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Four thoughts (solo piano)

by Stuart Greenbaum (2004)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Amir Farid from the CD Satellite mapping

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Work Overview

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.

Work Details

Year: 2004

Instrumentation: Piano.

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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