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Four Commentaries
For piano and violoncello
During 2007 I had the opportunity to hear performances of three entirely different compositions of music for cello and piano: Shostakovich's Sonata, Alexander Goehr's Fantasie and a revelatory performance of three of Beethoven's Cello Sonatas. Following the Beethoven experience I felt I could no longer sit on the fence deliberating about this challenging combination of sonorities and chose to write a preliminary work that explored how my own musical preoccupations might react to the cello and piano duo.

Four Commentaries was written with Beethoven's F major sonata Op.5 No.1 open on my desk. On the first page of

Beethoven's score it became obvious that sequential harmonic and melodic movement was something largely absent within my musical style. My first task was to attempt my own expression of such sequential movement as a building block of a composition. Furthermore, a comparison with this early sonata and the mid period Op.69 in A Major showed that Beethoven developed a sophisticated approach to voice exchanges, shifts of register, changing of rhythms and articulations. I have tried to follow a similar path: the piece opening with the cello occupying the acoustic space between the treble and bass registers of piano and then gradually exploiting all kinds of textural relationships and combinations.

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Nigel Morgan, Prudential Buildings, 55 Westgate, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 1BW, United Kingdom Tel: 01924 383017 e-mail: tonalitysystems@mac.com

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