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for solo piano
CategoryInstrumental Works » Solos
ArrangerD.N. Price
Composition Year1995
Publication Year2006
The musical materials are based on the sequence of the Mass for the Dead called Dies Irae, which means “day of wrath”. This ancient plainsong was sung in requiems as early as the late 14th Century. Many modern composers, including Mozart, Berlioz, and Faure, have also employed “Dies Irae” in symphonic works. EPITAPHS develops with continuous variation of fragments from two of the plainsong phrases. Following a rather lengthy introduction which suggests a cemetery scene, the first plainsong phrase is introduced by a solo trumpet and echoed by chimes. The second phrase of the Dies Irae melody is subsequently stated throughout by the low brass. The innovative and contrasting variations are enhanced with contemporary compositional techniques, including irregular meters, atonal serialization and harmonies based on fourth and fifths rather than 3rds. Listeners might enjoy imagining themselves wandering through a cemetery reading the various epitaphs on the tombstones.
Performance Information
11/2/1995 Los Angeles Pierce College Recital; 2/8/1997 Mu Phi Epsilon Los Angeles; 12/10/05 NACUSA House Concert Culver City, CA; 9/23/06 Antelope Valley College Faculty Artist Recital, CA; 10/14/06 Church of Jesus Christ of L.D.S. Heidelberg Germany Dedication Concert; Deon Nielsen Price, piano;