Allusion, introspection and Ascension
for solo piano (2011 / 2012)
duration: 13’
GRT • 159

YouTube (The Petrarch Ascension)

recording available
Satellite Mapping
Complete works for solo piano (1989–2014)
Amir Farid
Move Records, MD3402, 2016

score available from
Australian Music Centre

program note
I: Barcarole Allusion
II: Schubert: 1828, an introspection
III: The Petrarch Ascension

These 3 pieces for solo piano re-interpret harmonic progressions taken from great classics of 19th Century solo piano literature. The first piece, Barcarole Allusion, was written for Stephen McIntyre’s 70th birthday concert and based on 4 chromatic chords hiding quietly in the middle of Chopin’s well-known work.

The second and third pieces were written at the invitation of Ian Holtham to accompany their originals in concert. Schubert: 1828, an introspection is based on 6 progressions (of between 2 to 7 chords) from the 4th movement of his final Sonata D960, re-ordering them in an organically expanding cycle. The Petrarch Ascension takes the second of Liszt’s Three Petrarch Sonnets – No.104, and presents its rising melodic sequence in slow–motion leading to an ecstatic, compressed revelation at the climax.

All 3 pieces are exclusively based on these ‘borrowed’ notes in the same keys in which they were originally composed; and while intentionally re-interpreted within my own compositional idiom, hopefully some semblance of the originals can still be discerned.

“More substance comes in Allusion, Introspection and Ascension which uses well-established piano masterpieces as springboards.  The first takes part of Chopin’s Barcarolle and  superimposes a structure that oscillates between the chromatic versatility of the original and a patch of 1930s-era syncopation that brings the piece to a close in medias res. Introspection extracts certain chord progressions from the finale to Schubert’s last B flat Major Sonata...The middle one of Liszt’s Petrarch Sonnets generates an exciting outburst in the last Ascension piece...Farid here provides a resonant interpretation of a piece that maintains its virtuosic roots.”
Clive O’Connell, O’Connell the Music, August, 2016

Allusion, Introspection and Ascension is a set of expertly crafted inventions originating in harmonic progressions taken from three 19th century composers: ‘Barcarole Allusion’ is an exhilarating miniature based on four chromatic chords in Chopin’s famous work; ‘Schubert: 1828, an introspection’ takes chords from Schubert’s final sonata written in the year of his untimely death – an elegant tribute to the master; ‘The Petrarch Ascension’ from the second of Liszt’s Three Petrarch Sonnets delights with music of expressive beauty.”
Gwen Bennett, Music Trust E–Zine, September 2016