Third Sonata (2012) for piano (50')
I. World of Hate (4')
II. Broken Love (12')
III. The House of Joy (16')
In the Banjo Room
In the Gospel Room
In the Parlor Room
The American Bolero
IV. Sadness in the Form of a Rondo (18')
Brian Ciach, piano
Faculty Lecture-Recital, Farrell Recital Hall, Murray State University, 9.12.13 (Steinway, Model B)
At fifty minutes in duration, the Third Sonata (2012) is the largest work in my catalog, containing some of the longest continuous movements that I've written (the last movement is 18'). This premiere is two years in the making and reflects a highly personal expression and mature "mosaic" compositional voice.
Like much music of the past, i.e., Hector Belioz's Symphony Fantastique (1830), or Radiohead's Creep (1992), this piece is inspired by unrequited love, and bears the name of the dedicatee on the first page of music. The four movements present musical imagery of human emotions: Hate, Love, Joy, and Sadness. As the movements and emotions unfold, a cathartic musical narrative takes shape. The main objective of the composition is to share with the listener the cleansing experience of purging or releasing overpowering emotions, from bitter anger, to sincere affection, to joy, to despair, and finally, triumph.
My desire to express such fervent emotions led to a large variety of musical ideas. In a letter to Sibelius, Mahler wrote: "The symphony must be like the world. It must embrace everything." Similarly, the Third Sonata is my musical world. It contains a poly-stylistic collection of ideas from different aspects of my musical persona: harsh rhythmic dissonance (movement I), improvisatory style (the middle labyrinths of movement II), anachronistic style (The Scott Joplin-like Rag of III, In the Parlor Room), Impressionistic style (the lush, intoxicating chords of IV), Folk style (III), and the Romantic style (the scope of the work itself). The third movement, The House of Joy, is an "Americana panorama" with four imaginary "rooms" that reveal my roots as a composer of direct and accessible music. A nostalgic, original folk melody can be heard in the last movement's middle section. Finally, there is the constant return of the "Chord of Love", a free dominant thirteenth chord in various textures, which is present in all but the first movement. One could argue that this piece, in one sense, is really about the development of this chord as it appears throughout the work--the evolution and/or liquidation of Love over time.
View PDF score: http://issuu.com/brianciach/docs/third_sonata_final__revised__9.27.1
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