Piano Suite No. 1: The Resonance of Childhood


(Solo Piano).
Total duration ca. 12 minutes (1996)
Published by Activist Music (ASCAP).
Five movement work: "Variations on a Memory," "On My Mother,"
"Quiet Child," "For My Father," and "Older."
19 pages, 8.5" x 11".


Premiered in November 1996 in Los Angeles, CA.
by Zita Carno, piano.


Audio clips performed by
Adam Marks,




View the first page and hear a music sample
of any of the five movements:

1. Variations on a Memory
view score
2. On My Mother
view score
3. Quiet Child
view score
4. For My Father
view score

5. Older

view score






Purchase this score

Score available for $30.00 print,
and $12.00 digital, from Activist Music.




Piano Suite No. 1: The Resonance of Childhood was composed as a set of personal reflections exploring early years, difficult parental relationships and ultimately the acceptance of conflicting emotions. The opening set of variations sets the tone for the entire Suite: searching and hope that are met with the uncomfortable combination of disappointment and acquiescence. Of the five short movements, perhaps the most intimate is the fourth, entitled For My Father, which was written in response to a beloved parent's descent into dementia.





Californian Concert CD


One of the movements from this Suite, For My Father, is featured on Susanne Kessel's 2006 CD, Californian Concert, on Oehms Classics OC 534. Click CD for more info.



Notes from the Kelp

For My Father is featured on the 2007 Innova Recordings CD, Notes from the Kelp (innova 683). Click CD for more info.



Arcana Album Alex Shapiro has produced a significant album of her solo piano works, including PIANO SUITE NO.1, beautifully performed by New York pianist Adam Marks. The 2020 disc, ARCANA, has been released on Innova Recordings 041.







Email Alex for the access code
to download a perusal score!


Perusal score





"This is an imaginative idea beautifully realized... Kessel is known as an avant-garde specialist, but she plays like a romantic... full of rubato and sudden splashes of color; she is not afraid to slow down or speed up for dramatic effect... The recorded sound is exceptionally warm and velvety, completing a seductive picture."

American Record Guide, Sept/Oct 2006



"...particularly compelling"

— David Toub, Sequenza21



"The most serious work on the album, the solo-piano For My Father, depicts the descent into dementia of the composer's father; here again Shapiro is both emotionally immediate and capable of sustaining a structural process over a long stretch."

— James Manheim, All Music Guide



"For my Father, a document of a gradual descent into dementia, is a dark episode, an eerie and questioning motive spiralling helplessly down into bitter acceptance."

— Tobias Fischer, Tokafi



"For My Father” is the fourth movement of Ms. Shapiro’s 1996 five-movement Piano Suite No. 1: The Resonance of Childhood, and the sixth track on this twelve-track CD. It’s an elegy on the inexorable descent of Ms. Shapiro’s father into dementia — an anguished, extended questioning of fate ending in quiet resignation the totality of the movement seeming to echo the sense of the words if not the original meaning of Beethoven’s famous written question and answer on the beginning and ending pages, respectively, of the last movement of his last quartet: “Muss es sein? Es muss sein. [Must it be? It must be.]”

— A.C. Douglas, Sounds & Fury



"For My Father” remains with the listener as it convincingly conveys the painful journey of loss."

— Sherry Kloss, Mu Phi Epsilon's "The Triangle"





Here is a video of pianist Amy Wurtz
performing the fifth movement, Older,
in Chicago:






Here is a video of pianist Susanne Kessel
performing the fourth movement, For My Father,
live at Villa Aurora, in Los Angeles:



1. Variations on a Memory  
2. On My Mother    
On My Mother
3. Quiet Child    
Quiet Child
4. For My Father    
For My Father
5. Older    

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