Occasionally Yours: Album of 12 Piano Pieces
Intermediate to AdvancedEach piece in this album of occasional pieces is linked to a person and an occasion. They were composed over the span of some forty years. Some of the pieces are monogrammed with the names of the dedicatees. For instance, the first four notes of The Belford Waltz are B–E–L–L, where L stands for la, the note A. The theme of Valse Brunelle is a little further removed, as B-(R=re=D)-(U=ut=C)-(L=la=A)-L-E becomes B-D-C-E-A-A-E.
The Belford Waltz
The American Composers Forum commissioned The Belford Waltz in 1996 as a one-page piano solo in honor of Elinor Watson Bell, a fine pianist and music lover in the Twin Cities.
Ann Buran is the liveliest person I know. In 2020 she was learning a Chopin mazurka every week. I didn’t think that was enough, so I wrote one more for her birthday.
Chimes, also composed in 2020, is dedicated to Mimi Tung.
Waltzing in Flats
Benediction was commissioned by Diane Neimann in 2002 in honor of Penny George, who has a particular interest in integrated healing. There is also a version for string quartet and a version for flute, viola and harp, called A Healing Benediction.
Melody for Michael
Melody for Michael was written to celebrate the 80th birthday of treasured Minnesota poet Michael Dennis Browne in 2020. Like Valse Brunelle, it’s a valse lent, a slow waltz.
My friend Rebecca Lindholm was born near Christmas, so she celebrates her half-birthday as well as the real one. Noël was a present for her real birthday.
The Brunelle of Valse Brunelle is conductor and organist Philip Brunelle, the Founder-Director of VocalEssence and organist of Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis.
My brother Jeff began to teach himself the piano as an adult. I brought him this little flower in 1977.
Milonga for Madge
Madge Briggs celebrated her 90th birthday in New York City in 2022. I longed to be there, but couldn’t.
Sitting on Freud’s Lap
Deb Ford is a therapist and was a member of my Piano Club, which met monthly to share piano literature. When I heard Deb say something about “sitting on Freud’s lap,” a funky, little, symmetrical piece was born.
In 2014 the Twin Cities lost Dr. David Buran, a physician, singer, parent and grandfather, a proud supporter of the arts and a long-time member of Plymouth Church. I wrote Dave’s Reel in David’s memory for Ann, his wife, who is a fine pianist. The work was the winner of a Renée B. Fisher Composer Award for 2017. As the last movement of Suite Populaire, it has been orchestrated.
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