Monochrome VI

for 10 Pianos

Peter Schickele (composer)
Available on Rental
There is something special about the sound of a lot of the same instrument; colors may be obtained that cannot be matched by a normal symphony orchestra, even a large one. In 1959, I wrote a piece for eight flutes, and was mesmerized by the sound. Since then I have written for choirs of trombones, clarinets and violas, and I coined the term ?monochrome? (meaning, of course, one color) to describe these explorations of sonority. Leonard Slatkin is a conductor and pianist who likes to pep things up every once in awhile by presenting a monster piano concert, patterned after those that were presented in the 19th century. There are usually ten grand pianos involved; two of them are nestled as in a typical duo-piano recital, and the other eight are arranged in an arc going upstage (from the balcony it looks as if the wagons have been circled in anticipation of an attack). There is some repertoire for ten pianos, but some of the pieces played at these concerts were actually written for four or six pianos, and various doublings are used. "Monochrome VI", however, was actually originally composed for ten pianos. It was commissioned by the Minnesota Orchestral Association for a concert the 10th anniversary of the orchestra?s Viennese Sommerfest; it was premiered on July 30, 1989 at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, with Mr. Slatkin conducting then pianists ranging from Ax to Swann. The work was completed May 3, 1989, and consists of three sections played without pause: Dawnsong, Toccata, and Dance. (The Dance section was originally written as a popular song, but I never liked the words I had written for it, so I decided that it would work better as an instrumental. When you get ten grand pianos rockin? and rollin?, you?ve got the equivalent of a mighty boom box.)
SKU: 110-41831
Duration: 7:00
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