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Topic: upcoming concert

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  1. #1

    upcoming concert

    With great pride, I announce that in two weeks, my quartet group will be performing a great concert of unusual and rarer works.

    on the programme:

    Michael Conway Baker: piano quartet (Canadian composer)

    Samuel Barber: Intermezzo (arr. by Michel R. Edward... me. I'm happy to say I finally got my permission from Schirmer's to create and perform the arrangement)

    Gustav Mahler: piano quartet 1st movement (the only "complete" movement of this VERY early work of the master's... he wrote it when he was only 16)

    and to finish off the concert

    Arthur Foote: Piano quartet in C major (19th century American composer, regrettably neglected master of romantic music, and this quartet is a pure masterpiece)

    The Foote quartet is very rapidly becoming one of my most favourite works in the entire repertoire. Every time we rehearse it we find details of pure genius in every measure, every phrase, every note.

    Arthur Foote is an interesting composer. He was the first "serious" composer to be entirely schooled in North America. And this might be part of the reason for his neglect - what with the snobbism that accompanied the "need" for training in Europe at the time.

    The piano quartet is a masterful work that stands proudly next to any work by a European master of the same period. I hope at some point to create a performing edition of this work, as it is out of print since the early 20th century. (it can be purchased from an online website, but they are simply reprinting the original 1905 edition from a PDF file)

    As for Samuel Barber, well.. HAPPY 100th Sam! we love you and miss you.

  2. #2

    Re: upcoming concert

    Sounds like a nice concert. I wish I lived nearer to Quebec. I would love to hear arrangement of Barber's Intermezzo. He's one on my favorite list.

    Best regards,
    Bill
    We dream to write and we write to dream.

    Challenge #10 Winner

  3. #3

    Re: upcoming concert

    I know very little of Arthur Foote's music, but everything I've heard was very impressive. Definitely a composer I wouldn't mind knowing better. I'll make a note to look up his Piano Quartet sometime. Have you heard his Suite in E for string orchestra, op. 63? Lovely.

    I've actually played the Mahler quartet. Rather Schumannesque, as I recall; not at all what I was expecting.

    Good luck with your concert. Sounds very interesting!
    Dan Powers
    www.danielpowers.info

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

  4. #4

  5. #5

    Re: upcoming concert

    thank-you for the premature applause!

    this has all been very exciting ... and scary.. for me.

    I've mostly worked as an accompanist and coach for singers, or as a conductor for the last 20 years.

    I always thought my years as a concert pianist were pretty much over.
    So this has been quite a re-adaptation for me, getting back into concert-mode, and also getting my pianistic chops back into 100% condition.

    I have to say, while the Arthur Foote quartet is a challenge to perform, the Michael Conway Baker and the Mahler pieces are more technically demanding. The Baker work because it's, well.. hard. And the Mahler because, to be perfectly frank, the kid didn't know how to write when he was 16!

    There are a LOT of incredibly awkward and clumsy passages in the Mahler. It's amazing to play this work, then to think of how brilliant an orchestrator he grew up to be. There are even passage that are - as written - impossible to play. We've had to fiddle (pun intended) with the notes here and there. The piano part particularly has some gauche and redundant passages (both hands required to play within a very limited space, for example, creating more awkwardness than anything).

    But the Foote quartet... I just can't speak enough about how wonderful it is. It's a blast to play - hard, but playable, much like Rachmaninov or Prokovievv. It just falls right into the hands.

  6. #6

    Re: upcoming concert

    That's wonderful to hear, Michel! I wish you the best of luck, and break a leg! Not literally, of course... unless you feel it'd help you perform better then, well......

    Good luck!
    Michael Obermeyer, Jr.
    youtube channel
    soundclick page

  7. #7

    Re: upcoming concert

    Best of luck Michel,

    And may I say it is so great to see someone speak with such enthusiasm, excitement and passion about a piece they are working to perform.

    Really great to hear.

  8. #8

    Re: upcoming concert

    Quote Originally Posted by qccowboy View Post
    There are a LOT of incredibly awkward and clumsy passages in the Mahler. It's amazing to play this work, then to think of how brilliant an orchestrator he grew up to be. There are even passage that are - as written - impossible to play. We've had to fiddle (pun intended) with the notes here and there. The piano part particularly has some gauche and redundant passages (both hands required to play within a very limited space, for example, creating more awkwardness than anything).
    It's very difficult - impossible for me - to hear and this piece without comparing it to what will come later from Mahler. However, I think there are parts of it have merit all on their own. (Other parts are pretty terrible. ) I can speak only as a listener, not as a performer, but I'm always glad to see it on a program even if it doesn't hold a candle to later Mahler works.

    Er, well, almost always glad. Someone transcribed it for string orchestra, and IM(not so)HO something was really lost in the translation. There are parts of the piece work only because of the piano's contrast with the strings. Some are runs that might work if given to woodwinds, etc., but are completely lost in a string orchestra. I'm sorry to hear that the piano part was ineptly composed, but I'm glad it's there; the piece needs it.

    Pat

    P.S. With my luck the arranger is a regular reader of this forum and has just been insulted. If so, sorry about that. Nothing personal, but I just think the piece works better as a chamber work.

  9. #9

    Re: upcoming concert

    Fantastic, Michel! Congratualtions and all the best for a very fine performance! - Reber Clark
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

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