Each of the three movements deals with symbols, specifically those that have autobiographical significance to the composer. The first movement, Klee on Loan, pays homage to the famous abstract expressionist painter. The gestures are traditional and all easily identifiable, from the sweeping Mahleresque beginning to the “Bartok meets The Rolling Stones” motifs found at mid movement. These are the composer’s attempts to represent Klee’s crosses and arrows through some familiar and abstract sound. Klee’s genius, I believe, is found in his ability to make very generic symbols very abstract.
The final movement is the most sublime of the four, and it is solely based upon a loping, adieu-like gesture. The line is continually recycling itself, and the piano takes the role of psychopomp as it escorts the movement to its out of body conclusion.
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