On learning of the death of Alfred Schnittke
About the work
The piece was written for New Music North East. The group has a variety of orchestral instrument players and two pianists. At the time I was asked to write the piece I had just heard Schnittke’s Piano Concerto for the first time. Shortly afterwards he died. I woke up one night with much of the piece in my head, and had to get up to write it down. In form, it is a simple elegy, which breaks off into a directionless piano ostinato, during which the elegy resumes.
First Performance: New Music North East, ARC, Stockton, May 19th 1999
The piece requires two pianists on one piano, and a range of orchestral instruments – there are flexibly instrumented parts for soprano, alto, tenor, and bass instruments. The piece will need a conductor, but the tempo is slow, regular, and consistent. Entries will need to be cued.