Roman Sketches, Op. 7By Charles Griffes / ed. Albert Mendoza Piano Book Level: Early Advanced Item: 00-46906
Roman Sketches, Op. 7, is one of 20th-century composer Charles Griffes's most popular works. This piano suite of four short pieces, written between 1915 and 1916, illustrates Griffes's evolving tastes in incorporating modern devices into his compositions. Filled with many memorable, evocative, and pianistically satisfying moments, the pieces require power, agility, and finesse, as well as musical sensitivity. The suite begins with "The White Peacock," a sensuous depiction of the exotic white bird. The second work, "Nightfall," captures the stillness of dusk, before gaining excitement and swirling to two powerful climaxes. The third piece, "The Fountain of the Acqua Paola," in the tradition of Liszt's "Fountains of the Villa d'Este" and Ravel's "Jeux d'eau," brings to life the sound and shimmer of a famous Roman fountain. The last sketch, "Clouds," not only depicts gently wafting clouds but also gusts of wind and bright rays of sunshine. The duration of the entire suite is slightly less than 20 minutes. This edition contains a short biography of Charles Griffes, an overview of his compositional style, and an analysis each work, including a detailed study of form and performance considerations.