• Register
  • Help
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Topic: Piano Concerto No. 2, complete (finally!)

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    Piano Concerto No. 2, complete (finally!)

    I know, I know. It was over three months ago that I promised that the third movement of the concerto would be ready "in a week or so." Sorry!

    It's up now. Here are links to all three movements, in case you missed the first two.

    I. Bright and ringing (12096 kb;12:54)
    II. Very slow and somber (8896 kb; 9:33)
    III. Energetic, but not too fast (10033 kb; 10:41) New!

    The piano is the PMI Bosendorfer 290. Everything else is GPO, except for some of the percussion in the last movement. (The vibes are from EWQLSO Gold, triangle is from Edirol's Virtual Sound Canvas, and bongos are from the sounds bundled with Kontakt 1.)

    I appreciate your patience. Hope it was worth the wait!
    Dan Powers
    www.danielpowers.info

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    326

    Re: Piano Concerto No. 2, complete (finally!)

    I had downloaded the first movement a while back and have been enjoying listening to it from time to time (in my little 'GPO favorites' folder on my PC) so I look forward to hearing the piece in its entirety.

  3. #3

    Re: Piano Concerto No. 2, complete (finally!)

    Dan,

    You have used a remarkably beautiful harmonic language in these pieces. I listened to each of them twice. Even called my wife down to give them a listen (she got her degree in music as a clarinet major.) She loved them - I knew she would.

    I have some technical questions about the mixes:

    1. In the second movement, was it your intention to have the piano appear either far in the back or offstage? That's how it sounds to me, rather like I'm hearing only the reverb return on the instrument instead of the direct sound. It's an interesting ethereal effect - just wanted to make sure it was intentional.

    2. The third movement has some unusually wide dynamic changes - did you intend them to be exaggerated to the point of giving the impression that the music is sometimes receding from the listener? The piano especially gives the impression of not just getting very soft but actually receding into the distance, as if the volume control was being turned down. Again, an interesting effect if intentional. Less dynamic contrast would sound more natural but perhaps that is not what you are trying to achieve.

    3. Did you intend each of the movements to have a somewhat different acoustic setting and stage perspective? Each is mixed quite differently from the others (balances, dry/wet, etc.)

    Anyway, the main thing is the writing and I like it a lot. Two thumbs up from our house - make that four thumbs up.

    Tom

  4. #4

    Re: Piano Concerto No. 2, complete (finally!)

    Thanks for your comments, Tom. All your questions are very valid. I guess the short answer to all of them is that in making this GPO rendering, I really wasn't thinking about making a "final, definitive" version. All I wanted was a kind of "practice tape" so Martha (my wife, who was also the soloist) and the conductor could have a rough idea of how the concerto sounded before going into rehearsal. (Of course, the premiere was a couple of months ago, so the effort of producing the third movement was kind of wasted. ) Since I wasn't shooting for anything beyond that, I let a lot of stuff go that I might otherwise have fixed.

    I hadn't really planned to do anything else with this, but there's a chance my plans will change. The tape of the performance still hasn't come, and we're hearing that there were equipment problems as the concert was recorded. They're working on the recording now, but won't say whether it will be usable or not.

    If the recording is not usable, Martha and I are talking about creating our own recoding via virtual means. If this happens, we plan to record her playing the solo part (either on a real piano in a recording studio, or as a MIDI file on a MIDI piano) and have me add the orchestra parts with GPO and probably other libraries as well. (While we're at it, we might also do the first concerto!) If that happens, you can bet I'll be more fastidious in my production values!

    But meanwhile, I'm glad you're enjoying it.
    Dan Powers
    www.danielpowers.info

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  5. #5

    Re: Piano Concerto No. 2, complete (finally!)

    Also, I should probably make clear, since I didn't mention it before, that the piano performance in this rendering is a MIDI file generated by Finale, with a little editing in Sonar. Martha would probably rather people didn't think that was her performance on there!
    Dan Powers
    www.danielpowers.info

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    South Ken, London
    Posts
    563

    Re: Piano Concerto No. 2, complete (finally!)

    Hi Dan

    I don't get much time to listen to demos but I just listened to the third movement beginning to end and it really is well written with lovely piano writing and some subtle, economical orchestration. Its going to sound great with a real orchestra.

    All the best with the premiere and don't forget to post a recording. I'll listen to the other two movements when I get a moment.

    cheers

  7. #7

    Re: Piano Concerto No. 2, complete (finally!)

    Gosh, I would love to hear this in live performance -- in the hands of a solid performer and a good conductor, this must be one dynamite concerto, Dan. That powerhouse opening movement -- with such emotive range and energy and flare!

    The quietly and subtly rich second movement is gorgeous... and after the fireworks of the first movement, the utter simplicity of the piano is just the right counter-balance. (Not to mention, it gives the pianist a needed rest.)

    The third movement... with long, slow, careful take-offs and staged build-ups into the stronger center and latter sections -- very well done. Re-launching after the somber second movement any other way wouldn't have worked nearly as well, especially with the in some ways more reticent and reflective tone of the third, compared to the first.

    Some overall comments: You show a very strong understanding of the challenges and effective solutions to writing well for piano and orchestra, Dan -- which is far more difficult than one might imagine if you haven't tried it.

    Bravo!

    This is a major achievement, Dan, and one of which you can justly be beamingly proud!

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    464

    Re: Piano Concerto No. 2, complete (finally!)

    well, this post deserves more attention...excellent writing, wonderful musical language, and it really "feels" like a concerto...and i enjoy how you didn't try to solve the world's problems...'cough' brahms 'ahem - cough'...this is worthy of a live performance! thanks for sharing (i've listened more than once, and will again)!!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    177

    Re: Piano Concerto No. 2, complete (finally!)

    Hi Dan -

    I just finished listening to the 3rd movement. I'll have to go back and listen to the first two (it's been awhile).

    This is a fascinating piece! I hope you'll indulge us with a recording of the live performance, because this piece truly deserves a live performance. Beautiful job!

    Amazing piano composiition and the minimal orchestra fills it in just right.

    Wonderful!

    - Michael
    -----------------------------
    - Michael Fortunato

Go Back to forum

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •