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Riley Tucker: "Stalemate" for piano

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by musicusblau, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have promised Riley to record this nice little composition by him. I like it, especially since in former times I have played quite a lot of chess with some of my classmates. This little work has some beautiful phrases and overall a contemplative atmosphere. That´s fitting very well to chess IMO. If I have understood it correctly the composition has a program: it is meant to invoke a chess game ending in a stalemate.
    I hope you like my interpretation and that your little opus becomes a bit more known.

    Here is the video-link:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTj57v3D ... ideo_title (Riley Tucker: Stalemate)

    The mp3-file below contains exactly the audio-track of the video above.

    Tucker - Stalemate
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    That is very nice ! A bit slower and more contemplative than my version but otherwise not so very different, I think - except you did not fiddle with the ending :wink: The only nag I have is the closing note which seems to loud and emphatic to me. At least it makes clear that the game is over.
     
  3. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Techneut wrote:
    Thank you, Chris! Yes, I wanted to underline that contemplative mood. (I´m always very contemplative while playing chess. :) ) No, it´s not too different from your verison. I have attached importance on the phrasing and done a bit more rubati here and there also. (And I have done more dynamics. :p ) We should link to your version also in this thread!
    With the loud final note I wanted to express the aggravation one feels when being in the situation of a stalemate.
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi again, Andreas ( I just commented to you on your Youtube channel about this video).
    Anyway, since I don't know this piece, I don't know how it is supposed to go - how fast, loud, etc. But I think your playing here is beautiful. And yes, the piece does sound contemplative and to me sounds a little like Satie.

    Happy New Year to you, Andreas! :)

    [​IMG]
     
  5. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,
    thank you for your comment, also on my YouTube-channel! :D
    Riley has send me the score of his piece, of course, and I have tried to put his prescriptions concerning dynamics, tempo and so on into practice. I took some freedom here and there concerning articulation and rubati. Riley hasn´t done any prescription about articulation. There also are some mistakes in his score concerning enharmonic equivalents, but doesn´t matter, the main thing is, that the piece sounds really beautiful and interesting. Yes, I agree it has a bit of Satie.
    Hope, Riley will also notice this thread. I have sent him a pm.

    I wish you all the best for 2012! I will drink a mouthful of sparkling wine to your good!
    [​IMG]
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi again, Andreas.
    Wait a second, I'll be right back. I'm going to fetch a glass so that I can catch all the champagne/sparkling wine splashing out of the bottle....

    Anyway, "Stalemate" is up on the site now.

    Congratulations, Riley! :) (if you see this)
     
  7. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andreas,

    I don't know this score, but commend you for your fine-sounding rendition. Riley's composition is interesting too, bringing out the sense of concentration to the task, contemplation of tactics, hopes for achieving checkmate, the relief of evading checkmate, and the shared frustration of the end point being stalemate. I think Riley did a wonderful job of depicting those sometimes opposing, and at other times shared, feelings. Your playing brought a lyricism to it all.

    I listened to Chris' version as well, also very well played and lyrical as well. The tempi between the two are different, and I sensed that Chris followed the unfolding of the event more from the observer's point of view, while you focused more on the inner pondering along with the shifting moods within the streams of consciousness of the chess players. Both approaches are quite effective in my opinion, one being existential and the other psychical.

    David
     
  8. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    @ Rachfan,

    Thanks for your comment, I am amazed you were able to find depicting all of the aspects of a good chess game in both of the pianist's interpretation!

    @ Monica,

    Thanks for putting this up!

    @ Andreas and Chris (see the last sentence of paragraph),

    First, thanks for taking the time to rehearse and record “Stalemate” :) There are many things I like about your interpretation. To me, the tempo you use adds a totally different feeling to what getting a stalemate feels like. You play a slower moderato and it makes the piece seem more brooding, I like it. If I could make a criticism, the middle voices in the first and second measures could be more legato, I noticed in the video your thumb plays all of the notes which is interesting in that it is agonizingly detached IMO. I realize I didn’t write fingerings on the score so I can’t say you played this wrong ! The metric accents at the end of measure 9 were nice in that they added new meaning to the eighth notes in the eighth measure. The block chords at the end and the last note brought a different meaning to entire piece. It's like the players have spent a long time deciding whether or not to start a new game, and eventually they decide to, (this symbolized in the final and forte c natural) Sorry about the enharmonische verwechslungen as you have said in a pm. You have been able to play the piece correctly despite this so it is to your credit.

    Thanks again, and one more thing, I know you and Chris are not known as composers, but if you write something, I will try to play and record it, you have my offer!

    Happy New Year to everybody (and thanks for the Champagne Andreas :D )
    Riley
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ha, cool... I'll keep you to that once I complete my set of hellishly difficult transcendental etudes :p
    No seriously, I have no plans to compose anything, ever, I think. Nice work if you can do it :)

    I can't say I pondered for a second how to interpret this piece. Just sat down and let it come over me, as I do with most music. I can honestly say again that it's a really nice piece where everything is just right. Next time I play piano in church again I may want to slot this in if you don't mind.
     
  10. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Pianolady wrote:
    Thank you, Monica, and "Prost" like we say in german! :D I was off with family on silvester, so I couldn't reply directly.

    Thank you! :D

    Rachfan wrote:
    Thank you for your encouraging words concerning my playing, David. :D I like your analysis of Rileys piece, it's really profound. Thank you for these inspiring thoughts!

    That's also a very interesting and deep respective profound reflection, David. I think you have hit my manner to interprete music very often in general. I always try to discover psychic respective mental structures behind the music and mostly there is to discover a lot!
    Thank you for your enriching (I mean that in a mental sense) comment.

    I wish you a healthy and good New Year with a lot of music, dear friend!

    pianoman342 wrote:
    Thank you, Riley, I'm glad you like my interpretation. Of course, if one is getting a stalemate, I think, one feels quite neutral respective disappointed, that one couldn't win the game. A short time ago I played with the windows chess game and got a stalemate, so I can well remember that feeling, by the way. So, for the pure feeling of a stalemate my interpretation has much too much emotion. But, of course, I wanted to show the brooding atmosphere preceding the stalemate.

    Thank you for your criticism, Riley, of course I'm open for all you mention here, especially since you are the composer and for this reason the boss! :wink: (I also would accept, if you would tell, that you dislike my interpretation completely and that I would have to make a complete other recording, btw.)
    Somehow I have played that tenor voice automatically with the thumb, but I see, it could be played more legato with another finger setting, but like this I couldn't hold the bass note all the time as far as I remember (I'm writing this answer not from my computer and I have not your score here, so sorry if I'm wrong.) Yes, probably I should have played the end in a more neutral way corresponding to the real feeling of a stalemate. Should I make a re-recording because of that?

    As I said the main thing is that we know about the right tones. That matter of "enharmonische Verwechslungen" is bit comparable with using the right grammar respective orthography while writing sentences IMO. It's the right orthography of music. But we all also understand the right meaning of a sentence, if it is written with a wrong letter here and there. So it's not the most important thing.

    That's very nice offer. :) I have studied composition from 1986-1991 by Jürg Baur and Krzysztof Meyer in Cologne. Most of my compositions for piano of earlier time are in tonal or freetonal style and there is a twelfe tone composition which sounds a bit impressionistic (I tried out a new technique then). My real atonal twelfe-tone compositions are not for piano (regarding your offer I have to say alas), but for string quartett and there also is one for symphonic orchestra.
    There also exists a recording of a concert evening in 1987 containg only compositions by me. Most of them are also performed by me and by a flutist. (I have also composed twelfe-tone music for flute. The theme is voices of birds.)
    You see you have made a dangerous offer here. :twisted: :wink: But, of course, you have not to do that.

    To your health, Riley, and have a happy New Year!
     
  11. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    @ Andreas

    You wrote:
    No, I don't think you should re-record it. It has it's own character, I don't think you need to redo it. And you say the composer is the boss--Bollocks! :p I think any collaborative effort should be a team effort, needing teamwork not one person in the director's chair. I imagine that was how all of the wonderful duets produced by members here came to be.

    I didn't know you studied composition Andreas, cool! Free tonal style sounds challenging. I was listening to some pieces in your late teacher's catalogue on the main site and they free-tonal style does sound challenging yet rich chromatically and harmonically. So you have written some challenging pieces. It may take me a much longer time to complete them, but I can put time into them, I do enjoy collaborative projects, playing pieces or composing them. I guess that has to be the attitude of all piano artists, we all have to feel invested in the composer enough to play his or her pieces. Or, at the very least, invested in the music :)

    @Chris

    You wrote:
    The Transcendental Etudes! :shock: Those are some of the hardest pieces from what I have heard..

    Well, I know it's not for everybody, but if you every come up with something let me know. Of course it can't be like, on the level of difficulty of Ive's Concord Sonatas :lol:

    Riley
     
  12. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Pianoman342 wrote:
    Phew! I'm a lucky man.:D

    It wasn't meant too seriously, that's why I have put the wink-smiley behind it. Though for me it has a certain truth, because I want to respect the composers intention and to produce a recording, which is adequate to it. That's also always my aim when recording pieces by our great masters like Bach a.s.o. That's also the difference to f.ex. if I play with Chris or others four hands, here we are equal partners who have the same aim to produce an adequate interpretation to the composers intention.
    But I appreciate your offer to be my partner and not my chief concerning the interpretation of your pieces. That's friendly and likeable, thank you. :)

    I agree to your attitude and it's very nice you offer to play a composition by me. I will send you the next days the score of one of my pieces and we can see, if you would like to play it. :)
     
  13. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    @ Chris

    You wrote:

    Sure, hopefully it will not cause a riot :)

    @ Andreas

    You wrote:

    I see. Sometimes I overlook the meanings of emoticons!

    Cool Andreas! Looking forward to rehearsing it 8)
     
  14. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hell no, I've treated them to stranger things already :D
     
  15. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    I thought musicians only played liturgical music in church. :shock: :eek:

    Man... :roll: now I wish I could go to your church. Of course if you live in the Netherlands, I don't think that can be arranged easily :lol:
     
  16. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    Happy New Year Everyone! Very nice Riley and Andreas! It's good to hear that there are chess players here on PS. When I first saw the title, I thought "Stalemate" was going to be about a boring marriage partner, or politics. Far from it! Indeed the composition is inward and contemplative, subdued, and indecisive in terms of resolution - as required for a stalemate. Now I can't wait to here how a future "Checkmate" will sound...
     
  17. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    88man wrote:
    Indeed, chess is a profound art, isn´t it? Yeah, a composition about "checkmate" would be a very interesting thing! (Don´t you feel inspired, Riley?) Happy New Year also to you and thanks for your comment! :D

    @ Riley:
    Unfortunately I´m quite ill at this time (bronchitis with high fever). I will send you the score as soon as I´m a bit fitter. Sorry for the delay!
     
  18. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    @ David

    Thanks for listening, and the idea of writing a "checkmate" is very intriguing. Maybe I could commission MAH for this composition.. :lol:

    @ Andreas

    Hope you feel better, and still looking forward to learning and rehearsing your piece

    Riley
     
  19. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    When I studied 18th Century Counterpoint during my BM degree, I remember thinking that it was much like playing chess with the options that open and close with each decision made. For more "chess" themes for compositions, you could have an entire series based on ideas from same: perpetual check, capturing en passant, castling (king and queen side), as well as characters of the pieces themselves (Knight Rupert of Schumann comes to mind), Bishops, the lowly pawn, etc. For a 23rd century version (more modern tonal language) consider Tri-Dimensional chess of Star Trek fame with its movable battle boards and vertical capabilities (Da - Daaaaa - da -da-da-da-daaaaaaaaaaa) :evil: (angry Vulcan :wink: )
     
  20. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Musical_md wrote:
    Indeed we would have to think of how to express Mr. Spock in music (he played that Tri-Dimensional chess, if I remember rightly)! But how would pure logic without any emotion sound?! Probably, that would be poor music, isn´t it? :lol: (May be the so called "serial music" would express this mind adequately! :twisted: )
    Seriously, to express the character or actions of certains chess figures could be a nice choice for composing "programme music" (german: Programmmusik), which (at least in german) is a term for music expressing non-musical matters. (F.ex. the theme "the noble Queen conquers the King" could be a good (and quite ambiguous) stuff, isn´t it?! :wink: )
     

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