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Opera Paraphrases

Discussion in 'Repertoire' started by richard66, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    This one is for you, Andrew:

    I heard on occasion a piano work that relaborated themes from Bellini's La Sonambula, but for all I look, I cannot find it. Would you have any idea which work it could be? I am sure it is not the Liszt Fantasie.
     
  2. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    If not the Liszt, there are (to my knowledge) not that many to choose from.

    Perhaps it was this one?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDAF_-yhCbg

    :lol: (that's me and it's my paraphrase..)

    Most likely by far would be Thalberg's paraphrase, of which there are a few recordings/performances on Youtube. (I'm actually rather fond of his version and think it's superior to the Liszt, which I find a little overblown - and exceptionally difficult). A lot of the usual 19th century suspects who wrote copious fantasies (i.e. Herz, Czerny, Pixis, Prudent, von Henselt, etc) don't seem to have touched this opera. There is a fantasy by Ignace Leybach and Google suggests a recording exists in piano roll format.
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Andrew, are you currently taking lessons? Richard, I don't think you are, right? I'm just curious to see who is taking lessons...
     
  4. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica, not at the moment - left to my own devices! I have periodic intensive teaching.
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andrew :)
    Me neither. Wish I could, though. The three years of lessons that I took a little while ago did wonders! I really need another pair of eyes and ears to guide me. If only there was a way for us to have something like master classes right here on the forum. :idea:
     
  6. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Andrew. Your work is very enjoyable but it cannot be that one, becasue the one I know I heard many many years ago, so I believe yours was still in the making. It must be the Thalberg, though I was under the impression I had never heard any of his works before. One of the themes I recognise and it is a theme from the Sonnambula. I had Glinka in the back of my mind and he did write a divertimento on this very opera, but it does not seem to be that one.

    Glinka has some other works in that category and I suppose you know them all.

    No, Monica: no lessons. I wish I could take some, but I would not know where to go, so I must needs be my own teacher. As you saw from the other thread, I was having some trouble, but at last I seem to be convincing my brain that lifting the fifth finger in difficult passages does not make things easier to the point I can play the proverbial Mozart sonata at speed and not panic. Actually, the other day a funny thing happened: for the first time I managed to say to myself after hitting a worng note: "Oy, somewthing went wrong here! Just reach the right note in the next bar and continue."
     
  7. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    I was unaware of the Glinka divertimento; I see from IMSLP it is for piano and string quintet.

    In this area, I actually associate Glinka more as the recipient of two paraphrases - Balakirev's Life for the Tsar (memorably recorded by Earl Wild) and Liszt's version of Chernomor's March from Ruslan and Ludmilla. Here's Richter performing it while (ham-)acting as Liszt in a Russian film (nice wig!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNIhu5qH3Ec Starts 2.20, the piece at the very beginning is the 9th Transcendental Etude. I assure you those jumps (3.20) are pesky, to put it mildly.
     
  8. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Glinka spent time in Italy and studied opera a bit. I have not heard any of his piano music that draws on the Italian operatic tradition, however.

    I believe some of them you can find on this site:

    http://classical-music-online.net/

    I watched that film some time ago (it is on the Mosfilm site) and was rather surprised when I learnt that "Liszt" was Richter! His gimmicks are just what one is lead to expect from the caricatures one sees of the Abbé.
     
  9. raima55

    raima55 New Member

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    As far as popularity goes, one method of discovering this would be how many artists recorded a particular piece. If you go to the Society's list of recordings of Scarlatti sonatas and look at the list of catalog numbers, you'll see that some of them are repeated many times.
    K27, K87, K380, K466, and K531 are examples.

    Of course, there are many other popular ones. I'm just pointing out a fast way of finding a couple for starters. This also has the advantage of giving you several interpretations to see how people around the world approach his music.
     

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