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Gradualism II


Commissioned by Mamiko Someda

Performance duration


January 31, 2019, Tokyo, Tokyo Opera City Oumi Gakudo
Mamiko Someda, Harpsichord

Year of composition



Commentary (English version)

The basic concept of this piece is the same as the previous piece in the series, "Gradualism Ia & Ib", in the form of "variation". Therefore, the basic concept is the same as the previous work, but due to the structural differences between the piano and the harpsichord, it isn't exactly the same as the previous work, and there are some tricks that I tried after examining the structure of the harpsichord. For example, unlike the piano, the harpsichord is basically incapable of adding intensity, so instead, I decided to focus on the reverberation of the harpsichord. What I'm doing specifically is trying to change the reverberation by releasing some of the fingers that are playing the notes after pressing the keys. Furthermore, since I am using only notes of 4 feet (i.e. concentrating only on the upper register), the volume is lower and the changes are more subtle. It is difficult to perceive this change in a recording, so it is best to listen to it live and as close as possible.
Another point I would like to mention is that this piece has a different concept from the previous one. In the previous work, there was a clear process of substituting the playing of chords from loud to soft, and thus the beginning and end of the music were clearly defined. However, in this piece using the harpsichord, I eliminated such a clear and close process, and aimed to create music with no clear beginning and end, as if I had cut out a part from an endless quietly series of chords.

Commentary (Japanese version)

 基本的にはシリーズ前作である"Gradualism Ia & Ib"と同じく「変奏曲」の形態をとっております。従って基本コンセプトも前作を踏襲しておりますが、ピアノとハープシコードの構造上の違いもあり、前作とは全く同じではなく、ハープシコードの構造を吟味して、試みた仕掛けもあります。例えば、ピアノと違いハープシコードは基本的には強弱をつけることができないので、その代わりといっては何ですが、ハープシコードの残響に目を向けてみようと思いました。具体的に何をしているかというと、鍵盤を押した後、音を弾いている一部の指を離して、残響を変化させようということです。更に、4フィートの音のみを使用している(つまり高音域だけに集中する)ため、音量も小さく、より微細な変化となります。録音だとこの変化を知覚することが難しく、生演奏でなるべく近くで聴いていただくのがベストだと思われます。

More information (article in Japanese)


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