Three Passions for our Tortured Planet
for solo piano
by Brian Field (USA)
With the increasing buildup of greenhouse gases across the planet, we are threatened with a climate crisis whose long- term impact is greater than world wars, political unrest or the coronavirus pandemic.
To bring further awareness to this danger that—in the end—will impact all citizens of this earth, I have composed “Three Passions for our Tortured Planet” for solo piano which focuses on three areas of climate change.
The first movement (“…fire…”) is a reflection on the forest fires raging across California and the American West on a re- curring, and increasingly alarming basis. The work starts with a “spark,” that flickers and quickly spreads, growing more complicated. The fire begins to rage loudly, and across register, building to a climax which eventually becomes more controlled, as it burns itself out and dies.
The second movement (“…glaciers…”) is a distant, stately movement that depicts the enormous ices on earth’s poles. These slow, ponderous moments are sporadically interrupted by rapidly falling, thundering episodes, depicting the shear- ing of the glacial ice with ever-warming temperatures.
Concluding the set is the third movement (“…winds…”). This virtuosic finale begins with running winds that become increasingly intense and hurricane/typhoon-like in their destructiveness before dissipating into a barely-noticeable breeze.
It is my hope that this work will play a role in continuing to bring further awareness and dialog around climate change, and our need to act quickly.
Brian Field’s music is an eclectic fusion of lyricism and driving rhythm that brings together elements of post- romanticism, minimalism and jazz that Gramaphone notes “has a winning melodic flow and harmonic translucency,” and Fanfare comments “stretches tonality to and beyond its limits, but always in a soaring, lyrical manner.”
He has received a host of awards, including a McKnight Foundation Fellowship, the Benenti Foundation recording prize; First Prize, Briar Cliff Choral Music Competition; and First Prize, Victor Herbert ASCAP Young Composers’ Contest among dozens of others.
Mr. Field began his musical endeavors at age eight with the study of piano, and began his first serious compositional efforts at sixteen, earning his undergraduate degree in music and English literature from Connecticut College, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa. At Connecticut, he studied composition with Noel Zahler, piano with the Polish pedagogue Zosia Jacynowicz, organ with John Anthony, and harpsichord/figured-bass realization with Linda Skernick.
Devoting himself to composition, Mr. Field continued his musical studies at the Juilliard School in New York City where he was awarded his Master of Music degree. At Juilliard he was a student of Milton Babbitt. From Juilliard, Mr. Field attended Columbia University, earning his Doctorate. At Columbia, he was a President’s Fellow and studied composition with George Edwards and Mario Davidovsky.
Mr. Field’s compositions include music for television and stage; solo acoustic, chamber, ballet, choral, vocal, electroacoustic and orchestral works. His compositions have been performed extensively throughout the United States and internationally and are recorded on RMN Classical, Olim Music, Navona Recordings and Ablaze Records.
Composer’s website: www.brianfield.com