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Program Notes

Solo Instruments and Orchestra

Citiscape for Piano and Orchestra

(a.k.a. Piano Concerto) In three movements. [1965] 23 minutes
2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons; 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones; tuba; percussion; timpani; piano; strings


This work treats jazz rhythms in a symphonic manner. In the first movement a perpetual motion pulsates in the piano part. A second theme in a more lyrical vein is first introduced by the wind section of the orchestra and later elaborated by the piano. The two themes are recapitulated until the piano takes the filed with an extended cadenza in which the motor action of the first theme prevails. The orchestra reenters with a triumphant restatement of the lyrical theme.

Several instruments in the orchestra share the limelight with the piano in the slow movement which is unabashedly melodic and wistful.

There follows without a pause, a rhythmical introduction to the third movement in which jazz characteristics are even more dominant and in which cross rhythms abound. In the contrasting middle section, the jazz elements become more discreet but never disappear. A somewhat abbreviated recapitulation leads to a terse coda consisting of a few bars of hesitation and a few more of exuberance-a question mark and an exclamation point juxtaposed.

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