This is music from my “Contemporary Classical” period and…
Wait, stay! No, really, this is not boring!! (I hope…)
Years ago I composed 24 piano preludes, one in each major and minor key, as is usual with such things.
I used the preludes as a kind of music lab where I could experiment with different ideas and techniques. In some ways this created a wide variety of different pieces.
But I had another idea – From the beginning I tried to make the preludes interconnect. Think of it, a prelude is supposed to lead into to something, like a fugue (Bach’s Preludes and Fugues being the best example). So I decided to have a prelude introduce the next prelude in the series. Sometimes the new one would even start with the main motif of the last!
Anyway, a friend/music mentor had been asking for a fugue since I had started my serious study of “classical” music. This person owned an art gallery and had earlier, before I studied composition, commissioned four (4) pieces of music from me over a handful of years. I recently posted the first piece he commissioned, Sortes Vergilianae (The Fanatic), to YouTube and thought I did a post here, but can’t find it. Hmm, maybe I will some day. Anyway, click on that name if you are interested.
Back tot he story, Gary wanted a fugue, but I hadn’t studied fugue in depth, so I kept telling him “no”. Unfortunately, he passed away before he got his fugue. So I decided to write a fugue in the fourth movement here in his memory. Well, almost. I still hadn’t studied fugue and, though I understood how they worked, I didn’t have the form exactly right. So the middle of this is filled with fugue-like sections (fugato), though I think a purist wouldn’t call it “fugue”.
I do like the huge contrasts of super simple and super dense passages in this.
Some of you may have seen my posts on the 1st Movement and the 3rd Movement of my Piano Sonata in c# minor that I have posted recently. I wrote the four movement sonata in 2007 when I was in the middle of my classic composition studies. It was the first, and one of the few, pieces that I wrote because I was inspired to write, not to answer a challenge or to use as a study.
So, now is time for the 2nd Movement, the adagio. Here it is:
A couple of weeks back I posted a video for the 3rd movement of my Piano Sonata in c# minor. After thinking about it, I have decided to put up the entire sonata, one movement at a time. So, without further ado, here is the first:
A little background. Well, a very little, since I already wrote about this piece of music, here. Anyway, long story short(er), As I was working my series of 24 piano preludes, I was posting them to a music forum. A lot of people told me to make a longer version of the prelude in c# minor, so I did. I wasn’t quite satisfied with ending there, so I renamed it “1st movement” and went on from there, not calling it complete until I had the four movement piano sonata completely written.
At the time, late 2007, I was very much in a learning stage and every piece of music I wrote served a purpose in my musical education. Until this piece. Yes, I was still learning, and tried to push my boundaries, putting new ideas into practice, but the big thing here was that this was the first piece of music that I wrote in my “classical phase” “just because”. It was the first piece of this time period that was written because I was inspired to write.
Because this was something composed because i was inspired instead of because i was learning something new, it has a special place in my heart. Of course I also like it better than most of what I wrote in that time frame.
Years ago I studied classical composition. After fiddling about for a year or so, I took lessons with an established composer. As part of my lessons I wrote a little “classical sonata”. It was more or less in a Mozart style, though perhaps it was closer to Clementi. If you don’t know Clementi, look him up! Although there are shining moments on this “sonatina”, I wasn’t satisfied. Continue reading →
I took two of the miniatures from my composition “Child’s Play” and rearranged them a little. Actually the biggest rearrangement is making the super simple starting piece, “Happy Feet”, a little more complex by having it modulate from the key of G to the key of D. When you hear it again at the end, that is how it is in “Child’s Play, Book 1”. Actually, that piece, “Happy Feet”, is based on one of the first things I ever wrote, back when I was a Freshman or Sophomore in college. I broke a few counterpoint rules at the time, which were fixed when I added it to “Child’s Play, Book 1”. Continue reading →
I have been bad and have not touched a musical instrument since the beginning of the year. This week I ended that drought. A small level, I picked up my trumpet for the first time in ages and was surprised that I could still do pretty well with it. But more than that, I played the piano at least a little every day. Not a lot and nothing great. First, I have a few ditties I always play when the dogs eat – for a while they wouldn’t start eating until I started to play! But I also just played. Not really “practicing”, just going through a few songs and things and improvising a little. I won’t be giving a recital any time soon, but it was fun.
A little side note – I have written before that I have a hard time keeping up on more than one art, so the deeper I am into writing, the harder it is for me to keep up with anything else. I have maybe 2,000 photos that I haven’t touched – it’s been over a year! And I haven’t written any new music since I did the real fast recording back for my Korg Arp review, and for that I literally just turned on the recorded and improvised. So it is nice that I am starting to get back into playing – I have a really hard time not having music in my life.
That is my smile for the week, getting back into the groove of playing the piano after not playing for almost two months. Continue reading →
When I started my deep study of music I had CDs from over a dozen different 20th century composers. I had over a dozen CDs by JS Bach. I had over a dozen CDs from Medieval and Renaissance time periods. I had zero, none, not a single Beethoven CD. In the rock world in which I grew up Beethoven was the greatest villain. That’s really odd because he was a rebel in so many ways. He lived the rock and roll spirit in so many ways.
I did several deep study’s of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven. The last time I spent months going over his string quartets one note at a time. I poured over the scores to the symphonies. I ate the piano sonatas for breakfast. I went out and tried to find ever last scrap of music he created, published, or like many, never published in his life time. There is no doubt he was the greatest master of all times, even beating out my favorite, Bach. Continue reading →
Several years ago I wrote a set of 24 preludes in all major and minor keys. In some future post I will talk a bit more about the series including why I (stupidly) chose the order they’re in. For now I want to concentrate on just one prelude, the Prelude in Ab Major.
Listen to the track below. Don’t read on until you’ve listened.
I recently put together a slide show of some of the pictures I took while I was in Paris in 2011 and set them to my Prelude in Ab Major. The music is supposed to be dreamy, wistful and full of longing. Yes, I’d like to return to Paris. I’ve spent more time in this fabulous city that in any but a handful of cities in the world yet I’m always ready to return.
A little over a year ago I put up a post about my Prelude in Ab. If you like the music in the video at all you should check out some of the background. Reading this post will also let you know why it ends on a question mark: Prelude in Ab Major