It’s been awhile since I posted a piece here. There’s two reasons for that…..family visiting and a ridiculously difficult piece to learn to play.
Regarding the first issue, I love my family dearly, but after 2-weeks of visiting, I was glad to get my life back. I almost posted this before they came, but I didn’t have the score finished. Finally I can post.
This is the 5th installment of my piano collection “The Week Effort Collection”. Obviously, from the title and from hearing it, it was an attempt to emulate Chopin’s music. But rather than being a parody of his music, I wanted it to be a serious piece of music that stands on its own, with only an idiomatic resemblance to his style and sound. However as I look at the title, it “screams” parody, so I guess if that isn’t my intent I should change it.
It has everything that you would expect from Chopin though, a lyrical melody with poetic phrasing and ballad expressionism. At the other extreme, intense dynamic displays of virtuosic playing (well as virtuosic as I can muster up). It starts out as a nocturne then changing to his Polonaise style, then mutates into the style of his ballads/scherzos and so forth.
But that’s pretty much were the similarity ends. In reality, a good portion of the piece doesn’t sound much like Chopin at all. It contains romantic phrasing associated with many other composers and impressionism peppered throughout. I have long felt that without Chopin and Liszt, impressionism would have been delayed and perhaps even been different as we now know it today. The seeds of which can easily be found all over their music. So in the center of this piece it sounds more like Debussy than Chopin. I also included a bit of “modernism” after the cadenza, partly to show the forward progression of music, but mostly because it’s my style of writing… a calling card as it were, where I almost always inject a few measures of modern harmony in almost everything I write. Like it or not, call it inconsistent, incongruous, it’s just the way I like to write.
The makeup of the piece is rather simple. It’s a lengthy “one theme” piece with 75% being a 5-note upward scale motif. There is no second theme. The center of the piece is actually a development of the ending portion of this opening theme.
However……the piece is anything but simple to play. It’s easily hands down the most difficult piano piece I have written to date and it took me over a week just to learn the “cadenza” towards the end of the piece. It’s a non-metered section that is played with lots of rubato, giving it that loosey goosey, almost “coming apart” feeling which I wanted at that point before you hit the chaotic transition.
My next piece in this series is going to be simple and lean……am I listening to myself…..I repeat, simple…..I need a break!
As you might or might not know, I love extreme dynamics in my music and this piece doesn’t disappoint. It goes from pp with soft pedal to hammered fff so don’t be fooled by the quiet beginning. I hate using even the slightest compression on solo piano because I can always hear the squashed frequencies. But I think the beginning is too soft so I’ll probably have to acquiesce and compress somewhat.
Finally this is dedicated to our fellow Northern Sounder, Ted Vanya. We’ve had some private messages awhile back, and I found out about his love for Chopin. He’s probably regrets telling me however; I probably haven’t even come close to what you expect out of a Chopin clone piece, Ted, I only hope you don’t detest it!!
Okay, off to start a new “simple……” repeat “simple” piece for number six in this collection. (I’m so glad there are only two more pieces to do!!)
Cass (Garritan Authorized Steinway…………under the lid patch)
Daylight Nocturne MP3
Daylight Nocturne Score