Sunday, February 01, 2015

Getting caught up: Andres "Old Keys" piano concerto; more on my own setup


Getting back to music after the wild end of the Super Bowl tonight, I checked Timo Andres and found his “Old Keys”, about 15 minutes, now available to be played online, at this link, including his program notes. The performance is from March 2012 with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra with the composer as pianist (looks it it was recorded shortly before my own trip to LA, complete with “Traffic Jam”, etc.) 
  
I had missed his performing this work at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in January (during the extreme cold wave) along with Rhapsody in Blue (I presume Gershwin’s, an old war-horse, covered here before). I mentioned UNC in conjunction with Tchaikovsky in a post last Sunday.  I do expect to get down there this spring, as well as to FL.  In the meantime, I’ve visited other things on the road, like train shows and extrasolar planet exhibits in science museums. 
  
This work would logically be Timo’s “Piano Concerto #2” (with “Home Stretch” as #1).  He says it focuses less on piano virtuosity and somewhat more on other instruments in the chamber orchestra, and that the work is loosely in three connected sections.  My ear picked up more like two sections.  
  
The opening, centered around the tonality of G, reminded me of the opening theme of the Piano Concerto #5 in F by Camille Saint-Saens (the Egyptian) a nit, and later the music took on more of a Copland-like flavor.  Andres likes compositions made from autonomous miniature building blocks – a technique in many of the piano works particularly of Robert Schumann. To my ear, there was some recursion of the themes.  The quiet ending appeared to be B-flat (on my Casio) rather than C.
 

In the meantime, I will be assessing my own setup.  I expect to replace my 2011 MacBook with 10.6.8 with a more powerful MacBook Pro with a recent operating system and Sibelius 7.5.  I’ll have to do some final checking on details, on what arrangements are the most compatible. I hope my Casio PX-130 drivers are there, and that it isn’t already obsolete (there are newer models). 

I have a sketchy “symphony” from the 1970s with a “slow movement” as well as “scherzo” each of which string together a lot of autonomous self-compressing themes.  I think the idea does work.  

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