b Riding East: Opus 3: Chamber Preludes

Friday, August 25, 2006

Opus 3: Chamber Preludes

Opus 3

I love chamber music. I've played little so far in my studies. My 'preludes' opus one, two, and three include chorale preludes, piano preludes, and this set, chamber preludes.

Prelude #2
Prelude #2 score

Dedicated to Dr. Jonathan Berger. How often do you come across one of the top living composers and discover that he is kind and nurturing? Jonathan suggested I look at other scales such as the octatonic early on to branch out a bit, hence this piece (and Riding East, Clouds & Flowers, etc.). This "piano" prelude requires a cellist... And, yes (of course), that is a computer, not me.

The tonal structure, built on an octatonic scale, attempts to move around by thirds more or less, using mode switching to facilitate progression to the adjacent third. Moving a tri-tone away works as a tonal shift more so than a cadence or progression. I'd offer that an octatonic scale would, perhaps, work better with semi-tones, hence the prevalence of trills throughout. I may need to adjust one interval for the cello -- I don't think it can be played...

Prelude #7
Prelude #7 Chamber score
Prelude #7 Piano score

The piece is built on the second (interval plus ...). Basic structure. The goal was for the second itself to suggest a harmony and implied progression. I also want to play more with bells and vibraphones. I wonder why more music is not written for these colorful timbres.

The inspiration here was my home between the hours of 7:30 am and 8:17 am. The horns suggest the calm parent. The trumpet in seconds, of course, is my daughter calling (make that screaming) for her mama every few minutes. And why is it that while we are getting the kids ready for school and out the door, we ascend the stairs five times for every time we descend the stairs? Eventually, as the rhythm suggests, the best you can do is put your feet in the stirrups and enjoy the ride. I can't decide if I like this piece or not. But my wife claims that it is 100% accurate.

Prelude #9
Prelude #9 score

An assignment from Giancarlo Aquilanti's music theory class -- I think Music 22. The goal: establish a tonic and theme for A, modulate to B, establish B, return to A, and eventually A in tonic. The other goal: use a sequence with an augmented sixth chord. I dedicated this small morsel to the friends in the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Need to change the ending here -- the soprano voice doesn't work.

Prelude #10 piano
Prelude #10
Prelude #10 score

An assignment from Spring Quarter for Music 23 (music theory) at Stanford. Giancarlo Aquilanti is a gifted composer -- I enjoyed every lecture. This time I set a chorale prelude to a brass quintet. I juxtapose soprano (French horns) and bass (tuba) with slow, on the bar lines against alto (trumpet) and tenor (trombone) lines move in eight notes, with voice leading in a duet of sorts. G.C. dictated the bass line here for the assignment.


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