This audio file is a performance from the New Music Composers’ Forum, March 2, 2013, Musica Reginae Productions, The Church-in-the-Gardens, Forest Hills, Queens, New York City, New York, Barbara Podgurski, piano.
Recording Date: March 2, 2013
Recording Location: The Church-in-the-Gardens, Forest Hills, Queens, New York, New York
Ensemble Type: piano solo
Performer: Barbara Podgurski
About the Music
Composer: Marjorie M. Rusche
Place of Composition: Mishawaka, IN
Date Composed: August 8, 2001; rev. March 16, 2003
Place First Performed: The College Music Society Great Lakes Conference, Saint Marys College, Notre Dame, Indiana
Date First Performed: April 4, 2003
Score: available here
Reviews: available here
Music Styles: Drama/dramatic, Melodic/thematic, Modernist, Post-tonal, Romantic, Serialism
In Memorium portrays the struggle for life of a patient in an intensive care cardiac unit as well as the loved one’s emotional fluctuations during the night vigil. Rolled cluster chords open the work. A nine-note row motive is then presented and repeated in varied form throughout the work. Agitated and rapid cluster chords and arpeggios frame a calmer, more melodic and tonal middle section. The movement ends quietly, with a varied lyrical restatement of the first five notes of the row.
Bluesy Cantabile is the calm after the storm, the determination to go ahead with life mixed with nostalgia. It opens with a 6/8 melodic line constructed from the d minor blues-inflected scale. The melody shifts to the left hand with chords added in the right, then is developed in a more contrapuntal texture. The music then transforms into a marcato chordal texture using expanded tertian harmonies, with the mood intensifying through the use of syncopation and stretto. Mirroring the process of the first movement’s ending, the second movement closes with a wistful and tranquilly subdued restatement of the opening cantabile theme.
Written in honor of Alice Maxine (Collins) Rusche, my mother. Premiered by Maria Stablein April 4, 2003, at The College Music Society’s Great Lakes Chapter Conference held at Saint Mary’s College, Indiana. Also performed by Tamar Mikelakze, piano, March 3, 2005, Composers Recital at Recital Hall, Indiana University South Bend; Mvt. 2. Bluesy Cantabile performed by Robert Coleridge, piano, 12th London New Wind Festival and Women in Music UK Joint Event, Regent Hall, London, England, December 11, 2009.
Piano Portraits: Nightwatch
1. In Memorium
2. Bluesy Cantabile