Trichord Preludes, Book I (2009)

For solo piano
Duration: 15 minutes
Six preludes out of a projected twelve

Partial premiere (Nos. 1 & 6): October 16, 2009
Lutkin Hall, Illinois
Jonathan Howard Katz, piano

Full premiere: April 25, 2012
The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, New York
Aaron Likness, piano

This work is available for retail purchase from Theodore Front Musical Literature.
This work is available for institutional purchase from Harrassowitz (OttoEditions) and Theodore Front Musical Literature.

Program note: These early works of mine explore the possibilities in drastically restricting a piece’s harmonic language. A trichord is a combination of three different notes, and at their most fundamental distilation in Western tuning there are twelve different varieties of them. I wanted to create short works that would each explore a single trichord, with every single note mapped to an expression of that harmony. Within that basic parameter, I could explore all sorts of colors, textures, emotional states, and ways of writing for the piano. These are the first six of a projected twelve. The set begins with an expressionistic bang, passes through a mechanical study of layers, a perpetual-motion étude, a hazy landscape, and a jumpy character piece before ending with a meditation in memory of my mother.

Jonathan Howard Katz performs No. 6: