Three Studies in Uneven Meters (2011) by Vera Ivanova
for piano
2013 Earplay Donald Aird Composers Competition winner

1. BartoKagel
2. Canon à la Piazzolla
3. Scriabinesque

Vera Ivanova's Three Studies in Uneven Meters were composed in the Spring of 2011. This set of etudes is dedicated to several 20th-century composers, who influenced her music in the past and whose compositional techniques are referenced in these three pieces.

The first study (BartoKagel, and a little bit of Stravinsky) joins together personalities of three composers: Béla Bartók, Mauricio Kagel, and Igor Stravinsky. All three composers were influenced by Eastern European and Russian folk music and, in their own turn, influenced each other's music (Stravinsky influenced Bartók, and Bartók influenced Kagel).

Second in this set is Canon à la Piazzolla, descending canon with all voices sustained. The theme of this canon is in the time signature of 5/16 and is reminiscent of some irregularities in the rhythmic pattern of a tango. The canon builds up as the voices are added and sustained, creating an accumulative effect that destroys the originally recognizable melodic motif.

The last study (Scriabinesque, fleeting cycles) explores the harmonic world of Alexander Scriabin, restricted to its own rules of horizontal and vertical sonorities. Even though this study does not reproduce Scriabin's harmonies, it makes use of interval "cycles" (chain of repeated intervals of the same type). Due to the sameness of interval cycles, the harmonic and vertical sonorities in this piece are locked (or "fixed") and thus reference some of Scriabin's etudes.

— V. I.    

[from program for May 19, 2014 concert]