Piano Concerto in D minor, Op. 36
The piano enters, fortissimo, with descending double octaves–fast
at first, then slowing, with an extreme decrescendo, as we more toward the bass, ending on the lowest A
a solo oboe enters, restating its original song, quickly joined by the wind section,
creating a polyphony of contrasting tunes, as the piano begins a series of rapid scales,
up and down the keyboard, as the cellos and basses enter to insist on a ponderous,
the piano transitions to chords, collecting the many voices in two hands,
and the strings enter with another melody, which puts the drone of the cellos
and basses in an new, ironic context
the orchestra swells to forte as the movement modulates to the parallel major
the brass enter, adding energy to the drone, while the flutes play the oboe’s
song, high above the rest, as the music moves back to A minor
the piano enters with double octaves on the lowest A, pianissimo,
and crescendos as the octaves rise toward the highest registers,
ending on the highest A, fortissimo
the third movement begins, without. pause
I don’t know what it is about piano music that lends itself so well to poetry but—one of my favorite forms of ekphrasis!
Well done—can hear it through your writing!
Perhaps because piano requires the rhythmic partnership of mind, hands (touch), feet, eyes, and ears, the soul often finds itself drawn in, as well? And where the soul is, there is poetry.
Thank you for your very kind words–that you can “hear” the concerto is so encouraging. I appreciate you, Joseph.
I’ve never read a musical ekphrastic before and I loved this. So much fun.
Thank you for your kind words, Shaun! I am so pleased it was fun for you. For the record, I had never heard the word “ekphrasis” before I read Joseph’s comment–what an interesting word!