Sonata for Piano: Portrait of Gary Priest
Remembering my Uncle Gary, the priest with a big heart and a loud laugh...
This is a musical portrait of Gary Priest. It is a piece of music that ‘grew’ in the telling, as I found that I had many different perspectives of Gary that I wanted to include.
The first movement remembers Gary in his element as a priest ‘At Church’, where he was fantastic at sharing the ‘joy of the Lord’ in the Anglican liturgy, and in making sure that everyone present felt included in worshipping God. Particularly attentive listeners can follow along the complete text of the Ordinary of the Mass, and find that the entire movement is, in fact, a setting of these words. The second movement is a lilting pastorale, imagining Gary ‘In the Garden’, which is where he often had to be called from when I visited. Gary also loved to cook, so the third movement depicts him busy (and perhaps a bit messy) ‘In the Kitchen’. The final movement, ‘At the Dinner Table’, is inspired by Gary’s lively presence in company: animated, enthusiastic, and always quick to laugh.
Each of the movements is preceded by a Prelude, and all four preludes share the same musical theme. They were the first things I composed when I started on this piece. Rather than portrait pieces, they are ‘remembrances’, more about us missing Gary than about him.
© David John Lang 2022
This piece was commissioned by Robyn Priest, to whom I am very thankful.
Demo Recordings Only
(better recordings to be released later...)
Duration: c.20 minutes