Glenn Stallcop       Composer, Performer


Concert Dances Set No. 3 (1977)

for Solo Piano

3 Mvts., 24 Mins.

Concert Dances Set No. 3 is available here  from American Composers Alliance.



Program Notes and Score Video


In 1977, I started an improvisatory ensemble. It was modeled after some of the then-current jazz ensembles, except it did not have a drummer. Our “solo” sections turned into group free improvisation segments, piquing my interest in free improvisation, a trait which has continued ever since. For the ensemble, I wrote several tunes. During the summer, I used these tunes to create several piano pieces.  Each tune uses a different approach, though I used the ABA structure we used in our ensemble as the starting point.  

After writing the first two suites, I decided to orchestrate them.  After hearing a couple movements of the first two sets performed, however, I decided I liked them much better as piano pieces.  As piano pieces, they are not only enthusiastic and vivacious, they are also quite virtuosic.  The music just sounded better on the piano.  I wrote the third set somewhat after the first two, but I can’t recall precisely how long.  It was after I had orchestrated the others, and so I never entertained the idea of orchestrating the third set.  

The Old Roller Skate was named after my first car, a 1966 Datsun (Nissan) wagon.  It was about the size of a Mini but not nearly as chic.  I drove back and forth from Seattle to Phoenix several times in that car. . . with my cat.  Only One is basically a blues. The title refers only to the fact that it sounds lonely.  The middle section turns happier, though maybe somewhat melancholy, before the blues returns.  Of this tune, another composer commented that I had pulled out nearly every trick in the book, which is probably true.  The Sleigh Ride is my offering to the genre, though I live in the desert and have never even seen a sleigh.  There are some great sleigh rides and troikas, and this is more of a troika.  It starts out rather cute, but gets pretty raucous before it is done.

Score Video