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Topic: Prelude #15 in F Major

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  1. #1
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    Prelude #15 in F Major

    Here is the latest in my set of preludes, the quirky –

    Prelude #15 in F Major

    As I usually say, my preludes are normally written as experiments. This is no different.

    I wanted to write a passacaglia that had changed keys while the ground bass, ostinato, or whatever it is called, stays the same. I also wanted to go to some more distant keys.

    In this prelude I start in F and go to D (submediant), A (mediant) and E (leading tone) while the bass stays the same. The variation is very conservative to try to bring the key changes out more. I also used these more static themes and key relationships to give a kind of structure to this.

    Because I wrote a ground bass that works in a variety of keys, it tends to be a little quirky.

    Anyway, I hope you enjoy this latest addition.

    Here are the preludes to this point. (A little note – remember that I am doing a circle like this (cap=major, lower=minor) – C-a-D-b-E-c#-Gb-eb-Ab-f-Bb-g - Eb-c-F-d-G-e-A-f#-B-g#-Db-bb )

    1 – Prelude in C Major
    2 - Prelude in a minor
    3 – Prelude in D Major
    4 – Prelude in b minor
    5 – Prelude in E Major
    6 - Prelude in c# minor
    7 – Prelude in Gb Major
    8 – Prelude in eb minor
    9 -Prelude in Ab Major
    10 - Prelude in f minor
    11 - Prelude in Bb Major
    12 - Prelude in g minor
    13 – Prelude in Eb Major
    14 – Prelude in c minor
    15 – Prelude in F Major



    Note - #s 9, 10, 11, 12 and 15 are rendered with the Authorized Steinway. All others are rendered with the GPO Steinway.
    Trent P. McDonald

  2. #2

    Re: Prelude #15 in F Major

    Hi, Trent

    Thanks for coming back with the newest addition to your big Preludes project - So, to complete your goal, it looks like you have 9 more to produce.

    Rather interesting, reading your explanation of some of what you were doing here. I work so completely differently, with virtually no conscious choices about theory or specific goals laid out ahead of time. So I always appreciate when someone includes some insight to how they've worked on a piece, it can be fascinating in fact.

    Basically, I had an emotional disconnection from this piece, and I'm feeling unable to say much more than that about the music itself. Maybe it left me a bit quizzical, I'm not sure.

    Technical question - Are you using any reverb on the Steinway, or just letting the microphone position take care of the ambience? This recording just seemed a lot more dry than most Steinway recordings, so I'm curious.

    Randy

  3. #3
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    Re: Prelude #15 in F Major

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Hi, Trent

    Thanks for coming back with the newest addition to your big Preludes project - So, to complete your goal, it looks like you have 9 more to produce.

    Rather interesting, reading your explanation of some of what you were doing here. I work so completely differently, with virtually no conscious choices about theory or specific goals laid out ahead of time. So I always appreciate when someone includes some insight to how they've worked on a piece, it can be fascinating in fact.

    Basically, I had an emotional disconnection from this piece, and I'm feeling unable to say much more than that about the music itself. Maybe it left me a bit quizzical, I'm not sure.

    Technical question - Are you using any reverb on the Steinway, or just letting the microphone position take care of the ambience? This recording just seemed a lot more dry than most Steinway recordings, so I'm curious.

    Randy
    Hi Randy. I went back and looked and I had the reverb turned off - I do these in Sibelius and touch them up in Cubase. I have a template which I copy them into and at some point I must have turned the reverb off. I just turned it back on and posted the outcome. I may need to re-record #12..

    I don't have any standard way of composing, but I usually start with an idea. Sometimes the idea comes from improvising, sometimes I have a technical problem I want to work out. This one started with the technical problem.

    I called this "quirky" for a reason - to get the bass theme to work in several keys it had to be a little unusual. When I first hit playback after writing it out, I didn't like it. Later in the day I found myself humming it. I went back, made a lot of changes, still wasn't sure. Then I found I couldn't get it out of my head. Many more changes later and actually like it. This occurred over a period of many days as I sat in a cabin on Cape Cod wondering if the rain would ever stop (we did have 1 1/2 nice days...). Now it just seems as natural as anything else I've written.

    Thanks for listening and for your comments.
    Trent P. McDonald

  4. #4

    Re: Prelude #15 in F Major

    Trent

    I had to look up passacaglia. That's a new word for me. Sounds more like it should be Italian for pass the odd shaped pasta.

    This is another fine addition to your round. Only 9 more to go!

    Nice

    Ron
    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

    http://composersforum.ning.com/profile/RonaldFerguson

  5. #5
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    Re: Prelude #15 in F Major

    Quote Originally Posted by rolifer View Post
    Trent

    I had to look up passacaglia. That's a new word for me. Sounds more like it should be Italian for pass the odd shaped pasta.

    This is another fine addition to your round. Only 9 more to go!

    Nice

    Ron
    Hi Ron. Passacaglia is a weird word. There are other words that mean pretty much the same thing, such as ground bass, but I seem to see passacaglia the most. Maybe it's from listening to a weird combo of Bach and 2nd Viennese school composers (one of Webern's most famous piece is a passacaglia and I believe Berg used a passacaglia in Wozzek).

    I've been writing these preludes off and on for so long I don't know what I will do when I finally finish....

    Thanks for listening and for your comments.
    Trent P. McDonald

  6. #6

    Re: Prelude #15 in F Major

    Ah, now -- #15 is most definitely speaking my
    language... or at least to it. I can hear these
    maturing the style as you keep adding to the
    series, Trent... adding an element of develop-
    ment to the flow of them taken as a whole.

    Well done!

    My best,


    David
    -----
    David Sosnowski
    www.DavidSosnowski.com

  7. #7

    Re: Prelude #15 in F Major

    I did! I did! I did enjoy your latest addition Trent. It's quite clever how you combined the "what ever you call the bass motif" (I don't know the correct term for it either) with all the distant key chord progressions. It works and works well, without getting into the bizarre, anything goes type territory. It actually gives me some ideas for my next piece.

    Thanks for posting this. It's very well written.

    Cass

  8. #8
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    Re: Prelude #15 in F Major

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux View Post
    Ah, now -- #15 is most definitely speaking my
    language... or at least to it. I can hear these
    maturing the style as you keep adding to the
    series, Trent... adding an element of develop-
    ment to the flow of them taken as a whole.

    Well done!

    My best,


    David
    -----
    David Sosnowski
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    Hi David. This isn't even close to the sophistication of the musical language you speak, but I do plan on moving these more and more in that direction. These preludes have been written over such a large span of time that I do hope that progress can be seen. At the same time, I am hoping that these will be heard as a unified whole instead of just a bunch of short pieces.

    Thanks for listening and for the kind words.
    Trent P. McDonald

  9. #9
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    Re: Prelude #15 in F Major

    Quote Originally Posted by Cass Hansen View Post
    I did! I did! I did enjoy your latest addition Trent. It's quite clever how you combined the "what ever you call the bass motif" (I don't know the correct term for it either) with all the distant key chord progressions. It works and works well, without getting into the bizarre, anything goes type territory. It actually gives me some ideas for my next piece.

    Thanks for posting this. It's very well written.

    Cass
    Hi Cass. I often try to make my more "modern" ideas sound non-threatening to people who claim to hate "Modern music". Not that I usually put it in those terms...

    It means a lot that somebody with such great piano writing skills as yourself enjoyed this little piece and found some inspiration from it.

    Thanks for posting and for your comments.
    Trent P. McDonald

  10. #10

    Re: Prelude #15 in F Major

    Hi Trent,

    A good addition to the set, and it feels right coming after #14.

    It feels to me like a little exploratory bit that will serve as connecting tissue between 14 and 16, though I'd like to hear it in that context once 16 is done. That is to say that I don't experience this prelude as a work that wants to stand alone, necessarily... it's a little trolley car taking us to the next station. Or a montage taking use between two anchoring scenes.

    Can't wait to hear the next one.
    - Jamie Kowalski

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

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