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20176823

Introspection 1

By Eric Paul Nolte

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Piano Solo - Advanced Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by Eric Paul Nolte. 21st Century, Contemporary Classical. Score. 12 pages. Published by Eric Paul Nolte (S0.98731).

Item Number: S0.98731

This piece is one of an album of my contemporary classical compositions. Yes, I too wince at offering you something saddled with this oxymoron--contemporary classical--but this phrase is now an irresistible, commercially recognized category defying any principled protest from the ranks of wounded musicological curmudgeons like me. The style here employs a tonal palette that celebrates the more or less common practice of composers from J. S. Bach to Ravel, Prokofiev, and the 20th century American songbook.  You will see that I reject Arnold Schoenberg's assertion that by 1910 tonality had exhausted itself, and needed to be reinvented according to an aesthetics that dismiss our scales and harmonies as purely arbitrary human conventions with no basis in nature. On the contrary, I believe that we are endowed by our nature to respond emotionally to our traditional materials of music in the same way as nature equips us to respond to the taste of food and drink. We differ in our taste for savory, sweet, and sour, but it is wrong to say that our very capacity to taste is a merely cultural convention. There is biology, and then physics too! By the same standard, it can't be true that one person's taste for arsenic is as valid as another's taste for beer or kumquats. The major triad is a force of nature, like the sun, wind, and rain! I also like big fat juicy 13 chords, and contrapuntal weaving of melody! I believe the purpose of music is to sway us emotionally, and if it can uplift us too, so much the better! While I am not ashamed to write a bare triad, unadorned by chromatic alterations (much less by clusters of chord collisions) I have nevertheless employed much complicated harmony. Moreover, some passages are written in a spiky harmony that might be analyzed as bitonal, as at the meno mosso section, beginning at measure 112, where the mood I wanted to set inspired me to write the theme in C minor while the left hand climbs up from the bottom of the keyboard in a widely spaced, D-flat 13 arpeggio.  I have composed these pieces with the skills of intermediate to early-advanced pianists in mind. This piece demands the ability to play some counterpoint between two voices in one hand. There is a section that requires one to play moderately fast octaves, but nothing as difficult as the G minor Prelude of Chopin (to say nothing of his harrowing octave Etude from Opus 25!) While there are many polyrhythmic passages, none is more complicated than two-against-three notes. All said, there is nothing here to make your hands (or, I dare say, your ears) bleed. The performing time is around nine minutes and a breath or three. I have a number of videos posted on YouTube.com, I have a website under construction, ericpaulnolte.com, and, since 2011, an occasional blog of my ravings on life, love, and the cosmos, at ericpaulnolte.blogspot.com. You may write me at nolte0125@gmail.com.

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