by Bruce Stark
(4 hands piano)
Four began as a set of four variations based on two themes: one quick and syncopated, the other broadly lyrical. After several performances I created this shorter version combining the first variation, part of the third variation, and the fourth variation into a single movement. The title refers to a predominant structural motif: four hands, 4/4 time, and the lyrical theme is (mostly) in four phrases of four notes moving up (or down) a scale. There is no definitive presentation of the themes; each section offers a perspective, like viewing the same object through different lenses.
Four was commissioned in 2008 by Keys To The Future under the direction of Joseph Rubenstein, and premiered at Mannes College the following year by Karen Hakobyan and Gabriel Escudero. This published version was premiered in Tokyo by Chika Nagisa and Ikuma Itoh, shown in the video below.