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 Post subject: Donostia - Preludes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:40 pm 
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Some small fruits of my labor yesterday...I guess I'm still on a Spanish composer kick, because I found another one. Actually, this composer found me - I heard one of these pieces on the radio at work the other day and thought it was pretty so I printed off a few pieces from the set.

It's a set of preludes by José Antonio Donostia, a Spanish priest born in the Spanish Basque country in 1886. He is a little like Bartok in that he collected his region's folk music and used the traditional themes in his music - strictly maintaining the melodies therein, while adding a bit of his own voice. There are 21 preludes, short in nature. The way they are constructed reminds me a little of Grieg's Lyric pieces. I really like no. 4! And it has that same quirky ending found in many of Albeniz' pieces.

Here are just three of the Preludes; the titles are in the Basque language and also Spanish:


Donostia - Preludes no. 3 "Oyanian" "En el bosque" in Spanish ("In the Woods")

Donostia - Preludes no. 4 "Eresia" "Cancion triste" in Spanish ("Sad Song")

Donostia - Preludes no. 9 "Seask aldean eresiz" "Cancion de cuna" in Spanish ("Lullaby")

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 Post subject: Re: Donostia - Preludes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:10 pm 
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Very pretty, and a very nice discovery, too.
I listened to these for enjoyment the first time and was pleased.

I then followed the score for the first two. #4 is fine and I have no comments.
The end of #3, though, is not what's in the score. In the next to last measure, the C# octave is only an 8th note, and I think you held it too long even with artistic license. The 4 against 3 after that was not as accurate as in the rest of the piece, and it may be that the time you took at the beginning of the measure painted you into a corner.

Not a big deal, IMHO, but I had to beat rainer to an observation like this just once!

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 Post subject: Re: Donostia - Preludes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:14 pm 
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Very nice. Not great music but certainly worth a recording.They don't sound Spanish at all, and were probably not meant to (the composer would likely have been offended or at least irked by being labeled a Spanish composer).
Not much to nag about except that in no.9 you play the half notes almost twice too fast (or certainly 1.5 times too fast).

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 Post subject: Re: Donostia - Preludes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:09 pm 
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Thanks, guys! :) But sometimes I wish none of you could find the score to what I'm playing.....haha...just kidding.

Stu - that last bar always gives me a hard time. I don't know why I can't get right. I'll try to fix it up as best I can.

Chris - the meter is 2/4 - but still, don't half notes get two beats? Maybe I screwed that up too.... :oops:

Donostia was born in the Spanish Basque country, so that's a little Spanish sort of. I didn't know that Basque people don't like to be referred to as Spanish (or French if in the French Basque country). I don't really know my history and/or politics in this region.

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 Post subject: Re: Donostia - Preludes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:21 pm 
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Yes, these are a "good find", and nicely played. I see the collective title is "21 Preludios vascos", and "vasco" actually means "Basque".
As Chris points out, they don't sound particularly Spanish. I don't know, though, if there was as much animosity between Basques and Spanish a century ago as there has been in recent decades.

I was intrigued by the fact that the name "Donostia" does not appear on or in the score, which simply calls the composer "P. [for padre] José Antonio de San Sebastián O.M.C.".
So it's Father Joe. Is Antonio his surname or is it a second forename? Who knows. A little detective work reveals that Donostia is the Basque name for the city of San Sebastián. I don't know what OMC stands for, and presume it's to do with his religious order.
StuKautsch wrote:
The end of #3, though, is not what's in the score. In the next to last measure, the C# octave is only an 8th note, and I think you held it too long even with artistic license.
Well done to spot the discrepancy, but on this occasion I would not be so quick to blame Monica.
The score itself is a mess here; the note values don't add up, whichever way you try to make them fit, and so it's difficult to know how it's meant to be interpreted.
In particular, are the octave C# 8ths meant to be followed immediately by the octave Bs, or should there be an 8th rest first? Both alternatives make sense if you compare similar material earlier in the piece. If you consider the Bs as belonging on the second (quarter note) beat, then Monica has not taken as much licence as you suggest, in terms of lingering on the C#s.
Either way there is an 8th rest missing in the score (either before or after the B octave half notes).
What is the meaning of the printed quarter rest? What specifically does it come in front of?
One possibility is that the 8th rests are omitted after the C# octaves because that voice (the theme) has come to an end and the composer or typesetter did not want to clutter up the score with the 8th plus quarter plus another quarter rests. Instead a new voice appears, namely the octave Bs, and the quarter rest belongs in front of them.
Another possibility is that the quarter rest is meant to come in front of the three groups of (RH: 8th plus two 16ths, LH: triplets), but then the bar would have to be a 4/4 bar.
Monica seems to be playing it as a 5/4 bar, with the triplet groups taking up beats 3, 4, and 5), but there seems to be no notational basis on which to justify that.
The simplest explanation which occurs to me is that this bar should really be two bars, the line to be inserted between the octave Bs and the triplet groups, and of course the tied bass chord would need to be duplicated in the second bar.
Quote:
I had to beat rainer to an observation like this just once!
:wink:
I think there are some rhythmic inaccuracies in No4. It's to do with the music changing between triplets, 16ths, and 8ths.
Looking at the top of the second page, for example, the first bar just has six triplets, three on each beat. The second bar has 16ths on the first beat and triplets on the second, but it sounds to me like the 16ths are speeded up, with two of them corresponding to the duration of a triplet, thus the bar lasts for 5 triplets. The third bar has basically four 8ths, except that the middle two are coalesced into a quarter. But the first and last 8ths are played at the same speed as triplets (not always), so the quarter comes too early, and the bar also lasts for 5 triplets. This pattern continues.
I really like the tranquilo section at 2:10. A brief episode which is less sad than the title suggests, it's more reminiscent of a lullaby or of pleasant memories. Pity it only lasts 8 bars. :(

Although Chris is right about No9, this liberty is expressly permitted by the instruction "libre".


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 Post subject: Re: Donostia - Preludes
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:20 am 
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Dang it....I have to re-record all three of these. :x

But really, thank you very much for finding my rhythm discrepancies. For some reason, I have a hard time in 2/4 meter. And it just so happens that almost every piece I'm practicing right now is written in 2/4. Can one of you just come over to my house, sit at my piano with me, and help me? :)

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 Post subject: Re: Donostia - Preludes
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:11 pm 
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Hi Monica,

I had a listen to your Donostia Preludes. Like Rodrigo, another Spanish Composer I have not heard of before. The Seask and Eresia remind me a bit of Granados. Some nice harmonies. I think you play these well, but it seems other members have given you some feedback. If you plan to redo them, I should like to note the differences aurally as I can't make sense of the feedback given to you without a score.

Enjoyed these!

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 Post subject: Re: Donostia - Preludes
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:06 pm 
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pianoman342 wrote:
Hi Monica,

I had a listen to your Donostia Preludes. Like Rodrigo, another Spanish Composer I have not heard of before. The Seask and Eresia remind me a bit of Granados. Some nice harmonies. I think you play these well, but it seems other members have given you some feedback. If you plan to redo them, I should like to note the differences aurally as I can't make sense of the feedback given to you without a score.

Enjoyed these!

Hi Riley,
Thanks. I had not heard of this composer before either. Interesting you thought of Granados. I actually thought of Grieg and also MacDowell. I'm only going to re-record the "Sad Song" tomorrow. Rainer pointed out my rhythm glitch, so I will try to smooth that part out a little. Plus, I really like that one. It's a nice little stand-alone piece.

You're right about nice harmonies! He used gorgeous, lush, and warm chords. I love them! And I really appreciate the warmth right now. It's so cold outside...I'm freezing!

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 Post subject: Re: Donostia - Preludes
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:59 am 
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Hi Monica,

I think this music is a really good find. These pieces are bucolic and all have a very pleasant sound. The composer comes up with some interesting harmonies and unexpected turns of phrase with some mild dissonance now and then too. I think you're right on the Grieg comparison in the sense that these pieces are like album leafs. I think it's great that you've raised awareness of Donostia's works here. Thanks for sharing these.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Donostia - Preludes
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:30 pm 
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Hi David,
Thank You! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Donostia - Preludes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:02 pm 
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Just listened to this the other day. These pieces have creative harmonies and are very enjoyable listening (especially the 2nd one, somehow it has real pathos to it. I loved 0:45-0:50 and the C section, which you shaded beautifully). I think you do a pretty good job on them, though a softer touch to the entrance of a new section at 1:20-ish of the second piece could make it even more endearing.


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 Post subject: Re: Donostia - Preludes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:22 pm 
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Thank you, Jonathan. I thought these would appeal to you. :wink:
I don't have the score in front of me now, but I followed all the dynamic markings. The padre wanted the main theme to come in strongly.
*
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*
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btw - Happy birthday, Mozart!

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