Postcard Pieces

2012

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Duration: 12:00

Difficulty: Advanced

Instrumentation: Solo Piano

Postcard Pieces, for solo piano, is a collection of musical vignettes based upon antique postcards belonging to Dr. Masters, who commissioned the work. The movement titles are indicative of my impressions of the postcards and their accompanying text.

 

“Excelsior” offers a portrait of a pastoral lake scene with the inscription “‘Excelsior! Till home and heaven be now!’ (Shakespeare) C.E. Potts.” The piece features an ascending theme coupled with flowing textures suggesting strong currents.

 

“I have reasons” is based on a postcard from a woman to a gentleman declaring “I don’t care to keep steady company anyway. I have reasons.” A three-voiced fugue portrays the carping, argumentative quality of the voices, making it clear that “I don’t wish to see you!”

 

“Italia” is based on a scene picturing traditional Italian musicians and dancers gathered together before a picturesque coastal villa; only a tarantella could accurately describe this scene.

 

“A very lonesome house” depicts a grim moment in a young woman’s life; sent to a family friend just before New Year’s, the postcard is an attempt at good cheer in the midst of sickness and tragedy. The music here is stark, meant to convey the mood of this sad household at a would-be happy time of year.

 

Finally, “A la Jack London” is an adventuresome toccata, a musical depiction of a young man canoeing the untamed wilds as if he were Jack London himself.

Performers: Dr. Richard Masters - Piano

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