Gloss: A word inserted between the lines or in the margin as an explanatory rendering of text. Also, a comment, explanation, interpretation. My Gloss is more of a commentary on Beethoven's Opus 131 than an explanation. Reflecting the nature of my listening experience, this commentary is somewhat non-linear: an exploration of the gesture of the slow opening, an echo of the sudden forte injections from the 5th movement presto are specific musical elements that prompted my own commentary.

More significant to me are the structural elements that elicited my interpretive response: the use of the opening theme of Beethoven's first movement as a basis for pitch material, the use of C# as a central pitch, and the unfolding of continuous movements. In my case, the music is cast as a set of seven free variations, played without pause. Rather than stating a theme and developing it, Gloss moves toward the clarity of a theme, which is heard at the end.

Other aspects of the piece deserve mention, one related to the source, and two that stand in opposition to the source. Related to Opus 131 is my use of thirds as an important interval in the piece. This is related to Beethoven's own use of third-related key structures, and also the fact that the interval which opens Opus 131 is a third. Standing in opposition to the source (an aspect of the gloss itself) are the decidedly un-Beethoven quarter-tones coupled with a more complex rhythmic palette. These latter elements could be a point of departure for a future Gloss, but I'll have to leave that to the next composer's Gloss.