By Lewis Spratlan | For Solo Piano | 20′
Composer: Lewis Spratlan
Year Composed: 2005
Instrumentation: For Solo Piano
Format: Full Score
Catalog Number: OM0408
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From the composer:
A kind of treble “big bang” spawns elements of this little universe, focusing at last on the footsteps of our Wonderer. These, in multiple guises, mark this quizzical and bemused figure’s presence throughout the piece, as various objects, actions, and feelings are encountered. The music following the big bang offers possibilities for continuing, but each comes up short somehow until a quick perpetuum mobile coheres and prevails. It is interrupted by a country waltz––maybe overheard, maybe remembered––that confronts the real pain beneath stylized car crashes and stolen lovers. The ensuing slow music is inspired by the Andante con moto of Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto, which, by legend, evokes Orpheus calming the raging beasts through song. In the finale a four-bar ostinato takes on three distinct temperaments, the first groping and noncommittal, the second grandiloquent and spectral, the third hyper-generic Latin pop. Each is revealed gradually, like a developing photograph or a jigsaw puzzle. But fragments of musical DNA from earlier in the piece keep us wondering even as the Wonderer’s footsteps reach apotheosis.
Commission/Dedication: To Jonathan Biss.
Premiere: First performed February 1, 2006 in Portland, Maine by Jonathan Biss.
Recording: This work is recorded on an all-Spratlan Reference Recordings album, Invasion: Music and Art for Ukraine, performed by Nadia Shpachenko. For all listening options, click HERE.