Music for Opened Strings

May 7th, 2008

I never understood why the sostenuto pedal is used so little because I find it so fascinating. The first really neat use of this pedal which I encountered is in Schoenberg’s Drei Klavierstücke, op 11. In this piece, Schoenberg instructs the performer to silently depress a group of pitches, depress the sostenuto pedal, and then play loud interruptions with both hands, causing these opened strings to resonate. I decided to use this idea along with the scale matching ideas from Quintessence to create harmonies which created great resonance inside the piano. I also focused on creating melodies which could be sustained using the sostenuto pedal, allowing both hands to play an ostinato pattern without being tied up in the melody. Despite sticking fairly close to C-minor/E-flat major tonalities, the end result sounds unique to the piece and my style of composition. I could not be happier with my final piece and premiere at UWM.

Live Performance by Patrick Behringer »