Week 1: Status check! (also pick your piece!)
Hello and welcome to the WEEK ONE Main Thread for this challenge!
Alright everyone - this is the thread where we'll all be posting our daily updates.
Make sure you've read the rules before replying (<- click)
Twice a week between January 23 - 30 I hope to be reading your daily updates in this very thread right here!
Here is this week's assignment!
1. Pick your piece!
2. If a new piece, post your sight-reading of it (never hurts to practice this valuable skill!) If it is an old piece, let's try and dust it off, and play through what we can, to evaluate its current condition. Let us know what your "piece status" is!
3. Optional: Tell us WHY you picked this piece that you love so much!
Mozart was once asked to define music. His response was 'love'. Please forgive me if I am misrepresenting Mozart.
Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 10: II. Andante cantabile
The Piano Sonata No. 10 in C Major, K. 330, is one of the three works in the cycle, K330, K331, and K332. The sonata was composed in 1783, when Mozart was 27 years old.
It was published, with the other two sonatas in 1784.
The work is one of Mozart's most popular piano sonatas and has been featured in classical music-related films.
Mozart's autograph of the sonata is held in the Jagiellonian Library in Krakov, Poland.
The very end of the movement which Mozart wrote, an F major coda, was misplaced in the autograph but appears in the 1784 publication.
The key is F major, the subdominant of C major. After the exposition is heard twice, the music then modulates to the development in the parallel key of F Minor, and its relative major, A flat.
The movement then modulates to the tonic, for the recapitulation, followed by a short coda.
This he said to me: "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."
Ahbez lived a bucolic life from at least the 1940s, he travelled in sandals and wore shoulder-length hair and beard, and white robes.
He camped out below the first L in the Hollywood Sign above Los Angeles.
He studied oriental mysticism, sleeping outdoors with his family and ate vegetables, fruit, and nuts. He claimed to live on three dollars per week. [Well let's face it, he paid no rent, property taxes, nor utilities, and where was his piano?]
Ahbez arrived in LA In 1941, and began playing piano in the Eutropheon, a small health food rest restaurant on Laurel Canyon Boulevard. The cafe was owned by the Richters, who followed a Naturmensch and Lebensreform philosophy influenced by the Wandervogel movement in Germany. Their followers were known as "Nature Boys". Ahbez's lifestyle in California was influential in the hippie movement.
"Nature Boy" became a No. 1 hit for eight weeks in 1948 for Nat "King" Cole. Frank Sinatra and Sarah Vaughan released later versions of the song.
Jeremy Siskind will be so pleased to hear that I have listened to all of the following amazing renditions to prep for this challenge: Art Pepper [so beautiful]; Stan Getz; John Coltrane; Miles Davies, Ella; Lucia Micarelli, with guitar and string ensemble; The Real Group – Nature Boy – Sodermalm Sessions (live); and Afro Blue – a cappella [absolutely fascinating]
The alogorithms in Youtube picked up on the classical element - seemingly and led to 2CELLOS – Whole Lotta Love vs. Beethoven 5th Symphony, and 2CELLOS – Thunderstruck. The 18th century dress is a little worrying until they start playing. Beethoven's 5th Symphony on two cellos?
Wild is the Wind
Johnny Mathis recorded the song for the film of the same name and released it as a single in November 1957.
Mathis performed the song live at the Academy Awards in 1958 (where it was nominated for Best Song but didn't win - [what? do they ever get it right?]).
The song has been recorded many times, by many performers. Nina Simone first recorded "Wild Is the Wind" live in 1959; this version appearing on the album, Nina Simone at the Town Hall. David Bowie did "Wild is the Wind" as a homage to Nin Simone.
My two very first LP vinyl albums were bought in 1969. This was when we used £s, shillings, and pence in the UK. I paid 19/11 [19 shillings and eleven pence]. There were twenty shillings in a pound, so this album cost me one pound, less one penny.
The other LP was Julius Baker [then Julliard flute professor] playing, amongst other pieces, Mozart’s flute Concerto in G major, which I then used to learn this concerto.
I still have both of these vinyl LPs in my vinyl collection!
Nina Simone's version is really interesting as she was trained at the Julliard but was advised not to pursue a career as a concert pianist, for obvious reasons. She doesn't swing the rhythm, and the inspirations for her playing of this piece range from Bach to late ninteenth century bravura.
Another day, another variation! A lot more learning to leap today. As with yesterday's variation 2 installment, I'm very challenged by the repeated, rapid (often octave+ bimanual) shifts on the keyboard--my eyes can't move/focus rapidly enough between score and keyboard. Memorization would be the solution, I suppose. Perhaps if I keep working at it, in another 2 weeks the music will become familiar enough that it is not such an impediment. Then I can focus more on the musical part of the music.
Doing this as a tonebase challenge, with such a large team of gracious accountability partners, has been fun and productive. Thanks to all for your encouragement.
Beethoven Son12 Op26 Andante Variation 4
Hi everyone, I'd like to pick Prelude in F sharp by Chopin. When I first started to listen to piano music and experiment with pieces before I started to take some lessons, the Preludes were the pieces I first fell in love with. I think this one might be the closest to a Valentines Day piece (!) from the ones I'm familiar with, and I will work on it for this challenge :) here's the first few bars:
To keep up momentum (with the added benefit of challenging my feelings of vulnerability) I am sharing today's progress. To frame it generously, I can now mostly read through Beethoven Son12 Op26 Andante Variation 5. (I certainly don't recommend that anyone watch this save for the morbidly curious. Even my dog abandoned me for this recording).
The melody is covertly conveyed on the weakest beats of the measures at the beginning. This is perverse. Am I supposed to "bring it out" from its concealment? It then surfaces as the first notes of Alberti-like figures in the bass--kinda sneaky. And then it ups the ante by claiming the middle voice under cover of trills above. I'm in way over my head.