PARTITA  NO. 2 (2010)  Op. 102

Opus number: op. 102

Title: Partita no. 2 (2010)

Instrumentation: Harpsichord solo

Written for: Paul Cienniwa

Date written: 2010

Length: eleven minutes

Premiere performance: November 11, 2010, Paul Cienniwa, The Music of First Church Boston.

Subsequent performances: May 19, 2011, Brown Hall at New England Conservatory, Paul Cienniwa

Program notes: My second partita was written in the spring of 2010. The work is dedicated to Paul Cienniwa, who gave its premiere performance November 11, 2010, at First Church in Boston. In this work I wanted to try types of figuration and explore a level of counterpoint different from my Partita No. 1, also premiered by Paul Cienniwa.

The order of movements is as follows: Overture and Fugue, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Minuets 1 & 2, and Gigue. The dramatic pacing and general design of the music owes much to the keyboard partitas of Bach, while the harmonic language is much closer to popular song of the late twentieth century.


Reviews: (performance) “Bell’s Partita, six dances in all, is characterized by contrast and harmonic sense. Color pervades all, both in terms of registration and judicious use of chords. Bell has a tendency to go to the upper regions of the keyboard at the ends of several movements. Particularly beautiful was the dotted rhythms of the Allemande and the two minuets, the one humorous and the other languorous.”  –Larry Phillips, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

Recording: Paul Cienniwa, Larry Bell: In a Garden of Dreamers, Albany Records (1308/1309)