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Tombeaux for piano solo

By Joseph Dillon Ford

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Piano Solo - Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by Joseph Dillon Ford. 20th Century, Neo-Classical. Score. 20 pages. Published by David Warin Solomons (S0.432785).

Item Number: S0.432785

Description: A unique collection of characteristic pieces commemorating the romantic period and several of its most outstanding keyboard composers (including Chopin, Schumann, and Liszt).
The title of the present collection--Tombeaux--literally means "tombs," in a musical sense similar to that used by composers from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries for pieces intended to honor the memory of distinguished personages. From early times, it has been customary for the creators of tombeaux and similar works to make at least some allusion to the styles of those composers they have chosen to commemorate musically. Ford has intentionally refrained from dedicating the pieces in the present collection to any specific composers, broadening the concept of tombeau to include any commemorative musical essay in the style of a particular composer or historical period.

All of the tombeaux in this album are short romantic works which range from relatively easy pieces to technically challenging studies for the mature pianist. Since they were composed at different times and under different circumstances between 1969 and 1991, Ford never intended the pieces to be performed as an integral set, although they possess sufficient stylistic unity and variety to be effectively grouped together in this manner on recital programs.

1 "Solemn Procession" [2/2, e, E+]
"Solemn Procession" is dignified and funereal in tone, recalling the short marches often inserted in eighteenth-century operas.

2 "Forgotten Waltz" [3/4, a, E+]
"Forgotten Waltz" explores the rhythmic pattern of one of Chopin's most popular préludes while entirely abandoning the latter's sunny A-major tonality and taking on a dark, passionately plaintive mood.

3 "Song of the Sylph" [2/2, C, E+]
"Song of the Sylph" adapts the simple chordal accompaniment style of Chopin's poignant Prélude in E Minor to a far more hopeful melody in C Major. Sylphs are said to be fairy-like spirits of the air who are mortal but have no souls.

4 "Whirlwind" [3/4, a/A, D]
"Whirlwind" also tacitly commemorates Chopin with its intricate étude-like figuration in broken sixths, but moves surprisingly into the parallel major as the vortex cheerfully dissipates

5 "Halcyon" [3/4, F, M]
With its mood of quiet contentment, "Halcyon" seems to recall the Eusebian side of Schumann's musical personality.

6 "Song of Thorns" [4/4, g, E+]
"Song of Thorns" might be taken as a somber recollection of Schumann's profoundly incurable Weltschmerz.

7 "Russian Fairy Tale" [2/2, c, E+]
The "Russian Fairy Tale" (actually the first piece written by Ford which has survived) recalls the music of no composer or folk story in particular, but its essentially Slavic character is both inescapable and irresistible.

8 "Wings" [2/4, D-flat, D]
"Wings" is an alluringly gossamer étude for developing staccato and legato touch and dynamic control.

9 "Flos Adonis" [3/4, g, M]
"Flos Adonis" (meaning "painful recollections" in the nineteenth-century "Language of Flowers") is a waltz which effectively contrasts a hauntingly disjunct g-minor theme with more optimistic material in A-flat major. In Greek mythology, Adonis, beloved by Venus, was a handsome young man who was gored to death by a wild boar.

10 "Gebel al-Tariq" [12/8, a/E, D]
"Gebel al-Tariq"--a work Lisztian in both content and technical requirements--depicts a tempestuous crossing from Tangier to Gibraltar undertaken by Dillon Ford in 1983. The title is Arabic for "Mountain of Tariq"--the Moors' name for the great "Rock." Liszt himself visited Gibraltar in the spring of 1846, after touring Spain and Portugal.

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