This solo piano work was composed during my junior year in college. It is written in late-romantic piano style with twenty-first century sensibilities. The main melody is influenced by Chopin mazurkas (as is the form), but musical development and style was modeled after Beethoven. True to the Beethovenian style, there are sections inspired by Baroque chorales. Perhaps the most interesting part to this work is the beginning, where the implied key is B-flat minor with the VI-cad64 progression that repeats itself. Then, the VI chord is reinterpreted as a root-position Neapolitan chord in f-minor, resolving to V (which is a tritone away). This creates for a very dramatic and surprising beginning.
The title is from the mathematical concept "partition of unity", which is a technical device used to piece together disparate mathematical objects (perhaps most often invoked to define the integral of differential forms). Its mathematical function reflects the philosophy of this music, in that the music pieces together different styles into a coherent whole. The title can also be interpreted literally, in that this style of music is most represented of the early twentieth century, when a unified musical norm was being disintegrated (hence "partition of unity").
performers on recording
Piano - Sophie Hagen