My Piano Sonata was written in 1983 and is dedicated ‘to Michael Tippett, with admiration’ It is, in fact, Tippett’s 2nd Piano Sonata which is the starting point for this work. The one movement structure consists of alternating Tempi (or blocks of music) which are constantly juxtaposed in a mosaic-like pattern. Each of the six Tempi has its own clearly defined musical character – from the opening rising arpeggios to strident octave figurations, from dance-like patterns to slow and rather sombre chords. These are moulded into a tri-partite form similar to the statement-development-recapitulation format, which is common to conventional sonata forms. It is, however, the dramatic nature of sonata form which is the main concern of my Sonata and it is, more than any other consideration, which provided the connection with Tippett and, of course, Beethoven.
… Edward Gregson’s one-movement Piano Sonata – another energetically varied piece with some unashamed outbreaks of cheerful lyricism …
Richard Morrison, The Times (November 1986)
Edward Gregson’s Piano Sonata in once movement bore perhaps too many resemblances to Tippett’s second sonata. It emulated its block-like format and even assimilated some of its piano textures and thematic invention (especially the lyrical section of Gregson’s Tempo 3 material).
Meirion Bowen, Arts Guardian (November 1986)
From our own day came Edward Gregson’s Piano Sonata in one movement, which is divided into six blocks of varying tempi. On one level this is intriguing, even charming music – on another it is sinewy and uncompromising and calls for a player of huge technical accomplishment. McCabe’s performance did not disappoint of a piece of which he is an obvious champion.
A J Sicluna, South Wales Echo (December 1988)
This tremendous concert work brings McLachlan’s disc to a superb and stunning conclusion, the moving final bars of the Sonata seemingly dissolving in resignation.
Pianodao (October 2020)
The pianistic writing is ferocious, but always ‘inside’ the piano. The structure is complex and multi-layered, yet never feels anything other than inevitable and natural.
Murray McLachlan, International Piano (October 2020)
McLachlan delivers a virtuoso performance, not least in the subdued, atmospheric passages in the second section of the work (tr 29) and, at the other end of the scale, so to speak, in the thunderous, percussive conclusion to that section.
John Quinn, MusicWeb International (March 2021)
... the Tippett-esque Sonata of 1983 ….. turns on a sixpence between angularity and richly melodious strands ,,,
Mark Tanner, Piano Professional (April 2021)
First Performance: 1983
Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London, UK
Richard Deering (piano)