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Barber - Hesitation Tango

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianolady, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is from Barber's set titled, "Souvenirs", Ballet Suite--a set he originally wrote for piano four-hands, but also transcribed for solo piano, as well as for orchestra. I learned the 3rd piece in the set awhile back and recently came across this 5th piece called Hesitation Tango, and wanted to play it because it's different and I needed a change from all my 'pretty' pieces of late.

    The music might not be everyone's cup of tea because of all the dissonances, but I think the quirkiness is neat, along with the rhythm. There are some pretty harmonies too. But it sure isn't easy to play. Seems like it took me forever to get down in my fingers! Like some of the Mompou pieces I played recently, I had to constantly check the notes and chords to see if I got them right because it sounds so 'off' quite a lot. Plus, there are just a bunch of plain hard spots!!

    So anyway, I hope this sounds okay to someone out there.... :)


    Barber - Hesitation Tango, Op. 28, no. 5

    Also the video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDXfIqdmwjU
     
  2. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist

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    Fascinating piece and very coherent in mood - well done, it sounds quite awkward at places. I don't know much Barber and neither do I tango, so I cannot comment on details.
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Joachim :)... Looks like you are the only one who listened. :(
     
  4. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Monica,

    I had a listen to the Tango. I think you play it very well. I haven't heard it before. The best I know of Samuel Barber is his Adagio of Strings, and also I heard Excursions last year, one piano student chose to play the first piece from it. Now this "tango" is a very odd piece to me, from a composer's view. Certainly a farcry from Albeniz's Tango, which I think is more agreed upon as a "tango." Still, at :56 till the end I hear the rhthym plainly enough. The ending I don't like at all. So much for a perfect cadence, it's just huge run?! Haha. I still think Barber was an interesting composer. So though I don't LOVE this piece, nice job. I think you bring out the best in it.
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you for listening, Riley. Yes, Barber and Albeniz are world's apart; musically, geographically, lifestyles, :wink: etc...
    Barber's Excursions is a wonderful set. I like it a lot! Also his Nocturne. I like this piece too, but I don't like all of his works, either. Specifically, I don't really care for his Sonata. Btw, the run at the end here is a glissando. Fun to do if you don't mind leaving a little skin behind on the keys while practicing it....
     
  6. hreichgott

    hreichgott New Member

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    Odd, this doesn't come across to me as dissonant at all. But I've had my head in a lot of atonal music lately so that might be why.
    I thought you absolutely nailed the give-and-take between dance rhythm and rubato here. Have you been listening to a lot of tango? It's quite well done. There are indeed a few places where it seems like you're hemmed in a little bit by needing to attend to note difficulties, but not too many, and nothing that spoils the enjoyment of the piece.
    It is also really fun to hear you being super dramatic and over-the-top! Different approach from the other recordings of yours I've heard thus far (I haven't listened to more than a fraction of your very large oeuvre here on PS though.)
     
  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Heather. :) I've not really listened to that much tango music. Just some Piazzolla here and there. But I do like the drama! Probably I am also more relaxed when I play music like this. It's not well-known and so I know that many people won't be able to pick very many nits ... :lol:
     
  8. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    What a great piece! I think your interpretation is very good. I hope you revisit
    this piece time and again and develop your expression further. It is already very good, but in time
    I think you will bring out more.

    The piece reminds me a bit of the fifties musicals. The music was so beautiful.

    Thank you for once again finding an amazing piece to share.

    Kaila
     
  9. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Brava! This is really a good piece for you since the tango is related to Spanish music, of which you're such an expert. What a funny guy Barber was. It does sound hesitant, too.
    Sorry it took so long for the listen, Monica. Just seems like a slow period on the board, probably because everyone's busy during the week.
     
  10. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Kaila and Stu! :)

    I'm still playing this one daily because I plan to video-record it next weekend (if I can get my act together). Maybe my interpretation is changing already...
    Anyway, yes, Barber was a funny guy. There is a run here where the RH plays an A-flat major scale and the LH plays an E-major scale at the same time. Isn't that crazy? Who would think of that....?
     
  11. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    Great fun. And no, it doesn't come across as particularly dissonant. Sounds like there are some passages where the lh is doing quite a lot of work.
     
  12. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you for listening, Andrew!
    Some of the chords I think sound pretty nasty, but they are so tightly constructed that you cannot hear everything very clearly.
     
  13. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    Ah, so THIS is the piece you were asking all those questions in connection with, a few weeks ago, about gloves for glissando, and how to "ping" a note at the end of a gliss!

    I must say that ping comes across as very skilfully executed, and the whole piece is pretty well done too. If anything, it could do with more over-the-top rubati, just to emphasise the outrageousness of it all. I don't know if you've done the video yet; if not, go for extrovert, dress like you were going to dance it, and don't forget the flower between your teeth.
     
  14. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Bingo! :)

    No, I haven't made the video yet, but plan to this weekend for sure. I actually thought about the flower between my teeth thing too! I happen to have a bunch of long-stem roses right now and so I could do it.... :lol:
     
  15. Affinity

    Affinity New Member

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    This comes as a coincidence, as I recently heard a two-piano version at my old school's duet concert, which seemed even cuter as the partners were 'hesitating' before each other. But you pull off the hesitance quite well by yourself; as previous posters have said, you could probably introduce more rubato as well. Also you could broaden up before the entrances of the second theme as in 0:56 for example. Great work as usual.
     
  16. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you for listening and for the suggestions. Yes, that is a coincidence. :) I had one happen yesterday with the Telemann piece I recorded. I heard it on my Pandora station at work.
     

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