Doug Opel


Kids These Days

for piano trio

Written: 2014
Duration: 4:30
Instrumentation: piano trio
Commissioned By: David Carter for the Bridge Chamber Music Festival

Program Notes

Kids these days is a happenstance tribute to Schumann’s Kinderszenen. Similarly to Schumann, my choice of title for both the collection and the pieces themselves came somewhat after the fact, as a response to the playful nature I arrived at in these first two pieces, composed for the 2014 Bridge Chamber Music Festival. In the library became a programmatic storytelling with a narrative that evokes the mischief of adolescence in a controlled environment: choked snickering, the flicking of paper footballs, tapping pencils, etc. The centerpiece is a whispered conversation rapidly slipping into full voices before an inevitable shush. In the aftermath are rolling eyes, side glances, a snide comment under breath and one last defiant tapping. Spin dizzy, with its syncopated repeating pattern and brief pauses coming to rest in a slightly off kilter but euphoric groove, easily grew akin to the youthful and oddly universal joy of spinning until dizzy.