Mark Applebaum
Composer / Performer / Educator

Pause (2009)

Aphasia score sample

Piano. Commissioned by Benjamin Binder for the Schumann Carnaval Project.

Benjamin Binder’s Schumann Carnaval Project invited new, short piano works from diverse composers in response to the pieces in Schumann’s original, a celebration of Schumann’s 200th birthday. I chose the Pause, a part I’ve always found arresting—independently, and considering its placement and function within the whole collection.

The idea for my reworking is quite simple. First, I isolated the five-note hemiola figure in Schumann’s original. My piece simply cycles that portion over and over. However, in my version I start with the original pitch content and slowly evolve it—a kind of transformational drift that metamorphoses away from its starting point. Meanwhile, the piece begins with a distant rhythmic and metric comportment, but gradually evolves (devolves? revolves?) back to the original rhythm as found in Schumann. Devices like accelerandi, trills, and grace notes disappear by and by; eventually the piece finds its way to the 2/4 source meter; and finally triplets are removed from the rhythmic language.

In short, the pitch world crosses from known to alien, the rhythm world from alien to known.

consumption Consumption | Why Consumption?

Regrettably I am not in possession of a recording of Coat Room. A link to the score, however, appears below.

Download score (PDF- 219KB)