Year
2008
Duration
12'
Category
Solo Instrument
Premiere
April 20, 2008
Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, NYC
Grace Cloutier, harp
Commission
Commissioned by Grace Cloutier
Version
Aeolian Ballade for piano (2008)
Buy Score
Boosey & Hawkes

Commissioned by and written for Grace Cloutier in November 2007, Aeolian Ballade is an elaborately developed prelude and fugue.

The prelude — Lento mesto — is by turns achingly romantic and sweetly expressive. Towards the end, a cadenza leads to a recapitulation, then to a climax. On the final note, without pause, an energetic fugue begins.

The fugue subject moves in even quarter-notes, forte, and outlines the scale of the Aeolian mode (already hinted at in the prelude's opening theme). The motion becomes increasingly frenetic, as quarter-notes yield to eighth-notes. At the same time, the harmony grows more chromatic, with many abrupt changes of texture and dynamics.

After a majestic climax, the fugue's headlong motion abates, revealing a mysterious dolce section built on the letters/notes "G-R(re)-A-C-E" — a reference of course to Grace Cloutier, my commissioner and dedicatee. When the fugue returns, it seems half-spent, and the mood gradually becomes more romantic, even relaxed. Having lost its edge, the fugue theme is re-harmonized con amore.

With a series of winding arpeggios, the piece returns to the prelude's last page. From a quiet beginning, the music grows to a grand climax. At the point where the fugue had earlier begun, now the ballade, having come full circle, ends.

This work exists in two versions: one for harp, the other for piano.

– David Del Tredici, April 2008

Recent & Upcoming Performances (1)

Mar 13, 2017 7:00 pm
DDT 80th Birthday Concert
Joe's Pub, Public Theater, NYC

    Recordings (1)