- Submitted: Dec 16 2011 01:54 AM
- Last Updated: Dec 20 2011 02:13 AM
- File Size: 78.11MB
- Views: 1765
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- Genre: Contemporary
- Sub Genre: Neo-romanticism
- Form: Piano Quintet
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Piano Quintet No.1 in F min
This piece means a lot to me. In the time I've been writing, it I've experienced a lot of things, good and bad, neutral; and a lot of those experiences have come through in this music. I've grown rather attached to it over the years. In a lot of ways its been my companion and friend through my experiences and travels. I have grown in this work.
Despite all that, I would still welcome a listen and look from you all and would like to hear your thoughts on it.
I have decided to put in the program notes here a description of the work I wrote below in response to a comment that was made. It works well to help describe the motives behind this work.
At the time I started writing this I was fairly heavy into Philip Glass and some other minimalist works. Now, I’ve never really “loved” all of Glass’ stuff, even the Film Scores, but there are qualities and elements of Glass’ work that I appreciate. And the same goes for a lot of minimalistic work of his peers at the time he started down that path. Anyway, I wanted to take some of the elements of his work, and make it more “Tonal” with more defined melodies, which is something that I always took issue to regarding Glass’ music. So I started off on the path to writing the Piano Quintet, a form that I came to respect and love after playing and listening to Brahms’ and Dvorak’s in high school, and decided to put my concept to work in that instrumentation.
So, in this work we:
1. The minimalistic chord progressions - in multiple variations of the one chord progression, occasionally landing on the dominant major, which you’ll hear throughout all the movements, and yes a very pop (ular) method in today’s standard which was no accident. (thank you jcramer for pointing that out; I got a little chuckle reading that)
2. The use of compound meter in most sections - allowing easy access to hemiolas without having to use a whole lot of triplet brackets.
3. The occasional use of simple meter for the sections that just didn’t need to be written in three.
4. An aphoristic combination of the subsequent variations and recapitulations of the main motif.
This is the very basic makeup (DNA if you will) of the piano quintet; melodies and harmonies and instrumentational usage aside.
The first movement I started shortly after coming home from Afghanistan in 2007, so in my head this has been given a working title of "Home." It's carries an element of sadness and frustration in it I think that probably made its way into the piece through me. A lot happened in that year. I live by the sea and I wanted to portray an element of swaying throughout the movement. I remember coming home and always noting to myself how much I missed hearing the ocean while I was gone and how nice it was to hear see, and smell it again. This effect starts the movement off with the cello's swaying opening bars.
The second movement continues directly on from the first and is a complete change of pace, but not a change in key. There is some interesting orchestration work in this that I found fun and enjoyable. My wife has described it as the "little girl running through the woods" movement. While working on this piece I have given it the working title of "Running." It drives on hard from the moment is starts and doesn't stop until the end of the movement where it comes to an almost sudden slowing down, as if someone put the brakes on in a hurry. Like the rest of the quintet it’s very minimalistic in its style and its makeup and does not venture far from its original key, if at all. But I have found that despite its length, if you let it draw you in it will be over before you even realize it.
The only way to describe the third movement is "Lost," which is something I was working through during that year after coming home. I had no direction and no idea how to get it. And with that I was feeling pretty frustrated and down on myself. Then, I met my wife...
In the fourth would have to be the where I found myself, through my wife. So as you can imagine, the working title here would be "Found" and it goes through various emotions and stages and continues that aphoristic piecing together that is apparent through this entire work.
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