Lois V Vierk

for piano played entirely on the strings


When it is calm the ocean is gentle and inviting. It can be mysteriously majestic or humblingly powerful. Sometimes it thrashes about frighteningly. The title of my piece was inspired by the W. B. Yeats poem "Her Triumph". Yeats' words say to me that the energy of life itself is untamed and often wilder and more beautiful than what shows on the surface.

The piece is played entirely inside the piano on the strings. It is composed in three sections, beginning percussively in the lowest register, adding "tremolos" and "trills" (no pitches here are notated exactly). The music moves to higher strings and develops tonally with plucked string phrases and dynamic glissandos. lt ends with a flurry on the highest strings.


To Stare Astonished at the Sea was commissioned for pianist Margaret Leng Tan by Barry Goldberg on the occasion of Gayle Morgan's birthday.

Recording is by Claudia Rüegg, pianist

New World Records 80766 "Lois V Vierk: Words Fail Me"

Click here to view the CD on New World Records.

Click here to view the score.