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 Post subject: Luiz de Freitas Branco - Sonatina
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:13 am 
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Luiz de Freitas Branco was one of the most important musical figures in Portugal during the first half of the 20th century. I'm not sure what else he wrote for piano, if anything, but I find this Sonatina rather cute. The third movement has some unexpectedly tricky moments and is overall not easy with its hand crossings. I think this is the first Portuguese composer on the site but likely not important enough to justify a separate page.

Freitas Branco - Sonatina - 1: Allegro moderato (0:48)
Freitas Branco - Sonatina - 2: Andante (0:56)
Freitas Branco - Sonatina - 3: Rondo - Allegretto (1:47)

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 Post subject: Re: Luiz de Freitas Branco - Sonatina
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:20 am 
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The pieces are somewhat slight, but still enjoyable. The last movement is rather nice; I appreciated the clarity of your passagework here.

techneut wrote:
I think this is the first Portuguese composer on the site but likely not important enough to justify a separate page.


I'm a little surprised there is no da Motta (not that I'm especially familiar with his works).


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 Post subject: Re: Luiz de Freitas Branco - Sonatina
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:49 am 
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Thanks for checking this out !

andrew wrote:
The pieces are somewhat slight, but still enjoyable. The last movement is rather nice; I appreciated the clarity of your passagework here.
My sentiment exactly. It's not great music, but nice and fresh with e certain innocent charm. I had to work bloody hard on the central turbulent passage in the last mvt, and still it would not come off without one or two imperfections.

andrew wrote:
I'm a little surprised there is no da Motta (not that I'm especially familiar with his works).
Certainly a famous name but I've not heard any of his music. I think he was not a terribily original composer, more important as a pedagogue and arranger/transcriber. His few piano pieces on IMSLP don't look very appealing to me (though it's a bit unfair to judge from score alone).

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 Post subject: Re: Luiz de Freitas Branco - Sonatina
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:26 am 
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techneut wrote:
andrew wrote:
I'm a little surprised there is no da Motta (not that I'm especially familiar with his works).
Certainly a famous name but I've not heard any of his music. I think he was not a terribily original composer, more important as a pedagogue and arranger/transcriber. His few piano pieces on IMSLP don't look very appealing to me (though it's a bit unfair to judge from score alone).


I've only really listened to the piano concerto (plus a salon piece). It's pleasantly entertaining, though I suspect it's the sort of concerto written by someone who is a primarily a pianist rather than a concerto written by a composer, if that makes any sense.


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 Post subject: Re: Luiz de Freitas Branco - Sonatina
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:00 pm 
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I've never heard of this composer; the music sounds a little like Bartok to me. They all seems easy to play except that middle section of no. 3 does indeed sound like a finger-twister. Also, the sound clipped at the end.

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 Post subject: Re: Luiz de Freitas Branco - Sonatina
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:21 pm 
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Chris,
I agree with Monica on the similarity to Bartok. I always used the Microcosmos in my teaching and these pieces could serve equally at the right stage. The first was most interesting to me as it seemed to be a ride on the ferris wheel of tonality. I too have never heard of this composer.

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 Post subject: Re: Luiz de Freitas Branco - Sonatina
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:52 am 
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Hi Chris,

I had never heard these pieces of Branco before. His music has a fresh, outdoors sound to it. I think you played them all very convincingly. That third movement sounds quite tricky!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Luiz de Freitas Branco - Sonatina
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:43 am 
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Hi Chris,

I had a chance to listen to all three of your recordings. They sound nice, I haven't heard of Freitas Branco till now, and these pieces are interesting. Is this the complete set? The first has an extremely fast harmonic rhythm-and for such a short piece.. :shock: The second was a nice piece starting and ending on c and the third did sound quite hard, a "bucking" branco if I may say so :lol: , though I don't think you got bucked too bad ! For criticism, I have to echo what Monica said, the ending was played very forte. Perhaps this was in the score? I do not know, anyway it didn't take away from the overall piece. These sonatinas are short in duration but don't sound too repetitious which is nice.

Thanks for the introduction,

~Riley

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 Post subject: Re: Luiz de Freitas Branco - Sonatina
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:49 am 
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Thanks all for the feedback. A pleasant surprise, as I'd half expected nobody would appreciate this little ditty.
I know the final chord clips, it must be because I fiddled with the input level which is probably higher than I used before
(I need to use a higher level for organ recording and then remember to set it back correctly). I think I'll just re-record this chord and tack it on. Surely that is not cheating is it !?
There's one bar in the Rondo that I find quite impossible to play up to speed, even after immense practice. I tried to let the RH help out but it made things even harder. So I fumble my way through it best as I can. It's probably my lack of technique.


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 Post subject: Re: Luiz de Freitas Branco - Sonatina
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:31 am 
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I'd play it either 5, 4, 52, 41; 5, 4, 31, 52 with the r.h. taking the Bb and A, or I'd gliss the l.h. thumb from Bb to A and use the thumb again on the G#. I'd suggest the latter is harder to control precisely (and won't work for the end of the bar).


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 Post subject: Re: Luiz de Freitas Branco - Sonatina
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:35 am 
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andrew wrote:
I'd play it either 5, 4, 52, 41; 5, 4, 31, 52 with the r.h. taking the Bb and A,

I tried that but it opened up a whole new can or worms for me.
andrew wrote:
or I'd gliss the l.h. thumb from Bb to A and use the thumb again on the G#. I'd suggest the latter is harder to control precisely (and won't work for the end of the bar).

That is what I do but indeed it is very difficult unless in slow tempo. The end of the bar is no problem because there's only a two-note chord following this time.

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 Post subject: Re: Luiz de Freitas Branco - Sonatina
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:48 am 
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Ok, perhaps taking only the fourth of each group of semiquavers as a right hand sixth? (I'd use 543, then 12 for the sixth here). That seems a lot easier - don't know why I didn't think of it before.


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 Post subject: Re: Luiz de Freitas Branco - Sonatina
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:36 pm 
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Yes possibly - though that does not look easier to me (being away from the piano). Anyway in the end I decided this lone note wasn't worth all the aggro, and my slopping over it wasn't going to make a big difference.

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 Post subject: Re: Luiz de Freitas Branco - Sonatina
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:07 pm 
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Given the difficulty, you might consider inverting the voices in the LH so that the "inner" 16th-note runs occur an octove lower.

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 Post subject: Re: Luiz de Freitas Branco - Sonatina
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:13 pm 
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Hi Chris. I'm not sure why you thought we'd not appreciate the piece. It is a nice little sonatina and a good performance you gave it. Thank you for introducing us to Freitas Branco.

Re the "impossible" bar ... I would probably take the A only with the RH and leave the Bb and the G# with the LH thumb. It might not work at speed, but I'd be tempted to try crossing finger over finger and use 4 3 4 (31) for the first group in the RH. Then again, I have been known to adopt fingerings that would give any piano teacher an aneurysm :)


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