Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 1

Konzerthaus Berlin

Julian Cochran Fnf Mazurken fr Klavier

ochran composed the Five Mazurkas between 2005 and 2010. Their title points to the traditional Polish Dance yet these works carry Slavic motifs and extend a wider intellectual and atmospheric variety from the folk music origin. Cochran started the Five Mazurkas while working on his Five Romanian Dances and the stylistic influence between the two sets is evident. Throughout all the Mazurkas there is a rhythmic emphasis on either the second or third beat within the bar, contrasting the Waltz which tends to accent the first beat, and the consistency in tempo and meter combined with clear structures lends this and much of Cochran's work to ballet. Gil Sullivan first took Mazurka No. 1 outside of Australia and performed it before a standing ovation at Carnegie Hall in New York during December 2007. The work beings with a majestic and rhythmic subject which is contrasted by a second lyrical subject characterised by a succession of rapid flurries with notes. The third subject appears to be entirely new again yet it is a direct variation of the second subject now played in the Octagonic Scale - alternative tones and semi-tones. The public's enthusiastic reaction to Gil's international performances might have influenced Cochran to write the second Mazurka in late 2007. This work carries a larger structure and is once again enriched with rhythmic ingenuity. For example the second subject's 4/4 meter is displaced over the 3/4 accompaniment yet the phrase paradoxically retains symmetry and balance as a whole. Such rhythmic contradictions, each

requiring its own novel solution, appear to recur throughout Cochran's works. Furthermore, periods of rhythmic instability are contrasted with periods stability as a separate dimension to how harmonic dissonance and consonance are classically contrasted. Mazurka No. 3 arose from an unusual harmonic progression in which each successive harmony falls by one tone while alternating between the major and minor: E major, D minor, C major, Bb minor, etc. The music provides rhythmic challenges for the pianist including interlacing 3/4 and 6/8 meters between the left and right hands. While the key of A major is yearned for by the listener throughout the work, it is persistently avoided and the listener is generally held in suspense via the dominant E major harmony. Towards the climax however the audience is stunned by the major and minor falling sequence suddenly consuming the entire keyboard range, uniting at the centre in fortissimo and finally descending in semitones prior to the conclusion of the A major harmony at last repeated three times to emphasise the extraordinary and satisfying answer. Mazurka No. 4 introduces an immense and varied world to the listener. Despite the great diversity of atmospheres and the execution of many ideas, the entire work is derived from one seed. There is an emphasis upon the 4th and 6th notes of the minor scale where the 4th note augmented. Importantly, the 5th note is mockingly avoided throughout all of the subjects and this capricious contradiction drives many of the ideas heard in this powerful work. Like the first Mazurka, the harmonic key often modulates to the

augmented 4th, for example C minor modulating to F# minor. Cochran's music often treats such harmonies as more closely related than the classical dominant, for example from C to G, arising from his deeply embodied use of the Octagonic Scale. Furthermore when the minor scale is used it is very common, perhaps more frequent, for Cochran to augment the fourth note (Romanian Scale) giving rise to this C to F# relationship again. The Romanian Scale is applied throughout all five Mazurkas either with the principal themes or secondary themes. The first draft of Mazurka No. 5 was completed in late 2009 while Cochran was editing the Third Piano Sonata. This final Mazurka was greatly revised however during 2010 prior to its publication. A small modification to the opening subject prompted the entire work to be edited owing its interweaving throughout the work. Although written in parallel with or close to the time of Mazurka No. 4 it belongs to a vastly different world, yet it encapsulates so much of Cochran's musical language into a single work. The orchestral-like possibilities of the concert grand piano are demonstrated effectively. For example the final return of the main theme is played in fortissimo and leads suddenly, and with the strikingly unexpected appearance, to a pianissimo lower register tremolo which clearly indicates the timpani. This then erupts into the same theme played in a burst one final time before the third subject is briefly sung by an ethereal spirit. She is very quickly invigorated by an ascending force carrying its weight through all registers, and she elevates herself to sing through it triumphantly with her final thought.