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1. Christopher Lowry: Romanza for Four Violas, Opus 15

Christopher Lowry: Romanza for Four Violas, Opus 15

This is the demo recording of my viola quartet "Romanza," which was a commission for the American Viola Society; the piece was premiered late September 2012 in Knoxville, TN and has since been performed all over the world. I recorded all four viola parts for this demo using the M-Audio Microtrack II recorder. Here are notes about the piece: “Inspired by the rich vocal qualities of the viola, 'Romanza' attempts to combine two very different musical idioms: English pastoral and Italian opera. As a violist myself, I have always been drawn to the beauty and complexity of the viola’s tone; it can be dark and brooding, idyllic and nostalgic, or even bright and joyful. These are just some of the many facets of this unique instrument that encouraged the creation of this work. 'Romanza' deals with the implications of writing for four of the same instrument by experimentation with close spacing of voices, as well as pairing the opposite extremes of range, simultaneously utilizing the richness and power of the C-string and the plaintive singing qualities of the upper register. The piece consists of one primary theme with very little deviation from it; most of the development occurs through means such as motivic variation and changes in tessitura, texture, harmony, counterpoint, and tempo. That said, the piece can essentially be viewed in ternary form, with two slower sections separated by a faster lively section, contrasting the lyrical with the fiery and virtuosic. It exploits many of the viola’s wonderful effects and timbres, a variety of bowstrokes, a broad range of dynamics, and even the challenge of balancing voices. The melodic material is evenly shared among the four players, and therefore all four voices should be thought of as equals. 'Romanza' was commissioned by David Bynog for the American Viola Society.”

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2. My Jesus, I Love Thee

My Jesus, I Love Thee

My grandmother Melba Lollar passed away recently, and since I was unable to attend her memorial service, I was asked to arrange and record a few hymns to be played at the service. I arranged, recorded, and mixed all of this in less than 24 hours (an all-nighter well spent), so pardon the intonation and the background noise (can't help that there are noisy children outside my windows). I'll probably re-record and edit this more later when I get ready to do the full-length hymn album. This arrangement takes my own approach to the four-part hymn and expands into a more modern ballad-like feel. Instruments: Violas, Brita water filter shaker, synth pad and bass, and percussion samples I took of myself.

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3. 09 yes you

09 yes you

This is a just a quick sample to show you that I can indeed mix anything. I am a fan of ambiance and subtle tones. I love natural sound enhanced and perfected.

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4. Abide With Me / Jesus Lover of My Soul

Abide With Me / Jesus Lover of My Soul

My grandmother Melba Lollar passed away recently, and since I was unable to attend her memorial service, I was asked to arrange and record a few hymns to be played at the service. I arranged, recorded, and mixed all of this in less than 24 hours (an all-nighter well spent), so pardon the intonation and the background noise (can't help that there are noisy children outside my windows). I'll probably re-record and edit this more later when I get ready to do the full-length hymn album. This arrangement is an odd combination of musical styles that I can best describe as a Renaissance dance (galliard maybe?) mixed with a campfire sing-along song....for better or for worse... Instruments: Bowed Violas, Strummed Viola, Viola-Drum, Sesame Seed Canister Shaker, synth bass, and a few percussion samples.

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5. Lowry - Little Suite - III. March And Scherzo (Louisiana Sinfonietta)

Lowry - Little Suite - III. March And Scherzo (Louisiana Sinfonietta)

Christopher Lowry "Little Suite for Strings," Opus 27 Louisiana Sinfonietta, cond. Dinos Constantinides I. Introduction and Sonatina II. Canción III. March and Scherzo IV. Rondo "This short suite in four movements draws its inspiration from the string music of Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Elgar, and Nielsen, while remaining true to my own American sentiments and compositional voice. The first movement begins with a broad, chorale-like introduction followed by a brief study in sonata form, making a few references to some of my favorite works in this idiom. The second movement is a slow, relatively undeveloped song without words that features short solos for violin, viola, and cello; this movement is dedicated to Perla Fernandez. The ternary third movement features a pompous theme contrasted with a brisk theme excerpted from deleted material from my 'Symphony No. 0.' The main theme of the 'Rondo' is in a spirited 7/8 time, which contrasts the slow, contrapuntal B-theme and the lyrical C-theme. "'Little Suite' was commissioned for and is dedicated to Jennifer Cassin and the Runnels School. The piece was premiered on May 3, 2017, by the Runnels School String Orchestra, under the baton of Régulo Stabilito." Recorded October 7-8, 2017; LSU Recital Hall; Baton Rouge, LA; Engineered and Mixed by Christopher Lowry

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6. Lowry - Little Suite - IV. Rondo (Louisiana Sinfonietta)

Lowry - Little Suite - IV. Rondo (Louisiana Sinfonietta)

Christopher Lowry "Little Suite for Strings," Opus 27 Louisiana Sinfonietta, cond. Dinos Constantinides I. Introduction and Sonatina II. Canción III. March and Scherzo IV. Rondo "This short suite in four movements draws its inspiration from the string music of Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Elgar, and Nielsen, while remaining true to my own American sentiments and compositional voice. The first movement begins with a broad, chorale-like introduction followed by a brief study in sonata form, making a few references to some of my favorite works in this idiom. The second movement is a slow, relatively undeveloped song without words that features short solos for violin, viola, and cello; this movement is dedicated to Perla Fernandez. The ternary third movement features a pompous theme contrasted with a brisk theme excerpted from deleted material from my 'Symphony No. 0.' The main theme of the 'Rondo' is in a spirited 7/8 time, which contrasts the slow, contrapuntal B-theme and the lyrical C-theme. "'Little Suite' was commissioned for and is dedicated to Jennifer Cassin and the Runnels School. The piece was premiered on May 3, 2017, by the Runnels School String Orchestra, under the baton of Régulo Stabilito." Recorded October 7-8, 2017; LSU Recital Hall; Baton Rouge, LA; Engineered and Mixed by Christopher Lowry

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7. Hymn of Grieving and Acceptance, Opus 30, for Concert Band (Demo, RoughMix 1.24.18)

Hymn of Grieving and Acceptance, Opus 30, for Concert Band (Demo, RoughMix 1.24.18)

Christopher Lowry (b.1988) "Hymn of Grieving and Acceptance," Opus 30, for Concert Band (Grade 4) PROGRAM NOTES: “On May 6, 2017, my apartment in Baton Rouge, LA, burned down, destroying many personal items and irreplaceable memories, and killing my cat Clara. Needless to say, the next several months were filled with sadness, anger, confusion, and helplessness. Though I am still working through all of this, I decided to deal with the pain through music. Hymn for Grieving and Acceptance is the first piece I have written since then that directly deals with these emotions. As the title suggests, this piece represents the gradual transition from grief to peace; though I’m still in the process of figuring out exactly how that feels and what it means, this piece is my own personal, musical expression of this process as of now. “Hymn concerns itself more with the journey to peace than with the actual despair; the mood of the piece is largely reverent and hopeful. The basis of the piece is a slow chorale that starts somberly and progressively grows more resolved throughout the piece. The second theme is a hymn-like tune that owes much to Gustav Holst. These two ideas develop together motivically as the piece grows in emotion and intensity. The latter third of the piece is a faster, more assured variation on the themes, which leads to a final climatic statement of the chorale. “Hymn for Grieving and Acceptance was commissioned by World Projects and will be premiered in Carnegie Hall in March 2018 by the Dublin High School Wind Ensemble (conducted by Melissa Williams).” Instrumentation: Piccolo, 2 Flutes, Oboe, Bassoon, 3 Clarinets in B-flat, optional Alto Clarinet in E-flat, Bass Clarinet in B-flat, Contralto Clarinet in E-flat, 2 Alto Saxophones, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, 3 Cornets (or Trumpets) in B-flat, 2 Horns in F, Tenor Trombone, Bass Trombone, Euphonium, Tubas, Double Bass, Timpani, and Percussion (5 players sharing Bass Drum, Crash Cymbals, 2 Suspended Cymbals, Tam-tam, Triangle, Marimba, Vibraphone, Glockenspiel, and Tubular Bells).

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8. Suite on "Be Thou My Vision"(Rough Mix, 6.15.17)

Suite on

A rough mix of my Celtic-Rock arrangement of "Be Thou My Vision" mixed with two of my own original jigs. All instruments either played or programmed by me. This is part of my upcoming CD, "The Instrumental Hymnal."

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9. Lowry: "Golden Rhapsody, Opus 17" (Live with the LSU Symphony)

Lowry:

Christopher Lowry: "Golden Rhapsody, Opus 17" for Orchestra Louisiana State University Symphony Orchestra, cond. Carlos Riazuelo Recorded Live, September 19 and 20, 2016; LSU Union Theater, Baton Rouge, LA Recorded by Bill Kelley; Edited and Mixed by Chris Lowry “The piece consists of two main themes, both of which evolve from the opening motives, but neither of which is fully stated until about 3 minutes into the piece. The use of chorales is also a key idea behind the piece, serving as transitional material as well as a means to relate the two themes to each other. The ever-evolving opening motive unfolds canonically in the trumpets, horns, and trombones respectively, each time in a different key. The melody begins to take shape as a sort of horn call, over rumbling strings and organ pedals and thunderous percussion. The ‘Golden Theme’ is finally stated in full, passed between solo trumpet and trombone and then the string section. This theme is interesting and spontaneous, as it always modulates up by a whole step; this section never stays in the same key (or meter) for more than a few bars at a time. After some development of the theme, a chorale leads the piece to the slower middle section, where the oboe introduces the second theme in triple meter. The strings take over the theme, which is then given to the bassoon and taken by a solo viola. “This peaceful moment gives way to a dramatic build in intensity until the grandiose climax of the piece—a glorious tutti statement of the second theme. Following this is a sort of recap of the Golden Theme, played first by the horns and then by the bass trombone. Everything is summed up, and then a gentle string chorale followed by a dramatic crescendo in the percussion section leads the piece to a flashy and exuberant finale. “‘Golden Rhapsody’ was commissioned for the Blair School of Music's 50th Concert Season.”

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10. Lowry - Little Suite - I. Introduction And Sonatina (Louisiana Sinfonietta)

Lowry - Little Suite - I. Introduction And Sonatina (Louisiana Sinfonietta)

Christopher Lowry "Little Suite for Strings," Opus 27 Louisiana Sinfonietta, cond. Dinos Constantinides I. Introduction and Sonatina II. Canción III. March and Scherzo IV. Rondo "This short suite in four movements draws its inspiration from the string music of Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Elgar, and Nielsen, while remaining true to my own American sentiments and compositional voice. The first movement begins with a broad, chorale-like introduction followed by a brief study in sonata form, making a few references to some of my favorite works in this idiom. The second movement is a slow, relatively undeveloped song without words that features short solos for violin, viola, and cello; this movement is dedicated to Perla Fernandez. The ternary third movement features a pompous theme contrasted with a brisk theme excerpted from deleted material from my 'Symphony No. 0.' The main theme of the 'Rondo' is in a spirited 7/8 time, which contrasts the slow, contrapuntal B-theme and the lyrical C-theme. "'Little Suite' was commissioned for and is dedicated to Jennifer Cassin and the Runnels School. The piece was premiered on May 3, 2017, by the Runnels School String Orchestra, under the baton of Régulo Stabilito." Recorded October 7-8, 2017; LSU Recital Hall; Baton Rouge, LA; Engineered and Mixed by Christopher Lowry

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11. Lowry - Little Suite - II. Cancion (Louisiana Sinfonietta)

Lowry - Little Suite - II. Cancion (Louisiana Sinfonietta)

Christopher Lowry "Little Suite for Strings," Opus 27 Louisiana Sinfonietta, cond. Dinos Constantinides I. Introduction and Sonatina II. Canción III. March and Scherzo IV. Rondo "This short suite in four movements draws its inspiration from the string music of Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Elgar, and Nielsen, while remaining true to my own American sentiments and compositional voice. The first movement begins with a broad, chorale-like introduction followed by a brief study in sonata form, making a few references to some of my favorite works in this idiom. The second movement is a slow, relatively undeveloped song without words that features short solos for violin, viola, and cello; this movement is dedicated to Perla Fernandez. The ternary third movement features a pompous theme contrasted with a brisk theme excerpted from deleted material from my 'Symphony No. 0.' The main theme of the 'Rondo' is in a spirited 7/8 time, which contrasts the slow, contrapuntal B-theme and the lyrical C-theme. "'Little Suite' was commissioned for and is dedicated to Jennifer Cassin and the Runnels School. The piece was premiered on May 3, 2017, by the Runnels School String Orchestra, under the baton of Régulo Stabilito." Recorded October 7-8, 2017; LSU Recital Hall; Baton Rouge, LA; Engineered and Mixed by Christopher Lowry

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12. Apéritif, for Clarinet and String Quartet, Opus 32 (World Premiere)

Apéritif, for Clarinet and String Quartet, Opus 32 (World Premiere)

The world premiere performance of "Apéritif, for B-flat Clarinet and String Quartet, Opus 32" by Christopher Lowry (b.1988), commissioned for FestivalSouth 2018. Recorded Live on June 10, 2018, as part of FestivalSouth's "Timeless Impressions" concert; Main Street United Methodist Church, Hattiesburg, MS Ken Graves, clarinet Zully Morales Orret, violin I Maya Freeman, violin II Christopher Lowry, viola Alexander Russakovsky, cello "A short, effervescent piece conceived as a concert prelude, 'Apéritif' is meant to whet the audience’s appetite for the main course. Though essentially tonal—or perhaps modal—in nature, the piece cycles through a variety of different styles, key centers, and idioms within a short period of time; the primary melodic material is largely tertian and is embellished with whole tone and octatonic scales, as well as chromatic scales turned inside-out. The clarinet takes a central role in this piece, with the quartet often serving as accompaniment; nevertheless, every instrument gets its due turn. "Fragmented, exciting, mysterious, and often erratic, this piece works equally well as an 'opening act' or as a 'digestif' (encore), providing the players and audience alike with a fun and energetic experience. 'Apéritif' was commissioned by Rachel Ciraldo for FestivalSouth 2018."

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13. Lowry - Bicentennial Variations (World Premiere, West Point Band)

Lowry - Bicentennial Variations (World Premiere, West Point Band)

Christopher Lowry: "Bicentennial Variations," Opus 25 West Point Band; conducted by Lieutenant Colonel Tod Addison World Premiere, May 21, 2017; Eisenhower Hall, West Point, NY "A festive concert overture in the style of a theme and variations, Bicentennial Variations pays homage to many of the musical greats in the English and Russian traditions while being firmly rooted in an American sound-world. The theme is introduced as an unaccompanied quasi-liturgical “cantus firmus” and is developed motivically, melodically, harmonically, rhythmically, contrapuntally, and antiphonally in styles such as chorales, fanfares, marches, and madrigals, among others. This celebratory piece is dedicated to the West Point Band on occasion of their 200th Birthday." "Bicentennial Variations" is scored for piccolo, 2 flutes, oboe, English horn, 2 bassoons, E-flat clarinet, 3 B-flat clarinets, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, 2 alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, 3 trumpets, cornet, flugelhorn, 4 horns, 2 trombones, bass trombone, euphonium, tuba, string bass, timpani, and 4 percussionists (sharing snare drum, tenor drum, bass drum, djembe, crash and suspended cymbals, tam-tam, triangle, finger cymbals, tambourine, glockenspiel, vibraphone, handbells, tubular bells, and bell plate.

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14. Lowry: "10 (Tin [sic])" - Demo, Rough Mix, 2.2.18

Lowry:

Christopher Lowry (b.1988) "10 (Tin [sic])," for Concert Band, Opus 31 “This short ‘fanfaristic’ piece was written for the 10th concert season of the Thornton Community Band. Traditionally, the 10th anniversary is celebrated with gifts of tin; this is represented somewhat abstractly in this piece by clanging rhythmic motives played on tin cans and other semi-resonant metals, such as anvils, brake drums, and frying pans. The lively, celebratory nature of this piece, as well as the slightly introspective middle chorale-like section, pays homage to the beautiful town of Thornton, Colorado, as well as honors the lives lost in the November 2017 shooting.” "10 (Tin [sic])" is scored for Piccolo, 2 Flutes, Oboe, Bassoon, Soprano Clarinet in E-flat, 3 Clarinets in B-flat, Alto Clarinet in E-flat (optional), Bass Clarinet in B-flat, Contrabass Clarinet in B-flat, 2 Alto Saxophones, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, 3 Trumpets, 2 Cornets in B-flat, 4 Horns in F, 2 Tenor Trombones, Bass Trombone, Euphonium, Tubas, Double Bass, Timpani, and Percussion (6 players sharing Snare Drum, Field Drum, Bass Drum, 2 Tom-toms, Crash Cymbals, 2 Suspended Cymbals, Tam-tam, Triangle, 2 Frying Pans, 2 Anvils, 2 Brake Drums, 4 Tin Cans, 5 Temple Blocks, Xylophone, Marimba, Vibraphone, Glockenspiel, Crotales, and Tubular Bells).

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15. "Scherzito - after Gustav Holst, for Concert Band," Opus 26 (DEMO, RoughMix 1 - 16 - 17)

Christopher Lowry: "Scherzito - after Gustav Holst, for Concert Band," Opus 26 (2017) "This short, brisk piece is an homage to my favorite English composer, Gustav Holst. Loosely modeled after the stylistic traits of his two Opus 28 Suites for Military Band, this lively “Little Scherzo” brings a decidedly American approach to a British idiom. Though the piece quotes—or perhaps merely hints at—various works of Holst, all the melodic and motivic material is original. "'Scherzito' is scored for 2 flutes, oboe, bassoon, 3 b-flat clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, 3 trumpets, 2 horns, 3 trombones, euphonium, tuba, timpani, snare drum, 2 tom-toms, bass drum, crash and suspended cymbals, tam-tam, triangle, sleigh bells, glockenspiel, and xylophone."

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16. Chris Lowry: "The American Dream - An Anthem," for string orchestra, Opus 10 (World Premiere)

Chris Lowry:

This is the world premiere recording of my composition "The American Dream - An Anthem," for string orchestra. Here are my notes about the piece: "I wrote this piece during a time of personal reflection—a time when I was thinking about what it truly means to be a modern American composer. I had recently taken a course in college on American Music and learned much about our musical heritage and traditions. Throughout the country's history, music has always been evolving and taking on characteristics and influences from the music of other countries and cultures. Important pioneers of American classical music, such as Edward MacDowell, Henry Cowell, Aaron Copland, and Leonard Bernstein (just to name a few), heavily alluded to past traditions in their music and thus truly paved the way for American composers for years to come. I have repeatedly reflected on these things, and this piece is a culmination of those musings as well as an homage to the great composers and rich musical history of America. "The piece comprises three basic ideas. One of these is a spirited, almost patriotic theme, which presents itself first in 7/8 and then in a steady 4/4 time. The second idea is a slower variation on the theme in 3/4, which is the basis for the slow middle section. The last idea is a broad, sweeping gesture that begins the piece, ends it, and ties everything together. All three of these musical ideas can be related to the tenets of the American Dream, as outlined in the Declaration of Independence: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. This piece is meant to invoke a feeling in the listener—perhaps a feeling of patriotism or a feeling of unity. This feeling will be different for everyone, but, regardless of what that feeling is, I hope the piece will resonate with the listener and remind everyone that, even during the trials and tribulations of today, America is one nation—united we stand." New York All-State String Orchestra, conducted by Carol Nies Recorded Live on December 2, 2011, at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY. This piece is copyright 2010/11 by Christopher Lowry. The score and parts are available for purchase or rent upon request.

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17. "Calm After - Chorale-Fanfare For Orchestra, Opus 23" (Demo; Mix, 11.25.16)

Christopher Lowry "Calm After - Chorale-Fanfare For Orchestra, Opus 23" "This short orchestral piece combines material from a pops concert-opener I wrote over this past summer with material discarded from my 'Symphony No. 0.' Consisting mostly of hymn-like chorales using tertian harmonies, this piece represents the aim to find peace in the wake of tragedy. 'Calm After' is dedicated to all who were affected by the Louisiana Floods of August 2016. "Lasting just over 4 minutes, 'Calm After' is scored for piccolo, flute, oboe, English horn, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, 3 percussionists (sharing bass drum, crash and suspended cymbals, tam-tam, triangle, glockenspiel, and tubular bells), harp, piano, and strings."

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18. "Time Lapse: Five-and-a-Half Reflections on a Tennessee Sunset," Opus 12 (Outtakes, July2016)

"Time Lapse: Five-and-a-Half Reflections on a Tennessee Sunset," Op.12 I. Prologue: Waning Blue II. Golden Glimmers; Silver Shimmers (4:08) III. Dialogues Between Burnt Orange and Rusty Yellow (9:25) IIIS. (3.5) Pinkened Violet – Peeks Through; Fades Into… IV. Graying Dusk (12:25) V. Epilogue: Waxing Midnight (15:13) Daniel Liebeskind, piano "This suite of short movements musically depicts the progression of a sunset from fading blue to a dark night sky. This idea is illustrated by everything from the harmonic language, to the impressionistic style, even to the position of the piano lid—the performer is instructed to lower the lid over the course of the five movements (from full to half stick between mvts II and III, and then closed completely before the final movement), perhaps visually simulating the sun’s setting as well as subtly changing the tone. The 'Prologue: Waning Blue,' is loosely based in the key of C--a familiar key for a very familiar image. The wandering melodic material, the ethereal quality of the Lydian mode, and the use of quartal and quintal harmonies help set the mood for the following movements. As the movement progresses, the harmonies become more ambiguous, as the blue begins to fade into a nebulous mixture of colors. "The second movement, 'Golden Glimmers; Silver Shimmers,' begins with the musical depiction of billowing clouds (portrayed by a strum across resonating strings inside the piano) underpinned by planing chords. The sun begins to hide behind the clouds, and golden rays of light shine in many different directions, illuminating the outline of the clouds with a silvery sheen. This “silver lining” is depicted motivically by a recurring semi-dissonant chord. Though there is no true melodic material in this movement, the planing chords from the beginning repeat in different inversions and permutations, serving as the harmonic basis for this phase of the sunset. These parallel chords are paired with a free pentatonic melody—this bitonal atmosphere as well as occasional dissonances represent the “unsure” nature of the sky as well as the precious and rare nature of gold and silver. "The third movement, 'Dialogues between Burnt Orange and Rusty Yellow' is built on a somewhat rustic tune in two-part counterpoint for the left hand. Though mostly diatonic, there is some exploration of chromaticism in a way that suggests that Orange and Yellow are at odds—each looks for its opportunity to be the melody instead of the countermelody. In the midst of this quibble enters 'Pinkened Violet,' repeatedly trying to interrupt this discourse. This 'movement 3.5' is a right-handed fragmented version of the pentatonic counter-theme from the second movement. Not at all related to the left hand in terms of tonality, this movement is meant to be played whenever and however the pianist wishes. Eventually, Violet gives up and fades away, leaving Orange and Yellow to their argument. "The fourth movement, 'Graying Dusk,' depicts the last remaining glimpses of light. The sun is now almost completely hidden beyond the horizon, and the sky is fading and losing its pigment. Based on open fourths and fifths, much like the first movement, this movement depicts this musical “pallor” with meandering, yet unwinding expression. The 'Epilogue: Waxing Midnight,' closes the piece while looking back on what has happened before. An ostinato bassline based on a twelve-tone row harkens back to earlier quartal and quintal harmonies. Motives from previous movements return as the piece gradually winds down. The piece draws to a somber yet somehow peaceful close, with low-note punctuations sounding stark sympathetic chords: an image of utter emptiness, just like the night sky—a blank, black abyss. "This piece is dedicated to my dear friend Daniel Liebeskind.”

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