Omri Shimron explores the idea of transformation through works by J. S. Bach, Philip Glass, Franz Schubert, and Menachem Weisenberg.
J. S. Bach Partita in E minor, BWV 830
Philip Glass Metamorphosis One
Franz Schubert Impromptu in C minor, Op. 90, No. 1
Menachem Weisenberg Metamorphosis I (2006) & Metamorphosis II (2007)
At the heart of Omri Shimron’s solo program, Metamorphosis, is the idea of transformation. Musical ideas, like actors in a good play, go through a process of change throughout the course of a composition, yet they retain some of their original identity. In Philip Glass’s Metamorphosis One, a haunting yet simple chord progression reinvents itself through figuration and varied repetition. Schubert’s Impromptu in C minor, Op. 90, No. 1, builds on one melody, distinct for its repeated notes and march-like rhythms. From its solemn and solitary beginnings, it transforms itself from defiant to wistful. Israeli composer Menachem Wiesenberg also drawn to the idea of transformation in both Metamorphosis I (2006) and II (2007). Metamorphosis II uses musical intervals (a perfect fifth and an octave) as protagonists of sorts. During the course of the piece, dissonant intervals – antithetical to the fifth and the octave – attempt to take over the narrative but are eventually crushed in favor of the more consonant ones. Metamorphosis II was a required work for contestants in the 2008 Artur Rubinstein International Piano Competition. Finally, the program opens with Bach’s sixth – and final – Partita in E minor, BWV 830 that, although sectionalized through its use of the Baroque suite idiom, can be perceived as a set of variations on a theme, bound together by one key. Omri Shimron released a solo album in 2014 entirely dedicated to Frederic Rzewski’s iconic 36 Variations on “El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!” (New Focus Records). He is Piano Area Coordinator and an Associate Professor of Music at Cal State East Bay (Hayward). For more information, visit his website at omrishimron.com