Crystal is a three-movement vibraphone and piano duet (Adagio, Moderato, and Presto) centered around the suspended chord, which does not clearly define a major or a minor tonal world. Similar to Marginalia, Crystal relies on tonally ambiguous harmonies such as the second and seventh.
It begins and ends with a dissonant, bell-like vibraphone idea, referencing chord clusters often used in Balinese Gamelan.
Adagio employs a rhythmic canon between the vibraphone and the left and right hand piano parts. Parallel sevenths and cross-rhythms are the building blocks of this movement.
Moderato uses a repeating rhythmic ostinato throughout the movement, which is first introduced by the vibraphone and then taken on by the piano.
Presto opens with a folk-like melody in the vibraphone and then leads into a more lyrical, quartal melody. It uses the parallel sevenths and cross-rhythms found in the first movement. The coda basically repeats the piece’s introduction with slightly less dissonant vibraphone chords. Throughout the entire piece, it is never firmly established whether the piece is in major or minor.Continue reading Crystal