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Convocations : for solo piano

by Thomas Misson (2023)



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Covocations : for piano / Thomas Misson.

Library shelf no. 786.2/MIS 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

In 2021, I was approached by Paul Kildea from Musica Viva Australia to write a piece for Garrick Ohlsson for his 2023 Australian tour. He would be playing music by Franz Liszt, Samuel Barber, Franz Schubert, Alexander Scriabin, and Frédéric Chopin (of which Garrick is a famous interpreter). While researching and reflecting on how my creative voice could complement the program I stumbled on a description of Garrick's playing saying that he possesses a "calmly demanding presence".

I decided I would channel a piece by Liszt which evokes the same descriptors for me, Sposalisio (meaning marriage) from Années de pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage). In this piece, Liszt describes Raphael's high-renaissance painting, Sposalisio, in musical form. Though some of the motivic and structural scaffolding owes to the Liszt, conceptually and stylistically, the piece has come to resemble something more pluralistic than a marriage. Convocations combine the unlikely and disparate elements of the romantic piano giants, modernist styles, an Australian tour, a Tasmanian composer, and an American concert pianist in a congregation that aims to give life to a spiritual soundworld.

Work Details

Year: 2023

Instrumentation: Piano.

Duration: 10 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned by Musica Viva Australia as part of their 2023 season.

I’d like to thank Paul Kildea from Musica Viva Australia for placing his trust in my skills and my process in offering me this commission. My thanks also go to Michele and Stephen Johns for their generous support of this commission, which is a birthday present to Michele. I hope the piece communicates the affection with which it was gifted. Lastly, my gratitude to Garrick Ohlsson, for offering his time, energy, and enormous skill to an untested contemporary work.

Performances of this work

1 Jun 23: Griffith University, Turbbal and Yuggera country, QLD

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