Tast-en (solo piano)
by Elena Kats-Chernin (1991)
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Library shelf no. Q 786.2/KAT 2 [Available for loan]
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Tast-en, written in 1991, marked the end of my
self-imposed five year break from composing for concert hall. I
was living in Germany at the time. I stopped writing for concert
hall, due to a couple of reasons: lack of motivation or
direction, also prevailing interest in collaborations, i.e.
writing music for theatre and dance productions, bringing up
small children, etc...
A good friend of mine, Hermann Kretzschmar from Ensemble Modern approached me in 1990 to write him a piece for an upcoming concert in Hanover. After a couple of weak excuses, saying "I was out of practice writing concert music, I did not feel secure about it", etc... he kept persuading me to try writing it. One day I just sat down and decided to start, with just one note (F sharp, appropriatly lying in the middle between two C's) and see where that would take me. I must have been inspired by a piece by Kurtag, based on a one note.
One note did not feel like enough to go on, so I split it into octaves over the whole keyboard (monstrously hard to play for a pianist!), to make a note last longer. I felt that the next step would be to enter another note- I chose a dominant to the F sharp, the C sharp. Then that pattern is broken up by a played interval of fifth (D-A), after which the piece started to take shape and develop into a kind of a fantasia with a chorale.
Due to its incredible demands on the pianist, only exceptional pianists like Hermann Kretzschmar and Lisa Moore took the task upon themselves to perform this piece. Lisa recorded it in her CD "Stroke" (Tall Poppies CD label).
Duration: 11 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Professional
Commission note: Commissioned by Hermann Krefszhmar.
First performance: by Lisa Moore — Aug 93. Studio 200, ABC
Performances of this work
22 Feb 09: Olin Hall, Bard College Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, USA. Featuring Lisa Moore.
1991: featuring Hermann Krefszhmar.
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