ensemble solo piano, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, strings
duration 18 minutes
written winter-spring 2008
written for David Kaplan
premièred April 30, 2008, New Haven, CT
published by Andres & Sons Bakery
recorded September 2011 for Nonesuch 534416
My good friend Dave Kaplan asked me to write a companion piece to Mozart’s K. 414 concerto for his degree recital. My last attempt at a piano concerto was when I was 15, and since then, I’ve mostly lost interest in the typical “virtuosity for its own sake” soloist versus orchestra dynamic of the genre. Luckily, the Mozart-sized forces led me to approach Home Stretch as chamber music, allowing for more subtle gestures and interplay between musicians.
I also knew I wanted Home Stretch to have something to do with fast cars, which Dave is obsessively interested in. The piece is in three large sections which gradually accelerate: beginning in almost total stasis, working up to an off-kilter dance with stabbing accents, and ushering in a sturm-und-drang cadenza which riles itself up into a perpetual-motion race to the finish. However, there are always little “smudges” of music from each section in the others, sometimes fitting into to their new context, sometimes balefully interrupting.
recorded live at Angel Orensanz Center, New York, NY, May 2010
performers Timo Andres, piano; Andrew Cyr, conductor; Metropolis Ensemble