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Avner Dorman

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Memory Games (for violin and piano) (2011)
Work Notes
Available for sale on Classical On Demand and
G Schirmer Inc
Small Ensemble (2-6 players)
Sub Category
Piano + 1 Instrument
Year Composed
5 Minutes
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Programme Note
Avner Dorman Memory Games (for violin and piano) (2011)
for Hilary Hahn

Related works:
   Memory Games (for violin and piano)
   Memory Games (for ensemble)

Composer note:
Originally written as an encore piece for Violin and Piano, the inspiration for the piece is the classic 1980’s memory game ‘Simon.’ The original game has four colored buttons, each with a distinct sound and a light bulb behind it. The machine lights a button at random and plays its sound and expects the player to press the same button in response. If the player is successful, the machine repeats the first button and randomly adds another button to the sequence. Therefore, as the game progresses the sequences become longer and more difficult to remember and reproduce.

So, technically, ‘Simon’ composes a little piece every time a game is played — there’s a limited number of notes added sequentially to each other at random making the selection seem very logical.

In Memory Games a similar process occurs around two different patterns that are introduced in measures 1 and 19 respectively. Several rounds of the game are played throughout the piece, so to speak, making it resemble the form of the Passacaglia (or variations on a bass line).

— Avner Dorman

  • Soloist(s)
    Hilary Hahn (violin), Cory Smythe (piano)
    Deutsche Grammophon:
After intermission, Hahn filled the hall with Bach, her tone at its richest all evening. Avner Dorman’s labyrinthine “Memory Games,” based on the memory game Simon, and Gillian Whitehead’s “Torua,” written in the wake of New Zealand’s Christchurch earthquake, offered gorgeous and palatable social and historical commentary.
Erica Zora Wrightson, Los Angeles Times,02/11/2011
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