[Upon turning 60,] I started thinking about the question of time getting short, asking myself “What do I want to write from here on in?” I started thinking about last things.
One [dance] is slow, and nostalgic, the last dance you’ll have with a loved one, because you are going off, or they are going off somewhere and you’ll be alone. It is made up of slow dances featuring solo instruments (violin, cello). The other kind is a manic, fast dancethe last dance for a very lively party where things have gotten kind of wild.”
Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto follows me [on the premiere program of this work], so I made a very subtle motivic connection to the opening rhythmic figure of the concerto. There is always Beethoven running through my music in some way. This is more of a direct link, but it won’t be obvious. The piece is very much about rhythm, which most of my music is.