Four thoughts (solo piano)
by Stuart Greenbaum (2004)
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These four thoughts (2001/04) use the solo piano as a direct
medium for artistic expression but also as a means to experiment
with new musical ideas within limited structures. The End of
Winter depicts a quiet optimism. Dedicated to Flemish composer,
Wim Mertens, it opens this set of four miniatures. For Oliver was
written to mark the birth of my nephew, Oliver Diplock. The
simplest of the four, it is conceivably playable by small hands
though subtle harmonic shades of blues and jazz create a tangible
connection to the other three. In Spirals (commissioned by David
Cramond) a somewhat more complex construction is found, expanding
outward to cross-related harmonies as the 'spirals' elongate
toward infinity. Based on a print of the same name by M. C.
Escher, the original wood engraving was produced in December of
1953, the birth year of Kerry Landman (for whose 50th birthday
the piece is dedicated). Finally, Bagatelle for Aksel was
'penned' some 4 weeks after the birth of my son. It is a subtle
variation on a well-known children's song that I sang to Aksel in
the hospital nursery about 20 minutes after he was born. This was
the first music he heard in the outside world. Fragments of the
song permeate the Bagatelle's structure, sometimes overtly,
though never stated in full.
The first recording of this work was made by Patrick Lawrence in 2004.
Duration: 10 min.
Difficulty: Medium — AMEB Grade 6.
Contents note: I: The end of winter -- II. For Oliver -- III. Spirals -- IV: Bagatelle for Aksel.
Dedication note: Dedicated to: Wim Mertens, Oliver Diplock, Kerry Landman, Aksel Greenbaum
Commission note: 'Spirals' commissioned by David Cramond
For Oliver' and 'The end of winter' composed in 2001, 'Spirals' composed in 2003, and 'For Aksel' composed 2004.
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