For my final project in the Spring semester of 2021, I had the privilege of working with Dr. Paul Barnes to reconstruct Philip Glass’s “Annunciation Piano Quintet” for solo piano. By using the original music, scored for two violins, viola, cello, and piano, Barnes was able to compress the music to be performed by one pianist. As Barnes continued to revise and revisit his reduction, I drafted an updated score using Sibelius, allowing for the revisions to come to life with a clean, organized edition.
One of the critical challenges we had to address is which part to leave out, and which part must absolutely stay. Raw piano reductions usually result in a humanly impossible rendition of the original music, primarily due to the fact that you’re basically asking the pianist to play the music of 5 people simultaneously (for orchestral reductions, it would be upwards of 15+ different parts). Barnes was able to successfully rewrite material that would otherwise sound incorrect, or simply be impossible to perform on a piano.