (1944) • Andante Sostenuto (1964)

‘Piece in E Major’ (c .1942) • Prelude (1950) • Sonatina No.2 (1962)

COLLECTIONS

A NEW ZEALAND CHRISTMAS

PRELUDES

SONATAS

ISMN 979-0-67452-302-8

www.prometheaneditions.com

Printed in New Zealand • PEL12 • PNY PREPEL12

Douglas Lilburn Piano Sonatinas PEL12

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