Rings of Crystalline Sky, for piano solo

In the late 1980’s I became fascinated by the pictures of the rings of Saturn and began working on a programmatic piece that would exemplify some of the colors, the enormity, the grandeur, and the ice crystal composition of these rings.  I was not satisfied with a terrestrial earthen view of these marvels of space, but rather imagined that I lived on Saturn (obviously in a less fragile form . . . and one capable of withstanding an enormous gravity . . . and breathing an alien atmosphere) and that, in spite of all this, I could see through the thick atmosphere and observe rings around my own planet.  I came to call the work Rings of Crystalline Sky.
I had originally made a hand calligraphy ink score (1989) and in 2002 I realized I needed to make some revisions, mostly some technical revisions to difficult left hand parts, and especially a new dramatic conclusion.  I completed the revisions and renotated the score on Finale for a performance in October of 2002.  I was still not happy with the last measure and revised that in 2004.
The form is a large scale ABA with nocturne sections framing a large fantasia.
The left hand accompaniment is based on stacked 5ths.  The opening nocturne section has three parts; the first is a lyric melody, the second part uses a five-note motive repeated sequentially, then elaborated on, the third idea features chords and octaves building up to a climax. The fantasia opens with a brilliant Appassionato section featuring fast broken fifths in the left hand. The fantasia is a multi-part rhapsodic menagerie of themes, motives, and coloristic effects, unified through a weaving of similar passages, many of which have been previously foreshadowed.  The opening nocturne returns with much elaboration and ornamentation and a dramatic coda brings the work to a conclusion.

Difficulty:  Virtuosic

Duration:  16'

Rings of Crystalline Sky, for piano solo
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  • Item #: CSM57001
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Price $20.00