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Lullaby for two pianos
Lullaby (1984) was written on the occasion of the birth of Korndorf’s son. This music exudes an air of mesmerizing calm. Derived from the traditional Russian Lullaby Baiu Baiushki with its characteristic narrow melodic range, Lullaby is built on a simple motif based on the interval of a falling third. With its minimalist texture, white-note diatonicism and gentle rising key shifts towards the end, the music appears deceivingly simple. In contrast to true minimalism, however, Korndorf constantly varies the ostinato pattern. Organized in eight-bar phrases, the idea is passed between the two pianos in a dialogue. Korndorf further enhances the resulting antiphonal effects with specific pedalling instructions for the performers. Throughout we hear the composer’s fondness for musical onomatopoeia, in this case, the insistent rhythmic patterns of the Russian church carillon.
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Exuberant, life affirming, and heart wrenching all at the same time. What a magnificent piece of music, performed with genius, generosity, and love. If only Julius Eastman, who I am so grateful to discover, could hear it. davidskeist