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Time Preludes
for solo piano
(1998)

 

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The pianist Jeffrey Jacob has recorded four of these preludes on his CD New Voices: Contemporary American Piano Music. His recording may be purchased on line from Capstone Records. Short MP3 samples of those four preludes are available on the Capstone Website.


These six pieces are called "time" preludes because each one focuses on a different way of handling the progress of musical time. For example, some utilize different lengths of note groupings while maintaining a consistent tempo, while others rely more on the changing of tempos, on the use of accelerating and decelerating figures, or on the use of much "rubato". In the end, however, these pieces are not really a technical exhibition of musical timing, nor are they time "etudes". Instead, they are quasi-poetic musings that rely on various coloristic possibilities of the piano. It is therefore hoped that performers and audience members alike will be inspired to bring some of their own imagination and imagery to the performance of these pieces, and that the technical matters of time and timing will be successfully taken care of by the pieces themselves.

 

Though it is not necessary to perform these pieces as a complete set, when all six preludes are played, the perfromance duration will be nearly 30 minutes. Because certain preludes do provide for much freedom of tempo, the exact timing will no doubt vary (to some extent) from performance to performance.