Hommage : (à Pierre Boulez)
by Simon Reade (2016)
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In 1997 I composed my first piano sonata (initially titled
Sonate) under the sway of the late great French composer, Pierre
The work is rather eclectic - it would have found no favour with Boulez. In the last movement, however, I made reference to the first Notation for piano by Boulez as a mark of respect to the composer.
In January 2016, on hearing the news of the composer's death, I decided to revisit this last movement of my sonata and expand it In Memoriam.
The first half of the movement was freely atonal and has now been expanded through the juxtaposition of the original simple motifs with a plain, almost minimalist presentation of the 12 note row from Notation I.
The second half, which used elements of Notation I as a framework for my own 12 note row (used in composing my piano sonata), is expanded in the same way Boulez expanded his own orchestral Notations, a process he referred to as "proliferation": flowering out in all directions harmonically, rhythmically and structurally. The orchestral Notations is a work close to my heart, not least because it was the one time I saw Boulez conduct live - in 2009 with the Berliner Philharmonie.
I hope by expanding this movement to have created an appropriate monument to Boulez - very much now in my own style, however with a sophistication I hope does some justice in fulfilling the need for such an auspicious Hommage.
Duration: 6 min.
Written for: Michael Kieran Harvey
First performance: by Michael Kieran Harvey — 28 Jun 16. Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music Recital Hall, Hobart
Performances of this work
28 Jun 16: Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music Recital Hall, Hobart. Featuring Michael Kieran Harvey.
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