Movement for Piano, Percussion, and 40 Strings
Movement for Piano, Percussion, and 40 Strings was composed in 1987. After many years of immersion into polystylism based combining diverging compositional techniques, I suddenly felt a strong appeal for pure, strictly homogenous sonorities.
Movement is in the orthodox atonal manner, following in the tradition of Anton Webern, late Igor Stravinsky, and Iannis Xenakis. Its stereoscopic and multilayered musical tissue is formed by freely rotating and transforming 12-tone sonic fields. Despite the dominance of atonality, there is still the concept of triad in this piece, although shifted from the pitch dimension into the timbre. Piano, percussion, and strings constitute the foundation for such a timbral triad, where each component struggles for the dominating role in the integral sonority.
This piece is only 5 minutes long, yet quite challenging due to the complexity of its rhythmic structure and hyperpolyphony, with each of the 40 string players being assigned an individual orchestral line. Furthermore, the 15 different percussions are meant to be played by a single person, which makes it a breakneck feat!
Upon completion, I offered the score to several prominent conductors who all considered it unperformable. However, these challenges did not scare the young Volodymyr Sirenko , then still a student at the Kiev Music Academy. He boldly took the baton and stepped up to the challenge with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine. A few years after this brilliant debut he became its Principal Conductor.
Another conservatory student - Dmitro Ulyanov - virtuosically played on all 15 percussion instruments and went on to become a permanent soloist of the orchestra.
In the recording session I joined this remarkable ensemble as a pianist.
Movement was recently released in the collection featuring the history of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, which brings me a lot of joy and inspiration.