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J.Br.

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About J.Br.

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    Neo-Romantic

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    Toronto, Ontario, Canada,
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    I am an avid pianist, giving my first recital at the old age of 14, who enjoys playing such games as
  1. J.Br.

    Romantic Miniatures

    I think you mean the D# minor etude, and that whole set is really, really good. No. 10 in Db uses some chromaticism, some of Scriabin's middle-period piano pieces (around op.40) have some "Wagnerisms" and stuff in them, before he went semi-atonal. The late Brahms pieces: the sets of intermezzi and the op. 119 4 piano pieces are absolutely brilliant, Scriabin and Chopin miniatures are fanatastic: preludes, etudes, poems, etc. These aren't romantic but the second set of Beethoven Bagatelles are really ingenius, inventive and beautiful pieces. Rachmaninoff's best pieces are his short pieces: his preludes, his etudes-tableux etc.
  2. Exactly: Major does not have to be happy and minor does not have to be sad. Examples: The Cavatina from Beethoven's Op 130 String Quartet in Bb is not a happy movement even though it is in Eb Major. Another example from the same piece: the Bb minor "Scherzo" second movement isn't really sad - it's a little mysterious and a little dance-like.
  3. Most of Liszt's output is pretty "bad". It is amazing what he can do on the piano, but there's no depth, no thinking, no structure and only "cheap showmanship" (I'm not even a big fan of the Sonata). Later on, as he started to forget about showmanship, his music got better by leaps and bounds, but he's still nothing compared to Brahms, Scriabin, some Rachmaninoff, Ravel and others.
  4. I'm not sure what level you're at, but Liszt can be very difficult especially if you have small hands. Normally I don't like Liszt - his music is just effects, no substance. I don't think you've totally grasped the situation - in my experience technical ability hasn't always impressed the judges - some Chopin is very difficult, other pieces just sound difficult (Fantasi-Impromptu). A Brahms Rhapsody op.74 (either one in b minor or g minor) might do the job as their musically difficult and as far as chopin goes maybe you should learn one of the etudes - Winter Wind is difficult, as is the Ocean. The Op. 10 is slightly easier No.4 in c sharp minor is tough, no. 5 in G flat is pretty famous. I'm not sure what length they want - playing one of his ballades is always an option. How much time do you have to learn?
  5. If you're going to play classical music you have to get a teacher. Lots of what you have to know comes from a teacher with experience who knows the music well, has played extensively and give everything they know to you. Your musical intuition and musicality is what will make you a good, natural pianist, but their instruction will make you just that much better. So my advice, get a teacher, practice a lot and you'll get good. The only problem is that if you start too, too late (late teens) it might be harder to learn than when you are small so you might need to practice extra. Still if you want to learn, it's necessary.
  6. I've been studying Schoenberg's first quartet for some time now and here's what I've been doing - I've been analysing all the myriad sections harmonically, but I've also been looking at what he's been doing contrapuntally because pretty much the entire piece is contrapuntal except for the B section in the "slow movement". And maybe even most importantly, I've been analysing the piece structurally - how does Schoenberg change and develop his theme, how does he achieve such an economy of material, how are the movements linked, how are ideas linked etc. Whenever I stumble upon something, I circle it on the score, make a note of it in my notebook and try and understand why and how he's doing it. Then later, if I write something, I'll try and apply this new knowledge and I think it's now being absorbed into my musical vocabulary so to speak.
  7. I forgot to mention A Therese, that one is fantastic too. They're really all good
  8. I like No. 32 the best. I think it was his highest piano solo achievement coupled with the last bagatelles. No. 30 in E major is very beautiful too. The Hammerklavier is fantastic too. The late sonatas are, in my opinion, the best. I think Beethoven was still finding his voice in the early ones - they're good but I'm not big on classical period music so... I also like the les Adieux sonata in Eb Major, No. 27 in e minor and no. 17 in D minor.
  9. Personally, as a piano player, I'm not fond of playing on multiple staves. I actually find it hard to read even though things can get messy on just two. I would recommend to write it on two first and if it really is illegible put it on three. Also, does anyone here know that Liszt actually wrote an etude for piano on just one staff? It looks really weird. It's from the Grandes Etudes de Paginini I believe, although I may be mistaken.
  10. I think composing original music in century old musical language or style can be difficult as a lot has already been done. I mean, not that it's bad that you sound like someone now, no not at all. As a young student, I think it is extremely important that you are deeply influenced by other composers because you'll learn from them and eventually their ideas may contribute to your own ideas down the line. All the greats started off sounding like someone else - Beethoven like Haydn, Scriabin like Chopin, Schoenberg like Brahms. Eventually, as you grow musically, your ideas will, and if you have a lot of talent, your own voice will form and you'll be you. For now you should still be reveling in the works of others like me. The first thing I wrote a couple of years ago was a short rhapsody (at the time I didn't give it a name, I just called op. 1) that sounded like Brahms. At the time I had been listening to a lot of Brahms and had been playing the G minor Rhapsody op. 79 and some late intermezzi. There's no harm in that. It's really a good thing.
  11. As of yet, I do not compose, I write and doodle.
  12. The first piece I would listen to him is definitely Also Sprach Zarathustra - its a perfect beginning piece to listen to, especially because its also slightly familiar. Then you can move to some of the "better" pieces (in my opinion) Ein Heldenlieben (did I spell that right?), The red knight etc. Richard Strauss is a fantastic composer and is, for some reason, underrated like almost all other 20th century composers.
  13. I think one of classical music's greatest strengths is that it isn't improvised. Improvisation typically lessens the amount of structure in a piece and structure is extremely key to classical music. Classical music has a lot of history, and a lot of rules which were there to make what was deemed pleasant music during each era. Of course these rules evolved and we now have fairly different ones then say, Mozart and Haydn used. But if you want to write music, you have to understand all the rules before you can break them. Otherwise you won't have a strong understanding of what you're doing, why it works and you won't be able to take anything from past composers which is also key. A big part of classical music is discipline and if you don't like it, play jazz or something else. Classical music unlike almost all other types of music, is not "music of the people". It's an educated art form and requires much work of its students, composers and performers alike. But the results are worth it.
  14. That, Liszt Grande Etude de Paginini No. 5 in E major Chopin Etude No. 5 in G flat major Op. 10 Chopin Etude No. 12 in c minor Op. 25 Chopin Etude No. 4 in C sharp minor Op. 10 Mozart Sonata No. 13 in B flat Major Czerny Art of Finger Dexterity
  15. Whether you agree or disagree, it is painfully obvious that criticism is an important aid in musical development. Why? Because criticism lets you know what you've done wrong in your piece. Critics often say that some music stinks - composers have to deal with it. Listen : my teacher often says almost only negative things about some of my works and I don't get teary. Instead, I listen to what he said, and fix my future pieces so that he will say a job well done. It's not the comments that are incorrect its often the reactions. To be in the entertainment business or music business, whatever, you have to have an ego and you have to believe in yourself while still listening to what others have to say even if it is negative. I mean, sometimes those who speak badly about your work are dead-wrong - I'm sure people haven't agreed with me, but learn to deal with it. That's life. Derek, maybe the reasoning behind your post was to defend your own compositions and feelings. But regardless - to all those that can't stand to be criticized: toughen up or stop posting your works. Frankly, it's as simple as that and I'm sorry if I'm putting it too harshly. EDIT: I also meant to say that yes, youngsters do need to be encouraged, but by the age of 20 or so, I believe it's time to be honest and just because some one's new doesn't mean they're young. There are a lot of older people on this website.
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