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Garson:Jazz-Variations on a Theme of Paganini, Soliloquy II

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by musicusblau, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    These are my first jazz-submissions on PS. My colleague, Michael Schönfelder, plays the clarinet. He is teacher at the same Secondary School (High School) in Germany like me.
    The first piece (Jazz-variations on a theme of Paganini) is related to classical music, because of the well-known Paganini-theme, the second piece (Soliloquy no. 2) is pure jazz music.
    The Jazz-variations are quite demanding, it´s a quite fast movement, especially in the middle section, when the quarter becomes a half ("Maestoso con spirito", quarter=116-120), the "Soliloquy no. 2" is in a moderate tempo ("Tranquillo", quarter=96) and has a nice flowing and quiet character.

    You can watch us playing these pieces on my YouTube-channel:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqA4WqaH ... ideo_title (Michael Garson: Jazz-Variations on a Theme of Paganini for clarinet and piano)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2wWYFmJ ... ideo_title (Michael Garson: Soliloquy no. 2 for clarinet and piano)

    The mp3-files below are exact the soundtracks of the videos above.

    Comments are welcome!

    Garson - Soliloquy II, for clarinet and piano (2:59)
    Garson - Jazz Variations on a theme of Paganini, for clarinet and piano (3:16)
     
  2. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Andreas,
    I think your variations are really nice and I enjoyed this a lot ! (I knew there was something blau about you :wink: ) I found only one aspect lacking for me: that was that the piano was essentially always used only in the middle of its tessitura. Why not reach both high above and low below every now and then to help vary the color of the piano a bit? Otherwise, very creative and stylistic. (That was one long run on one breath for the clarinetist near the end, but he made it!)

    Edit: Oops! These aren't your Variations. Sorry. Well performed!
     
  3. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Eddy,
    thank you for your comment. I´m glad you like it.

    Ah, I think, that´s a typical missunderstanding. No, the german word "blau" has nothing to do with "blue notes" in the sense of jazz music. It simply means the colour "blue", which is my favorite one. That´s the only reason I have choosen that nickname. I do play jazz quite seldomly. (The word "blue" in the jazz music means something like "sad", not the colour.)

    Well, not only for the clarinetist. (Phew!) :wink:


    Indeed I would be proud to be able to improvise jazz music on that level! You are right, these pieces are completely written down and we just play, what´s written in the score.
     
  4. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Andreas, I truly enjoyed both pieces. Wonderful ensemble, beautiful music! It seems that there is no music you cannot play. Bravo and bravi (also to your partner)!!! :)
    Actually I've written a comment on YT, but after clicking on "Posten", I saw the message "Der Kommentar muss noch genehmigt werden"...?
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Nice pieces ! The variations are inventive and do show some different jazz styles. The Soliloqui has the potential of being very beautiful but somehow does not live up to its initial promise. Garson's harmonic language is just not very developed and individual. No doubt he is a very skilled pianist, improvisator, arranger, etc. As a composer, he does very well without being really special.

    Nicely performed too. For a classical guy :D I'd have wished for a clearer piano sound, and a bit more pointed playing with real jazzy accents, especially in the variations - the other piece is fine in that respect as it is less overtly jazzy (most of it sounds more like New Age to me). The clarinet sounds a bit dry, maybe some reverb would be nice (but that would certainly require more detached and spiky piano sound). A good clarinettist, your partner, though I found some of his glissandi a bit too schmalzy.

    We should probably put this on the _Various page, I don't think there is a case for a Garson page as yet.
     
  6. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hyenal wrote:
    Thank you, Hye-Jin, I´m glad you enjoyed it so much! :D I think, a good musician should be as versatile as possible and I´m glad, that I personally have a "gateway" to most epoques and styles.

    I have approved your comment and answered to it. Thank you very much!
     
  7. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for your detailed critical comment, Chris.

    Thanks, I think at the beginning (and in the Coda, which is like the beginning) it would be possible (and may be better, though that is a pure matter of taste) to use less pedal, but at other places, f.ex. in the half=quarter-part I think I play quite dry and attached like a real "walking bass" has to be played.

    I´m not sure, what "New Age" really all includes. The definitions are so different, that a discussion about that matter seems more or less impossible at that time. Indeed, there are some harmonic progressions in it, which are a bit surprising, also some "strange" dissonances, which disturb a bit the initial beauty of that piece. But in summary for me it´s a nice quite flowing, somehow relaxing piece, which I like to play (and to listen to).

    I just have added my usual reverberation settings for my Bach-recordings. I thought, it´s enough for these jazzy pieces.

    :lol: That sounds like german, the word "schmaltzy" (we say "Schmalz" to it). Oh, oh, I´m curious what my clarinet-partner will say to that. :roll:

    Yes, I think, on the "Various page" is a good idea.
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I wasn't suggesting you use too much pedal, just that the touch could be a bit more pointed. It is the same problem when I (try to) play Kapustin, it sounds 'too classical' and not quite loose enough.

    Indeed so. New Age is no less easier to define than Jazz (not that I know much about either) and one should not try to 'label' music like that.

    I seem to be a bit allergic to a dry sound, and usually want/tolerate more reverb than others (though I'll often call something 'swimmy' when there's too much of it :roll: ). Maybe this is ok, I just find the clarinet sounding a bit dry and lonely.

    He'll rightly say this geezer knows nothing about jazz clarinet playing :lol:
     
  9. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member Piano Society Artist

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    Andreas,

    Perhaps play a bit softer as an accompaniment during the theme and first variation and a bit more shading in the dynamics.
    You are really together with the clarinetist. A very interesting and enjoyable performance.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Kaila
     
  10. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    Very much enjoyed these, though jazz isn't particularly my scene. Your clarinettist has a really nice tone.
     
  11. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you for your feedbacks, Andrew and Kaila, I´m glad you enjoyed these pieces. And thanks for the praise of my clarinet partner, Andrew. I absolutely agree to that.
     
  12. Didier

    Didier Member Piano Society Artist

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    Nice music! :D

    (I might have enjoyed more swing in the variations. 8) )

    Congratulations to Michael and to you!
     
  13. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you for your kind feedback, Didier! :D
    We do swing, really, but may be black people can do that better respective more convincing than we. It´s not really in our "blood", isn´t it?!

    Chris, btw, didn´t you want to put it to the "Various"- category?!
     
  14. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Give me a break :)
    It is done.
     
  15. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    techneut wrote:
    Yeah, my poor friend, I´m really inhuman, isn´t it?! :lol: Seriously, I have also very much work these days...

    Thank you very much! :D
     

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