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The Persistence of Melody (1996)

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Instrumentation solo Piano
Duration 2 minutes
Premiere 11th July 1996, Ian Pace, British Music Information Centre, London. England
Programme note
For a work that lasts no more than 2 minutes, a programme note might be considered an unnecessary appendage!

This piece is, however, more significant for me than might be expected from its duration - in that it represents my first application of the parametrisation of identity and focus to pre-existing (or 'found') musical material. This feature can be clearly followed as the tune (played in long notes in the right hand) is progressively beset by intrusive grace notes and increasingly perplexing transpositions. These processes are themselves gradually displaced by the left hand's material - which moves from sensitive accompaniment to unswerving prominence. That this attempt at obliteration is not finally successful provides both the rationale for the title and a particularly appropriate context for the original material!

The Persistence of Melody was written for Michael Finnissey on his 50th birthday.

This page was last updated on 7th April 2008