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Concerto for solo piano

Discussion in 'Composing' started by andrew, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    May 26, 2010
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    Edinburgh, UK
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    Firstly, something of an apology for recent inactivity here. I have been extremely busy, largely with preparatory work for a commercial CD I am recording next month - and secondly with the completion and revision of this composition! I intend to resume more "normal" forum activity after I get through my imminent recording sessions.

    This piece is a solo piano reduction from the full orchestral version of the concerto - a composition which I have worked on and off at during the last six years. For the sake of convenience perhaps it is best regarded as being in three movements. I had serious writer's block regarding the last movement; I now think it is the best of the three.

    It has a cyclical nature in the sense that material from the first "movement" is brought back towards the end, and in that certain falling motifs interconnect the different "movements".

    0.00 Allegro deciso - Lento doloroso - Trionfante
    9.09 Lento placido
    14.58 Andante minacciosamente (Dies Irae) - Adagio doloroso (Preghiera dei monaci) - subito molto animato - Tumultuoso - luminoso - Languido - Allegro maestoso (Il ritorno)

    The first movement is somewhat Rachmaninov / Warsaw Concerto -esque, with the thematic material derived from the opening falling gesture and the second, more decisive, but also descending motif (it is later transformed into a very different minor key version).

    The second movement is perhaps Chopinesque in nature, though my writing was influenced by Liapunov's Nuit d'ete etude. It depicts an intermezzo, a moment of reverie before the storm.

    The third movement is the most consciously programmatic of the three. It depicts a violent struggle between good and evil, life and death, or what make of it what you will. It is the only movement in which I have, very deliberately, used specific musical references: the Dies Irae motif, the interval of the tritone to symoblise the Devil, and the Tristan chord to symbolise redemption at the moment of resolutary transformation directed towards the triumphal return of motific material from the first movement. There are praying monks, storms, and visions of the kind of things in Hieronymus Bosch before we reach that moment. The listener of course is free to see it differently, but that was what was in my mind during the compositional process.

    Recorded during spare time following a full day rehearsal of various transcriptions; whilst it is pretty technically secure most of the way through please forgive my strange inability to get the melodic line quite right around the 2 min mark. 6 hours playing beforehand wasn't the ideal preparation [​IMG] However it's not likely that I'll get to play it with a full orchestra in the near future (which would make the piano part a little bit easier!) so I was glad to take the opportunity to record it even under those circumstances. Piano - Kawai Grand, one-take recording.

    This is by far and away the most substantial composition I have ever attempted, so I will certainly appreciate any comments!

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