First gaining prominence in Australia in the 1970s as a composer of music for dance, Carl Vine has 25 dance scores to his credit. His catalogue also includes seven symphonies, eight concertos, music for film, television and theatre, electronic music and numerous chamber works. Although primarily a composer of modern 'classical' music he has undertaken tasks as diverse as arranging the Australian National Anthem and writing music for the Closing Ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics (the 'Sydney 2000' presentation).
This complex and challenging Piano Sonata was composed by Vine for the Sydney Dance Company in 1991. It is dedicated to the Australian pianist Michael Kieran Harvey, who first performed the piece in North Melbourne in June 1991.
The music is full of rich chordal movements, unusual flowing harmonies and tonalities, with great extremes of dynamic and energy. Reflecting the physical origins of the piece as a dance, the music is dotted with very strict changes of tempo which require exact adherence, rather than the Rubato approach that typifies many Piano interpretations.