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Motion -- Concerto for Piano


Uploaded on Nov 2, 2014

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Preface: In August of 2014, I took a trip to New York City with my friend and my family. We stopped Lowell, MA both going down and coming up, and we had a fine time. As California had brought me the work of Idiosyncrasies, I was eager to see what New York would bring to my flavor. Although we had enjoyed many sights and sounds (and smells, tastes, and feelings), one particular moment I remember was the train ride back. Going in, I hadn't paid much attention (as I was reading a book that needed to be read as soon as possible), but as we were in Grand Central going out, I remembered to listen to Rhapsody in Blue (as that's a bucket list item: listen to Rhapsody in Blue in New York). As we were being pulled out of the subway and into the Bronx, the finale was playing. As one can imagine, it was a wonderful moment.
I was greatly hoping that, like Idiosyncrasies, I would be able to complete the piece in a very short amount of time, but many of my themes were disjointed to say the least. Eventually (about a week into school), I charted out my thoughts as to what the movements would look like, and I quickly came up with a rag. I orchestrated it and shortly after, I began the first movement. After that was done, I started work on the third movement, where I made similar themes to the first, which was made very shortly after the trip to New York.

Structure: Like most concertos, Motion contains three movements, each about the same tempo.
The first has an ABA structure. It is written in a Lydian scale and is very sweet, featuring the strings, the oboes, and the horns. The A is written 3/4, but is really grouped 1/4s. The B section is 11/8, and is grouped 2+2+3+2+2, meaning that it should be conducted in 5/4 with a lazy third beat.
The second is written in a rag style and though notated in 2/4 at 80 BPM, should be conducted in 4/4 (at 160 BPM). It is a reference to big bands, and features the saxophones, the trumpets, and the trombones.
The third is the grand finale, and is supposed to depict travelling quickly in a train through the darkness. It has a brief volley of 6/8 and 2/4 (each to be conducted on its own), and then goes into the first theme I wrote: the New York Theme, which is in 5/4 and is very jazzy; it should be conducted 3+2. It then goes into 7/8 a minor third up (F#) and features glockenspiels, vibraphones, and celesta. This too is very jazzy and modulates down a whole step. On the repeat, it modulates down a whole step again and goes into 5/8, modulates down a whole step again, repeats, modulates down a whole step and then goes into the 5/4 theme. Half way through, the auxiliary percussion join in and the piece goes into 2/4 and goes into the final theme, where it then goes to the 5/8 theme again, modulates up a minor third, repeats, and goes to 7/8. In the 7/8, it modulates down a whole step and goes into a resolved volley of 6/8 and 2/4, and goes into the 2/4 theme, where it ends like broadway, with dense chords and grace notes. It's structure is A (5/4) B (7/8, 3+2+2 up a minor third) B (down a whole step) C (5/8, 3+2 down a whole step) C (down a whole step) A (down a whole step) D C C (up a minor third) B B (Down a whole step) D.
It is important to realize that unless marked, the eighth note will not change value, as it's supposed to feel like a train chuffing. There was some inspiration from the following pieces:
December Dance
Ghost Train
Concerto in F
Rhapsody in Blue
Idiosyncrasies
Playing with Fire
The Simpsons

Jazz Odd Time Signatures 11/8 5/4 7/8 5/8 Piano Orchestra Fun Sweet Concerto Rag Ragtime Modern Percussive Saxophones New York Dance Train Night Quirky Bright Lydian

Pages 185
Duration 22:38
Measures 732
Key signature 6 flats
Parts 53
Part names Piccolo, Flute(2), Oboe, English Horn, Bassoon(2), Clarinet(5), Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, French Horn(5), Trumpet(4), Trombone(2), Tuba(2), Timpani, Percussion(13), Guitar(2), Piano(2), Harp, Strings(5)
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