Faye-Ellen Silverman


Year: 1984

Duration (in minutes): 15'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: piano

Publisher: Subito Music Corporation

Description: “Gliffs” is a Scottish term for “moments” or “short periods of time”. The work itself is in ten short, interrelated movements. The movements are of three basic types: chordal (I, IV, VII, and IX), slow and more melodic (III, V, and IX), and textural with melodic insertions. (In pieces of the last type the melody, in each case, is inserted in a different way.) Motives are recalled but not always exactly (as happens with real-life memories), and the interrelationships increase as the work progresses. The tenth movement serves as a coda. It is slightly longer, requires more virtuosity, and has more direct references to previous movements. Also, it is both chordal and textural, and mixes slow and fast tempi.
In addition to motivic interconnections, structure is created through use of tempo. Certain tempi – quarter notes at 56, 60, 66, 88, 96, 108, and 132 – recur frequently, with different note values assigned within the same speed of beat. This too creates a sense of unity via variation. Although this composition was well underway before viewing the choreography of Pina Bausch, her dance work “1980” had a decided influence on the use of variation as memory and on the sense of playfulness of this work.

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