The Blue Hula
FOR SOLO PIANO
Premiere: October 28, 1990; Alice Tully Hall, New York; Leonard Kuzmin, piano
I wrote The Blue Hula -- named for an old American dance form -- when I was living in Hawaii in 1980. It is ten minutes long, in three movements and scored for what many composers in the twentieth cenury have come to call 'Pierrot Plus Percussion.' The same ensemble -- flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano -- which Schoenberg used for Pierrot Lunaire, with the addition of percussion, and which instrumentation has become something of a standard twentieth century ensemble.
The Blue Hula was commissioned by the New York New Music Ensemble, and is dedicated to Joseph Machlis and Aryeh Stollman.
The New York Times - Edward Rothstein
"Tobias Picker's The Blue Hula (1981) was a lusher entertainment...tossing in a bit of jazz, a bit of tango and a bit of Stravinskyan wit."