Copyright © 2017-19 by Jordan Kuspa

Toccata

Composed in 2007 

For piano

Duration: 4:00

 

My piano Toccata began as a 90 second piece that I churned out in a couple of hours in May of 2006. Almost a year later, I revisited the piece and brought it to my teacher, Anthony Brandt, who encouraged me to take my original ideas and develop them in as many ways as I could. In the process, my nice little miniature became this monstrous four minute toccata, a fiendishly difficult work to play but a blast to compose. Nearly all of the motivic material is derived from the opening bars. Despite its thorny harmonic character, the piece is essentially in textbook sonata form. There are two main themes in the exposition, the first centered on the pitch C-sharp, and the second centered around A-flat (enharmonically, a perfect fifth above the first theme). The development accelerates the rate of variation and progression, primarily using the first theme. It also poses great challenges to the pianist, who must navigate wide leaps, unconventional arpeggiated figures, and wild chord progressions, all at breakneck speed. After a mysterious transition, a blast of octaves heralds the recapitulation, which expands certain elements of the exposition (especially the second theme) and compresses others. All of this builds to a furious conclusion marked, “thunderous!,” and finally, “frenzied!”

I have orchestrated Toccata, and the resulting piece is titled 

Whirlwind. Toccata has also been incorporated as the final movement of my Triptych.

 

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First Performance: October 27th, 2007

Duncan Recital Hall, Rice University, Houston, TX

Kyle Evans, piano

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Related Works:

Concerted Effort

Sonatinissima!

Time Crunch

Whirlwind

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