Last Dance Picture
Last Dance (Solo Piano)

Programme Notes

(1999; 11')

2011 Juno Nomination

       
        Click to download score Click to view or print score (please let me know if you perform this)

            Last Dance, nominated for a 2011 Juno Award (Classical Composition of the Year), has been called "haunting and beautiful" by pianist Jon Kimura Parker.
            The outer sections are based on a slow tango or habanera rhythm. For me, these sections evoke a nostalgic, bittersweet feeling, reminding me of lost loved ones. Last Dance is a very personal work, written when I was in my early forties and had been on my own for several years. For some, the solitary life is idyllic, but it was not exactly what I had dreamed of as a young man. In any event, I poured my heart into this piece, which I described in an interview as "a musical portrayal of love and loss." Ironically, only a few months after finishing it, my personal fortunes changed drastically for the better: I began dating a friend, we subsequently married and had two boys, and life is very good.
            The middle section is based on a repeating bass note pattern (the musical term for which is ostinato) and is intense, fiery and tempestuous, possibly relating to the angst felt in that period of my life, and shows off the virtuosity of the performer.
            It was commissioned through the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council by my colleague and friend, Kristina Szutor, who recorded it on her 1999 CD, "Bookends in Time" (Candleview; out of print). More recently, it was recorded by another close friend, Barbara Pritchard, on "Piano Atlantica" (2010, CMC Centrediscs), which led to the Juno nomination.
            My profuse thanks to Kristina Szutor and Barbara Pritchard for their beautiful recordings of this piece, and to Kristina and the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council for commissioning it.

©Clark Winslow Ross

Performance by Kristina Szutor from her CD, "Bookends in Time"
(← Click if the above audio player does not work in your browser)
           

  Other works for piano by Clark Ross you might enjoy:

     iPad Riff Recontextualized (Inspired by the music of an iPad commercial; 2010)
     Domenico 1° & 2° (Two sonatas inspired by Scarlatti; 2009)
     Dream Dance (A wild, virtuosic, perpetual motion joyride; 2007)
     Jennifer's Tune (A pretty tune (for piano and bass) for my wife; 2005)
     Julia's Prelude (A pretty tune for my daughter, in the style of Schumann; 1996)
     Keep on Truckin' (Boogie-woogie blues with a dash of Musorgsky in the middle; 2010)
     Blues for Jim (Both a lament and a celebration of the life of Jim Croce; 2010)


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