Instrumentation: Two Pianos
Year of composition: 2016
Duration: ~10 min.
Date: June 31st 2016
Venue: Festival Messiaen 2016 (France)
The Prime Minister's Award for Composers (Israel 2016) [The piece was part of the winning portfolio]
Florida State University Festival of New
When I was asked to write a work for two pianos, I thought about the repertoire of works for two pianos and realized many works fall into two categories:
Works in which two pianos were technically necessary but in which the resulting effect is of one piano (perhaps with more notes, but nevertheless a "solo" piece);
And works that sound like they are reduction of an orchestral work, with all of the orchestrational colors removed.
It was very important to me to avoid finding this piece falling into one of these categories.
This work is lead by the spirit of communication which is the heart of chamber music. In this piece the two pianos are conversing, and responding. In fact, the piece is notated in such a way that the pianists must respond to each-other in order to create a coherent statement (through proportional notation, and various other means).
Near the end of the piece, I decided that I am going to address the "orchestral reduction" pitfall and stand it over its head. As the piece nears its final moments, the two pianos are gradually increasing in volume until they reach their top dynamic range. The energy of two concert grand pianos resonating with all of their power, would make any room shake; and the the clash of the pianos' thick overtones at this volume produce colors that every orchestra would be proud to produce.