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Grand Etude No. 9 “Spring”
Grand Etude No. 10 “Tempest”
Grand Etude No. 11 “Tragic” (for left hand alone)
Grand Etude No. 12 “Mountain Heights”
The final volume of Yedidia’s first 12 Grand Etudes. His Grand Etudes are originally composed as a set of 12, but a further set was composed between 2012-2020 and completed as 24 Grand Etudes.
Grand Etude No. 9, “Spring” was composed in 1995 and dedicated to the legendary pianist Martha Argerich.
It is a virtuoso study in double-thirds for the right hand, in the key of E Major. The current version was revised and shortened in 2021.
Light, swift, lyrical, elegant – it is a work inspired by Argerich’s miraculous musical & pianistic phenomenon.
Grand Etude No. 10 in B minor, subtitled “Tempest”, was composed in August 1996 and dedicated to the iconic pianist Ivo Pogorelich.
It is a study in unison for both hands – rapidly sweeping across the keyboard in a dark & bold manner. A hauntingly melodic middle section splits between the two unison sections – exploiting quick & mysterious left hand textures under an eerie right hand tune. The etude ends on a sudden anti climax and a final gasp of fate.
Composed at the end of December, 1996, Grand Etude No. 11 in Ab minor – subtitled “Tragic” – is an etude for the left hand.
The composition’s dark sounds prompted an unusual reaction from the composer – striking a particular and personal note: Yedidia envisioned his own tragic end and decided to dedicate the work to himself.
Two great composers inspired this composition from different perspectives: Franz Schubert – melodically and rhythmically, and Sergei Rachmaninoff – harmonically and pianistically. As in other Grand Etudes, so is this one characterized by a deeply emotional & epic course of steep rises and descents. Slowly paced throughout – it embodies individual struggle & heroism, and concludes in a somber lamentation, and a whispered vanish.
The original 12th and final etude of the First Volume of Yedidia’s Grand Etudes, was completed in July, 1997. Shortly after this, the composer realized the work did not quite fit the set for the lack of a distinct technical pattern. He decided to remove it from the set and renamed it “Ballet With the Wind”. Five years later saw him embark on the writing of the present Twelfth Grand Etude – the work he finally envisioned as the ideal closer for the set. It took another four years to complete it (2002-2006). Yedidia dedicated the etude to his close friend & colleague – the Chinese pianist Danwen Wei.
Still in the key of F major, this Grand Etude No. 12 is a fast right-hand tetrachord study, reminiscent of the opening of Prokofiev’s 3rd Piano Concerto. Transparent in nature and brightly enforced by a resonant left-hand bassline, the music amplifies its subtitle “Mountain Heights”, gliding and soaring as if in flight, above and between titanic mountains, overlooking a broad variety of scenery and color. Although initially pure & lean in thematic and harmonic texture – its vast sonic dimension is immediately present, continuing to resonate & diversify effectively across the entire keyboard. It concludes the first volume of twelve Grand Etudes on a majestic & exuberant note.