Interlude (homage to Beethoven) was composed in July 2016 as part of a project by Susanne Kessel to assemble a tapestry of 250 pieces in honor of Beethoven’s 250th birthday in 2020.
For my contribution, I created a brief interlude intended to be performed between the two movements of Beethoven’s final Piano Sonata, Opus 111. The second movement of Opus 111 is a theme and variations, and my Interlude is essentially a bonus variation on Beethoven’s theme, but in my compositional language. Marked “Freely, mystical”, it transforms Beethoven’s theme into a coloristic reverie. It almost exclusively inhabits the upper registers of the piano, except for three notes, which trace the outline of the main theme from the first movement of Opus 111. The intent is to frame the Beethoven and to provide a reflection across the two centuries since it was composed, pivoting out of the first movement into a contemporary musical world and making the opening of the second movement sound as fresh as it did in his day.
Interlude is dedicated to Susanne Kessel in appreciation of her sensitive musicianship and support of living composers.