Short Stories for Piano

Chris Jarrett
Short Stories for Piano
CD, Edition Musikat, LC01705 EDM056

1) Punic Dance
    Four Legends:
2) Ave Crux
3) Tremolo
4) Legend in c minor
5) Rhythmic Battle
6) Return to Ulster
    Six Preludes:
7) Adrift
8) Loom
9) Douz
10) Tuba
11) Cats
12) Glühwi
13) Meditation Carthage
14) Onward

I hope no explanatory notes are necessary for the enjoyment of the music on this CD; but I suppose a few words won't hurt for those interested in the literary aspects of these "short stories"

I've always enjoyed the kind of music, which feels the need to explain or tell the audience something; music that presents us with an experience. The inner relationship of themes to one another within a piece can be like those of characters in a novel who we get to know and to like, or find disgusting, ugly or heroic. Why, for heaven's sake, must every theme be beautiful or enlivening in music? Would we read stories at all, if all the characters were faultless and the plots a series of happy beginnings and happy ends? Yes, "fun music" can be a kind of slavery.

Anyway, the pieces on this CD are really like little stories - fun included - and can best be appreciated when heard as such. (Perhaps the preludes are made more of poetry.) As in tales and literature, it is therefore possible to miss the whole point by overhearing one or two sentences or forgetting what has already occured.

Some more specific aspects, which may be of interest: Punic Dance and Meditation Carthage are pieces of imagery influenced by experiences in Tunisia; especially at the Roman and Punic ruins in the city of Carthage. Ave Crux (from the 4 Legends) is a set of variations on an old Catholic hymn - as Return to Ulster is on a Scottish song. Onward is the most personal piece on the CD, generally sketching a process of struggle, surviving and life.

Chris Jarrett