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Variation No. 4 from Four
by Bruce Stark
four hands piano
Belle-Kane Publications
$6.99 (US) (two scores)
Chika Nagisa and Ikuma Itoh perform Variation No. 4 from Four in rehearsal in 2011 in Tokyo

Variation No. 4 is the last variation of a larger work entitled Four for four-hands piano. A jazzy, rhythmically driven finale with position changes and clapping, this variation is also intended to be performed as a separate composition that stands on its own (hence this separate publication).

Notes for the entire composition Four
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 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.

- Bruce Stark