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A Sort of Introduction (solo piano)

by Luke Altmann (2009)

Audio Sample

Performance by Konstantin Shamray from the CD Idle Hands

Idle Hands


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Idle Hands / music by Luke Altmann ; Konstantin Shamray, piano.

Library shelf no. CD 3162 [Not for loan]

Work Overview

A Sort of Introduction was titled retrospectively after the first part of Robert Musil's epic novel, The Man Without Qualities, having decided that The Piece Without Qualities, although not lacking literal accuracy, was not appropriate analogously, firstly on the point of cultural significance, and secondly scale, the book being over a thousand pages long and the music only four. Indeed, since even A Sort of Introduction accounts for the first eighty pages of Musil's work, I thought it better to post, as a suffix to the piece somewhat still widely limiting the ambitiousness of the literary reference, the title of the first chapter of the first part of the book: Which, remarkably enough, does not get anyone anywhere (being also four pages long, though admittedly more interesting). In retrospect it may have been even less unsatisfactory to name the piece after only the first sentence of the first chapter of the first part: There was a depression over the Atlantic, but that that title might be somewhat too esoteric and demand a sort of introduction, lengthy and abstruse, not obviously warranted by the meandering incidental musical content it would be intended to explain, besides there being more poetic beauty and irony compressed into Musil 's first seven words than I could ever hope to emulate in four pages, or even a thousand, if I had to drag poor Musil into association at all, which is an act of doubtful purpose beyond giving me something to name a piano piece after and write a programme note about.

Work Details

Year: 2009

Instrumentation: Piano.

Duration: 5 min.

Difficulty: Medium

First performance: by Kristian Chong — 2 Nov 09. Pilgrim Uniting Church, Adelaide

Performances of this work

18 Sep 2020: at Adelaide - Konstantin Shamray (Live streaming event (online only)). Featuring Konstantin Shamray.

2 Nov 09: Pilgrim Uniting Church, Adelaide. Featuring Kristian Chong.

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