Scherzo Macabre (from Variations on a Dirge)

Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
2 minutes
Modern classical music
Solo instrument (Piano)
Instrumental parts
Not available

Commentary by Left Brain and Right Brain. LB: "You probably hadn't noticed, but this is cast in a miniature monothematic sonata form. Its theme is based upon a 5-note expansion of the first 3 notes of the Dirge theme." RB: "I hadn't noticed. What really grab me are the jazzy rhythms in 12/8 time, the sudden starts and stops, and the big leaps as the left hand crosses way over the right hand to put in its 2 cents between phrases. Those big ringing 5-note chords for each hand are lots of fun too." LB: "Ah yes, those chords are built up of accumulated 3rds, 5ths, 7ths and 9ths. Small wonder they sound so 'odd' eh? Coincidentally, 3, 5 and 7 are prime numbers, whereas 9 equals 3 squared. Very effective, but these chords involve frightfully difficult stretches for the fingers." RB: "I have no idea what you're talking about. Anyway, I'm all thumbs. The software lets me get away with stretches like that. It's like having my very own Glenn Gould In A Box."

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