In 1996, I was preparing a three-concert festival celebrating the centennial of Henry Cowell, and I asked Terry if he would write a new piece in honor of Cowell. He said he had become interested in writing four-hand music, and the result was Cinco de Mayo. That was the first of five four-hand works I commissioned from Terry. Joseph Kubera and I played them for many years, and then Regina Myers and I started performing them. They’re challenging pieces, with the twists and turns and surprising metrical changes which are one of the fascinating aspects of Terry’s compositions. About writing four-hand music, he explains: “In the days before radio and television, homes across the United States had pianos in the parlour, and families entertained themselves with music for four hands at one piano. My new four-hand piano works were written in the hope that people will throw their televisions out the window and return to activities that will bring spirit, content and meaning to their lives.” Here are Terry’s notes about each piece:
An evocation of the Mexican holiday, Cinco de Mayo is made up of two contrasting sections: one a vigorous, rhythmic celebration, the other an introspective evocation of the early morning hours after the celebration, building up to a Latin-inspired dance.