Hannah Kendall: Middlegame for Piano

Grant:  RTF07
Detail:  Single movement for Piano, about 6 minutes
Premiere:  20 July 2012, Gallery Libby Sellers, London
Performers:  Andrew Matthews-Owen (piano)
Recording:  Released November 2017

Background:  The piece takes inspiration from an exhibition of Chess sets at Gallery Libby Sellers – “GAMES”-  and the artist Marcel Duchamp’s writings on chess.

‘Artist and chess fanatic Marcel Duchamp often contemplated and referred to the visual possibilities which arise within the duration of any given game of chess, but mostly discounted its aesthetic value. However, Middlegame exlores the flourishing visual transitions and potential patterns which occur as the chess pieces become dispersed about the board, seemingly scattered, and gradually deplete in numbers, standing as isolated figures.

Following the successful premiere of the composition, the Richard Thomas Foundation  commissioned Hannah to expand the piece to describe a  whole game of chess (RTF011).  The expanded three movement piece was premiered at the Purcell Room in London in May 2013.

You can watch a film of the premiere performance at Gallery Libby Sellers (link below)