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Topic: Lesotho Variations for Solo Piano

  1. #1

    Lesotho Variations for Solo Piano

    This is (what I consider to be) my first real piece: Opus 1 No. 1. Written a few years ago.
    Based on the National Anthem of Lesotho where I was a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1995-1997
    Each variations is based on a different 'scene' from Lesotho--the first few variations are calm and the others grow in intensity
    The sound drops off in a few spots---sorry about that. The piece is just under 8 minutes long--with the more exciting stuff nearer the end
    Any comments (positive or negative ) appreciated

    6/18/08 UPDATE --- I just received a live recording of this piece. In case anyone is interested it may be heard here:
    Realize this is for GPO based pieces so will remove as needed. Just thought it may be interesting to hear live vs. GPO

    Last edited by lesotho72; 06-18-2008 at 12:36 PM. Reason: New link to recording

  2. #2

    Re: Lesotho Variations for Solo Piano

    I enjoyed this. This piece has so many interesting things going on that it's held my interest from start to finish.

    --gary shannon
    --gary shannon
    Spooks! - The Movie

  3. #3

    Lightbulb Re: Lesotho Variations for Solo Piano

    Some good chordal progressions at the beginning. Perhaps some suspensions during the changes. Not sure, just me. 4-3 suspensions work great.

    I enjoy the steinway so much, and youreally "play" it well.

    If I may ask, what is Lesotho.

    It has a Shostakovich feel to it in the middle. Very lovely. Very exciting.

    With all the high piano stuff, my ear likes to hear more suspensions. Overall though, great great work!
    Yours Truly,
    May the Fourth Be With You

    My demos:

  4. #4

    Re: Lesotho Variations for Solo Piano

    I hear Daniel Ruineman, Shostakovitch, Poulenc and a bit of Prokovief and a lot of Lesotho. It is a pity that my hands don't allow me to play this at a professional level anymore, but I wished to study these variations and play them myself. Certain passages need some correction/variation, I cannot tell you the time (Boxnet) but where it starts with that slow tempo and the chords in both hands.

    Great work.


  5. #5

    Re: Lesotho Variations for Solo Piano

    My favorite composer has always been Prokofiev. About 2/3 of the way thru you got some runs in there that sounds like the genious himself. You have run thru a number of emotions in this piece and have done so very well.
    Well Done

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Wilton, NH

    Re: Lesotho Variations for Solo Piano

    I know very little about Lesotho and have never heard its national anthem before. Judging by your forum “handle” it must have had a deep impact on your life…

    I really liked this set of variations. Each had its own unique feel from gentle to almost brutal. Very well done. I really enjoyed the whole thing from beginning to end.
    Trent P. McDonald

  7. #7

    Re: Lesotho Variations for Solo Piano


    A really good set of variations--very inventive.
    Very well rendered. Enjoyed listening to these.

    Jack Cannon--Toshiba laptop, 2.8 GHz CPU, 1.5 GB RAM, GPO4-JABB3-Auth. STEINWAY-Gofriller CELLO-Stradivari VIOLIN-COMB2-WORLD, FINALE 2009/11, RME Digiface, Cardbus, V-Stack---Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 8, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express.--MacBook Pro 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  8. #8

    Re: Lesotho Variations for Solo Piano

    Thanks to all for your comments and recommendations.

    Jedi and Ray--you both mentioned there were a few transitions/passages which need a little work. I definitely agree but am having difficulty identifying exactly where and how to do this.

    Guess that's part of the composing process. Though if you have any more recommendations I'd be very appreciative to hear. Score posted also.
    I was defininely influenced by the composers that have been mentioned: Prokofiev, Poulenc, etc. Guess most young composers take a while to develop their own voice...and when I composed this I was still working that out. Will still be 'working it out' for the rest of my life! At least I chose good role models. Hope I got a bit of my own voice in there also.

    Lastly, a little about Lesotho. It is a small country completely surrounded by South Africa. It's astoundingly beautiful (called the Switzerland of Africa) but also has many problems --primarily AIDS and the many orphans due to AIDS. When I graduated college in 1994 I went there for 2 years to teach Economics and advise at the Ministry of Agriculture. It was quite an experience for a 22-year old who had lived in Rhode Island his entire life.
    Some pics of Lesotho:

    Thanks again,

  9. #9

    Re: Lesotho Variations for Solo Piano

    I don't actually think it's transitions as much as little extra things you should add.

    for example, (and itmay not apply everywhere):

    you can do things like

    hold a note from one chord and resolve it in the next chord.

    G B D going to D F# A

    You can hold the B from the first chord, and then resolve to an A after the D chord is already being played.
    An audio example below has I to V resolutions, with and without the suspensions. I also did the reverse, V-I. And provided you with two short chord progressions. One of them without suspensions, the other same progression, with suspensions.


    Notice how the suspensions can become the melodic line.
    Also however, don't feel restricted to suspensions. You could also do the revers which is where you get to the next chord a beat early only with one tone of the next chord. The very last resolution is an example of that.
    Yours Truly,
    May the Fourth Be With You

    My demos:

  10. #10

    Re: Lesotho Variations for Solo Piano

    Your piece has some dark moments to it. I like it. It is a very inventive piece of music.

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