Opus 720

Summer Solstice (2007)

for Piano

Duration: 9.5 min.

Dedication: for Jeffrey Jacob

Commission: Commissioned for Jeffrey Jacob

Publisher: Musik Fabrik

Performance materials available from the publisher.

Summer Solstice (2007) for piano was written for and is dedicated to pianist and composer Jeffrey Jacob.  Though there were a number of interconnected inspirations behind the work’s conception, one of these intentions is as a tribute to American composer Vincent Persichetti (1915–1987).  Though there are no specific quotations from Persichetti’s music, some of the textural and developmental ideas (particularly in the fast, middle section) owe themselves to his work.

The work opens in a free, declamatory manner—announcing its basic pitch material.  Spasmodic gestures intercut the resonant declamation.  Amidst the bright ringing, a lyric melody tries to assert itself again and again.  A whirling and dry fast section, however, emerges; the material is put through a series of spinning transformations, building to a ringing and clangorous climax – bathed in the white heat of the summer sun.

The final section is marked “memorial candles”—distant and near candles set out on a field flicker in the summer heat and ebbing sunlight while low, distant chimes sound the passing of time.  The candles slowly burn out – one by one – in the heat of the dry summer air.