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Ton De Leeuw - Lydic Suite (1954)

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by techneut, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I've long wanted to add a Dutch composer to the PS roster. A touch of chauvinism, if you wish. Having mucked around with several options but never making serious work of any,l I recently discovered this charming, fresh and uncomplicated little suite by Ton de Leeuw, one of the most influential
    Dutch composers of the last century. This early work shows clear influence of Bartok. I chose for one track as it is short, the 3 movements are unnamed (unusual for a 'suite', it feels more like a Sonatina to me) and the 2nd and 3rd movements are linked with an attacca. I'll have to check out more of this composer's piano oeuvre.

    De Leeuw - Lydic Suite (4:57)
     
  2. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member

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    You're right - it's very charming. Your performance is good - especially the 2nd and 3rd mvmts. With the last two being 'attaca', doing it in one file is probably the best choice.

    The 2nd and 3rd mvmts are also more 'accessible', as they say, than the 1st.

    I love the very final chord; very unexpected and it brought a smile.

    BTW: I don't know Dutch. Is the last name pronounced "looveh" or "loofe" or something else? (There was once a Dutch World Chess champion named Max Euwe. His name is usually pronounced "ooveh" in the US, but I've never known if that is correct.)
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Stu. The closing chord is a treat indeed. You'd think that all great closing chords would have been used already, but this one is a find.

    As for pronunciations, none of those comes anywhere near. I could not tell you how to pronounce this - and even if I could, you probably could not :) I'm afraid many Dutch vowels have no equivalent in English. It is a funny language, sound-wise.
     
  4. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is indeed quite a fun suite. I particularly liked the second movement - I thought your control of rh dynamics was very good there.

    I was quite a serious chessplayer in my youth (serious enough that I seem to have a game uploaded onto chessgames.com), and I was never very sure about how to pronounce Euwe either! Usually something akin to "Erveh" with the r silent was settled for but I doubt that does it justice. I just googled it and found two completely different pronunciations, both allegedly by Dutch speakers, so that clarifies the issue even less :lol:
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks ! The middle part offers more opportunities for expression and dynamics than the motoric outer parts.
     
  6. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,

    I liked this piece a lot. It's animated, bright, and uplifting. You play it very well too. I hope you'll discover more of De Leeuw's works that will merit your attention.

    David
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks David. It's nice to discover a fresh and entertaining piece that does not demand weeks or months of slaving :)
     
  8. pianoman342

    pianoman342 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,

    I had a listen to your recording of De Leeuw's work, this seems to be the day for unknown composer because like Bridge I've never heard of him before. This is quite a suite. I am getting wiffs of Bartok, but there is enough original that is is hardly a second rate copy of the famous Hungarian composer. I have to agree with Stu, that closing chord is a marvel.
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Riley 8) This is by far the most immediately appealing Dutch piano work I've yet come across. And not at all hard, which does help.
     
  10. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Chris,
    A very nice piece of XXth century music. Thanks for this discovery ! I have to confess that this may be the first Dutch composer I have consciously heard. Of course, we think about Bartok especially at the beginning. I guess "Lydic" refers to the lydian mode (the F scale when you only play white notes), although I've heard minor 7th which is peculiar to Bartok's mode, while the pure lydian has a major 7th. I cannot judge your interpretation without having the score, but it seems to be quite good. Maybe we could imagine having more contrast in dynamics, especially in the mid-part where there is apparently a superimposition of two planes, one dealing with the main song, and the second one providing an underlying landscape. I don't know whether this lack of dynamics comes from your microphones, your piano or your pianism...
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you Francois. I somewhat take exception with the phrase "lack of dynamics". The wave form does suggest ample dynamics, see image.
    Or did you mean that the voicing could be better in the middle movement ? I'd probably agree with that.
     
  12. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, please forgive my poor English, this is what I meant: the main song could be more emphasized as compared to the background. Still a nice rendition though...
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks. There's always always some little thing to improve though...
     

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