A new recording and slightly different interpretation of an earlier work.
Insomniac passing anhypnic nights in writing, translation, music, mathematics, programming and whatever else captures my attention or alleviates agrypnia.
This consists mostly of quotations of things that stand out to me or reflect what's on my mind; occasionally I also post original, often more personal, content as well, which may be found under the "personal" tag. Anything posted under "translations" is also original work and may broadly be taken as personal as well as I seldom tackle a work that does not speak to or for me in some way.
Yesterday, I discovered the Klavins 370i and wrote briefly about it here. Googling revealed a synth built on a sampled 370i, which naturally I had to try. It’s going to take a bit of practice to get the feel for it, especially the sustain, but here’s a small initial offering: one of the tracks I had here in the past, which Tumblr removed when they removed directly embedded players a while ago, but which I haven’t yet had the chance to replace, “A Educação do Estóico” (originally described here). It’s inspired by the music of Erik Satie and the eponymous work of Fernando Pessoa.
“We’ve been devastated by the severest and deadliest drought in history—that of our profound awareness of the futility of all effort and the vanity of all plans.”
—Fernando Pessoa, writing as “the Baron of Teive” in The Education of the Stoic
Post-concert update: the performance can now be seen on Youtube in its entirety here.
a fragment from ‘Trio in C minor for piano, violin and cello’
Koch, Dewez, Devos
Lekeu died a day after his 24th birthday; this piece was written when he ws 20-21, and is among the fifty or so he left behind.
Almost six years ago, passing an idle night at a different sort of keyboard, I wrote a little number I came to call the “Raindropédienne” and which surprised me by becoming one of the more popular pieces I had on Last.FM. The name is a stitching together of the titles of Chopin’s “Raindrop” prelude with Satie’s first “Gympnopédie” and “Gnossienne”, as the music itself brings the three together. It is, in its way, a sort of classical “mash-up”.
The first and final third take a transposition of the opening melody of Chopin’s prelude in the right hand and set it over a bass in the left like that Satie used in his first Gnossienne. The midsection has two parts: in the first, the right hand opens with a transposition of the Gnossienne melody which transforms in the second part to the melodic form of the Gympnopédie; the bass follows the midsection bass of the molto tenuto movement in the prelude. In the original release, that was the whole of it. Playing about today, I chose to transpose the first and third part to a different key, and I brought in the long neglected ostinato that gave the original prelude its popular nickname.
It’s only a small novelty, but perhaps some will enjoy it.
I have listened (and own I suppose) quite a bit of Schubert, but am very ignorant of him -as with so much….what springs to your own mind as a good thing to amuse my bouche with? I appreciate any direction you might consider… MC
Alfred Brendel’s 1975 recording, “The Last Three Piano Sonatas”, is in my opinion excellent; his performance of Schubert’s Piano Sonata no. 21 in Bb (D.960) is one of my favorites (I Molto moderato, II Andante sostenuto, III Scherzo and Trio and IV Allegro—Presto). The driving, darker undercurrents running throughout that otherwise chipper piece always move me and make me wish I’d been able to write something of the sort. The change at about two minutes into the molto moderato first movement particularly comes to mind.
Though I will confess I am not always a fan of lieder with the actual vocal style, Schubert’s musicality in them is nonetheless excellent many times. Possibly my favorite way to experience them, however, is via Liszt’s transcriptions, incorporating the original piano accompaniment and the vocal melodies in a single work for solo piano. The fabulous modern pianist Valentina Lisitsa, some of whose performances I have posted here in the past, does an excellent job with several of these on her YouTube channel, where she’s done the Liszt transcriptions of Schubert’s Schwanengesang cycle; see perhaps especially “Die Stadt”, “Der Doppelgänger”, “Ihr Bild”, “Ständchen”, “In der Ferne”, “Aufenthalt”, etc. There is also her more recent upload of a recording of the Liszt transcription of Schubert’s “Der Erlkönig”. I would love to hear her do similar arrangements of some of the pieces from Schubert’s Winterreise song cycle, especially “Einsamkeit” and “Der Leiermann.” For chamber works, I am partial to his string quartet version of “Der Tod und das Mädchen” (parts I Allegro, II Andante con moto, part 1 and part 2, III Scherzo: Allegro molto and IV Presto, performed by the Takacs Quartet). There are many others, but these are perhaps a lovely start.
And of course, he has many, many much “happier” sounding, upbeat and major key pieces; but as my tastes lead me to minor modes and “darker” musical textures, these pieces are what stand out more to me.