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Syeles: Piano Sonata "Gravicembalom"

Discussion in 'Composing' started by Syeles, May 14, 2008.

  1. Syeles

    Syeles New Member

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    Updated 15 May 2008

    Piano Sonata "Gravicembalom": Original composition for piano by Albert Syeles
    Here is the first movement in sonata-alegro form with fugal development. Also is the beginning of the second which is still under construction. Any suggestions? Now is a great time for feedback on this!

    The term "Gravicembalom" is a combination:

    The first Piano was the Gravicembalo col piano e forte "harpsichord with soft and loud" (c.1710), so called by inventor B. Cristofori (1655-1731) of Padua because the ability via dampers to vary the tone is one of the main changes from the harpsichord.

    The cimbalom, national musical instrument of Hungary, is a type of hammered dulcimer. In the 18th and 19th Century it competed with the new keyboard instruments of the day -harpsichord and clavichord - for popularity in middle Europe. The larger, concert cimbalom, comparable in pitch range (and weight) to a small piano—but still normally played with beaters—was first developed by József Schunda in the 1870s. It stands on four legs, has many more strings, and the later models had a damping pedal.
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I very rarely come over here to the Composing Room. But the interesting information you provided has compelled me to listen to your new piece.

    I think the beginning section sounds difficult, long, and 'busy'. Fugues are not my cup of tea, so please don't take this wrong. I can tell a lot of work went into it. I do like the way the second movement starts. It's more romantic. :)
     
  3. Syeles

    Syeles New Member

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    Yes, this is quite difficult. But I thought, at least I tried, to make it somewhat playable. Any helpful playabilty guidance would be most welcome. Thanks.

    IS ANYBODY CHALLENGED TO TRY TO PLAY IT???

    Albert
     
  4. Syeles

    Syeles New Member

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  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes – I love this. I can definitely imagine Chopin saying it since his heart was broken several times and he therefore poured out his sorrow on his piano. We can hear it in so many of his pieces.

    But I chose this quote because it says exactly the way I feel everyday. Thoughts swirl around in my head when I play piano – things I don’t tell anyone – like my yearnings and fantasies. Most often though, I start thinking about something someone said to me that made me sad and like Chopin’s quote, I tell my piano what I wish I could tell that certain someone.
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I am not sure how I missed this post for so long. I have a thing about fugues (although I really know sod all about them) and I rather like this one with its nervous and relentless atmosphere. It reminds me most of Hindemith. But I find the ending very weak and abrupt, I would prefer the fugue to build up some power (it's rather subdued throughout) and culminate in a grand fugal conclusion instead of simply dropping dead on its feet.

    I am not convinced of the second movement, but the excerpt is too short to judge. The tune has some potential I'd say.

    Since you ask if anybody's challenged to play it, I guess this is not played but rendered ? I might enjoy playing this but I have far too many things going on already. It sounds like it will need a lot of hard work and I am not sure if I like it quite enough for that, having found in the past that initial enthousiasm for a new composition sometimes quickly wanes.
     
  7. Syeles

    Syeles New Member

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    Thanks again Chris. Considered feedback like yours here is invaluable and encouraging. I am taking it to heart as I continue to work on this.

    This first movement is indeed difficult enough. The polyphony-with-polymeter construction demands careful attention and a challenge to fingering. But that also provides a lot of room for differing interpretations. I'd be delighted to see if someone could perform this more expressively than this rendering. I am concentrating on the composing side for now.

    Regarding fugue. Although multiple voicing is used pretty much throughout, a three-voice fugato appears as the Sonata-form's development of the second theme. It's not a complete traditional fugue -this much was challenging enough. The movement's ending section is a near-complete reprise of the A-B-A opening, but with a more emphatic final bar. I had considered ending with a repeat of the fugue, including a climactic buildup as you suggest, but decided I liked the symmetry of the current structure for a first movement. So the movement indeed ends abruptly. But that sets up the second movement which contiues based on a theme from the first movement's inverted development of the first theme. The third movement, although just in an early stage at this time, continues the circularity and will indeed have a much grander ending, as you call for. I do go for a big finish in most of my works.

    I know what you mean about waning enthusiasm. I've "tabled" trying to learn to play several pieces after getting into them - due to frustrations or mainly distractions. It happens on the composing side as well. They sometimes call it writer's block.
     

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