Stephen Syverud

Contrasts (piano)

Audio samplea (.mp3)

Audio sampled (.mp3)

Score, pg 1-3 (.pdf - Click here to acquire Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Program Notes:

Contrasts, for solo piano, is a serial composition. Transpositions and permutations of the twelve-tone row determine the order of all pitches and govern other aspects of the composition as well. Fixed registration (certain pitches heard only in particular registers) is used to sectionalize the piece and aid in stressing certain pitches (tonal areas). Durational aspects and dynamics are also dependent upon the manipulation of the series. Particular intervals are emphasized in various sections. For example, after a brief introduction, a minor third is emphasized: the notes D and F are the highest notes heard, appear in close juxtaposition, and highlighted durationally. Although the lowest pitches in this particular section also form a minor third, the notes B and D are not meant to be heard with the same importance as the highest pitches. However, the relationship does reveal another important aspect heard in the composition, that of symmetrical relationships. Many times these relationships are exact palindromes and are expressed durationally, texturally, and dynamically as well as intervalically. Symmetrical relationships also express the form of the entire piece. Contrasts is dedicated to my two children, Dana and Derek. Their different natures are reflected in the title, but in reality (as with the composition) the differences (sections) may not actually be apparent and, at times, may be an illusion.

If you are interested in acquiring complete performance materials for this piece, please contact me by email (kindly include your phone number).

I will request a small handling fee to cover printing and shipping costs.

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