Viola and Piano

Program Notes

My music is often a reaction to personal experience. I composed Prayer shortly after finding out that a close family member was seriously ill. The piece comes from a deeply spiritual place, and for me it is both a meditation on life, [and an expression of faith in the language that is most powerful for me, and on the powerful mysteries of healing.

In this version for viola and piano, Prayer opens with the violist rising gently out of simple piano arpeggios.The melody flows seamlessly from beginning to end, with one long rising and falling line, punctuated periodically by gentle responses in the piano part. The work arcs twice, with the viola working its way up to the highest register, and then falling away to a place of peaceful surrender.

Prayer was composed for and premiered by violist Brett Deubner. After requests from different instrumentalists, I’ve made several different versions of Prayer, including those for full orchestra, and for flute and piano. These versions are available through Theodore Presser Company.

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