Harmonic Spaces (four-hands piano)
Four-Hands Piano - Advanced
Composed by Paul SanGregory. 21st Century. Score. 29 pages. Published by Distant Engraver Music (S0.366945).
Item Number: S0.366945
Each of these four short pieces has its own character, color and rhythmic flow. Because the interplay between parts is sometimes complex and challenging, they can provide wonderful ensemble workouts for performers as well as fun and exciting musical experiences for audiences. The title Harmonic Spaces refers to both the idea that they are musical spaces filled with colors and characters as well as to the widely-spaced harmonic intervals upon which those aspects are built. Each movement is based on one or two wide intervals that mimic the spacing of overtones (or partials) in the harmonic series. This approach allowed the composer to produce unique harmonies, colors and atmospheres. For listeners, of course, knowledge of these intervals isn't important, even though the colors, characters and atmospheres they produce is. Each movement is described briefly below:
I - Simply and gracefully moving forward.
(9th and 3rd partials)
This gently flowing movement is a slow progression of widely-spaced chords with gracefully rising and falling strings of notes woven in and around them. The chords often appear in groups of two, with the second being quieter, like an echo of the first. That creates a sense of harmonic space within which the delicate lines move in and out of agreement with the chords.
II - With a steady, even flow (or groove).
(7th and 5th partials)
The harmonic partials of this movement are what give dominant 7th chords their characteristic sound and function. Furthermore, because 7th chords are an important part of jazz harmony, jazz influences enter into this piece. Listeners may notice the outlines of gliding 7th chords, swinging meters and syncopated rhtyhms reminiscent of jazz.
III - Gentle, flexible, but rhythmically accurate.
This movement unfolds slowly like a quiet summer afternoon under a shade tree watching lazy clouds. Because the 11th partial is a note that falls “between the cracks” of the piano keyboard, both the perfect 4th and augmented 4th (in very wide spacing) are used to approximate it. Although this creates some non-traditional harmonies and “non-chord tone” effects, the piece is tranquil, peaceful and beautiful.
IV - With precision, energy and excitement.
This energetic finale uses much syncopation and rhythmic interplay as well as wide-ranging arpeggios that get shared between the two players. The primary interval often appears as widely spaced parallel motion, which adds a special color or flavor to the rhythms. The result is a joyful romp in a playground of rhythm, color, motion and contrast.
(duration of all four pieces is ca. 12 minutes)
This work was funded by the National Culture and Arts Foundation of Taiwan (ROC)
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