|Ode To Ode To Joy
by Bruce Stark
solo piano, about 5 minutes
review by Jeff Harrington, November 2006, NYC
Sequenza21 (on-line contemporary classical music magazine)
Lisa Moore closed her part of the program with Bruce Stark's "Ode To 'Ode To Joy'" (1997), a fantasy on the theme from the finale of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, couched in jazzy rhythms, rumbling bass figures and a healthy measure of overt virtuosity. It was as if Liszt, while musing on the Beethoven work, were suddenly possessed by the spirit of Art Tatum.
- Allan Kozinn
New York Times
Ode To "Ode To Joy" was recorded by British pianist Seann Alderking on his 2006 release entitled Vivid, available on-line through Red Kite Records.
One of Stark's widely performed piano works, the piece was given its U.S. premiere in 2006 by Lisa Moore as part of the Keys To The Future contemporary piano music festival in New York City, and has received rave reviews from numerous performances in Australia, the U.S. and Japan.
Ode To Ode To Joy (1997) combines jazzy, syncopated elements with more classically-derived development of the material in a playful yet virtuosic tribute (or shall I say romp) to the famous melody from Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Celebratory and, well, joyous, it contains many bravura passages involving the harmonies and rhythms of jazz, contrapuntal writing, polyrhythms, variations-like treatments and more. Perhaps the master himself would chuckle and crack a wry smile upon hearing this demanding little piece honoring his enduring tune. . .
- Bruce Stark