Thirteen Piano Preludes
Duration (in minutes): 45
Difficulty: High (professional)
Description: 2014. Over the course of the past 35 years, I have periodically ‘checked in’ with my first instrument -- the piano -- and wrote short, self-contained works that spoke to the ether: poems and short stories written ‘for the practice room walls’, for some future, unknown audience. These thirteen pieces, between one and eight minutes long, speak with a personal, often private and poetic voice, querying, asserting and exploring. They range from epigrams to torrid essays.
They were premiered in small groups over the same timespan at various concerts, largely in New York City; Eliza Garth gave the first performance of the whole, huge set in St. Mary’s City, Maryland, and then and Baltimore, MD and New Orleans, LA. In 2014.
For works composed intermittently over a long period of time these Preludes are fairly sequential and connected, with figures, themes and textures reappearing and developing over the course of the series, perhaps because with each work I was revisiting the same creative well. The connections make them work well performed in groups of three or four, although when played in the given sequence, the thirteen pieces make an attractive tour-de-force: they form a forty-five minute arch, with an extreme range, from powerful and thundering to gossamer and twinkling.
Eliza Garth recorded them at Dreamflower Studio in 2015. They will be released on her solo CD, Tour de Force, on Albany Records in March 2018.