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Piano part from Piano Quartet

6 minutes
Modern classical music and Classical music
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A movement for piano quartet (piano, violin, viola and Cello) written 4-12th May 2016. The idea came from listening to my daughter’s submission for her A-level music composition which was for this instrumental combination and impressed me with many things, but particularly intrigued me with her interesting string articulations (she’s got grade 8 violin, whereas I only play the piano). So I’ve attempted to also put in detailed articulation and dynamics for my piece. I also pinched the high skipping figure from my daughter (first heard in violin bar 13) which was just the start of a phrase she used that I liked, otherwise it’s all my own work (I’ve only pinched 2 notes and an accent and the general inspiration!)

I’ve tried to make it tuneful and rhythmic with much interplay between the instruments. I’ve also attempted to develop themes and motifs (even the opening warming note) - and to thicken the texture or tweak the chords when they return. There is also a little drama and repose interspersed. Originally this was a very short piece in ternary form - which is usually an easy form to write in (finishing at bar 69 with the material from the last bar), however I didn’t feel this was long enough and needed some development. The current version is in the form: - 4 bars intro (that warming note also gets used later) - Theme 1 (bars 5-16) - Theme 1 re-scored (bars 19-26). Note the held piano pedal under the light strings. - 28-42 was the original middle section: Bars 28-30, just an element of a new theme which continue to a reworking of Theme 1 leading to a more agitated passage (38-42), some descending semiquavers leading to - Theme 1 in a fuller treatment (43-69) that was the original end. - 70-76, theme 2 element developed - 76-84 agitation taking its springboard from the start of theme 1 figure. - 84-98 repose, using the opening warming note as the axis of this passage - 100-118 combines the agitated figure with the long warming notes, which is then foreshortened leading back to: - 122-132 theme 1 rescored a little - 133 -147 the figure from 28-30 now gets a fuller treatment combined with elements from theme 1 - 149-163 The rhythm from theme 1 and the semiquaver figures give rise to a more rhythmic and punchy section. - 164-187 Four bars of wind down, then winding back up to the strenuous figure from 38-42 then working back up to: - 188 to end: Final recap of theme 1 with fuller scoring and a slightly extended (and cheeky) ending. I particularly liked the effect of non-staccato viola against the staccatissimo violin and cello.

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