Petite Suite,  for two pianos (2022)  


 Duration: 7'30"  

Program Notes:  

“Petite Suite” was composed to celebrate pianist Ai, Chia-Huei’s retirement from Tunghai University in Taiwan.  First published as piano solo piece in 2021, “Petite Suite” was adapted and arranged for two pianos in 2022, specifically for Prof. Ai and Prof. Kuo, Tzong-Kai’s performance.   

Professor Ai is a beloved and treasured mentor to many, myself included.  Four years of studying undergraduate piano performance with Prof. Ai instilled in me a love of continually using imagination and discovering the spectrum of colors in the music.  

“Petite Suite” was composed with a three-note-motif from Prof. Ai’s initials (A-C-H/B.)  Each movement reflects my deep gratitude, respect, and sincere congratulations to celebrate Prof. Ai’s profound impact on music education. 

I. Introduction: 

This very short 1st movement vigorously introduces the three-note-motif  (A-C-B) in hope of ensuring the listeners’ appreciation of this special motif as the entire suite unfolds. 

II. Fugue: 

“Fugue” was originally written in four voices as a piano solo piece.  Since it is later rearranged for two pianos, I thought to myself; why not expand it to make it even more fun for the pianists and the listeners.  Hence, the six-voice fugue was happily born! 

III. Reverence: 

I had a clear goal when writing this 3rd lyrical movement: technically sight-readable, and with an abundance of tenderness, love and gratitude. 

IV.  By the Brook: 

I remember that Prof. Ai has a passion for music inspired by water, so I was eager to incorporate a water-related movement in this suite.  A fond memory of mine is that, as a student, I used to sit under a big willow tree by the brook on the school campus to look through the score and write down notes/comments from Prof. Ai after my piano lessons.  As I wrote this movement, I imagined the A-C-B motif as swirls in the brook that “dimpled” the water – a reflection of Prof. Ai’s lovely dimples when she smiles! 

V. Celebration: 

A retirement celebration piece should include a festive movement!  Prof. Ai’s initials are now enthusiastically presented in a form of a waltz.  This final movement of “Petite Suite” is not the end of the festivities, but rather an embrace and celebration for a new beginning!