Mar 14, 2009

Hubert Howe

Hubert Howe was educated at Princeton University, where he studied with J. K. Randall, Godfrey Winham and Milton Babbitt, and from which he received the A.B., M.F.A. and Ph.D. degrees. He is Professor of Music and Director of the Electronic Music studios at Queens College of the City University of New York. He is also a former Director of the Aaron Copland School of Music. He has been a member of the American Composers Alliance since 1974 and has been President since 2002. Recordings of his computer music (Overtone Music, CPS-8678, Filtered Music, CPS-8719, and Temperamental Music and Created Sounds, CPS- 8771) have been released by Capstone Records.

Composition for Piano (2008)
My first composition for the keyboard was such a disaster, from the standpoint of playability, that I refrained from attempting another such undertaking for over 20 years. This was especially regretful, since my son Jonathan is a fine pianist. Finally, as I worked out how to avoid unreasonable stretches and confine the music to the range of two hands, I have written this work, which is dedicated to my son.

The piece is in three parts and ten sections. It begins with a full statement, covering five octaves, and then proceeds to an agitated passage that spans the entire seven-octave range of the piano, although in selected portions at a time, followed by a transition. The middle part is slow and lyrical, gradually intensifying, until a transition back to the texture of the opening. The third part begins with a transformed recapitulation, including both of the first two sections, to the conclusion. The ending covers a six octave range, but only three at a time, and it is arranged so that no single hand spans more than an octave and a third. Nevertheless, it is still probably extremely difficult to play. I am grateful to Jonathan for being the first to play it.
(World Premiere)