Virtuoso pianist Marc Peloquin gives the world premiere of Nocturne for Piano and String Quintet at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York on a program that also includes works by Diamond, Smit, Poulenc, and Gershwin/Grainger.
Commissioned by the Bloomingdale School of Music in New York City, the Nocturne was completed on 20 March 2000 in New York City. The ten minute nocturne is a heavily-revised, final version of Hagen's Romance for Piano and Orchestra (1991) which he premiered on 5 April 1991 as piano soloist with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Leon Botstein conducting. Hagen withdrew the Romance immediately after the premiere and set it aside for revisions.
The theme became the blues ballad heard on the radio in the first act (Broken Pieces) and the third act (Cradle Song) of Hagen's trilogy of one act operas about New York life called New York Stories.
The resulting work is scored for either string quintet (string quartet, plus a contrabass) or string orchestra, and consists of a number of (in the composer's words) "nocturnal variations" based on a tune given at the outset by the piano.