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Three Rhythmics

for piano duet

Year:  1986   ·  Duration:  12m

Year:  1986
Duration:  12m

Jack Body

Composer:   Jack Body

Films, Audio & Samples

Blas González: New Directio...

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Jack Body 70th Year Tribute...

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Jack Body: Three Rhythmics;...

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Jack Body: Three Rhythmics;...

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Sample Audio

Sample: 0'00" - 1'00" (1st movt)

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Sample Score

Sample: Page 1

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At certain times in life one feels the need to do or create something flashy. My Epicycle for string quartet of 1989 is one such piece, and my Three Rhythmics for piano duet another. But virtuosity comes with a price – the work was rejected by the two pianists for whom it was first written, and has been a cause for complaint by the several duo pianists who have tackled it since. Indeed the style of virtuosity explored here is mechanistic, rather than Lisztian, and perhaps I am justified in presenting here a computer version as a kind of "model" performance; the last movement is labeled 'Nancarrowesque' and perhaps that is the apt precedent to cite! But the several, albeit imperfect, live performances that I have heard have always been exhilarating; and so, perhaps, its demands do, after all, produce rewards... The first movement of this piano duet alternates between double handed tremolando and repeated rhythmic cells that change relationship to each other, with some hand-clapping thrown in for good measure. A short interlude begins with a free, parlando style that gradually transforms itself into a metrical rhythm. The last movement pits the two performers against each other in an unstoppable flood of sound.

Three Rhythmics, commissioned by the Music Federation of New Zealand, was premiered by Diane Cooper and Dan Poynton.

– Jack Body

Commissioned note

Commissioned by the Music Federation of New Zealand (now Chamber Music New Zealand)

Performance history

31 Oct 1987: Premiered by Dan Poynton and Diane Cooper

03 Jul 2010: 2010 Nelson Composers Workshop: Opening concert

26 May 2011: Pangea Piano Project - NZSM

07 Mar 2014: Performed by at Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi (one piano) at Old First Concerts, in San Francisco, CA

30 Apr 2014: Performed by Blas Gonzalez and Ya-Ting Liou at the Jack Body 70th Year Tribute concert, Music Theatre, Auckland University.

Performed by Yoko Saito and Satoru Miki (pianos) in the Grosser Saal of the Musikhochschule Lübeck, Germany

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