Chiaroscuro, (Italian, from chiaro clear, “light,” and oscuro obscure, “dark”) in art is a painting technique, which is a term to describe the artwork that represents a contrast between lightness and darkness to achieve the magnitude of three-dimensional objects and figures that reminds me of the music I will play today. In general, this is the central concept of my recital.
The collection of Chopin’s 24 préludes was the exploration of the musical characters on a variety of keys, including the type of virtuosic piano techniques and music characters, which was inspired by J.S. Bach’s “The Well-Tempered Clavier”. It is worth mentioning that there are two main lines, brightness, and darkness. The keys of all the odd numbers in this collection are majors. In contrast, the keys of all the even numbers are minors.
J.S. Bach’s Prelude and Fugue is in F Minor, which is plaintive and aching. You can hear the melancholic tenor line throughout the entire prelude. In the Fugue, Bach brought both happiness and sadness into the music by using two distinctive musical motifs.
According to Unsuk Chin, her piano etude in C was influenced by Balinese gamelan music. The consistent overlapping of three different pulsations, the uniquely iridescent tonal world, and the harmonic foundation of the overtone series C are three main gamelan concepts of the piece.
As the composer Thomas Adès explained about “Traced Overhead”, it was inspired partly by images from sacred paintings of angels ascending toward the heavens in shafts of light. The three movements express the process of angels ascending toward heaven through music. This piano work creates a profoundly expressive sound world through consistent pedaling and the arrangement of the harmonic and rhythmic space arrangement. Also, this new music adapted to the old melody “Winchester bell”, which brings a new life to the old sound.