The Colloquies 2017-04-15T17:12:50+00:00

Five Colloquies

Martha Beck

For piano solo

Notes and comments

The Colloquies were intended by their composer, my mother, to suggest conversations among two or more friends, each person making his or her points as strongly and persuasively as possible. Subjects of course differ in urgency, and in the degree of self-revelation. In the third colloquy, written throughout in unison, perhaps there are two speakers, the first speaking in a combination of 4/4 and 5/4, the second in an even 3/4. They may or may not agree on the issues; the first speaker returns to make matters clear, but the second has the last word. Nearly every group of two measures in this piece contains all the twelve notes of the chromatic scale. The fourth colloquy is a sad tale told by one speaker, with short and sympathetic interjections by her friends. Listeners may invent their own scenarios for the others! These pieces were written in the early 1960s and championed by the pianists Madeleine Pohl and JoAnn Locke.

Martha Beck (1900–1997)

Colloquy No 1

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Colloquy No 2

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Colloquy No 3

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Colloquy No 4

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Colloquy No 5

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