Program Note for Nocturne (Walking Along the Danube in Budapest at Night)
Nocturne (Walking Along the Danube in Budapest at Night) was commissioned by Solungga Fang-Tzu Liu and Brad Blackham for the Bowling Green State University New Music Festival.
Much of my music is fast and energetic. I decided to set a goal for myself – to write a quiet, slow, tender piece of music. In fact, outside of a couple of moments, Nocturne doesn’t get any louder than mp, and is slow throughout. The inspiration of Nocturne was a walk my wife and I took one evening along the Danube River during our honeymoon in Budapest. I wanted to attempt to capture the mysterious and beautiful effect the city has at night, particularly the illuminated buildings and their reflections on the river. The piece starts with my attempt to capture the sound of bells tolling. From there, the piece goes through a series of variations before ending with the bells tolling. Nocturne (Walking Along the Danube in Budapest at Night) lasts approximately nine minutes.