Duration: 10:00 minutes
Instrumentation: solo piano
Premiere: December 10, 2011 at the Greenwich House Music School in New York by Michael Ippolito, piano
Ballade is a tone poem without a specific story. Like the lyrical and dramatic ballades by Chopin, Brahms and others, the music gives the definite impression of a narrative, but one that you can’t quite put your finger on. The work opens with a plaintive unaccompanied melody, which is answered by a series of refrains, always sinking lower and lower in pitch. The middle section is a wild scherzo in perpetual motion that builds to a dramatic return of the opening refrain.