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Piano Etudes and a Dream by Hannah Lash

by Lisa Moore, piano

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melody line 04:21
four voices 03:23


Six Etudes and a Dream (2015) Hannah Lash
1. Fast and slow
2. Four voices
3. Fast chords
4. Melody line
5. Thumbs and pinkies
6. Petit rêve pour les petunias defuntes
7. Trills

Hannah Lash writes: Pianist Lisa Moore has an extraordinary charisma and energy at her instrument, with a kind of musical laser focus that I find tremendously inspiring. I wanted to write her a set of pieces that would play to her wonderful range and character as a performer. So I decided to write pieces in the spirit of etudes: each focus on a different type of playing or technique or pianistic color. These pieces are often playful, energetic and sometimes dark and contemplative. They reflect my deep admiration for Lisa’s musicianship and playing.

Fast and Slow is a piece that explores mercurial gestures juxtaposed to, and sometimes imposed upon, music that is slow and austere. Both the fast and slow musics develop and evolve, and a melody emerges which takes on increasing significance.

Four Voices develops a motivic/melodic idea in four voices which remain distinct yet entwined together throughout the piece. The chromaticism and harmonic direction play with the idea of pitch centricity, flirting with functionality but never settling in any one area for long.

Fast Chords is a wild and exuberant dance, taking a song-like line and turning it in all directions rhythmically and pitch-wise.

Melody Line takes the idea of melodic touch on the piano and explores a plaintive and searching tune that is accompanied by harmonies which take inspiration from jazz. As the melody develops, it grows tendrils: ornamental figurations that are expressive outbursts stemming both from the tune and the accompaniment.

Thumbs and Pinkies is not about playing only with thumbs and pinkies literally, but rather exploring the mobility of pairs of notes, generally spaced a fifth apart from one another. It's jumpy, playful energy maintains a kind of coolness throughout.

Petit reve pour les petunias défuntes was written as a kind of elegy for some house plants: Lisa was away from home for a few weeks and asked me to water her plants. Much to my dismay, her petunias didn't make it. I felt terrible, not only because I had killed my friend's plants, but because I have a special fondness for plants. So I wrote a piece to express this sad memory of Lisa's petunias.

Trills takes the figure of a trill and puts it over a line that speaks with constant urgency across the piano's registers. The interval of the trill is constantly changing, which increases the tension set up by the line which it accompanies. At the piece's center is a kind of sequence in which the melodic idea descends, and eventually the trills themselves climb to the top of the piano, vaporizing finally. (HL)


released September 15, 2017

piano: Lisa Moore
composer: Hannah Lash
publisher: Schott
recording engineer: Nick Lloyd
producer: Lisa Moore
recording: Firehouse12 New Haven May 2016
piano tuner: Tim Robinson
cover photo 'Camogli': Lisa Moore


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Lisa Moore New York, New York

Lisa Moore is an Aussie-New Yorker pianist with 10 solo CDs (Cantaloupe, IGM, Tall Poppies, Orange Mountain) & 40 ensemble CDs (Sony, Nonesuch, DG, BMG, New World, ABC Classics, Albany, New Albion, Starkland, Harmonia Mundi). Lisa has performed with London Sinfonietta, Steve Reich Ens, Bang On A Can All-Stars, NYC Ballet, Australian Chamber Orch, Grand Band, Ensemble Signal. ... more

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