“Mosaics” is a recital which comprises pieces that are each very short, either as stand-alone miniatures, or together as a set of small pieces. The word Mosaic to me implies many colorful fragments make up an interesting whole. I chose these pieces to be the tiles in my larger picture because each piece, despite—perhaps even because of—being so small, is highly characteristic and concentrated in its musical journey. To me, composing a miniature successfully is one of the most difficult and rewarding things a composer can do. The harp is particularly suited to conveying these highly pigmented little pieces, with its nuanced sound and endless capability for sudden, extreme, or subtle changes in sound color.
The Brahms Intermezzi, composed in 1892, is a set of three small lyrical pieces in E-flat, B-flat minor, and C-sharp minor respectively. The first of these pieces takes a Scottish lullaby as its point of departure. Schumann’s Waldszenen, composed 1848-49, is a set of charming pieces that have characteristic and colorful titles. Composed in 1919, Fauré’s Une Châtelaine en sa tour was inspired by a poem by Paul Verlaine of the same name, from his collection La bonne chanson. Hannah Lash’s own Imaginary Preludes for Harp, composed in 2015, plays with the musical genre of the prelude. Each works out one musical idea, sometimes manifest as a texture. Finally, Lash’s Stalk, composed in 2008, was written after the composer had a dream where she was trapped in a maze of white flowers. The piece uses some melodic fragments from the song White Coral Bells and works this material out through contrasting textures and tempi.
Works to be performed on the “Mosaics” program include:
Johannes Brahms, 3 Intermezzi, Op. 117
Robert Schumann, Waldszenen, Op. 82
Gabriel Fauré, Une Châtelaine en sa tour, Op. 110
Hannah Lash, Imaginary Preludes for Harp