Flute: Marina Piccinini Piano: Robert Kortgaard Premiered: March 19, 1989 West End Cultural Centre Winnipeg, Canada
Duration: 14 minutes
Laura died suddenly, but peacefully, at the age of 17 in September 1988. The inevitable shock and anger, the shattered reality, the futility of the human condition – a storm of emotions, over which we have no control – overtook me.
It no longer proved possible for me to complete the Sonatina for flute and piano, then under way. It was abandoned. In its place this Sonnet gradually took shape. The work follows the classical sonnet form of 14 stanzas. Each is an evocation of the varied stages of human existence, but the overriding emotion is that of despair – that despair which stems from being shown so brutally that our attempts to order our existence are as nothing in the face of a force that can sweep us from this world in an instant – an awful, silent instant. These few notes are my small way of preserving the spirit of that one brief spark of laughter and joy that was -and is – Laura.
Sonnet for Laura requires a virtuosity on the part of both the flutist and the pianist. Following its premiere, it won my first Jules Leger Prize.