Michelangelo Fragments

posted on November 12th 2023 in with 0 Comments

Instrumentation: Solo Cimbalom

Duration: 13:45

Premiered by Chester Englander on June 7, 2020

Commissioned by American Composers Orchestra

Michelangelo Fragments (2020), for solo Cimbalom was commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra and was written

for Chester Englander. This piece was my first ever online live stream premiere, which took place on June 7, 2020.


Michelangelo is of course known for all his visual artistic achievements, but he was also a prolific and very skilled writer.  On nearly a third of all his drawings and sketches, there are texts in his own words, from memos to himself, to dreamlike thoughts of passionate utterances, all in a personal poetic verse.  These mind wandering expressions of emotion and despair, often not directly related to the artwork they were scribbled on, give us a glimpse into his subconsciousness.  Musically I tried to capture the idea of unrelated fragments into a mysterious mixture of material, related only by their accidental randomness. Micro movements, extremely compact and dense, but highly emotional and suddenly unexpected.  The natural resonant qualities of the cimbalom, extreme range of pitches, dynamics and player techniques, was very exciting and refreshing.  I would like to thank Chester Englander for his work and inspiration for this piece, and his dedication to building a repertoire for this fascinating instrument.


-Joseph Pereira