The Nose

Genre:  Solo Piano


Description: Composition for solo piano inspired by animation The Nose (Le Nez) by Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker (1963). Written for Clare Hammond, piano
Duration: 12 Minutes
Date: 2015

Programme Note

The music falls into five movements which sometimes overlap the film's own sectionalised structure, and these chart the story from its opening images of dawn and the disappearance of the nose after its initial discovery, to the pursuit and then recovery of the elusive snout, and finally the advent of a new (and symmetrically framing) sunrise. The music carries clear historical allusions, notably in the neo-baroque opening with its toccata-like figurations. Gently dissonant writing conjures up an eerie atmosphere for the snowy sentry box by which the nose is abandoned, and for the rippling of the river's surface; the music's repetitive patterns suggest the inevitability of the narrative, while at the same time the poignant tonal clashes keep the viewer somewhat on edge.
Mervyn Cooke, Prof of Music, University of Nottingham


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