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Topic: Since Autumn is here...

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  1. #1

    Since Autumn is here...

    To celebrate my favorite season, I've finally finished preparing the score to my Autumn Concerto from last year. The mp3s have also been cleaned up and remixed.

    Autumn Concerto for Piano and Orchestra

    I - Polychromasia mp3 | score
    II - The Same Tree (For Dorothy) mp3 | score
    III - Leaves Scattering mp3 | score

    Thanks for listening.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  2. #2

    Re: Since Autumn is here...

    I was debating replying to your posting, for a number of reasons. The first being that I am of two minds about this piece. The second being that I don't enjoy leaving any sort of negative comment... particularly for a piece I would enjoy listening to over and over!!!

    This piece, musically, is wonderful! I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is sparse, yet rich. Colourful, yet presages something.. what, winter? Your use of the orchestra is novel, your orchestration is breathtaking (there's a word in french, but I can't find a translation for it... "chatoyant"... scintilating? doesn't really say quite the same thing).

    As an orchestral piece, it is a complete success, and as a tone poem of sorts, it hits the mark dead center.

    The negative I feel, however, is that "as a concerto" it leaves a great deal to be desired. I don't know the particular circumstances of the creation of this work, whether it was a request or commission from a person in particular, or simply something you wanted to do.

    Most, if not all, of the piano part can be sight-read, and with relative ease. As a matter of fact, some of the orchestral parts contain more difficulty than the "soloist". This is where I'm uncomfortable with it "as a concerto". The piano part really feels not so much like a soloist as simply another instrument in the orchestra. It does not share equal weight of the material.

    The pianist in me just does not see this as a piece I would perform. There are too many long held notes in th piano part, and too few parts where the piano is allowed to show its own unique voice. My impression is of a concerto for piano written by someone who does not play the instrument. I don't know if you do, or with what degree of aptitude, but the piano is here treated too much like a single-line wind instrument.

    I'd like to stress the following: despite this criticism... I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this piece and WOULD buy a recording of it, just for the pure pleasure of listening to it. It contains exactly the balance of dissonance and consonance that appeals to my ear. There is just enough harmonic surprise in it that I don't get tired of it. Again, purely from the "listening" standpoint, I absolutely loved this piece. I don't know if I can praise it enough!

  3. #3

    Re: Since Autumn is here...

    As you know, Jamie, I have much affection for
    this gentle concerto; it's among my favorites of
    your works. Thank you for bringing it around once
    again. The leaves are beginning to turn, here;
    and I listened again to this fine work with great
    pleasure as I look out upon the autumn colors.

    Beautiful job on the scores, as well, Jamie!

    All my best,


    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  4. #4

    Re: Since Autumn is here...

    I listened and looked at the score at the same time.
    Wonderful music and with power.....
    But it is not a concerto for piano... but can be solved easily. Just put the piano [spatial] next to the harp and master the volume a bit. Then you have an orchestral piece with harp, piano and orchestra.

    The piano is then an integral part of the total mood, harmony, whatever you like to call it, without the need for a virtuoso soloist.

    And in part 3 I see the leaves falling....

    Greetings,
    Raymond Robijns
    ramrobijns@hetnet.nl
    --------- my music -------------------------
    www.esnips.com/web/Pepperoni
    www.esnips.com/web/Piccolezzas
    www.esnips.com/web/ExtraEars
    www.esnips.com/web/Hexameron
    www.esnips.com/web/MusicalSnippets
    www.esnips.com/web/Hojitas
    www.esnips.com/web/Sonatas
    -------------------------------------------------

  5. #5

    Re: Since Autumn is here...

    Quote Originally Posted by qccowboy
    The negative I feel, however, is that "as a concerto" it leaves a great deal to be desired. I don't know the particular circumstances of the creation of this work, whether it was a request or commission from a person in particular, or simply something you wanted to do.

    Most, if not all, of the piano part can be sight-read, and with relative ease. As a matter of fact, some of the orchestral parts contain more difficulty than the "soloist". This is where I'm uncomfortable with it "as a concerto". The piano part really feels not so much like a soloist as simply another instrument in the orchestra. It does not share equal weight of the material.
    Michel,

    Thank you for both your praise and your criticism. I don't at all mind the latter, and appreciate what you are saying.

    I should point out that this piece is labeled as a concerto, but not as a "piano concerto," and for more or less the reasons you brought up. The piano and orchestra are equal partners in this work, so perhaps it is more of a duet for piano and orchestra. I did not feel the need to make the part more difficult or flashy just to make it a showcase for a virtuoso. The work is already exactly as I wish it to sound, and though doing so might keep a soloist's interest higher, it would in no way add to the work's musical merit.

    I am in fact a pianist -- not a great one, but good enough to recognize how easy the work is. And though a part of me might have some worry as to whether or not a great pianist would bother with this work, my ear must have have the final say. The work is what it is, and sometimes people have to play long notes.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  6. #6

    Re: Since Autumn is here...

    Jamie it was a pure delight to revisit this piece.

    Though I am a pianist, I am not much of a fan of Piano Concertos. I like some of the Mozart ones and Bartok's, but as a form, it doesn't float my boat.

    I love the way you handle this form. !!
    While fully accepting the validity of Michel's point of view, it is the lack of Virtuosity and extrovert flamboyance that I find so appealing.

    The fascination for me of this score, is how you weave such complexity from such simple materials.
    As a listener you can tune into the simple narrative or the complex unfolding relationships beneath the surface.

    The piece sounds Organic.....in fact it makes me think about eco-systems.

    Thanks for re-posting, it was like seeing an old friend again.
    Funny how I always seem to meet this friend in the Autumn.

    regards Joe

  7. #7

    Re: Since Autumn is here...

    All,

    Thank you for the kind words. It was fun revisiting this piece, now that I'm going back and preparing scores for several previous works.

    Quote Originally Posted by joaz
    Thanks for re-posting, it was like seeing an old friend again.
    Funny how I always seem to meet this friend in the Autumn.
    It's ok if you want to visit during another season.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

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