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Brief hello from new member, and guess-the-composer

Discussion in 'General' started by rainer, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    Location:
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    LOCATION:
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    This is just to say hello and to introduce myself.

    Although I'm technically German I have lived in Edinburgh (Scotland) since I went to university in the early 1970s.

    My main instrument is the bassoon these days, which I play in various local amateur orchestras (of which there are surprisingly many, some of them pretty good), but I also play the piano, and am one of a few people who take turns accompanying hymns at my church (which has a very old, probably pre-1900, Steinway grand instead of an organ). My standard is not particularly high, but I do manage to sight-read the hymns, and play a little prelude and postlude each time too, more often than not something simple like a Haydn sonata movement which doesn't need too much preparation.

    My piano is an American instrument, an Everett upright from about 1955, which my parents bought when we were in Houston. I first started the piano in Hong Kong, when I was about 4 or 5. My mother taught me using the John Thompson method, but it wasn't until I was 8 or 9 that I had my first "real" teacher. We were living in Barcelona then (we moved around a lot because dad was in the diplomatic service), and when we left I think it must have been by way of a farewell present from my teacher that we came by a set of three preludes written by her father. They were far too difficult for me, I would have been only at about grade 4 standard then. Every now and then I pulled them out of the pile to try them, and each time they went straight back. Even today they're still too difficult, though I'm beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel; with a lot of work I could probably manage two of them (the other is acknowledged to be extremely difficult).

    I've often wondered what some of his other music might be like, the titles of which were listed on the back. Only this year did I get around to sourcing some of these pieces in the hope that they might be a little easier, and luckily some of them were within my modest ability.

    QUIZ: Would anyone like to guess who this Catalan composer is? Hints: His name begins with M but he isn't Mompou but is pretty well contemporary with him, and like him he was born in, died in, and spent most of his life in, Barcelona. He was much better known as a violinist than as a composer.

    I recently played one of his pieces at a local chamber music club and in the course of getting some background information together for my introductory talk I came across an article comparing the piece (which has the word "bird" in its title) with some of the bird music of Ravel, Mompou, and Granados, and as I had never heard of Mompou I searched around and found some of his stuff on YouTube, and that is how I found Piano Society.

    I'm grateful to PS for opening my eyes (or do I mean ears?) to the music of Mompou, and subsequently to that of Esplá, by both of whom I just had to get hold of some sheet music, and I will shortly be posting something about both of them.
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello rainer, and welcome to Piano Society. It's a little strange, but you are the second new person on the forum recently who also plays the bassoon. Or are you also edharris99?

    Anyway, I'm a big fan of Mompou and have recorded many of his pieces, and video-recorded a couple too. And we have quite of bit of Mompou recordings on our site played by several of our members. I discovered Espla a little over a year ago and like his music a lot too. Although, I've only recorded his set "Levante" and also a piece called "Danza Antigua". Funny, but just a couple days ago I was thinking that I'd like to explore more of Espla's music sometime. But turns out I've still got some Mompou sitting on my piano that I need to get to first. Ah....so much great music to play, so little time....

    Answer to your quiz: is it Juan Manén?
     
  3. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    Nope. By the way, I didn't take up the bassoon until I was in my late 20s; I came to it by way of the cello, as one does. I was playing the cello in a small incomplete orchestra, a subset of which wanted to play wind quintets. There being no bassoonist I covered the part on the cello. One day I saw an old and inexpensive (but good - a plastic Fox) bassoon advertised in the newspaper and I thought I might try it. Soon I was hooked.
    No, although the details seem to fit. Was he familiar to you? I bet you did a keyword search somewhere! I'll give you and others a bit longer before giving another hint.
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Montsalvatge, I guess. His Sonatine pour Yvette is a masterpiece and so are his Concierto breve and Canciones Negras. I don't know if he composed preludes. What a privilege to have studied with his daughter !
    And welcome to PS.
     
  5. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    Alas no, it wasn't Xavier Montsalvatge. Of my guy I said he was better known as violinist than composer, and XM wasn't particularly a violinist, was he? I did however see archives of some of XM's articles (full of praise) writing as a critic for the Barcelona newspaper La Vanguardia of public recitals given by various members of my guy's family, including not only my teacher but also her mother who was a pianist of some distinction. Mother and father frequently gave piano/violin recitals together.

    Small hint coming up:

    She (my teacher's mother, let's call her Maria, which is her real name) was a pupil of another pianist of distinction (whose name I won't reveal yet because it would be too big a hint). She (my teacher's mother's teacher) was somewhat famous, and had been his (my teacher's father's) recital partner before Maria was.
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I've got it now.....it's Joan Massià. :)
     
  7. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    You seem very sure, as if there's no possibility that it might be wrong.
    And it isn't wrong. Damn, you're good!
    Just as I was thinking of dropping the next big hint by mentioning his wife's teacher's name, but I expect you already know it.
     
  8. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Blanche Selva?
     
  9. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    I don't know why you even bother with the question mark.
     
  10. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    :lol: :lol:
     

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