violin or cello and piano
ii. evening prayers
Veloce is a set of 4 miniatures strung together by a common interest in speed. The first movement, cadenze, is an attempt to create an entire movement constructed of nothing but a series of cadenzas for each instrument. It is marked “Wildly fast” and is meant to be both a virtuosic display and a toccata-like exposing of the novel tonal basis for this work. Veloce was composed using a new technique I have developed that uses tonality based not on the circle of fifths, but rather on a unique set of symmetrical circles that produce a fascinating, yet familiar tonal landscape.
After the ferocious beginning, the tiny second movement, evening prayer, is a joltingly static, meditative response. The piano begins with a bell-like tolling ostinato. After a couple of cycles, the violin answers with a distant chant, a plaintive prayer. The third, untitled movement is played as fast as possible from start to finish. The players chase each other across their upper registers in a furious though nearly silent (ppp sempre!) scamper. The final movement, aria, is marker Adagio lacrimosa. It is a lament for the violin marked by harsh and unrelenting interjections from the piano. The work ends with a subdued though not quite fully resolved Eb Major chord.
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