Wow! This one been a real labor of sweat and love these
past couple months...and I'm sure I probably have a long way to go on
it...but for now, I dunno:
I'm kinda satisfied.
My attempt at a large-scale, Romantic (Chopin!) ballade for solo piano.
Based on (Poem):
Marriage of Heaven and Hell", the revolutionary, wonderful and
controversial Illuminated Book by William Blake (1790), that has become
almost my personal Bible.
The main thrust of the work can be taken in these opening lines:
Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and
Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence."
The protracted opening passage in F-Sharp Major (38 bars) is set (logically) to the Opening Argument of the poem:
"Rintrah roars & shakes his fires in the burden'd air;
Hungry clouds swag on the deep.
Once meek, and in a perilous path,
The just man kept his course along
The vale of death.
Roses are planted where thorns grow,
And on the barren heath
Sing the honey bees.
Then the perilous path was planted:
And a river and a spring
On every cliff and tomb:
And on the bleached bones
Red clay brought forth.
Till the villain left the paths of ease,
To walk in perilous paths, and drive
The just man into barren climes.
Now the sneaking serpent walks
In mild humility,
And the just man rages in the wilds
Where lions roam.
Rintrah roars & shakes his fires in the burden'd air;
Hungry clouds swag on the deep."
It twists and builds to the lovely first theme in B-flat major (bars 39-54), which is set to this proverb:
"Joys impregnate. Sorrows bring forth."
It then builds to a more lively, yet thematically related theme (bars 55-75), which is set to this proverb:
"No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings."
a series of contrasting passage-work (bars 76-87, bouncing restlessly
from B-flat Major to G Minor, and back again (some nice stuff here, I
think) that leads to the pivot point of the piece, a sixteen bar
Fugue-Like Dance, gaining in complexity as it ends way down in the bass,
and back to F-Sharp Major (the starting key), where, (in bar 100) we
here echoes of Rintrah's Rage from the opening.
They continue for 18 bars, building to a playful, Impish Scherzando (bar 118), set to this Proverb:
"The selfish smiling fool, & the sullen frowning fool, shall be both thought wise, that they may be a rod."
...This then builds to a related demonic Alla Marcia (bars 131-158), set to this Proverb:
"One thought, fills immensity."
a descending staccato passage that leads us to a lengthy Molto Vicace
passage of devilish intensity, (bars 163-217), set to the following
"The pride of the peacock is the glory of God."
leads us, finally, back to the remnants of Rintrah's Rage, still in the
original key (mostly the case in the Devil's low territory), wherein
the final 16 bars lead, not to a frenzied climax, but a peaceable, if
uneasy, Conflation and Marriage, demonstrated by the pianissimo,
mid-range parallel octaves, where before there was only extremes and
Note: I appended the name "Fantasie",
because it is not, really, structurally the same as any of Chopin's
Ballades, which I truly believe are really more akin to classical
sonatas. This is a bit more free-form.
A very "big" piece, and a huge challenge to write, as, I'm sure, it would be to play as written.
Please tell me what you think if it as of now, I need to know where I stand, and where to go from here!
Composed on Finale 2009: Played by a pretty good Garritan Steinway Sample Library.
I Hope You Enjoy!http://www.box.net/shared/sl0y50xz88