Black Light

BLACK LIGHT (1988), Rev (1997) 20'

Black Light was composed in 1988 but revised and expanded for pianist Paul Barnes and was given its premiere performance by Barnes in November of 1997 in the Czech Republic. The title “Black Light” suggests the light that shines from the music of African America – music which has had a profound effect on Bond’s own compositions. In this particular concerto, several aspects of that influence are explored.

The first movement contrasts the first theme, a driving, aggressive tutti, with the second theme, a playful, jaunty response in the piano. These two themes develop independently at first, and then eventually begin exchanging material. The movement closes with a virtuoso display in the piano, gliding over the powerful, tutti climax.

The second movement was inspired by Jewish liturgical music, and uses an actual chant as its main theme. It is a flexible and soul-searching motif, and is set against the orchestra, which plays a rigid and martial figure in unison. Gradually the piano and orchestra exchange material, and the movement ends with the piano, soft and questioning.

The third movement is inspired by the scat singing of Ella Fitzgerald and uses a fast-moving bass line to reintroduce the theme of the first movement. It is a combination of variation and rondo forms, with each new introduction of the theme, increasing in intensity and speed. The plaintive second movement theme returns transformed creating cool counterpoint with the first movement theme culminating in an explosive, highly-charged conclusion.

Posted: Sep-28-2013
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