The Rothko Room: Journeys in Silence
For Solo Piano
27 minutes

Haskell Small's The Rothko Room: Journeys in Silence, was given its World Premiere on Sunday, February 20, 2011 at The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC.

The artist Mark Rothko said tragedy, ecstasy, and doom are the only important things in art. I've attempted to do this in music. In this piece, I'm trying to play so quietly as to be on the very cusp of audibility, but there are occasional outbursts paralleling Rothko's passionate nature (wild primeval, ritualistic dances). The work was influenced by Mompou's Musica Callada and the work of Arvo Part. It is in 1 continuous movement, a little under half an hour, in 4 parts, loosely paralleling the 4 paintings in the Phillips's Rothko Room, and reflecting the narrative of the painter's life journey. These parts are interwoven with an "ether" theme- floating in space. The piece also features a bell motif, at first very quiet, then later bells of doom. A further description of this work can be found on my Journeys in Silence page, click here.

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Sample Score Pages

Audio Excerpts