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Four Ballades : for solo piano

by Michael Kieran Harvey (2021)

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Sparrow and the Mead Hall


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The Sparrow and the Mead Hall / Michael Kieran Harvey.

Library shelf no. CD 3303 [Available for loan]

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Work Overview

Graeme Lee, Jenny Lee's father and the commissioner of Four Ballades writes: "Jenny was a fine young pianist as a school girl. She is now raising two children Henry and Eliza who are both interested in music.Their schools emphasise music bands where everyone can participate."

In the interests of cohesion the Ballades have opening notes that are a transposition of J.S.Bach's famous musical signature (B.A.C.H.), and are all based on a freely harmonised twelve-tone row stated in octaves at the opening of the first Ballade. This row generates a prime number obsession throughout the set. There is also a tight narrative through each Ballade that suggests a literary journey, but there are no specific programs despite the contrasting characters of each work. (MKH)

Work Details

Year: 2021

Instrumentation: Piano.

Duration: 30 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Highly virtuosic

Dedication note: Dedicated to Jenny Lee

Commission note: Commissioned by Graeme Lee

First performance: 6 Dec 22. Hobart Town Hall

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc in relation to this work:
Liszt Ballades, Szymanowski Masques, Bartok Elegies, Herbie Hancock's Headhunters.

Performances of this work

6 Dec 22: Hobart Town Hall

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