ward de jonghe

passacaglia – etude 1 for piano solo

duration: ca 14’

written in 2022

first performance: 2022-06-25 by Bert De Rycke at Miry Concertzaal

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programme note: 

In the etude passacaglia, the pianist plays a seemingly endless, ever-accelerating series of notes and, while doing so, has the incredibly difficult task of performing the accelerando as evenly as possible and dosing the unrelenting propulsive force over more than ten minutes. The numerous leaps in the part makes it a real virtuoso’s etude.

The note sequence is generated from a systematic sequence of four chords. Hence, one hears the same notes again and again, in all possible permutations, extremely slow to incredibly fast.
Slowly, the individual notes form groups of intervals and micro-melodies. Our brain transforms the multitude into small recognisable structures, and gradually macro-shapes unravel and the major chords resonate in full.

Where is that thin line between meditative inertia and information overkill, between apparent randomness and clear perception of structure, between the conceptual and expressive?