Ragamalika: Four Pieces For Piano
Levinson, Gerald, (1951-)
Contents: I. Prelude -- 2. Ragamalika -- 3. En blanc et noir (pour les sonorités opposées) -- IV. Postlude. With a program note. Commissioned by Marcantonio Barone. Premiered by Marcantonio Barone in Philadelphia, March 2001. Of advanced difficulty. Duration ca. 16 minutes.
Ragamalika (meaning "garland of ragas") is a virtuosic practice in North Indian classical music, reflected most directly in the second of these pieces. The soloist departs from one principal raga (melodic mode) and whirls through a series of others. An influence of Balinese gamelan may be heard as well in the bell-like resonances and flowing textures of the first and fourth pieces, while the third, a study in opposed sonorities, is an homage to Debussy. The work was commissioned by pianist Marcantonio Barone, who has recorded Ragamalika on the Albany label.