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Rhapsody, Elegy, and Finale for Violin and Piano (2009)

for violin and piano
duration: 15 minutes


From liner notes by Elam “Ray” Sprenkle (Emeritus, Peabody Conservatory) for the album 88 + 12, Music for Piano & Strings:

Rhapsody, Elegy, and Finale for Violin & Piano features a central movement dedicated to the memory of Jean Ivey, Pender’s principal composition teacher at Peabody. A chaconne with short coda, it is preceded by an opening movement that also incorporates variation technique. Noteworthy here are the additive rhythms giving way to a soft succession of steady harmonies that seem to come from another place. The violin cadenza splitting variations three and four spins out these chords, which return, if only briefly, at the movement’s thought-provoking end. The sweeping Finale uses a piano figure reminiscent of Claude Debussy’s Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum alongside some whole-tone passages and a virtuosic coda for both violin and piano.


A recording featuring violinist Peter Sulski and pianist Geoffrey Burleson is available from Navona Records.

Rhapsody: Moderato

Elegy: Largo

Finale: Poco allegro


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