Lawrence Kramer

About this work:

 This series of short pieces was loosely inspired by Debussy's practice of writing the titles of his Preludes for Piano at the end of each score rather than at the beginning. This back-titling has long been misunderstood as a caution against taking the titles too seriously, rather than as what it is, an affirmation of the power of evocation as opposed to description--something that Debussy learned from Mallarmé.

  In "Evocations," each piece concludes with an enigmatic statement that in one way or another comments on what has been heard--perhaps as an explanation or disclosure, perhaps as a critique or reflection, perhaps congenial, perhaps ironic--no one model fits. The statements come in alternate forms: one that can be spoken or sung by the pianist, and one to be performed by a singer.  Scores are available for both high and low voice types.  However the vocal parts are realized, the pieces are all evocations in the most literal sense of the term: they draw something out of the voice.

  Like a collection of Preludes, this one is equally open to being played in full as a continuous whole and used as a source of short pieces to be played in any order or number as the performer(s) wish. A full performance will run about 25 minutes inclusive of pauses between pieces. The statements voiced at the end of each piece are drawn from varied sources, each used only once. All are in the public domain.

Year composed: 2013
Duration: 25:00:00
Ensemble type: Keyboard:Piano
Instrumentation notes: See the program note on this site. "Evocations" is for piano and optional voice; the voice may be either that of a singer or of the pianist; the voice part may be either spoken or sung. Two scores are available: one for baritone and one for high voice (equally accessible to tenor, mezzo, or soprano).

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