Die Selbstdarstellung #1
for solo violin and piano

Blanca Cecilia González, violin
Konstantza Chernov, piano

PROGRAM NOTES (Eric B. Chernov):

This short work was written as a birthday gift for dear friend, Aliisa Neige Barrière. The word "Selbstdarstellung" may be variously rendered as "self-image," "self-reflection," "self-portrait," or even "showmanship" or "grandstanding," among others. In the work, there are musical figures which are developed as reflections upon themselves: between the violin and the piano, between the violin and itself, the piano and itself; as exploration of some of the geographical and technical possibilities of the violin, in particular.

I rather enjoy the perverse implications of having a three-part work with a Prelude, an Interlude, and a Postlude, but no actual "lude." The root, which comes from the Latin ludus, meaning "play" or "sport," and which in Middle English denotes a noise or clamor, is the same as that for the word "ludicrous."* So, here, the "self" which is being reflected – or projected, at least – is illusory; it is a ghost, with only the outlines of substance, perceptible as some form, but without substance in the traditional sense. The self is a shell.

But, ghosts can at least have identities (Marley, Banquo, et al.) So, the movements do bear titles. The titles each pair a musical meaning with a phrase personally significant to myself and the dedicatee:

I. Prelude: Steel notE
II. Interlude: AoS *p!*
III. Postlude: Fine

The pitch organization in the work is quite simple, almost naïve. This is the result of a conscious decision as of late to simplify my writing, in general. The vocabulary is limited and the manipulations are plain.

I wish to thank another dear friend, Blanca Cecilia González, for agreeing to be my guinea pig violinist, helping me to work through several of the technical aspects of the instrument.

* - We'll not think about other implications for the term "lude."