Toccatas and Arias for Piano (Fine, Vivian)
Americans from Moscow
Moscow: Melodiya CD - used with permission
|Work Title||Toccatas and Arias for Piano|
|Year/Date of Composition||1987|
|First Performance||1989 - January in New York. Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall. Veda Zuponcic, pianist|
|Average Duration||8 minutes|
Commissioned by Veda Zuponcic
Toccatas and Arias is a culmination of the qualities of balance and symmetry in Fine’s writing—contrasting consonance and dissonance, contrapuntal techniques and homophony, unrelenting drive and lyrical beauty, forte and piano dynamics, and subject and retrograde—the ultimate creation of formal balance and symmetry. Fine achieved in Toccatas and Arias a composer’s ideal goal: to preserve one’s inherent compositional characteristics, to develop one’s style through study, experimentation, and craftsmanship, and to express one’s musical intentions.
- —Leslie Jones, “The Solo Piano Music of Vivian Fine,” Doctor of musical arts thesis, University of Cincinnatti, 1994
The overall effect of Toccatas and Arias is alternating impressions of driving force and lyricism. There is skillful use of counterpoint and masterful control of the varying impacts of consonance and dissonance. It is a spectacular recreation of the Baroque toccata.
- —liner notes, "Americans from Moscow" Melodiya CD
The work required finger power and concentration. Miss Zuponcic sailed through its thunderous explorations of the keyboard’s full range with clarity and apparent ease.
- —Allan Kozinn, The New York Times, February 1, 1989