Nocturne and Fugue in D flat major - (2012)
for Lynn Rodolico
The novel, Two Seas (Lynn Rodolico, Eccolo Editions, 2012, available at the Amazon booksellers websites) was sent to me from Sicily by its author. (For more on the author, please visit her blog.) She had known my mother for many years so long ago, and wrote me of her affection. My mother had many friends from around the world, as from her work in youth choirs and as a teacher. She wrote of this memory in her novel, "Mammacita was the choir director of the Methodist Church when I was a little girl. She also directed the children's choir. She let me sit beside her and turn the pages while she played the piano for the older children. she gave me my first solo when I was six years old." We share this memory across time in a way, for when I was small I sometimes would sit on the bench beside my mother while she accompanied choirs in concerts. Life is most interesting in its many commonalities.
Lynn and Nino Rodolico
In her novel, Lynn quotes lines from Longfellow's poem, "Between the dark and the daylight, / When the night is beginning to lower...." Among the images of her new home in Sicily are images of darkness and daylight in the time of day, as in the change of seasons, as in the passage of life to death. Such images and toying with a rudimentary musical thought which occurred, I began this small work.
A moment of waiting and and an a piacere introduction precede a long-lined melody accompanied by the flux between duple and triple rhythms. The nocturne moves from the higher reaches of the keyboard and into the depths and darker colors before a peaceful cadence. A tempo marking is absent in this setting, suggesting the performer might find that tempo and rubato feeling as best suits the moment, the venue and the player's reflection on the sonorities. Similarly, the score is under-marked in dynamics.
The cadence in the tonic major is extended into some polytonal colors before the announcement of the composite fugue subject which shifts the tonal colors into the minor as well as into some chromaticism. As with the nocturne, the fugue's various permutations move across a harmonic landscape from high to low. Again the duple-triple dichotomy carries some remembrance of the nocturne's more calm moments.
7 pages, circa 10' 30" - an MP3 demo is here:
The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano score.
Nocturne and Fugue in D flat major