Duration (in minutes): 11'39;
Difficulty: Medium (college/community)
Publisher: Subito Music Corporation
Description: Fleeting Moments started as a commission by the Phoenix concert series to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the VCCA (Virginia Center for the Creative Arts). The commission, one of several for the occasion, required all composers to perform their own works. The resultant composition, “Contrasts” - a movement that can be performed alone - eventually expanded into a short, four movement piano work. As in my other compositions, it explores melody, color (the contrasting colors of the ranges of the piano), and structure based on its compositional materials. The work’s title refers to the shortness of the movements, and the titles of the individual movements illustrate their content.
“Contrasts” is based on the opening pitches – E, F#, G, which appear throughout the movement, in solo harmonies as well as the melodic line for thick chords. The intervals of a major and minor second (and the minor third outlined from the first to third of these notes) are also used. The title of the movement refers to contrasting dynamics and range .The second movement, “The High Line” (named for the world-famous high line park that is near my house), focuses on the piano’s higher range. It opens with a major second, and repeated notes, and, later, plays with a minor third, minor second motive along with other variations of these intervals. The third movement, “The Mysterious Stranger”, begins softly and in the lower range before expanding out. The intervals, used, as might be expected, are a major second (right hand) and a major second followed by a minor second (left hand) as the piece opens. These intervals continue to shape the rest of the movement. The fourth movement, “Afterthoughts”, forms a brief, fast coda. It, too, is based on a minor then major second. It is the most contrapuntal of the movements.