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Bowen - Serious Dance no. 2

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianolady, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is a nice little three-pager by York Bowen. It's part of a set called "3 Serious Dances". I think it's very pretty. It has gorgeous and lush harmonies with a touch of melancholy (which I love!). And it's not fussy. It's just one of those pieces that makes my mind wander when I play it. Like I start to think of someone and a romantic scenario plays out in my imagination. Hope it sounds okay... :)

    Bowen - Three Serious Dances, Op. 51, no. 2 "Poco Lento""
     
  2. hreichgott

    hreichgott New Member

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    That is indeed a whole lot of pretty in a small container :)
    A little Rachmaninoff, a little Puccini... I thought for a moment there was going to be an out-and-out quote of that famous aria from Madama Butterfly, but not quite.
    Very well played, too.
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Heather!

    And I like what you said here...."That is indeed a whole lot of pretty in a small container"
    :)
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Good to have some (more) Bowen on the site. He was a marvellous piano composer whose output should be much better known. Sometimes called the "English Medtner", his music is much more accessible than Medtner's, and of course there is more than a whiff of Rachmaninov. The virtually unknown Dutch pianist Joop Celis is recording much of Bowen's work for the Chandos label, in performances that leave nothing to be desired - pianism almost in the Hamelin class.

    This is a good choice, a luscious, nostalgic and affectionate piece. Excellently played.
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you! I thought I was introducing the first Bowen music to the site, but then I discovered you had already done so. I wasn't surprised.... :)
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I had great plans with Bowen at the time... but as usual got distracted. I seem to have all the focus of a 5-year old in a sweet shop :lol:
     
  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Really? I hadn't noticed.... :p

    But you know our 'rule' about bios. Can you maybe just make a short one for Bowen so we can get rid of the jibberish that is there now?
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yeah I know it well, and am probably the one violating it most. I have a lot of work to do :roll:

    S'pose so . . .
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    How about if I take my crappy little Bowen recording off site ? Then you have to make the bio :!: :p
     
  10. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Great job! Hard to say what this reminds me of; I listened to it once seriously then as background a few more times to try to come up with a comparison, but nada. Just very beautiful.

    What a great flurry of recordings we have suddenly.
     
  11. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Haha…nice try. Didn’t you get the memo? I’ll remind you…the NEW rule is: Whoever submits music by a new composer has to write a composer bio for the site. Even if that person later decides to take down their recordings in an effort to get out of doing the task. :p

    Seriously, Stu? Hahaha...get it? (it's a Serious Dance). But seriously, thank you! :) How about some new recordings from you now?!
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    A memo... ? I know nothing about it :p I'll submit a new rule saying that the rules do not apply to admins. Get Raymond to review that one :lol: :roll:
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yeah, it's like the weather isn't it !? Months of drought and then all of a sudden it's raining you off your socks.
     
  14. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Monica,

    This is a wonderful recording, never heard a recording of Bowen before this one. Amazing how good a simple progression of chords sound with a little variation here and there. It has a bittersweet feeling to it IMO that is rarely pulled off successfully by composers, so to speak.
     
  15. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Riley. :) This piece sounds a little like Poulenc to me--another one good at bittersweet...
     
  16. luissarro

    luissarro New Member

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    oh, Monica!

    such a nice piece!
    I didn't know it before!

    thanks!
     
  17. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    :) I like it too! Thank you for listening, Luis! :)
     
  18. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    First time I've heard this piece, but I really enjoyed your playing of it. You have a very good sense for this music and play it very convincingly in my opinion.

    Bowen in his day was called the "British Rachmaninov". So I was listening to the composition using that framework. Certainly there were some fresh harmonies there and turns of phrase, but I couldn't help thinking that Rachmaninov would have made those progressions even more lush and poignant. Maybe this is to say that Rachmaninoff had no equal. So was I perhaps expecting too much of Bowen? Then again, to be fair, maybe I should hear more of his piano music before drawing any conclusion.

    David
     
  19. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, David! I heard someone talking about this piece on Facebook and got interested. I'm glad I printed it out because it's so nice!! Besides what I read about Bowen when I submitted my recording, I also listened to a recording of him playing Chopin. He was a good pianist! His playing on the Ballade no. 3 has a few slips, but he sure doesn't lack in overall skill!! There's a spot in the recording between 4:24 and 4:33...his left hand...that really amazes me!!

    Here is the youtube video if anyone is interested....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6wt0o0 ... 4235F3C71B
     

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