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6 Miniatures, for Harp and Piano

Bateman, Ralph (2008) 6 Miniatures, for Harp and Piano. [Composition]

Item Type: Composition
Creators: Bateman, Ralph

This work was first performed in Munich in May 2008, by Zhou Jie and Wolfgang Mastnak. The repertoire for harp and piano is very limited, for the combination of two similar but unequal instruments presents the composer with especial difficulties. Among the few works for this medium is Salzedo’s 1922 Sonata for Harp and Piano, where the virtuoso harp part attempts to overcome the piano’s superior power and range. In the 6 Miniatures balance is achieved in different ways; the music focuses on the subtle differences in timbre between the two instruments, and eschews traditional virtuosity for either player effectively treating the two instruments as one, blending rather than opposing them. The limited harmonic language (using the Japanese Hirajoshi scale and a transposed inversion of it to make two 5-note sets leaving a complementary dyad) and the use of space-time notation render the piano’s superior harmonic potential and rhythmic articulation insignificant, creating a meditative rather than dramatic soundworld akin to Japanese gardens, where we are concerned with the balance created by the careful placing of each object rather than a dramatic narrative.

Date: 2008
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
School/Department: School of the Arts
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/392

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