Nikola Tesla was the father of AC electricity, a brilliant man who laid the foundations for many of the most important inventions of the twentieth century. He was also a romantic who believed in a future where electricity was free, and whose best friend at the end of his life was a pigeon he fed through his hotel room window. In 1897, Tesla ripped up a contract with George Westinghouse that would have made him the world’s first billionaire; he spent the years from the end of World War I until his death living in relative obscurity and poverty at a hotel in New York City.
Dance for Nikolai begins with an exploration of expanding cycles, and repetitive rhythmic motion. The opening violin phrase is embellished and extended; the first four note piano motif becomes the basis for a rhythmic crescendo. The lyrical sections that follow are built upon these same ideas, but betray an interest in lush melodies and dramatic gestures. A short elegy for Tesla and his best friend concludes the piece.
composed by Ian Hattwick
Antonina Palanciuc – violin
Dohee Lee – piano
recorded June 6, 2010 at the graduate recital of Antonina Palanciuc
special thanks to Doctor Haroutune Bedelian for his coaching