Thursday, April 18, 2013

More little pieces (from a big sonata-fantasy) for my "piano project" posted

Wednesday, April 17, 2013, I recorded and uploaded a few more excerpts from my library of piano music that I had composed as a much younger man.

The elements are in the same directory that I named in my posting April 1, 2013.  For each piece, there is a pdf and an mp3 file. 

The first piece is the “Polytonal Prelude” in D and E simultaneously.  It takes about 5 minutes. The tempo is slow, although some of the passages should be faster (eighth and sixteenth notes) than I played the,.  When I recorded this on Sibelius, I had left the max bars setting at 800, not realizing that Sibleius and later iTunes (for "mp3" conversion from "aiff") would reserve much more space than needed.  For the other pieces, I limited it to 100 measures, making the file smaller (just 4 meg).  This piece was composed around 1974.

The other three pieces are from the Piano Sonata #3, in “C”, which I wrote in longhand (the first three movements)  at age 18 after being forced to come home from William and Mary, and starting at GWU in February 1962.  I sketched the finale in 1974 and have entered the Finale, with difficulty, into Sibelius.

The three excerpts are as follows:  “ExcSon31Dev”, about 4 minutes, a fugato from the development section of the first movement.  The movement had started with a playful theme in C, and then presented a quick second subject in A minor.  The development is all over the place, but the heart of it was a fugato that was supposed to be twelve-tone.  The tempos are supposed to vary more than they do here, given my ability to play it after these years;  the leggeiro is supposed to be really fast, interrupting the deliberate pace of the fugato. 

“ExcSon32Trio” is a simulation of the Trio of the scherzo.  The main scherzo is an octave-driven prestissimo in A-flat which I cannot play and need a professional pianist (I can name some).  The Trio, a “fake it” triumphal “march” (in 9/4) with more chords and octaves, in F Major and minor, has an “inner child” trio in C# Minor, a little waltz, which I simulate.

“ExcS33Hymn” is a hymn theme in B Major, very chromatic (I had trouble with the accidentals as I sat down to play it), about 2 minutes.  Surrounding it is an E-f;at minor liturgy, a harmonized tone row, and then some dirges in B-flat minor and F# minor as march-like figures.  This was not a good time in my life.  My father had experienced a mild heart attack over my “expulsion” for admitting “latent homosexuality” which was out-of-bounds when I was growing up.  
By the way, the Finale is playful (I talked about it April 1), but then interacts with another hymn “Applause” tune in the tritonal key of F# Major, which modulates among relative majors and minors in every possible path back to C for a triumphant close, while almost mocking a particular style of guitar-based love song.  Yes, “Do me”, but “Imagine Me in Good Clothes”.   

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