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Topic: "Petite sonate en duo" opus 6... piano 4-hands, a very early work

  1. #1

    "Petite sonate en duo" opus 6... piano 4-hands, a very early work

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  2. #2

    Re: "Petite sonate en duo" opus 6... piano 4-hands, a very early work

    Wonderful, Michel - What a thoroughly enjoyable post - both the music and the great background story you posted along with it.

    I'm in awe of how the exciting patterns and textures in this sonata are woven together and molded by your confident mastery. I've never attempted anything like this - and I love it when I hear pieces here in The Listening Room which I can't imagine being able to write. My analytical brain is more at rest, and I can just sit back and let the music pour over me, as I did when listening to this.

    I have a favorite movement - The Adagio, the 2nd. The piece as an entirety entertained my head thoroughly, so it's not as if I cared less for the 1st and 3d really, I just loved and especially appreciated the beautiful solemnity of the 2nd.

    The way the recording has the pianos so far away in what sounds like an empty recital hall gives it a mood which is so appropriate for the pupil/teacher scenario you described. I can see them on that empty stage, some distance from me, so that I feel like I'm peeking in on them with them unaware of my presence. Effective.

    Thanks much for sharing your music, Michel.


  3. #3

    Re: "Petite sonate en duo" opus 6... piano 4-hands, a very early work


    This is delightful. Can’t believe you did this at such a young age.
    First off, I can instantly tell this is a Michel R. Edward work. You developed your unique personal style at such an early age, [which by the way has matured masterfully with sagacity over the ensuing years,] although I realize you did re-edit and re-shape it recently from the original penning….still.

    It struck me in an odd way perhaps, that this piece is almost a predecessor to your string sonatas. The more intricate complex piano part (secundo/teacher part) with the single note, double/triple stop string part (primo/child’s part) {not to say your string parts are simplistic, they are not. But hopefully you get what I mean---a less polyphonic part.}

    Thanks for posting this early work Michel! It’s always fun for me see the roots and progression of development , so to speak, of a gifted composer which helps put his/her current compositions in perspective.

    My Best,

    PS: You said, "It was highly derivative of all of the music I happened to be preparing at the time (Rachmaninovv, Prokovievv, Schumann).
    I’m a bit jealous here. Okay, a whole-lot jealous. I was blessed with small hands unfortunately. I love these composer’s piano works, but alas, I can’t play them. My piano playing has been relegated to “small Hand” composers such as Mozart and Bach, which is not a bad thing, but they just don’t take full advantage of the modern day piano sonority. I can reach a 9th but no 10ths. Sigh………………

  4. #4

    Re: "Petite sonate en duo" opus 6... piano 4-hands, a very early work

    Starting with the first movement, I can't write pieces like this. Which is why I find it hard to grasp the essence of it and understand it musically. You often point out some very interesting chordal phrasing or jumps in pieces I post, and suggest a change which really works. Then I hear your piece and I'm saying to myself, 'I'm out of league here - it's interesting to me but I don't know what to make of it. Hope you don't take that as a negative...

    ...because the 2nd mov as Randy pointed out, is brilliant. Even with HP on I found Finale playing my piano pieces to be dry and stinted, but yours doesn't sound like that at all. Maybe I gave up on it too quickly, but I do love to play my pieces so I guess I didn't try very hard. It's really brought your pieces to life here, they sound performed.

    Great 3rd piece too, I like a good rhythmic piano!

    I'm playing it again (whole thing from the start)
    YouTube Music:
    My Channel

  5. #5

    Re: "Petite sonate en duo" opus 6... piano 4-hands, a very early work

    thank-you guys

    Cass, at the age of 6 I was playing some Chopin. When I was 14 I was already attacking Rachmaninov piano preludes.
    At 17 I performed the Ravel piano concerto, and had already performed the entirety of Debussy's works for piano (including his rarely performed "Fantasie" for piano and orchestra), and I had an after-school job as an accompanist (which helped me sock away all the money my Bachelor's would end up costing me).

    My career as a pianist was put to an unceremonious early death when I broke my left hand in a cycling accident, and the doctor refused to do anything other than put a splint on my hand, then follow up with a cast the next day - without bothering to get any new x-rays done. Two fingers of my left hand are now off to a slight angle and shorter than they should be. It doesn't stop me from performing in concert, but it takes me much longer to get the technical details down because I have to find ways around the physical limitations of my left hand. (last year I performed the Canadian premiere - at least I think it was - of Arthur Foote's piano quartet).

    All that to say that the accident ended up short-circuiting my concert performance career track. I already had a love of composition, but had not thought of it as my main course of interest.

    One thing I find interesting about this work is that this predates my real formal training as a composer. Yet in it there are very clear precursors of my affinity for polyharmony and certain types of dissonance, along with my aim of clear melodic line.

    And I have to admit that the middle movement is also my favourite.

  6. #6

    Re: "Petite sonate en duo" opus 6... piano 4-hands, a very early work


    Thanks for sharing some of your remarkable past, both in accomplishments and misfortunes.

    But I always look on the brighter side of life, and if you had pursued a career as a concert pianist, you probably wouldn't be creating all these impressive compositions and we all would of been cheated of some truly magnificent music.

    And hey, you're still performing in the professional concert circuit too, so you have the best of both worlds!

    And ditto, the 2nd is also my favourite.


  7. #7

    Re: "Petite sonate en duo" opus 6... piano 4-hands, a very early work

    Good to hear something new from you....even if it's something old

    Anyway writing as I listen. It is interesting knowing that this is something prior to your formal training as a composer, however as others have pointed out there are some tell-tale signs of "things to come" from you as a composer. I do see what you're saying about clarity of melody. Nice theme in the first movement.

    Second movement reminds me of Gymnopedie (Satie) a bit. Some nice drama in the development section and nice modulations. I'm not sure I've ever heard a Major 7th chord from you, at least that openly

    Now while I do like the 2nd movement I think the third is my favorite. The harmonic language is what I know best from you. Tritones!! Bravo!!

    Do you have thoughts of orchestrating this at all? It stands alone of course but I hear some orchestral colors as well.

    Very nice and as always thanks for sharing.
    Steve Winkler GPO4 JAAB3 Finale 2012 Reaper Windows 7 Pro 64-bit VSL SE+

  8. #8

    Re: "Petite sonate en duo" opus 6... piano 4-hands, a very early work

    thanks Cass and Steve.

    Funny thing is, just this afternoon I was thinking this piece might be fun to orchestrate.

  9. #9

    Re: "Petite sonate en duo" opus 6... piano 4-hands, a very early work

    It’s great, Michel, that you closed the circle with your so-much-earlier composition.
    It must have been a rewarding experience.

    The first movement reminded me of children at play, making noise and even fighting,
    with the second motive kind of calming down and making peace…
    (which for some reason reminded me of swimming...).

    The second movement is my favorite. The dreamy pace felt like a trance walk.
    I also liked your variations and the quickened finale.

    You have a unique ‘language’, mixing expertly motives and moods
    and creating rich textures.

    Well done and thanks for sharing!

    ~ Yudit ~

  10. #10

    Re: "Petite sonate en duo" opus 6... piano 4-hands, a very early work

    Thank-you very much Yudit.

    This little sonata has always had a very fond place in my heart.
    I remember performing it in concert a number of times with some of my piano teacher's youngest students. I'm hoping this re-edition of the work will gain it momentum and more performances.

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