Fourth Piano Sonata
From the moment when I first head Anne-Marie McDermott play (many years ago in Santa Fe) I knew I was in the presence of an extraordinary musician, one not merely gifted with imposing technique, but also with a deep understanding of musical structure and phrase -- and possessed of demonic energy or, when needed, the most exquisite taste and refinement. This latter can be heard in her marvelous performances of Haydn and Bach, and the former in her performances of my Fourth Sonata.
Naturally I was overjoyed when the opportunity arose to compose this work for her, and in it I have tried to respond to the stimulus her artistry gave my imagination. For this reason -- unlike other piano sonatas of mine -- I have cast the work in a rather old-fashioned four-movement form, with an introductory movement, a scherzo, a slow movement, and an active finale. The whole takes about 18 minutes.