Jason Eckardt (1971)

A glimpse retraced (1999)

for solo piano, flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello

  • General information
    • Composition date: 1999
    • Duration: 15 mn
    • Publisher: Majolika
    • Commission: Carnegie Hall, New York
    • Dedication: à Marilyn Nonken
Detailed formation
  • 1 piano, 1 flute (also 1 piccolo), 1 bass clarinet, 1 violin, 1 cello

Premiere information

  • Date: 12 April 1999

    New York, Carnegie Hall


    Marilyn Nonken.

Program note

The title of this concerto for piano with four instruments is a metaphor for its formal design: a fleeting observation, made in passing, is retraced and elaborated, then condensed and distilled.

The figurative glimpse is represented by an introductory section of brief ensemble episodes, which together feature all possible combinations of the four instruments — from solo to quartet — that accompany the piano solo. After all instrumental combinations are exhausted, more detailed sections follow that are themselves generated from the material of the opening episodes; and, with regard to their instrumental combinations, they appear in the same order. The most extended of these are duets between a single instrument and the piano, which offer the opportunity for a second soloist to emerge and a foil to the piano's relentless activity throughout the rest of the work. The finale, an extended cadenza, is animated by a structural process similar to that heard in the introduction and main body of the piece, but reversed: the piano reiterates a radically imploded version of its former material, concluding with the same music, further compressed and retrograded.

A Glimpse Retraced was commissioned by Carnegie Hall and is dedicated to Marilyn Nonken who gave its first performance in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York City on April 12, 1999.

Jason Eckardt.