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Trilogy for Piano and Orchestra

Trilogy consists of three pieces for piano and orchestra, fashioned from material originally written more than twenty years ago but not published.

At the time my knowledge of the piano, and of the instruments of the orchestra, was rather limited, so I've had to make radical changes - to the point where the pieces are now very different from the original.

The thematic base for Trilogy as a whole is heard in part 1, in the sense that the themes in parts 2 and 3 grew from this, using rearranged fragments. You can probably hear this quite clearly in part 2, perhaps not as obviously in part 3. Once the themes are stated, however, there's not a lot of purely thematic variation. The variations come primarily in the orchestration, using different orchestral colours/combinations, and in the tempos and rhythms used.

The structure of each part is similar - a form of A-B-A. In parts 1 and 3 the main difference between the middle bit and the other bits is tempo. In part 2 the difference is meter and rhythm. In each case these differences offer contrasting moods.


Baja Serenades

A set of practice studies, written in the mexican folk idiom. Starting as a piano student much later in life than most people, Mike found that the typical "beginner" practice books lacked interest and challenge. The solution was to begin writing his own practice pieces.

Caprice

Caprice for Piano consists of six movements each quite different in musical style, ranging from easy listening (No. 3) and jazz (No. 5, to a much more 'classical' sound (no. 6)). Moods range from easy going, to poignant, to downright powerful!

However, the movements are linked by a capricious or whimsical element. Sometimes this link is marked in the structure or thematic content, and other times by an unexpected twist.

Invention in G Major

A two part invention in the Baroque style, written some time ago for a university music theory course assignment.

Preludes

The working title for the D-flat Prelude was "Raindrops", which gives a sense of its mood. Actually, the original germ of the piece was a 3 note phrase from the score of a well-known movie.

The A-flat piece in rather eclectic and toys in varying moods with a theme that may sound like it belongs in a Hollywood western. Similarly, the Prelude in C is basically a waltz in the Viennese style but also morphs in and out of other triple meter genres.

Both of the other pieces continue in this vein - the one in E-flat major starting as "piano lounge" music, and the piece in F with a country/pop feel, and then developing through variations.

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