suite for two pianos
This is a gathering of mostly early work, some unpublished or transcribed morsels, that I made for my friends William Lutes and Martha Fisher of Madison, Wisconsin. (L. H. 2008)
1) Façade ...some proto-minimalism written for two pianos in 1944 when I was seventeen, the notes F.A.C.A.D.E repeated in augmentation.
2) Waterside was written in 1952 part of what eventually became Summer Suite for Orchestra. It received exactly one performance, by the Baltimore Symphony. A rehearsal recording was deliberately marred by labor union disturbance. Fifty years pass by; a Mr. Curt Wittig emails me. He was the recording engineer that day, has always loved and remembered my piece and decided to clean up and digitize the quarter-inch magnetic tapes of that traumatic session, and sends me a wonderful resurrected recording. That led me to make a version for concert band a few years ago, and to notice that the original open score of the manuscript was virtually written as a two piano piece.
3) Waltz. This bagatelle is from 1981. I wrote it because we had two grand pianos.
4) Noctambulation. My first orchestra piece, written in my parent’s boat house on the shores of Lake Kegonsa, while still a student at the Curtis Institute. It was played by the NBC Symphony, under Thomas Schippers, and broadcast from Toscanini’s famed Studio 8H. This transcription is also from 1981.
5) Promenade is an arrangement of one of the Four Diversions for Wind Quintet. I wrote it during my Fulbright year, on a hillside overlooking Salzburg, where I roamed having been shut out of Rome’s Accademia di Santa Cecilia for not writing atonally.It’s one of the few pieces I've ever written away from the piano.
6) Toccata for Piano, my Op. 1, is where I imagine, immodestly, that I slipped into the canonical history of tonal music just as the door was closing. It’s the last work in the Album of Piano Toccatas published in 1950. It allowed me to imagine myself in the lineage of the composer/virtuosi, and is in fact a genuflection to Busoni, the teacher of my teacher, Egon Petri.
– Lee Hoiby