Instrumentation: piano soloist; flute (piccolo), oboe, clarinet, bassoon, 2 horns, Bb trumpet, percussion, strings
Ballad Nocturne was commissioned by Orchestra Filarmonica di Torino for Italian virtuoso pianist Emanuele Arciuli. Mr. Arciuli is very rare in that he has a close connection to jazz without being an improviser. Though I left the jazz world 20 years ago to become a classical composer, it never left me. It is part of how I hear, influencing the lines, sonorities, and rhythms that I write. The idea came to me to write him a composition that had both the expressive feel of a jazz ballad and the flowing, lyrical style of a nocturne for orchestra.
Nocturnes typically have an ABA structure, containing a development section of the material, offset by a contrasting middle section, before a reprise of the opening material. Ballad Nocturne follows this form, building and developing from a simple melody and accompaniment typical to the nocturne style, with modal jazz harmony. Then for the ballad and the nocturne music to grow from that little seed and become a "third thing" was my goal. By exploring these two genres together I discovered a synergy that felt completely natural. It is my great honor to place this music in the hands of such an extraordinary pianist as Emanuele Arciuli.
SDPC 320 01 Score, Rental
Available on Innova 713, Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra