Three Sketches

Thee Sketches (2022)
for Piano Four Hands

I. Prelude
II. Lullaby
III. March

Commissioned by Joyce Wan-Hsuan Wu and Tzu-Feng Liu (The Woven Sounds)

World Premiere:
November 19, 2022
New Asian Music with The Woven Sounds and Friends
Recital Hall, Austin Community College Highland Campus, Austin, TX, USA
The Woven Sounds:
Joyce Wan-Hsuan Wu, Peir-Shiuan Tang, piano

Duration: 10 minutes

Program Notes

Three Sketches for piano four hands, commissioned by Joyce Wan-Hsuan Wu and Tzu-Feng Liu (The Woven Sounds), was composed in the early autumn of 2022, and it has three movements whose titles are “Prelude”, “Lullaby”, and “March.” The first movement, “Prelude,” begins with a bright major chord, and soon it is mixed into the minor-key notes. It is relatively peaceful since the chord and the notes create a pastoral atmosphere. Several simple but nostalgic melodies came into my mind when I composed the second movement, “Lullaby,” and I was trying to combine all of them in a contrapuntal texture with a steady gesture. The energetic final movement, “March,” is in an irregular meter (8/8 beat, 3+3+2), and somehow it transforms into a regular one (4/4 beat). Melodies of this march are mainly on the pentatonic black keys of piano, driving with increasing excitement toward the ending.

This piece is permeated with nostalgia, as I feel homesick, away from my home country, not being able to return to Taiwan due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This piece is indeed portraying a picture indicated by the main title. However, each movement with the title, rather than being programmatic, not only depicts a scene but also is painted with a complex feeling while I am sorely missing Taiwan and my family and friends there.

P.S. Pianist Tzu-Feng Liu has passed away on October 20, 2022 due to the cerebral aneurysm. It cannot be believed such a wonderful pianist was lost suddenly. I decided to dedicate this piece to her. She will be missed and remembered.  

在2022年初秋譜寫的為鋼琴四手聯彈的《三首素描》是鋼琴家吳婉瑄與劉子丰(織音・知音)的委託創作,全曲有三個樂章,分別是〈前奏曲〉、〈搖籃曲〉、〈進行曲〉。第一樂章〈前奏曲〉以一個大三和絃起始,但很快地放進了小調的音,是一個很安詳有田園風格的樂章。當我譜寫第二樂章〈搖籃曲〉的同時,幾個簡樸又帶有鄉愁的旋律出現在我的身旁,以一個穩定的節奏,我用著對位的手法,把這些旋律全部都放在一起了。充滿活力的第三樂章〈進行曲〉開始使用了一個不規則的混合拍子(八八拍,3+3+2),然而之後變成了規則的拍子(四四拍)。旋律主要是落在鋼琴黑鍵形成的五聲音階,越來越有能量地馳騁到最後。

全曲發散著很濃的鄉愁,因為全球新冠肺炎的影響下讓我長時間無法回去台灣而累積出的強烈思鄉情緒。如同曲名所示,這首曲子是有描繪著畫面的特質,但是我卻沒有給每個樂章標題,因為這曲子不只是描寫著場景,同時也用著音符畫出一個無以名之的複雜情感,當我非常想念台灣,以及思念著在台灣的家人與朋友。

P.S. 鋼琴家劉子丰在2022年10月20日傍晚因為腦動脈瘤過世。無法相信一個這麼優秀的鋼琴家就這樣突然離去的事實,因此我決定把這首曲子題獻給她,想念著她也紀念著她。

– Feng-Hsu Lee (Mid-Autumn Fesitval, September 10, 2022 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

One thought on “Three Sketches

  1. Pingback: New Asian Music with The Woven Sounds and Friends | Feng-Hsu Lee

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