I Write The Music

Fantasia on Greensleeves by Ralph Vaughan Williams

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on October 4, 2017

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Chopin: 19 Nocturnes – Pianist Ivan Moravec – w/ Piano Score

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on September 18, 2017

 

Published on Jan 28, 2017
A capital-G Great Recording.
Once in a very rare while one of these comes along that is so stubbornly & irreducibly beautiful that it’s sort of hard to say anything sensible about it, which obviously leaves reviewers and aficionados with a bit of a problem.
I don’t think I really knew what legato playing was before I heard this recording, or what Chopin’s long phrase marks were actually meant to mean *aurally*.
There’s too much to praise here: ultra-fine dynamic control, tempi neither fast or slow but always reverential, rubato as free as it is natural, the sheer glory of the tone as Moravec unfurls those long melodies.
Even the relatively pedestrian opening of a nocturne like the 15.1 suddenly makes the breath catch. It’s weird and deeply uplifting and makes you want to learn all the nocturnes but despair at actually doing it at the same time.
Everyone likes Chopin’s nocturnes, but perhaps because they’re so generous and immediate in what they offer the listener, their quality is often underestimated: they aren’t (at first blush) difficult or weird in the way that we sometimes expect really great music to be.
But the nocturnes aren’t just excellent pieces: you could plonk them down beside both books of the Well-Tempered Klavier and they wouldn’t be out of place. They still stand as one of the all-time big feats of lyrical composition in any genre and time period: all the melodies sound songlike while being (for the most part) unsingable.
Right from the first nocturne you’ve given a 22-tuplet, and then fiorituri (structural ones, not just ornamental fluff) and colouristic novelties and hidden countermelodies and harmonic innovations will deluge you until you reach the last one.
Analysing just one nocturne is an exhausting affair, and I won’t attempt an analysis of all 19 here. (Do check out Ohlsson’s lecture on just one bit of the 27.2, though.)
I guess I’ll just make three very brief observations. First, the nocturnes closely track Chopin’s stylistic maturation: he uses counterpoint more and more frequently as we approach the late nocturnes, culminating in 55.2, 62.1, and the middle (and very Bachian) section of 62.2.
Second, there are in the nocturnes some sections that achieve a kind of late-Beethoven stillness: listen to some of the more minimalist middle sections that Chopin writes, for instance. And lastly: despite being relatively short pieces, some of these nocturnes cover a lot of musical ground in a very concentrated narrative-like structure, almost like ballades in miniature
(see 15.3, which also has an interesting structure, 27.1, 62.1). 00:00
Op.9 No.1 in Bb Min 05:37
Op.9 No.2 in Eb Maj 10:03
Op.9 No.3 in B Maj 16:28
Op.15 No.1 in F Maj 20:55
Op.15 No.2 in F# Maj 24:55
Op.15 No.3 in G Min 29:31
Op.27 No.1 in C# Min 34:47
Op.27 No.2 in Db Maj 42:04
Op.32 No.1 in B Maj 47:09
Op.32 No.2 in Ab Maj 52:40
Op.37 No.1 in G Min 58:57
Op.37 No.2 in G Maj 1:04:37
Op.48 No.1 in C Min 1:10:47
Op.48 No.2 in F# Min 1:17:44
Op.55 No.1 in F Min 1:22:40
Op.55 No.2 in Eb Maj 1:26:54
Op.62 No.1 in B Maj 1:33:59
Op.62 No.2 in E Maj 1:39:30
Op.72 No.2 (posth.)
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VanAnh Vo – Vietnamese multi instrumentalist, composer, vocalist

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on September 12, 2017

 

Excerpt work from Fire and Bronze (stage 1) production. Featuring Jazz guitarist Nguyen Le. Ensemble members: Sheldon Brown on wind and reed instruments, Jimi Nakagawa on Taiko, Aaron Germain on Upright Bass and electronic bass. Van-Anh Vo on dan Tranh (Vietnamese 16-string zither), dan Bau (the monochord), dan T’rung (the bamboo xylophone), vocal, Viet traditional drum and other percussions.

Johannes Brahms – Documentary about the German Composer

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on September 3, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Pine Covered Path – by Tim Janis

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on September 2, 2017

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Proms 2016 – Gustav Holst – The Planets [Edward Gardner, National Youth Orchestra]

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on August 21, 2017

 

hollowchatter 

Published on Sep 19, 2016

Edward Gardner leads the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the CBSO Youth Chorus in a performance of Gustav Holst’s The Planets with Colin Matthews’ supplementary piece “Pluto, The Renewer.” Recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall on August 6th 2016 as part of Prom 29.

Mars, the Bringer of War 0:00
Venus, the Bringer of Peace 7:15
Mercury, the Winged Messenger 15:09
Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity 18:58
Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age 26:42
Uranus, the Magician 35:32
Neptune, the Mystic 41:20
Pluto, the Renewer 49:17

Siegmund von Hausegger – Nature Symphony (1911)

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on August 19, 2017

 

 

Composer David Foster – Soundtrack of Our Lives

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on August 18, 2017

 

 

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Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994) – Piano Sonata (1934)

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on August 15, 2017

 

Published on May 23, 2016

00:00 – I. Allegro
10:27 – II. Adagio ma non troppo
18:08 – III. Andante – Allegretto
Pf. Gloria Cheng
Lutosławski’s Piano Sonata, the only composition preserved from his early student years, was completed on 29 December 1934. That three-movement work was modelled on the music of Debussy and – to a certain extent – Ravel (especially his Sonatine). The composer himself acknowledged Szymanowski’s influences. The rich palette of sound colours reveals impressionistic origins and, in most of the Sonata (and especially its first movement), the basis of the timbre is the quick succession of broken chords, providing, by means of the pedal, a glimmering background for the subjects and independent motives. The Sonata places certain technical demands on the pianist . In order to perform it correctly, considerable dexterity is required as well as a mastery of passage-work and octave technique, sensitivity to instrumental colouring and skill in bringing polyphony into prominence vividly. In later years Lutosławski’s attitude towards his youthful Sonata was so critical that, though the manuscript survived the turmoil of war, he never decided to publish it. In the 1970s Ryszard Bakst acquired a copy of the music and recorded it for Polish Radio, albeit against the wishes of the composer. Danuta Gwizdalanka, Krzysztof Meyer (excerpt from the book Lutosławski. A Road to Mastery)

 

Sihyeon Choe 

Hindemith – Konzertmusik – for strings and brass

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on August 10, 2017

 

 

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Enrique Granados – Goyescas – Pianist Alicia De Larrocha

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on August 9, 2017

 

David Kim 

Published on Oct 23, 2015

Alicia De Larrocha, Piano

1. Book 1: Los Requiebros
2. Book 1: Coloquio En La Reja
3. Book 1: El Fandango De Candil
4. Book 1: Quejas O La Maja Y El Ruiseñor
5. Book 2: El Amor Y La Muerte (Balada)
6. Book 2: Epilogo: La Serenada Del Espectro
7. Book 2: El Pelele

 

Carl Vine – Piano Sonata No. 1 – Uses Cross Rhythms

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on August 8, 2017

 

olla-vogala 

Published on Jan 11, 2016

– Composer: Carl Vine, AO (8 October 1954 — present)
– Performer: Michael Kieran Harvey
– Year of recording: 1991

Piano Sonata No. 1, written in 1990.

00:00 – I. [no dynamic tempo marking]
08:23 – II. Leggiero e legato

Australian composer Carl Vine uses a lot of open fourths and fifths in this piano sonata, and chords/arpeggios are often based on stacked fourths or fifths. The sonata is reminiscent in its form of Elliot Carter’s piano sonata, and in its intensity of Samuel Barber’s piano sonata.

Notes by the dedicatee, Michael Harvey:
“Drawing on the lithe beauty and contrapuntal elegance of the earlier Piano Sonata (1946) by Elliot Carter, the [1st] Piano Sonata by Carl Vine is a work characterised by intense rhythmic drive and the building up of layers of resonance. These layers are sometimes delicate and modal, archieving a ‘pointed’ polyphony by the use of complex cross-rhythm, at other times they are granite-like in density, creating waves of sound which propel the music irresistibly towards its climax.

The scheme is similar to the Carter Sonata – Two movements, with the slow section built into and defining the faster portions of the first movement. The second movement is based on a ‘moto perpetuo’ which soon gives way to a chorale section, based on parallel fifths.

In discussing the work, Vine is reticent about offering explanations for the compositional processes involved, feeling that these are self-evident, and indeed the work is definitely aurally ‘accessible’ on first hearing. However one of the main concerns in this sonata is the inter-relationship between disparate tempi, which is the undercurrent of the work and its principle binding element.

The work is dedicated to me and was commissioned by the Sydney Dance Company to be choreographed by Graeme Murphy. The first concert performance of this work was on 23 June 1991 in Melbourne. The first dance performance of Piano Sonata was in the Drama Theatre of the Sydney Opera House in May, 1992.”

 

Francis Poulenc – Piano Concerto FP. 146

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on July 31, 2017

thenameisgsarci 

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ublished on Jun 28, 2016

This was the last of Poulenc’s five concertos. While in the first fifteen years of his career Poulenc had made a reputation as a light-hearted composer, personal crises in the late 1930s awakened a dormant religious sensibility. Thereafter, including the war years, he had written music of considerably more seriousness of purpose, but even in them retained his lightness of touch and his ability to charm. After the war ended, restoring communication between Paris and America, the Boston Symphony Orchestra commissioned this piano concerto from Poulenc. It was premiered by that orchestra, conducted by Charles Munch on January 6, 1950, with the composer as soloist.

Now Poulenc returned, for this composition, to his earlier breezy style. The composition is in three movements, each smaller than the previous one; their lengths are about ten, five and a half, and four minutes. The piano is not treated as an individual protagonist against the orchestra, but as a part of the entire ensemble.

The concerto opens with the piano playing one of Poulenc’s rhythmic ideas of faux gruffness, which is countered by a lovely tune on English horn. Reminiscent of various Rachmaninoff themes, the movement meanders here and there, never quite making up its mind; there are subdued hints of the approaching Poulenc opera “Dialogues of the Carmelites.”

The slow second movement is tender, with a sense of some sadness, using a string melody introduced with softly marching rhythms in the horns. The movement then acquires a certain airy repose after the start.

The finale is called Rondeau à la française and is in a very fast tempo. In one of the final episodes, a tune appears which has been traced back to A la claire fontaine, an old sea chanty dating back to the time of Lafayette. Its first few notes are the same as that of Foster’s song “Old Folks at Home” (or “Swanee River”), which some French commentators have mid-identified as a “Negro spiritual.” Poulenc blends it, surprisingly, with a Brazilian maxixe rhythm.

The concerto was not particularly well received, though; and was noted that there was “more sympathy than real enthusiasm,” which the composer attributed to the notion that the audience had listened to too much Sibelius. One critic wrote in Le Figaro: “Certainly it isn’t a concerto at all but a little picture of manners, done up by a minor master.” But Poulenc wrote: “I lead an austere existence in this very Puritan town.”

(AllMusic, Wikipedia)

Please take note that the audio AND the sheet music ARE NOT mine. Change the quality to a minimum of 480p if the video is blurry.

Original audio: classical-music-online.net
Original sheet music: imslp.org

 

Arvo Part – Bamboo Dream (Cloud Gate Dance Theatre) – 2002

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on July 19, 2017

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TheSskain 

 

Hymn to the Sun with the Beat of the Mother Earth – Satoshi Yagisawa – 7-18-17

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on July 18, 2017

 

 

HAPPY 4TH – J.P. SOUSA – The Stars and Stripes Forever

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on July 4, 2017

Aram Khachaturian – Trio for Clarinet, Violin and Piano (1932) [Score-Video]

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on June 30, 2017

A Conversation with Igor Stravinsky, 1957

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on June 29, 2017

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John Randolph

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Published on Aug 14, 2016

A Conversation with Igor Stravinsky
from The Wisdom Series, 1957

 

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Johannes Brahms – Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor, Op. 60 “Werther” (Trio Arte and Gérard Caussé)

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on June 26, 2017
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Beethoven – Piano Sonata 23, Op.57 “Appassionata” (Color-Coded Analysis V2)

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on June 25, 2017

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The Daily Beethoven

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(Make sure “Annotations” is ON to see section labels)

Piano Sonata No.23 in Fm, Op.57 (‘Appassionata’)
1.Allegro assai @0:00
2.Andante con moto (attaca) @9:06
3.Allegro ma non troppo @15:33

Piano: Annie Fischer

(Version with Alfred Brendel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89hcfg…)

Note: at this time the annotations will not appear on mobile devices, so if possible please watch from a computer.

For more videos of this type see:
Color-Coded Analysis of Beethoven’s Music (INDEX):
http://lvbandmore.blogspot.com/p/colo…

Introduction to Sonata Form:
http://lvbandmore.blogspot.com/p/abou…

This analysis was assisted in large part by Donald Tovey’s “Companion to Beethoven’s Pianoforte Sonatas”.

My Analysis Cheat Sheet:
-SONATA FORM: Most common form, almost always in the 1st movement and often last movement of a work. The basic sequence is Intro, Exposition, Development, Recapitulation and Coda.
-EXPOSITION: Main theme(s) are presented, usually in the home key and then a modulated key
-THEME / THEME GROUP: musical “paragraph”. These can be broken down into 1 or more “tunes”. These are grouped according to key and end on cadences. The 1st Theme Group is in the home key. The 2nd Theme Group is in the dominant or other key.
-CLOSING/CADENCE SECTION: a theme group which closes the Expo or Recap (it follows the 2nd theme) and revives Theme 1 to provide closure.
-MODULATING BRIDGE/TRANSITION: material to get from 1 key/theme group to another, often w sequencing.
-DEVELOPMENT: free-form “working out”/”fantasia” section where earlier themes are subjected to variations and atomizations. Possibly a new theme is introduced (“Eroica”).
-RECAPITULATION: Repeat of the Expo, except that this section remains in the same key throughout and there can be theme variations from the initial Expo versions of themes.
-CODA: Follows the Recap, kind of a second development designed to finish off the work.
-SEQUENCING: repeating a phrase on different starting notes (keys)
-TERNARY FORM: 3-part form in A-B-A, usually a Scherzo or Minuet
-SCHERZO/MINUET: 1st pt. of a 3-pt. Scherzo form, usually AA.BA’.BA’ in 3/4 time. Lively.
-TRIO: Middle section of a Scherzo movement, slower, broader than the Scherzo section
-RONDO: Similar to Sonata form except that the Development is replaced by a new section and there is less transition material. A principal theme (A) alternates with contrasting themes (BCD…). (Ex.ABACABA.)
-FUGUE: form in which a subject(s) undergoes canonical permutations
-VARIATION: repeat of a theme with variation
-CADENZA: unaccompanied instrumental solo
-BINARY FORM: Structure in AB. 2-Part Song form.
(Disclaimer: I do not have a music degree, all of the above is purely from memory and observation)

 

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