Night Visions

Instrumentation: piano

Year: 2013

Duration: 13-14 minutes 

Program Note:
he struggle between two opposing forces is a primordial duality that has existed in art since time immemorial.  Music often exemplifies this struggle.  Beethoven’s famous 5th symphony has been framed as the clash between good and evil.  From the violent and stormy C minor of the first movement to the victorious triumph of C major in the finale, the piece continually tries to find ways to overcome its tragic beginning.  The Romantics latched on to this concept and expounded upon it.  Numerous pieces from the 1800s, particularly symphonic works like Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture, pit a turbulent first theme against a second lyrical, singing theme.  

I have always been attracted to this binary opposition in music, specifically how two very different kinds of music play out in a larger narrative.  In Night Visions, I have chosen one of the most elementary conflicts: the relationship between light and dark.  My piece contains music of intense fury but also of quietude and purity and a range of emotion in between.  The music sometimes switches tenor instantly and other times the process is more gradual.  Despite its traditional conception, the music does not sound Classical or Romantic, though there are moments where remnants of those styles are palpable. Night Visions is part of a larger trend in my music, namely the infusion of classical approaches with decidedly modern sounds.  This piece was premiered by and written for my good friend Charlie Magnone, a great pianist and an avid performer of contemporary music.