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Legends of lake Mälaren 1

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by troglodyte, May 23, 2015.

  1. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Ture Rangström (1884-1947) belonged to a new generation of Swedish composers who in the first decade of the 20th century introduced modernism to their compositions. Rangström was also a music critic, teacher, and conductor, mainly on a freelance basis. His works seldom use counterpoint or polyphony, and build on intensely personal expressionistic idioms with large-scale contrasts and harmonies that could classify him more as a very late superduper romantic than a modernist. He was quite controversial in his time. Sibelius thought highly of him and today he is regarded as one of the greatest Swedish composers of his era. This is mainly due to his vocal works; he composed around 250 songs and contributed greatly to developing the modern Swedish vocal romance.

    He composed very few works for piano solo, among them Mälarlegender (legends of lake Mälaren) from 1919. Strindberg, whom Rangström much admired, inspired them in the long poem ”Stadsresan”. It tells the tale of an organist from the peaceful countryside travelling on a steamboat to the busy capital, in order to buy a new instrument, and coming back to perform for a stunned audience. The first of Rangström’s pieces is labelled "Lento improvisato, quasi Notturno" and begins in total calm where, with some imagination, we can hear slow waves lapping against the shore. But a storm seems to be brewing and after some time the waves get violent indeed. Luckily they peter out and calm is restored.

    There are two more of these, I intend to complete the set. Interested readers will find the sheet music at IMSLP.

    Joachim



    Rangstrom - Malar legends - 1: Lento improvisato, quasi Notturno (5:44)
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I did not know any of Rangstrom's piano music :oops: . Swedish composers have not been very generous composing for the piano, it seems. Unless someone was going to sing along with it.

    Not sure what to make of this piece. Somehow, to my ears, it does not seem to be able to get properly started. And then it finishes, the 'storm' not having been much more than a chilly breeze. I hope the other two pieces are bit more entertaining. You make the most of it though ! Exemplary playing as always, and a good sounding instrument (what was it again ?). My only little nag is that you could have made a bit more of the trills in the largamente section, they are a bit too short and timid IMO.

    Seeing that you plan to complete the set, you'll now have to provide a Rangstrom bio, I'm afraid :) And some text for the page where the recordings go. Unless you want these in the Various section. Alternatively we create a composer page without bio, as I usually do these days even for my "own" composers. I seem to be too lazy to do this stuff lately.
     
  3. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks Chris! The storm is just my imagination to blow life into the piece, neither Rangström's title nor the initial Strindberg quote hints at it. My piano is a freshly tuned 100 year old Steinway O, it sounds better in p than in f. Interesting that you caught on the trills, indeed I am not satisfied with them and rerecorded because of that, but in the end the rerecording turned out badly in other respects, and I'm not sure I want to devote more energy to this.

    How much would you need for a bio? Is the text I provided enough or should I expand it?
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    The trills were clean and consistent, just on the short side for dramatic effect. No reason to re-record really.
    Indeed you already posted a bio ! It will do.
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Wow, that sure is a dramatic piece! Very nicely played, Joachim! The trills didn't bother me at all.
    And yes, your piano sounds very good. I forget what everybody around here uses for their recording gear...can you please remind me what kind of recorder you use?
     
  6. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks Monica! My recorder is a TascamDR-100 mk II. Microphone placement is crucial. It fits on my camera stand and I put it next to the inner curve of the piano, as close as possible, at perhaps half a meter above the strings, pointing it at the centre of the soundboard, using the built in directional stereo microphone. It also has an omnidirectional mic which in this case is not as good, the room is much too small. But focussing on the soundboard turned out well. There is no post-processing involved.

    I append a photo of Rangström if needed for the bio.

    Joachim
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I finally remembered that this still needed to be put on the site, I guess both admins were hoping the other would do it ;-)

    So now it is up. Please check if all is ok. Updating the site is costing me more and more time because for some reason the WISYWIG editor is not coming up anymore by default, and I either have to use raw HTML or refresh the editor until it sees fit to brings up the WISYWIG editor again, which sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. It's driving me up the wall.... Perhaps some IT guru out there has an idea why this does not work anymore recently ? Strangely enough Monica does not seem to have this issue, and I did not either until some months ago. No idea why it started to go awry.
     
  8. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    It looks good, only one thing: The year for Mälarlegender should be 1919.
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    It is fixed !
     
  10. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Joachim,

    This was very fine playing on your part. In this character piece you exploited everything that it had to offer. From the beginning the piece was very engaging, but I think I need to listen to it again to better appreciate it. Thanks for posting it here.

    David
     
  11. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks for listening and for the kind words!

    Joachim
     
  12. Zicade

    Zicade New Member

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    You captured the romantic, mysterious mood of this piece very well. The dynamic contrasts are also brought out nicely. Of course, the trills could be more even, but that didn't bother me.
    I didn't know the piece nor the composer - an interesting discovery.
     
  13. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks! I'm glad you like it!

    Joachim
     

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