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Blancafort - Notes d'Antany

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianolady, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is set of miniatures by Manuel Blancafort composed between 1915-1919. One day a couple months ago, I heard on my radio some piano music and I recognized the melody and immediately thought it was Mompou. After a moment, and listening more carefully, I realized that it was Mompou's melody, but different harmonies than in the piece I thought it was. Turned out, it was by Manuel Blancafort and he used the same folk tune as Mompou did in one of his Cancions and Danzas. I'm not sure which composer 'borrowed' the folk tune first, but it was fun for me to listen to the different choices of harmonies each composed used, and then I also knew that I wanted to actually get the music for Blancafort's version. Took awhile to get the book mailed to me, but I finally received it. To anyone else interested in Mompou, besides the last piece in this set which uses the same folk tune, I hear a lot of similarities between the piece, "Birds in April's Sky", and Mompou's "Jeunes filles au jardin" (Girls in the Garden).

    Another tidbit--Mompou and Blancafort were part of a group of Catalan composers who joined together in 1920 and founded Asociación de Compositores Independientes de Catalunya. The members of this group wanted to create new Catalan music that although more modern in character was still deeply rooted in the musical heritage of the area. Mompou and Blancafort were the two most prominent characters and in many ways shared similar views on music.

    Blancafort - Notes d'Antany, no. 1 "When Autumn Comes"
    Blancafort - Notes d'Antany, no. 2 "In the Garden"
    Blancafort - Notes d'Antany, no. 3 "Lament"
    Blancafort - Notes d'Antany, no. 4 "The Joyful Companions"
    Blancafort - Notes d'Antany, no. 5 "Childhood Memory"
    Blancafort - Notes d'Antany, no. 6 "The Moon Shines"
    Blancafort - Notes d'Antany, no. 7 "Birds in April's Sky"
    Blancafort - Notes d'Antany, no. 8 "Folk Theme"
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    A nice set, well performed. Certainly redolent of Mompou, but not equaling that composer's inspiration and originality. I find some of these piece a little repetitive.
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you for listening. I agree. Although each piece is unique compared to the others, they each have a lot of repetition.

    Here's a nice little photo I found online of Blancafort and Mompou:
     
  4. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    I had a listen to this interesting set, and some really have an appeal. These are not what you typically expect of 20th century piano lit relics! These are new to be but perhaps in a way they are not as I agree, he does sound similar to Mompou. I like how you balance the RH with the LH in the Moon Shines. I downloaded three titles that caught my fancy: Moon Shines, When Autumn Comes and Childhood Memory" :) Look forward to listening to the rest of them!
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Riley,

    Thank you for listening! The Moon Shines piece is probably my favorite one. But having to play so lightly in the LH and bring out the melody clearly in the RH is something I have to work hard on. I'm glad you think it came out ok here. :)
     
  6. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, a very nice addition to the site.
    My favorite was #3 ("Lament"). I heard it first without knowing the title, and thought the tempo was right on. After seeing the title, I thought perhaps it was too fast, but may Blancafort just got the title wrong :)
     
  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Stu. I think a piece with that title would go slower too. I just played it faster because I heard another recording of it like that. Sometimes I think I should not first listen to other recordings so that I play according to my own understanding/interpretation. But then there have been many times when I've been embarrassed by "my" version because it was so against the norm, which I learned after listening to other recordings.
     
  8. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist

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    A set of cute and pleasant melodies, lovingly and very elegantly played. Great shaping of the melody lines, and enviable consistent control of the balance of hands and voices. Thanks for posting!

    They do get a bit repetitive, but I think that's OK, it's part of the folk music idiom. But in a suite this long I miss some element of drama. Either my speakers are wrong or there are no fortes. Perhaps there is room for none in this music.

    Joachim
     
  9. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you for listening! :)

    This worries me a little. Only one of the pieces has a forte marked. It's the no. 7 "Birds in April's Sky". There are fortes marked at the opening triplets and also when they repeat later on. I thought I played louder on those spots. Now I wonder if I'm just imaging that I did...
     
  10. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    I think your interpretation of the Blancafort Notes D'Astasy is highly artistic in color,
    mood, pacing, and tone. One can hear nuances of different early 20th century
    styles throughout the set.

    Great job Monica. Thanks for sharing.

    Kaila
     
  11. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you for listening, Kaila!
    I hope your recovery is going well!! :)
     
  12. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    I listened to most of these colorful pieces. The one that I liked best was "The Moon Shines", as the music is very evocative, as is your playing. Sometimes the musical texture seems a bit sparse, but yet it's always sufficient to convey the mood, scene or activity. Very nice playing, Monica.

    David
     
  13. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, David. "Moon Shines" is my favorite one too! :)
     
  14. Chauvineau

    Chauvineau Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Monica,
    I just discovered your Blancaford recordings. Greats to record such a "confidential" composer! I known him just by two pièces I have on an old disc ... recorded by Ricardo Viñes! You then gave me the opportunity to know more on this composer. I particularly liked the 4rth piece of the collection you proposed, for its peculiar sounds ... Well done!
    I liked very much your Rachmaninov's etude-tableau too!
    Best, Bertrand
     
  15. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Bertrand,
    Thank you for listening and for commenting. I'm sorry, but life has been crazy and unsettled and so I haven't had time to participate on the site lately. I happen to be playing in an amateur piano competition in two weeks, so hopefully after that I will be able to spend time on PS again.
    Thank you again! :)
     
  16. Chauvineau

    Chauvineau Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Monica,
    no problem! I wish you the best for your piano competition! Best, Bertrand
     

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