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Anthology, for Piano

Bateman, Ralph (2010) Anthology, for Piano. [Composition]

Item Type: Composition
Creators: Bateman, Ralph

Anthology for Piano has not been performed as a whole, nor is it intended to be. The nature of an anthology is that the reader (here performer) makes a personal selection. In a concert in November 2010 the composer played Chinese Quatrain, Haiku II and Petrarchan Sonnet, but in a concert in October 2011 all the five pieces based on Japanese poetry. Ian Pace played the Petrarchan Sonnet and the Sestina After Dante in York Late Music Series concert in August 2011.

Anthology explores many different analogies for aspects of poetry. The Japanese unit of poetic length, the ‘on’, can be mapped to a bar (Haiku I, Haiku II) or a musical event (Haiku III, Tanka I, Tanka II). Similarly a line of poetry can be mapped to a bar (Petrarchan Sonnet), or a 36-note scale (Shakespearean Sonnet). Rhymes can be achieved by particular harmonies (Shakespearean Sonnet, Chinese Quatrain, Curtal Sonnet), a constant interval (Ghazal I, Englyn Unodl Union), or register (Ghazal II). The rhythm of a poetic recitation can be transcribed into music (Shakespearean Sonnet, the climax of Sonnet after Shelley), and the inflexions of a language used to derive melodic material (Chinese Quatrain).

It is appropriate that an anthology should display a variety of styles, and here there are pieces using Japanese pentatonic modes, free atonality, 12-tone serialism and tonality. The works in this collection also explore the use of pre-existing musical material; Petrarchan Sonnet quotes Marenzio, Sestina II (after Petrarca) quotes Cipriano da Rore, Schumann’s Eusebius motif appears in Ghazal I and Ghazal II, and Cento consists entirely of quotations from Schoenberg, Berg and Webern.

Details of the poetic forms are given in the score.

Date: 2010
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
School/Department: School of the Arts
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/393

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