M. Shawn Hundley:
A New American Ballad

for solo piano

A New American Ballad is my first solo piano work in quite a few years and my first ever large-scale solo work for the instrument. It is a narrative, presenting bold initial statements filled with potential energy. An alternation between loud and soft, calm and aggressive portends of the expansions of these notions that happen throughout the work. The material is quite deceptively limited and reappears in various forms and moods, giving the impression of a storyteller presenting his narrations. Each time an idea recurs, it develops a little further as if the listener is on the surface of an ocean with building waves. Finally, the music can reach no further and begins to ease the listener back home. This work is written for Rose S. Grace and appears on the Albany Records album Vibrations of Hope with Ms. Grace at the piano.

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