Ephemera, by Carl Schimmel (for solo piano)

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Ephemera for solo piano Carl Schimmel

Commissioned by the Renee B. Fisher Foundation


PERFORMANCE NOTES Ephemera is a collection of seemingly unrelated themes, roughly in “arch” form, connected by their use of a common scale (and its inversion) and their exploitation of the same pair of four-note sets. Its sudden mood changes challenge the performer to attain near-robotic perfection, while the slow and sparse middle section requires great musical sensitivity and careful pedaling. I tried to create a work which I would have liked to play as a young pianist – that is, big and impressive-sounding, but not unreasonably difficult. The “Fiery” section should be fairly motoric, especially in the section with constant eighth notes. A “breath” can generally be taken during moments of complete rest. The “Playful” section is much freer, and the tempo can sway dramatically. Overall it should be quite quick, but variations in tempo can make it more exciting and quirky. The “Floating” section is extremely variable in tempo; it should be played almost like a cadenza, and the performer’s musicality should come out in his or her dynamic and rhythmic shading of the section. (While the only dynamic marking for the section is “piano,” at the beginning, the performer should shape the section in a musical way.) Pay close attention to the melodic line (and countermelody, at times) and try to emphasize its hypnotic and pulsing nature. If the performer has difficulty reaching an octave spread, the player can decide which note to leave out. The fingerings provided are merely suggestions, and can be used or discarded; likewise, notes written for the left hand can be placed in the right hand, and vice versa. Ephemera is approximately three minutes in duration.


Fiery ( .= ca. 90) 4

2

2

Middle pedal

poco

6

a tempo (attack should be out by subito drowned previous note)

optional: poco ritardando poco a poco 6

poco tenuto

4 1

3

1

3

2

1

11

subito

subito

11

Fiery ( .= ca. 90)

Floating ( = ca. 60) 3

18

ritardando dolce

18

26

3

subito 26

2

3

optional: poco ritardando poco a poco 5

1

2

5

1


4 1

5

1

Playful ( = ca. 176)

2 12 3

(attack should be drowned out by previous note)

31

ritardando

a tempo subito

31

4 2

1

3 2

1

4 2

1

36

!

4 2

1

4 2

1

"

4 2

1

3 2

a tempo

5 2

# a tempo subito

2 3 4

mosso ! piu or accelerando

a tempo

42

48

1

piu mosso or accelerando

42

48

4 2

!

piu mosso or accelerando

36

4

1 2 3 4

poco

poco

$ %

lightly

$

Floating ( = ca. 56)

poco

molto legato very freely

con pedale

3

55

dolce 3

3 55

-2-

3


62

3

ritard. e dimin.

62

Playful ( = ca. 176)

"

69

mosso ! piu or accelerando

mosso ! piu or accelerando

a tempo

69

76

3

a tempo

76

3

$ 3 82

3

82

3

3

3 3

3 3

3

88

optional: poco ritardando poco a poco

3 88

-3-

Tempo I ( .= ca. 90)


&

92

&

poco

should be subito (attack drowned out by

&

&

poco

previous note)

92

tenuto

98

subito

subito

98

Fiery ( .= ca. 90)

Floating ( = ca. 60) 3

&

a tempo

ritardando

105

105

#

molto ritard. !

dolce

&

112

3

3

3

subito 112

116

optional: poco accelerando poco a poco

a tempo

116

-4-

subito

(attack should be drowned out by previous note)

ritardando