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L'isle Joyeuse: A lunchtime recital by Wui-Ming Gan

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by wmgan, May 15, 2007.

  1. wmgan

    wmgan New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Dear fellow pianists and pianophiles,

    Last Thursday I gave another lunchtime piano recital here at Bard. One of the pieces of the program that may be of special interest to some of you is Cortot's solo piano arrangement of Franck's violin sonata, which is an interesting and pretty effective transcription that not many people know about. If I hadn't known its roots, I might have been convinced that it was a piano sonata by Franck.

    Here's the first piece on the program, Bach's sixth French Suite in E major.

    Bach - BWV.817, French Suite no.6 in E major, I. Allemande
    Bach - BWV.817, French Suite no.6 in E major, II. Courante
    Bach - BWV.817, French Suite no.6 in E major, III. Sarabande
    Bach - BWV.817, French Suite no.6 in E major, IV. Gavotte
    Bach - BWV.817, French Suite no.6 in E major, V. Polonaise
    Bach - BWV.817, French Suite no.6 in E major, VI. Menuet
    Bach - BWV.817, French Suite no.6 in E major, VII. Bourreé
    Bach - BWV.817, French Suite no.6 in E major, VIII. Gigue
     
  2. wmgan

    wmgan New Member Piano Society Artist

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  3. wmgan

    wmgan New Member Piano Society Artist

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    And here's Debussy's L'isle Joyeuse, the last piece on the program.

    As an encore, I played my own virtuoso arrangement of One Day More from the musical Les Miserables. Now, I'm not sure what your copyright policies at the Piano Society are, and indeed what is the general view of such transcriptions -- as I see it, this is carrying on in the tradition of opera paraphrases and fantasies by Liszt and Thalberg and all the great pianist-composers from the golden age. But I suppose in today's commercial world, the folks in Broadway might not be so amused. So feel free to remove it if you feel that this is an infringement of copyright.

    For completeness' sake, here are recordings of two compositions of mine that I included as bonus tracks in the CD of this recital that I'm giving to friends, as well the CD cover art (no back cover because I'm distributing it in thin jewel cases).

    Debussy - L'isle Joyeuse
    Gan - Paths of Peril, Duo for Violin (David Bowlin) and Cello (Andre Emelianoff)
    Gan - Rag to the Riches
    Gan - Piano Transcription of Schonberg's One More Day from Les Miserables
     
  4. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Gan!

    This will be great to listen on my 3 hours ride by train today but I will probably not be able to put them up until later.
     
  5. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Listened so far "only" to the French Suite. It is a splendid performance! Crystal clear playing with perfect articulation, beautiful.

    I only cannot understand why you played that Courante in ultrafast speed. A Courante is normally a slow to medium old dance. It is technically brilliant played, but I could imagine it sounds at half speed more Courante-like.

    Especially I like how you treat the ornaments in a different way in the repetitions, but always technically persuasive. Thank you for sharing this!
     
  6. wmgan

    wmgan New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for your compliments. I chose my tempi (and repeats and ornaments and everything) based on what I felt the music needed instead of following historical tradition, and hopefully my choices (or at least my performance of them) are convincing.
     
  7. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Me too has only gotten through the French Suites so far and it is really a very good performance and I can understand the enthusiastic applause after the Gigue. You are very talented and can go very far if you continue like this.

    I have put the French Suite up on the site...took really long time on the unreliable Internet connection on the train.
     
  8. John Robson

    John Robson New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Bach

    The Bach was flawlessly played. I did notice that the Courante was quite fast, but it was very clean as was all of your playing I listened to. I also enjoyed listening your your encore. It was a delightful encore. Sorry, I can't provide any constructive criticism, but it was a beautifully played.

    I didn't get a chance to listen to the Franck, but I will later.

    I looked up Bard College on Google. What a beautiful place! You are so lucky to be studying there. I'm going to read more on the Bard site.
     
  9. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have now put up the Cortot transcription of the Violin Sonata by Franck. I have no reference but it must be a great performance. You technique is splendid and your phrasing and dynamics sounds very well planned. Great job!

    I put it up under Franck as a Cortot Transription and did not bother create a composer page of Cortot. I hope that is ok.
     
  10. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    The Claude-Michel Schönbergs Les Miserables is also extremely well performed. As from you write, I assume this transcription is entirely your own? This piece perhaps comes with copyright problem as this is a living composer. Not sure what happens to copyright when you transcribe something but I think it would be ok if I file it under you as a composer.
     
  11. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Your Debussy I'isle Joyeuse is also very very good. I begin to really like your playing! It is up on the site.
     
  12. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    How would you like your own compositions to be filed? Shall I create a separate genres for them (duo and rag)?
     
  13. wmgan

    wmgan New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Robert,

    Thanks for your compliments. I think you are absolutely right to file it under Franck and not under Cortot, because it is basically the piano part of the Franck violin sonata with most of the violin line reworked into the texture. But it is definitely more Franck than Cortot. =)

    As for the Les Mis, it is my own transcription, but it is basically One Day More with my own coda that draws on a couple other themes from the musical (this started out as the finale to a whole Les Mis fantasy that I'm still not completely happy with and is too long and difficult and that I plan to revise). I'll leave it to your discretion how to file it. If you choose not to put it up at all, that's fine too, because I wouldn't want your site to get in trouble with copyright.

    With my compositions, I think it would probably be best to create categories for piano and duo? I'll upload a couple of my other compositions later for your consideration. And actually, can you hold off on the rag? I have an alternative recording (not live) of the rag that you might possibly prefer.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that you can find the Franck--Cortot score at http://www.piano.ru/scores/frank/fr-son.pdf if you're looking for it. Cortot's name doesn't appear on the score but the transcription is definitely by him.
     
  14. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have now put up your compositions as well and I am most impressed! I also visited your homepage from the link of the CD cover (possible to buy?). Some work to do but you seem to have an eye for designing part as well as computing. If you wish to link your recordings from pianosociety, just tell me first as I block any attempt to link directly to recordings (I have to).
     
  15. wmgan

    wmgan New Member Piano Society Artist

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    When my website is finished, I intend to put all my recordings up there. My hosting service should provide enough space for that. Thanks though!
     
  16. wmgan

    wmgan New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Robert, here's sheet music to my two compositions if you'd like to put them up. (There might still be some mistakes I forgot to correct but it should be mostly right.)

    Gan - Paths of Peril
    Gan - Rags to riches
     
  17. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    You might add any text you like to your compositions. Perhaps for the Paths of Peril, the text that was in the beginning of the sheet? Do you use Sibelius?
    Not sure whether you expected me to also put up the CD-cover.
     
  18. wmgan

    wmgan New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I wasn't expecting you to put up the CD cover, I just posted it in case anyone here wanted it.

    The text at the beginning of Paths of Peril was just a random quote from Beowulf, that I found by searching for "paths of peril" on Google. It really doesn't have anything to do with the piece -- in fact, the title came later too (though I definitely tried to give it a title that fit the piece). =)

    Yeah, I use Sibelius. Do you?
     

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