Toccata (homage to Bartok) (1999)

As you may have read in the ĎOff the Recordí section of this site, Bartokís output has always been a major influence on my music. This piece is no exception, and this time I decided to give him his due credit. One of my favorite pieces of his is a tiny piano work buried in the six books of Microcosmos. Itís #79; An homage to J.S. Bach. Itís based on the Well Tempered Clavierís C major Prelude from Book One, but Bartok filters Bachís timeless study in arpeggiated chords through his signature technique of modal alteration, with the original chords transforming into fully chromatic pitch sets by the climax of the piece. Iím not doing it justice. . .you really should hear it if you donít know it.

This piece was commissioned by Kenneth Chin as a finale piece for a joint recital given by himself and Emily Hanzlik. It proved a perfect opportunity to pay tribute to a composer Iíve owed a debt of gratitude to since my youth. I hope Bela would approve.

Performance history:
4/99 - by Kenneth Chin and Emily Hanzlik.
DePaul University, Chicago.


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