Vivian Fine





Written in honor of the 150th anniversary of Schubert's death and dedicated to Roger Sessions




9 minutes


Solo piano


March 26, 1979, Mannes College of Music, New York City, Lionel Nowak, piano


Gunmar Music, Inc.


Vivian Fine,” American Masters Series, CRI CD 692, Lionel Nowak, pianist

  1. Poco Allegretto, delicato
  2. Andante lusingando
  3. Allegro
  4. Con tenerezza
  5. Moderato
  6. Lento

program notes

The inspiration for this set of six piano pieces is the Moments Musicaux of Schubert. Motivic elements from the latter are used freely and only in the last piece is there a brief literal quotation.

–Composer’s note to the score


The six short movements were inspired by gestures from Schubert’s Moment Musicaux, though not until the last movement is there an actual quote.  The gestures become transformed into Fine’s music, which sounds unselfconscious in its free use of dissonance and vigorous in its frequent changes in rhythmic groupings.

–Heidi Von Gunden, liner notes to “Vivian Fine,” CRI American Masters CD 692


Fine’s writing contrasts sharply with Schubert’s harmonic and melodic idiom, yet because of the similar motivic elements, one can easily discern how these movements correspond. Momenti’s homorhythmic texture is a departure from Fine’s characteristic linear writing style, yet individual voices retain their own identity by their respective tonalities, resulting in a preponderance of dissonance reminiscent of the music of her first style period. The homorhythmic texture, however, tempers this atonality, thus creating a cohesive piece of music.

–Leslie Jones, “The Solo Piano Music of Vivian Fine,” Doctor of music arts dissertation, University of Cincinnati, 1994.


“…jewels waiting for recitalists to wake up to their presence.”

–Robert Commanday, San Francisco Chronicle, October 24, 1982


“…six vignettes that alternate between hazily soft-edged and rhythmically sharp, which Ms. Diwyk endowed with character and charm.”

–Allan Kozinn, The New York Times, May 26, 1988

audio files

Andante lusingando