“The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow
cocktail music, and the opera of voices pitches a key higher.” (F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 1925)
‘Lurches away’ takes its starting point from Fitzgerald’s perpetually flickering light and clattering soundscape.
It begins with a still shimmering, from which everything else departs. A melodic line anchors things for a time,
but both piano and ensemble are constantly rearing up away from each other, and back again. The opening
ethereal material returns and is developed, then the piano cadenza rumbles insistently into the longest final section.
Here all the elements meet, with a nod to the dance music of the narrative. There are pauses for breath, but the
piano constantly lurches away, fast and fluid, but restless, rather like Gatsby’s party-goers. MM
Call for Pieces for Piano concerto 2014
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