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To the Beloved : for Soprano and Pianoforte

by Andrián Pertout (2022)

To the Beloved


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To the Beloved


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To the Beloved : for Pianoforte / Andrián Pertout.

Version: This product features the Solo Piano version of this work

Library shelf no. 786.2/PER 16 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

To the Beloved was especially composed for Welsh/Australian Soprano Amelia Jones, and represents a Hommage à Nicolas Slonimsky (1894-1995). The work utilizes a text by Australian philosopher, musician, healer, artist, and poet Melvyn Cann, recently published in Inside Outside: A Collection of Poems by Melvyn Cann (2019). The work adopts an 'organic,' or intuitively-driven invention of a basic theme and associated set of melodic variations in conjunction with a formal compositional approach utilizing a chaconne structure based on symmetrical rotation of Nicolas Slonimsky's (1894-1995) 'Three Pentatonic Scales of the Thesaurus as Five-Note-Chords' as presented in American minimalist composer and music theorist (also former student of Morton Feldman) Tom Johnson's publication Other Harmony: Beyond Tonal and Atonal (2014).

American conductor, author, pianist, composer and lexicographer Nicolas Slonimsky was born in St Petersburg, Russia and moved to the USA in 1923, where he went on to conduct the world premieres of Charles Ives's Three Places in New England and Edgard Varèse's Ionisation in 1931 and 1933 respectively. In the subsequent years he published his first two books: Music Since 1900 (1937) and Music of Latin America (1945), which was followed up with his monumental "reference book of scales and melodic patterns" Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns (1947). This book remains "one of his most influential works as a sourcebook for composers and performers" and "influenced many jazz musicians and composers," including John Coltrane (1926-1967), Allan Holdsworth (1946-2017), and Frank Zappa (1940-1993), among others. According to Johnson: "This remarkable book compiles all sorts of scales in all sorts of lengths calculated in all sorts of ways, not always ascending, not always one octave long, and often reflecting the influences of Indian music and other ethnic traditions that Slonimsky studied extensively. Though the focus of the book is melody, it also provides insights into harmony. As an example, one of the many categories listed in this book is that of pentatonic scales, beginning with these three, none of which I have ever found in the pentatonic literature I know, and all of which might just as well be considered five-note chords."

Work Details

Year: 2022

Instrumentation: Soprano, piano.

Duration: 5 min.

Difficulty: Medium — Medium

The composer notes the following submitted styles, genres, influences, etc in relation to this work:

Nicolas Slonimsky (1894-1995) Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns (1947) Inside Outside: A Collection of Poems by Melvyn Cann (2019) Chaconne Combinatoriality Tom Johnson’s Other Harmony: Beyond Tonal and Atonal (2014)

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