• John McCabe
  • Tunstall Chimes (Study No 10: Hommage à Ravel) (2004)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the British Music Society as a Test Piece for its Piano Awards Competition held at Trinity College of Music, London on 31st October 2004

  • piano
  • 6 min

Programme Note

This study in bell-like sonorities and the use of pedal (which is left largely to the performer's discretion but which needs to be used extensively) was inspired by the peal at Tunstall Church, Kent, and is a tribute to the music of Ravel, whose 'Sonatine' has long been a staple part of my pianistic repertoire. If it seems a large leap of the imagination, I should perhaps add that the harmonies at the start of the first quick section were derived from the opening harmonies of the 'Sonatine', though this was only the starting-point. It forms a virtuoso toccata, in which the final section is a variation of the first - the opening slow, quiet chords serve merely to set the scene.

Performance Note: Pianist will need to use a lot of pedal throughout the work, to enable the sounds to resonate and mingle (but still with clarity). This depends upon piano and acoustics, but, as a general guideline, it is recommended that the sustaining pedal should be held down throughout each bar or two bars, depending upon circumstances, with perhaps discreet half-changes. Some chords need pedal changes to make clear their particular character or placement, and these are indicated in the score. Commas are also used to indicate distinct breaks.


Score Sample