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by Bruce Stark
four hands piano, about 16 minutes
(4 movements, 55pages)
Belle-Kane Publications
$24.99 (US) (two scores)
Chika Nagisa and Ikuma Itoh perform an abbreviated version of Four
containing the 1st, part of the 3rd, and the 4th movement
at the Yamaha Remote Live Event in Tokyo, August 3, 2011.

Four was commissioned by Keys To The Future, a contemporary piano music festival in New York City in 2008, and premiered on February 9, 2009 at Mannes College by pianists Karen Hakobyan and Gabriel Escudero.

Program Notes
Four is a set of variations based on two themes: one is quick and syncopated, the other broadly lyrical. The title refers to a predominant structural motif of the piece: four variations, four hands, 4/4 time, and the lyrical theme is (mostly) comprised of four phrases of four notes moving up (or down) a scale. Every variation uses both themes, providing contrast and imparting a sonata-like quality to some of the music. There is no definitive presentation of the material; each variation offers a version, like viewing the same object through four different lenses.

Four was commissioned in 2008 by Keys To The Future under the direction of Joseph Rubenstein, to whom I extend a special thanks for his encouragement through the years.

- Bruce Stark