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IVAN MOODY

PIANO BOOK

© 2020 Vanderbeek & Imrie Ltd

17 Short Pieces for Solo Piano

VAN 360

(2)

This collection of pieces arose from an initial idea for Ghost Trees, which I then decided to augment, writing pieces for my pianist friends around the world, intending to give them something that in some way reflected their character as musicians and as a way of continuing to compose useful music during the period of the Corona Virus pandemic.

1. Ghost Trees was inspired by the destruction of some magnificent black poplar trees. The spaces where they were have been filled in by paving, but the contrast in colour between those spaces and the rest of the pavement makes one very conscious of the presence of the trees, to the extent that I was reluctant to walk on them. Thus the idea of “ghost trees” came into my head, and with it the possibility of a new piece. I discussed the idea with Daniel Sanches, who accepted enthusiastically, and thus the Piano Book began.

2. Istrian Lullaby was written for Raphaella, wife of Daniel Sanches, and their baby son, Joaquim. It uses the so-called “Istrian scale”, used in certain repertories of folk music in Croatia, and in conventional tonal terms oddly unstable and eerie.

3. For the title Le Fortificazioni di Fabrizio there is no explanation. The piece appeared to me in a dream (as a fragment), and I immediately thought of Ana Telles as its dedicatee. Its somewhat intransigent, Ligetian character is perhaps what gave rise to the idea of

fortifications, but there is also something of Calvino present.

4. Mechtá (Мечта), meaning “Dream” in Russian, is for Taissa Cunha, whose artistry at the piano I have seen develop in the most amazing way over the years, and whose sensitivity towards Russian repertoire in particular I much admire.

5. Vistes means “Views” in Catalan, and is a reference to the Catalan composer Eduard Toldrà’s piece Vistes al mar. My friend Mac McClure has lived (at least in part) in Barcelona for many years, and been an assiduous promoter of Catalan people, so this is in effect a double homage.

6. Spring! was written for Paul Barnes, who has been a tireless performer of my music over the years. This work connects both with an earlier piece I wrote for him, Fioriture, also connected with the season of spring, and his vivacious personality.

7. Like Vistes, Curve is a double homage. It was written for Ian Pace, outstanding performer of contemporary music, and its starting point is Berio’s piece for piano and instruments, points on the curve to find… It uses the same opening gesture and has the same metronome marking, but its trajectory (the “curve”) is very different.

8. Clangour, written for Elsa Silva, who gave the first performance of my piano concerto Linnunlaulu, is an evocation of bells, and more specifically the bells of the Russian Orthodox churches, which have a particular pattern. But it is not simply a reproduction of that pattern; rather, it is a reflection on, a refraction of, and a response to it.

9. The title of Lustre of the Pigeon, for Artur Pizarro, comes from a poem by Marianne Moore (Pigeons): “Modesty cannot dull/the lustre of the pigeon.” This brief piece is an attempt at evoking that lustre, and also the unpredictable character of this much-maligned bird.

10. Samovili (Самовили), written for Maja Stojanovska, has to do with South Slavic mythology: the word samovili (spelt in different ways in other Slavic languages) refers to fairies and their strange powers of transformation.

11. Bambusicola Sonorivox is an evocation of the Taiwan Bamboo-Pheasant. I wrote the piece for Solungga Liu, whose native country is Taiwan, having been captivated by the bird’s name and listened to recordings of its song

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12. Zuzanje (Зузање) is the Serbian word for “buzzing”. It was written for Ivana Medić, and is an evocation of her new house in the Serbian countryside, complete with buzzing bees. 13. Water in Brightly Coloured Jugs was written for Velislava Dimitrova Franta, and is a kind of fantasy that makes use of a folksong common to both Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia,

Sto mi e milo.

14. Phoenician Red, written for Sarah Pinnell, actually refers to the colour purple, and specifically the purple from Tyre, a shade derived from sea snails and much prized in the ancient world. E flat is, I am told the colour of purple, but the undermining of this in the title is reflected at a certain point in the piece too.

15. I have known Elizabeth Allen for many years, and it is a delight to write a piece for her. The word “Petrichor,” ultimately of Greek origin, is an intriguing description of the

agreeable scent that may be felt with the first rain after a long period of dry, warm weather. 16. Il Canto della Sirena (The Siren’s Song) was written for Andrea Padova, whose

navigation between all kinds of music I have always found wonderful. The song sung by the Sirens is, according to legend, not the invitation it first seems. In this case, the sea becomes somewhat choppy, and the song sometimes difficult to hear.

17. A Kujawiak is a Polish dance, related to the Mazurka. This one was written for Anna Kijanowska. Ivan Moody Estoril, 12 August 2020 1. Ghost Trees - - - - 4 2. Istrian Lullaby - - - - 6 3. Le Fortificazioni di Fabrizio - - - - 8 4. Mechtá (Мечта) - - - - 10 5. Vistes - - - - 12 6. Spring! - - - - 14 7. Curve - - - - 16 8. Clangour - - - - 20

9. Lustre of the Pigeon - - - - 22

10. Samovili (Самовили) - - - - 24

11. Bambusicola Sonorivox - - - - 28

12. Zuzanje (Зузање) - - - - 30

13. Water in Brightly Coloured Jugs - - - - 33

14. Phoenician Red - - - - 35

15. Petrichor - - - - 38

16. Il Canto della Sirena - - - - 40

17. Kujawiak - - - - 43

Index

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Ghost Trees

Ivan Moody

© 2020 Vanderbeek & Imrie Ltd All Rights reserved for the World & Solar System para Daniel Sanches

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Le Fortificazioni di Fabrizio

Ivan Moody

para Ana Telles

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Mechtá

Ivan Moody

para Taissa Cunha

© 2020 Vanderbeek & Imrie Ltd All Rights reserved for the World & Solar System

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for Paul Barnes. Christ is risen!

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Ivan Moody

for Maja Stojanovska

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Zuzanje

Ivan Moody

for Ivana Medić

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