Piano Miniature No. 10, “Liberace” (2012)
To Steven Blier on his wedding
The first Piano Miniature “Nocturnal Snapshot” was written in the middle of the night. When I realized that it was 2AM and that I was still contemplating what to write, I pulled out the Hanon exercises to put my fingers to work. Hanon provided me with an unlikely source of inspiration (!) and crept into this first miniature as an accompaniment to the main tune.
Piano Miniature No. 2 was the result of a challenge to write a piece without dissonance. It’s a slow dance of arpeggios.
Piano Miniature No. 3 incorporates a snippet of Bach’s “Art of the Fugue”.
Piano Miniature No. 4 is a musical joke that continues where No. 3 left off.
Piano Miniature No. 5 is a contrapuntal invention that uses a twelve-tone theme. It makes a musical joke out of two traditionally “academic” concepts.
Piano Miniature No. 6 “Addio” is a farewell on the departure of a beloved. He will remain nameless.
Piano Miniature No. 7 was written while I was serving as a faculty composer at SongFest in Malibu, California. It is a tender little song for solo piano that I wrote quickly while trying to capture the peace and warmth of the Pacific sunset.
Bargemusic, our irreplaceable floating venue in New York, is the subject of Piano Miniature No. 8. The waves rock the barge in a flowing pattern while the Manhattan sky explodes in the background. I wrote the piece on travels in L.A. (and with the “clean” L.A. skyline in my eye). I found myself adding some “grit” to the lines when I returned! Piano Miniature No. 8 is dedicated to Beth Levin, who premiered the work along with No. 7 at Bargemusic.
Lullaby for a Chelsea Boy juxtaposes a tender and static song against a distant memory of the night before. It is dedicated to Kathleen Supove.
Liberace has always been a musical hero of mine and a really fascinating person to boot. This little character piece captures some of the flamboyance of the great gay pianist. It was written as a celebration for another great gay pianist (and a very different one), Steven Blier on his wedding.
– Mohammed Fairouz (2012)