I work during the day as an engineer speaking mostly in acronyms while keeping the world's financial systems connected through various intricate technologies. When I’m not routing ones and zeros around the globe I strive to be a pianist. I started studying music as an adult in the summer of 2004. After having attended a symposium for pianists at Princeton University I met the person who would ultimately become my teacher.
I spend as much of my free time as possible learning new repertoire and perfecting my technique.
Explore this site and learn more about the music, listen to some samples, check out some photography, or watch videos of me performing pieces from the baroque, classical, romantic, and contemporary solo piano repertoire.
Johann Sebastian Bach, Prelude and Fugue in F minor, BWV 881
The prelude is 70 bars long, and is written in theme and variations form. The theme is 28 bars long and written in binary form. It is followed by several variations in different keys, and ends with a variation in the home key. Below is the opening sentence of the prelude:
The first four measures of this sentence has two voices leading the melody in thirds, and another voice leading the bass line. After four measures, only two voices continue. One voice plays the root of a chord, while the second voice plays a broken chord around it. This continues like so for another four measures, and ends with an imperfect cadence. After this, the sentence is repeated, except modulating to E♭ major at one point and ending on a perfect cadence. Together, these two sentences create a compound period, and the first part of a small binary.
Following the compound period, the second part of the small binary starts. It consists of one voice playing broken chords and two other voices leading a melody, and is eight measures long. A perfect cadence in A♭ major concludes the small binary, and thus ending the theme of the prelude.
The prelude ends with a two-measure codetta, which consists of a perfect cadence in the home key.
The fugue is 85 bars long, and is written for 3 voices. Below is the 4-measure subject of the fugue:
Just like most fugues in the baroque period, the subject is then repeated in the middle voice in the dominant key (C minor), and then repeated once more in the lowest voice, again in the home key. This final repetition of the subject is followed a small episode that consists of a descending fifths sequence. This is followed by the development of the fugue, which has many additional repetitions of the subject in various voices and keys, and occasionally episodes with the same descending fifths sequence as before in between. After the final repetition of the subject in the tonic key, the descending fifths episode is repeated as a codetta, which concludes the fugue.
The term bagatelle is of French or Italian origin and means something of little value, a trifle, and was first used as early as 1717 by the French Baroque composer François Couperin. Beethoven wrote three sets of bagatelles, a total of 24 with opus numbers as well as an additional 6 individual bagatelles without opus numbers. One of the without opus number bagatelles is arguably one of Beethoven's most well known pieces, Für Elise. His first set of bagatelles opus 33, was written in 1802-1803 and contains seven works. It would be a mistake to take the term bagatelle literally. These are short pieces, but they aren't all fluff and stuff.
This scherzo is in C major and begins with a rhythmically quirky figure. With sudden changes in dynamics, a mix of slurred notes and staccato notes and rests, Beethoven trips the ear as we try to grasp the pulse of the music. This first section is repeated, and just as the listener is beginning to get the feel of the rhythm Beethoven changes things abruptly with a section in A minor that has the melody played in octaves in the right hand to a triplet accompaniment. Like a swelling ocean wave a crescendo from piano to fortissimo spans a 3-bar section, and rapidly dies down to piano, only to do it again before the end of the minor section. The minor section is repeated, and the opening scherzo returns. The trio is of a more mellow mood, as runs of thirds in the right hand spell out the simple theme. The trio repeats, after which the scherzo returns but with some syncopation thrown in for good measure. A short coda begins to wind down the music, but the final bars hammer out a C major chord in the right hand alternating with a low C in the left. The accents shift for a few bars until the music ends on the low C in the second beat of a measure.