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One night in March of 2011, as I was reflecting on my uncle's premature death from cancer the day before, the twin themes of this piano tune came to me, which I eventually developed into the score below.
As you listen to or visually examine the score, you’ll notice the contrasting moods of melancholy and joy playing tug of war, and the score’s title hints at the reason for this. This piece is about death (both bodily and spiritual) and about new life after death. Benedict XVI has written that the rhythms of death and new life are woven into the fabric of creation. All of us experience these rhythms and the tension between them not just in nature but in our own lives. In the course of our brief existence on this planet, we all go through many ups and downs. Through the historical and cosmic reality of his own Death and Resurrection, Our Lord Jesus Christ has opened the gates of Heaven for all those who wish to enter, making it possible for death not to have the last word in our lives, and he has inaugurated the ultimate triumph over sin, evil and death that will be completed at the end of time. This final victory is expressed musically in the ultimate dominance of the "joy" theme in this piece. It’s a celebration of eternal life beyond all human imagination and a great party song for the intermediate, advanced or professional pianist.
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