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Sample: First two pages of each movementSee details ➔
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‘Calm morning, mid-winter’ (mvt 1) was written on a calm, clear and sunny morning (stretching to mid-afternoon) a few days before the winter solstice in Xinzheng, Henan, China in December 2018. Prior to this the weather had been rather more overcast while elevated levels of air pollution (particularly a problem in the winter) made the dawning of this clear and sunny day seem all that more bright and special. The piece combines ‘classical’ and ‘jazz’ elements in a largely uncomplicated style, much in the manner of my set of 12 piano pieces, ‘One day in spring’ (2018). Unhurried sections employing ascending motives alternate with passages of repeated motives accompanied by denser harmonies.
‘Hommage à Glass’ (mvt 2) is in homage to the celebrated American composer Philip Glass (b. 1937). I first encountered Glass’s music while I was a student when the composer and his ensemble visited my home town, Wellington, and performed in the New Zealand Festival of the Arts in 1986. A five bar harmonic progression F-Amin-Dmin7-Amin-F is elaborated through contrasts in texture (passages of chords alternating with linear writing) and register. These are underlined through the alternate use of the harpsichord’s 8’ stops with their doubling at the octave (by adding the 4’ stop).
I. Calm morning, mid-winter
II. Hommage à Glass