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Stephen Brown: Compositions

Seconda Pratica

Seconda Pratica, for Eleanor, was commissioned by Ian Reid as a gift for his wife, Eleanor Reid, to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on December 27, 2008. Premiere performance by the keyboard faculty and senior students of the Victoria Conservatory of Music, November 27, 2009, Wood Hall, Victoria Conservatory of Music, Victoria, BC, Canada. Winifred Scott Wood No. 1,2 & 4, Kelly Charlton No. 3, Francois Dubois No.5, Ed LeBarron No. 6 & 11, Jamie Syer No. 7 & 8, Jimmy Wang No. 9 & 10, Nicole Lavallee No. 12, Anna Cal No. 13 & 14, Linda Low No. 15, 16, & 17.

Seconda Pratica, a 17 movement work, is divided into three sections. The first two sections are similar. They begin with slow, lyrical arias, the Canticum and Divisio, which are followed by six two-voice inventions. Section three, consisting of three movements, begins as did section one and two, with a slow movement, a Praeludium, which is followed by a three-voice fugue. This section, and the work as a whole, ends with a fantasy, the Imaginatio, which incorporates a variation of the first aria, the Canticum from section one, and the Inventio in B Flat Major from section two. The key structure of the movements is interesting. Rather that using Bach's major-tonic minor system which ascends by steps in the 15 Inventions and Sinfonias, and the two books of 24 Preludes and Fugues, or the system used by Chopin and Shostakovich, major-relative minor, ascending by perfect fifths, Brown has chosen to combine these approaches. His system, for the inventions and the fugue, major-tonic minor, ascending by fifths, is also embellished by the tonic minor keys of the arias which proceed each section and the full circle return of C minor-C major in the Imaginatio which concludes the work. Difficulty: senior - advanced.

Duration: 41:00

Invention in Bb major, Mvt. 13

Score, Inventio in E Flat major:
Page 1
Page 2

Canticum in C minor, Mvt. 1

Swan House Victoria SJB 1355
48 pages, $20.00

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