Verbs, Book 2

Kathleen Ryan’s second set of 12 preludes for piano left hand alone, commissioned by the Professional Music Teachers of New Mexico and the Music Teachers National Association in 2008. Verbs, Book 2, is dedicated to pianist Keith Snell.

Previews of the music & samples for listening are in the sidebar below.

The 2nd edition of Verbs, with all 24 preludes in one book, is now available. Click here to purchase.

Watch and listen to a performance of 8 Verbs from Book 2 on our Videos page.

Performed as a set of twelve, the preludes cover an extensive geography of technical demands; and Snell was clearly comfortable with all of them. There was also the pleasure in experiencing left-hand composition that was more attentive to expressiveness than to virtuosity for its own sake. ...[T]his is definitely music that deserves more than the occasional listening opportunity. ~ Stephen Smoliar, review of Keith Snell performance at Old First Concerts, San Francisco

The individual preludes in Book 2 are:

Beckon — “to appear inviting; to summon with a wave or nod.” F major.

Insist — “to take a resolute stand or course; persist; to take a firm stand about.” F minor, somewhat bluesy.

Murmur — “to make a half–suppressed or muttered complaint; to make a low, indistinct but often continuous sound.” Eb minor.

Tease — “to pester; to tantalize; to obtain by repeated coaxing.” E major.

Tangle — “to unite or knit together in intricate confusion.” F# minor, a blues tango.

Snap — “to utter curtly or abruptly; to give way suddenly under strain.” What passes for D major in Kathleen Ryan’s cycle of keys. (Really D whole-tone scale.)

Shatter — “to damage badly, to ruin.” B minor.

Bloom — “to shine out; to appear or occur unexpectedly.” Bb minor.

Bounce — “to walk with springing steps; to cause to rebound.” G major.

Reflect — “to cast back; to think quietly & calmly; to make manifest or apparent.” C# minor.

Release — “to set free from restraint or confinement.” G# minor.

Bless — “to hallow or consecrate; to invoke divine care for.” Db major.

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