Summer Solstice (2007) for piano was written for and is dedicated to pianist and composer Jeffrey Jacob.
Though there were a number of interconnected inspirations behind the work's conception, one of these
intentions is as a tribute to American composer Vincent Persichetti (1915&ndash,1987). Though there are no
specific quotations from Persichetti's music, some of the textural and developmental ideas (particularly in
the fast, middle section) owe themselves to his work.
The work opens in a free, declamatory manner &ndash, announcing its basic pitch material. Spasmodic gestures
intercut the resonant declamation. Amidst the bright ringing, a lyric melody tries to assert itself again and
again. A whirling and dry fast section, however, emerges, the material is put through a series of spinning
transformations, building to a ringing and clangorous climax &ndash, bathed in the white heat of the summer sun.
The final section is marked "memorial candles" &ndash, distant and near candles set out on a field flicker in the
summer heat and ebbing sunlight while low, distant chimes sound the passing of time. The candles slowly
burn out &ndash, one by one &ndash, in the heat of the dry summer air.
Note to the performer: Pedal markings should be scrupulously observed throughout the piece. There are
many places where the pedal is held down for long periods without being cleared, sometimes pages at a
The final section of the work is to be played with exceptionally slow pacing &ndash, with very large spaces
between each "event." The "events" themselves, however, should be played as notated &ndash, often with "as fast
as possible" grace notes as a lead-up to a pitch. Absolutely no damper pedal (only the sostenuto pedal, as
marked) should be used in this section &ndash, a contrast is created between the resonant, low "gong notes" and
the dry, upper "candle" music.