Suite 75
for Piano Solo (2021)
by Ron Hannah

  1. Contemplative 7ths and 5ths
  2. Prayer
  3. Variations
  4. à Satie
  5. Laughing 7ths and 5ths

Duration: about 9 minutes

       Here is a piece of music both joyful and nostalgic. Upon entering my 75th year, in good health, with a wonderfully compatible, funny, and knowledgeable partner, and able to live comfortably, if simply, in a very pleasant part of the world, music started to come to me and this is the result. As life is "sweet" and I enjoy the harmonies of the 7th and the 5th in all of their forms - perfect, major, minor, augmented, diminished - you will find a preponderance of them in this music, especially the first and last movements.

       One day this good life will end, of course, and hence that rich vein of nostalgia in the music. Nothing specific - well, I do pay homage to Erik Satie in section 4 - just, I hope, that a longing, a fragrance even, will be evoked in the mind of the listener. The music also suggested to me that it would like to ring gently forth, and so the player is requested to keep the sustain pedal depressed much of the time, maybe all of the time if desired. Let it run together and be vague as a dimly recalled memory. Click below for a brief sample:

       The 2nd movement, "Prayer", is not meant in any specific way, it just follows vaguely the usual 4-square hymn style and ends in a sort-of plagal (ie. "Amen") cadence, and the Variations section (#3) are just that: a single line of melody played repeatedly with different inderpinning each time. I enjoy that kind of academic exercise. The Satie (#4) movement I have already mentioned - look up his Gymnopédies if you don't know them. They're gorgeous. And #5, "Laughing 7ths and 5ths" is the most virtuosic of the group. The player must master the pianistic challenges to the point that the humour comes through (though it's really not that difficult)!

       Jeffrey Greiman has recorded the suite for my next Compact Disc, and I am most grateful to him. He made some practical suggestions and even found a typo in the score.

       The score is available from the Canadian Music Centre, and as usual I request that if you decide to perform this piece, that you let me know so I can keep my Performances page up-to-date.