Priemered July 15, 2008 by Dianne Frazer at the 'Festival of the Hamptons', East Hampton, NY.
Performed June 6, 2009 by pianist Miriam Conti on a recital presented by the Leschetitzky Association at New York’s Tenri Hall.
by Marian Conti
4 varied dances woven together.
After writing numerous short works for piano I decided to structure a longer piece by weaving together several dance-like sections: slow and sensuous, playful, lyric, and fast and intense, each with a distinct sense of rhythmic movement. - K. Hoover.
The pieces in this collection were written over a period of several years, and have been performed in many different groupings.
A group of seven pieces, from the abstract "Dream" to the virtuosic "Chase" to the light game-like "3+3". From medium to difficult. This work has also been known as "Piano Book".
Three + Three is a 'game' piece, based on a pattern of three quarter notes followed by three eighth notes. This pattern is subjected to a variety of melodies, modifications, and indignities but it emerges intact. Forest Bird evokes a single voice calling from a shadowy setting. Dream brings together seemingly unrelated sounds, which eventually merge as events do in dreams. Chase was inspired by that most American of obsessions: the movie car chase. Lament is a very spare evocation of desolation and loss. Allegro molto combines speed, syncopation, and whimsy. There are touches of jazz, as in much of my work. Poem was written as a small present for a sad friend.
Gloria Chuang gave the International Premiere April 14, 2010 in a recital at the Hong Kong Institute of Education in Hong Kong.
Mirian Conti gave the US Premiere April 20, 2010 at St. Peters Church, NYC.
I began this piece with a certain feeling we all know, fear that we will tumble into the freezing dark, into truly hostile territory. Then I decided to preface this music with material that would lead to such dark thoughts.
As I continued, I realize that thin ice is also linked with possibility. With taking a chance, stepping into the unknown, considering what may be disdained or even shocking to others, personally or professionally - and going ahead.
- K. Hoover.
The term Toccata comes from the Italian word for touch. Five hundred years ago it had several musical uses: a suite, a fantasia, or a driving rhythm piece. Sometime in the 19th century it settled into the form we know today; a single movement to work with repeated patterns and strong forward motion.
This toccata is distinctly American, with cords and rhythms influenced by jazz and popular sources. There are also shifting rhythms and short references to musical ancestors in the middle of the section.
- K. Hoover.