pianoduo (2007)

Duration: 8:30 minutes

Instrumentation: piano four-hands

Premiere: August 22, 2008 at Music at St. James in Portland, OR by Rebecca Jeffers and Angela Carlson, piano


     I wrote pianoduo as a response to the piano duo as a genre. Reacting to the fact that most piano four-hand music is decidedly small in scale, even domestic, I tried to combine the fun of playing these duets with the goal of pushing the limit of how much music one piano can handle when there are two people sitting at it. Throughout the piece, wild or strange gestures, like the crashing clusters at the beginning or the pulsating chords in the middle section, are set in relief by fragments of melodies, chorales and canons. The piece is constructed in three sections: the first is a jumble of music – fanfares and booming chords – winding down to pianissimo forearm clusters. Out of the fog of the clusters, a pulsating chord emerges to support a lyrical theme in the high register. The last section is an accelerando back to the opening material, ending as it started, with banging clusters.