Three Human Attributes

Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
11 minutes
Modern classical music
Piano four hands
Instrumental parts

This piano duet, completed in January 2008, is in three movements, each movement focussing in turn on the human attributes of body, mind and spirit. The respective titles are Physical Condition, Mind and Human Intellect, and Rational Soul.

The first movement, Physical Condition, is marked Presto and is the shortest. It is a kind of dance that focuses on the ’brutal qualities’ at the material level of existence.

The second movement, Mind and Human Intellect, is basically a slow movement, marked Adagio. It alternates strong chords with melodic phrases over a gentle rocking accompaniment. The development of these ideas leads to a ’choral’ based on the main melody, bringing this movement to a calm close.

The third movement, Rational Soul, is the longest, reflecting the importance of mankind’s spiritual nature (human spirit, or rational soul). It is marked Lento, but contains fast moving arpeggios and figuration. It is based on a sequence of nine harmonies, each harmony lasting a bar longer than the previous harmony. Short fragments of the melody from the previous movement are also heard. All phrases are rising, not to a higher physical plain, but to a higher plain of awareness, as reflected by the closing bars.

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