Character Matters for solo piano by Jeannie Gayle Pool
Character Matters for solo piano (2003) was composed for the American pianist Delores Stevens, a well-known champion of new music. The composer plays with syncopated rhythms, which is the special characteristic of 20th century American musical language. This clever title has two meanings (a double entendre): that the values (for example, honesty, integrity, respect) held by an individual either gives them honor (and disgraces them) is more significant than what a person has in the way of personal possessions. “Matters” is both a verb and a noun in English; as a verb, it means counts or is of importance; as a noun it means affairs or issues. This is just like how Chinese characters have multiple meanings and represent both internal and external properties. The title also links this piece to nineteenth century “character pieces” of the romantic piano literature. 5 pages.