Greenhouse House, New York, NY
Aaron Wunsch, piano /
While Sean has composed several works incorporating the piano, this is his first for piano solo. Each of the three preludes explores a different mood as well as a different approach to the instrument. The first is spacious and pensive, exploring the possibilities of sonority from the scarcely audible to the fullest fortissimo. A couple of brief outbursts punctuate a general feeling of timelessness, and the final outburst tells us a brief but important message, as if chiseled in stone, before receding back into nothingness. The second piece, to my ears, has echoes of some of Debussy's pricklier preludes. It is fleet and humorous, with occasional grotesque jabs, and it leads to a surprising quotation (as Debussy's Hommage à S. Pickwick Esq., P.P.M.P.C.). Although you definitely are familiar with it, you may not realize what it is until it is virtually over—which is the point of this charade. The third prelude is a delicate tapestry of sound. As if there are two separate pianos at work, a second, interloping idea—consisting of a massive, snail-paced single-note melody—works at cross purposes with the first. As in the first prelude, there is a moment of truth near the end, after which the previously heard material can never be resumed. It is both a chilling and poetic conclusion.
— Aaron Wunsch, dedicatee
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