(Rupert Luck has kindly allowed us to reproduce here his notes on the restoration of the Sonata).
The Sonata is a single-movement work (the given title is Bliss’s own) dating, it seems, from about 1914, and has, hitherto, existed only in manuscript form. This manuscript is in the care of Cambridge University Library; and it appears that the work was played privately, probably several times: the pages show considerable wear at the edges and are ‘dog-eared’, presumably in order to facilitate page-turns. Perhaps as a result of these private playings, it seems that Bliss became dissatisfied with several passages, crossing them through in pencil. The revisions he composed, intended as substitutes for these deleted passages, have only fairly recently come to light, and are written on separate sheets of manuscript paper which, nevertheless, are similarly stamped to those on which the original version is written; the handwriting is also similar, indicating that the revisions were composed not long after the original was completed. In restoring the work, I was able to determine the intended order and placement of the revisions within the context of the original and thereby to complete a version which, I believe, is as close as it is possible to come, at this stage, to Bliss’s final intentions.
© Rupert Luck, 2010
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