On the Other Side of the Rainbow (2016) for piano

I. Beautiful wickdeness

II. Are you forgetting the ruby slippers?

Performed by Robert Fleitz on February 8th at Paul Hall, New York

Program note:

I completed On the Other Side of The Rainbow during the winter of 2016 in New York City. I was very lucky to collaborate with the wonderful pianist Robert Fleitz on this project. Not only was Robert an excellent performer but also a fascinating and engaging thinker. After a few meetings and conversations, I learned of Robert’s love for The Wizard of Oz. Since I had never seen the movie before, I thought it would be interesting to write a piece based solely on the performer’s taste. I settled on the form of a two-movement piece with the inspirations from the witch’s broom and the ruby slippers.

Chronologically, the second movement, Are you forgetting the ruby slippers? was written first. Since The Wizard of Oz is an extremely well-known movie, I had a vague idea of the plot as I was exposed to certain images in popular culture. I finally watched the movie right before completing the second movement, and that led me to change my approach. My original plan was to write a through-composed piece that did not return to previously stated material. However, after seeing the movie, I decided to end the piece with the opening motive, reminiscent of Dorothy’s return home to Kansas.

Rather than focusing on one specific idea or mood, the first movement, Beautiful Wickedness outlines the whole atmosphere and spirit I received from watching the movie. It incorporates the black-and-white tornado scene where Kansas transforms into the colorful and mythical world of Oz. The Wicked Witch’s broom motive also joins in throughout the movement.

© 2014 by Nicky Sohn