Solo piano

Grade 5

6 minutes

Composed for my graduate composition recital, and premiered by Yoonji Kim, December 7, 2009 at the Harris Theater, George Mason University.

It seems I fall into this trap every few years: I am asked to write a piece for a small group and I think to myself it will be easier than writing for a large one.

I find composing for smaller groups to be extremely difficult, as they are unforgiving at hiding poorly-written individual parts.  In the case of solo piano, I underestimated the difficulty because, although I play piano, I tend to use it as a tool rather than an instrument.  It was also a challenge to have a less-varied color palette at my disposal.  The piano is capable of many effects and textures, but simply lacks the grand scope of a wind ensemble or orchestra.

Still, I’m pleased with the way the piece turned out.  It is a quite lyrical and Romantic-sounding piece.  The influence of Brahms is readily apparent, especially in my use of twos versus threes.