Six Songs without Words – Set Sixteen
With this set, completed in early October 2019, the fourth complete volume of these piano works was finished.
Song no.1 in D minor – Allegro moderato
Song no.2 in F major – Andante grazioso
Song no.3 in F♯ minor – Loure. Lento
Song no. 4 in B♭ minor – Tarantella. Presto
Song no. 5 in D♭ major – Larghetto tranquilo
Song no. 6 in D minor – Allegro con rubato
The opening piece is quite jazz-influenced, with elements of both tango and the blues. The pianist frequently is called on to provide percussive effects and glissandi. This is followed by a more peaceful miniature, somewhat like a lullaby with its rocking rhythms created by fusing 3/8 and 3/4 to make an overall 9/8 metre. Piece Three is based on the lesser-spotted Baroque dance of the Loure. This is followed by a helter-skelter tarantella. Despite a slow tempo, Piece Five uses more than its fair share of syncopated rhythms, though the overall effect remains largely tranquil. The feel of the final piece in the set is that of a jazz waltz, unusually with frequent three-bar phrase lengths. The middle section is full of cross-rhythms with the hands taking turns to have hemiola rhythms.