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Piano concerto - reduction (2nd movement)

Discussion in 'Composing' started by andrew, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    A while back I posted a first movement reduction ( viewtopic.php?f=21&t=4843 , music at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50-EFEpbB0w ). Thanks for the feedback first time round; here is the second movement in solo piano form. Similar scenario to before, some free time on a borrowed grand and minimal sound editing; this time I did get the video capture to work properly on my phone, so actual piano footage as it were.

    The main theme shares harmonic similarities with the E maj theme in the first movement, which is intentional and part of my overall structural plan for the piece. The presentation is different though; if the first movement was pseudo-Rachmaninov, this is pseudo-Chopin. A few flubs, 4.24 in particular annoys me, and one very ropey page turn - the more ornamented sections of the piano part will probably become simpler when orchestrated, but in places I'm trying to fit in extra texture within two hands. Once again, opinions welcome!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZw6FA5L_dk
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andrew,
    I'm at work now, but look forward to watching/listening to your video later tonight.
     
  3. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Boy I'll say. Especially as invoked by the likes of Paderewski, Scharwenka, and Bortkiewicz. Andrew this is lovely music and I'm sure it will be even better after your scoring of parts, including probably keeping the flourishes in the solo part. If someone wanted an original score for a late-romantic period piece HBO or other movie, this would be fantastic for it! Are you sure you're living in the right century? :)
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    The main theme reminds me of something, I just can't put my finger on it right now....It's that beginning B, B-flat, B, B-flat...
    Oh well... anyway, this is a beautiful piece, Andrew. To me, it sounds like Schumann and Liszt (his gentle side) and yes, Chopin. Some of those arpeggios are definitely familiar-sounding! But I envy the way you play those arpeggios so nicely!! Thank you for sharing this with us!
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    "Field meets Addinsell" is how I hear it. The incessant RH flourishes over a simple rocking LH accompaniment do remind me far more of Field than of Chopin. Well played of course, it is very much your kind of stuff. As a composition, I think it hovers over one idea far too long. IMHO you should either shorten it or add some development/drama/climax (the slow mvt of Rach 2 is a good example of how to keep a long slow mvt interesting).
     
  6. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for all the interesting comments and opinions.

    No, I'm not sure at all.. :wink:

    Attributing influences is of course tricky - see Chris's reply for a somewhat different take on it. I've listened to the Paderewski and some of the Scharwenka concerti (indeed, a pianist friend has played one of the Scharwenkas). I had to edit part of my initial writing because it had veered far to close to the slow movement of the F min Chopin. I do know that I would have not written the piece in the way I did (both with respect to some of the harmonies and some of the ornamentation) without having spent a lot of time working on the 5th and 9th etudes of Liapunov. These were very much in the back of my mind and I'd probably cite them as the most important influence.
     
  7. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, perhaps there is a bit of Liszt 3rd Consolation to the mood. Some of the closing arpeggios were quite badly articulated, if you listen carefully :oops: I noticed it when playing and cringed inwardly! Most of them are fine though. I'm quite pleased with the use of (typically here, ascending) arpeggiated figuration where I've comprised it in units of three notes of the chord but with the second note in the unit having usually either the ninth or seventh (if you place the chord in root position) added as a double note - I think that added some nice harmonic colour.
     
  8. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    Eek! You caught the one influence that's invariably at the back of my mind when working on such stuff - the Warsaw Concerto. My favourite bit of music explicitly composed for a film; a bit of a guilty pleasure really. Interesting what you say about the "one idea" aspect. It was something I was a little worried about - it's probably asking a lot to write 7 mins of music from a 4 bar harmonic cell - though the piece is only 99 bars as it currently stands. Because of the movement's overall context within the concerto (I intend to start the third movement with some quite violent material - think Liszt Totentanz for the general area), I wanted to create an atmosphere very much of repose with only comparatively muted climaxes within. I don't know whether I've overdone it; my idea is in part that I can use different orchestral colours for variety within relatively sameish material. There's a mini-climax around 2.30 during the transition to the E maj section; around 4.00 to 4.50 is supposed to be the main drama and, although it doesn't come across terribly well in the video, reaching its final climax at 5.07 before coming back to rest subsequently and returning to familiar territory. Perhaps the subsequent improvisatory flourishes leading to the final mini-climax iteration of the theme from 5.49 and the coda theme iteration at 6.16 are a bit too much of an indulgence, I'm not sure. I think it will work better in an orchestral context where I can make more of such aspects. Thanks for your thoughts, although it perturbs me that your view coincides with what I was concerned about, it is still interesting to hear the opinion expressed!
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I was actually thinking of the Nuit d'Ete while listening, knowing that you recorded that one. So I can see where these RH runs come from. Yet the overall impression to me was Field rather than Liapounov, with some added lush harmonies a la Rachmaninov and Addinsell. Yes I realize things might sound different in a version with orchestra - I guess then you'd give the LH some more interesting stuff to do :wink:
     
  10. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    I think the Nuit d'Ete is one of the most beautiful etudes I've ever heard. Needless to say, this piece isn't as good! I absolutely agree about the left hand. At the moment it does little more than providing harmonic filler, though I'm fairly happy with its role in the E maj section.
     
  11. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Andrew,
    I think that Chis has a very good idea here in the suggestion to add some more to it. You might find the right moment to introduce a "B" section that significantly contrasts in character and might be in a chromatic sub-mediant relationship to your tonic, for example. If it were substantial and late enough, you could then get a lot more length out of repeating the "A" material in some way. Just an idea.
    Eddy


    Edit: Tchaikovsky Concerto no 1, shows how "significantly contrasting" a "B" section of a slow movement can be.
     
  12. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    In my heart, I'm fairly happy with the music as it stands, probably because I had conceived the movement as an oasis of calm (my tempo indication is lento placido) and am not sure that I want much in the way of disturbances to it, hence the passage from 4.25 being more a hint of darker matters to come than an actual presentation of such. On the other hand, my head tells me Chris is right and that from a formal and structural sense, you can't have no B section!

    I'm absolutely happy with the movement up to 4.25; I feel the diminished chord there presents the opportunity for modulation to a minor key B section if I choose to do so. I also don't, for reasons of overall scale within the work, want to make the movement much longer than it already is, so I have to be careful if adding a minor section. In fact I was surprised that it had expanded to the length it did. It is possible that the section from 5.07 to 6.16 is a bit waffling and could be cut down for reasons of terseness (5.07 to 5.48 was originally improvised, then written out, and although I quite like the passage, maybe it shows that it wasn't formally composed - or maybe its nature means it should become a quasi-cadenza)? Much to think about.
     
  13. Anonymous

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    Andrew this is lovely music and I'm sure it will be even better after your scoring of parts, including probably keeping the flourishes in the solo part.
     
  14. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Why is this ivysun poster using my texts to feign real participation on PS? We need to block him.
     
  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yep, this is a troll. I've removed him.
     

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