Author Topic: Prelude #35 for solo piano  (Read 438 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

@ADR2Music

  • Posts: 32
  • Karma: 4
Prelude #35 for solo piano
« on: July 12, 2019, 03:46:13 PM »
Here's my most recently completed work, another prelude for the piano.  As I've been working on it, I've also been reading threads on the forum and I've attempted to incorporate advice offered by others on a variety of topics into it.

I hope that you'll find something in it that's enjoyable and I thank you for taking the time to listen and, if you choose, to comment.

Best,
Allen
« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 09:33:49 PM by @ADR2Music »
Finale 26

mjf1947

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,074
  • Karma: 134
Re: Prelude #35 for solo piano
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2019, 06:58:21 PM »
This prelude is quite enjoyable in it's quasi meditative state.

I find the right hand melodies quite enchanting .... and the choice of harmony/counterpoint quite intriguing.

At first I was unsure of if the dissonances worked for me ... however, after listening to it a few times; 

the composition has grown on me and I feel a certain tragic sweetness in the work.

Well done.  :)

Mark


Jerry Engelbach

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 429
  • Karma: 32
Re: Prelude #35 for solo piano
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2019, 10:09:26 AM »
Lovely, Alan.
 
Makes me think a bit of Scriabin's preludes.
 
Just a question: Your keys go pretty far afield, but you only show one change, to F minor and back to A minor. Any particular reason for just this one change?
 
Cheers,
Jer
Finale 26
NP3
GPO 5
JABB 3
iMac Mojave

@ADR2Music

  • Posts: 32
  • Karma: 4
Re: Prelude #35 for solo piano
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2019, 09:46:00 PM »
Mark,

Thank you very much indeed! I found your choice of words very interesting when you stated, "I feel a certain tragic sweetness in the work" because, after the idea of basing the primary theme on the interval of a minor second hit me, "tragic sweetness" was essentially what I was aiming for.

Gerry,

Thank you very much, as well! To answer your question: I prefer to write without key signatures altogether; but I've been finding that the preludes I've been writing have a tendency to encompass a number of keys.  While I don't want to present what might amount to "white note" music, I also don't want it to be awkward to read, with an excess of accidentals.  Should I change the key signature each time a work moves into a new key? I'm not sure.  I suppose that's rather subjective, particularly depending on how long the piece stays in that new key.  What do you (or anyone else for that matter) think? Any opinions? I'd love to hear them.

Best,
Allen
Finale 26

Tónskáld

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 87
  • Karma: 2
Re: Prelude #35 for solo piano
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2019, 07:26:05 AM »
Hi Allen,

I like what you did with the theme you were working a few weeks ago. You gave it plenty of variations so that it's not just the same thing repeated in different keys. I played it on the piano just now and have a couple suggestions.

1. In measure 38 there is a clumsy hand-cross where the right has to strike a F/Db and the left hits a Bb octave underneath which immediately transitions down to the very F the right hand is holding. I would get rid of that top Bb and just tie it until the Eb of the next tuplet.

2. I'm not terribly fond of the key change progressions (a fourth down every 5 or 6 measures). It gave me that feeling of someone changing the topic of conversation constantly without finishing their current thought. Don't misunderstand me; I'm not opposed to key changes and I think they make a piece more colorful. It's just that so many within a short period of time give the piece an ironic monochromatic hue—in my humble opinion. I think if you could find a way back to the original key after the modulation to the subdominant of each motif it would give a sense of closure. So, as an example, in the beginning you're in A minor and modulate at m6 to D minor. Instead of modulating to G minor 5 measures later, if you circled back to A minor for a few measures and THEN modulated to a different key, I believe it would enrich the piece.

I loved the intermezzo (mm31-45)—great contrast of rhythm in that section! I also liked how you brought it back to A minor, although I think I would have liked to see the piece end in A minor (or major!), as well. I hope my criticisms don't give the impression that I didn't enjoy the piece or consider it poorly-composed...the exact opposite is true! I think you did a great job overall: the melody was haunting and beautiful (very Chopin-esque), the variations were playable yet interesting, and the harmonies were rich and well-constructed.

I hope to hear more of your stuff in the future!

Best,
Jordan
Tools: Sibelius 7, Windows 10, Spitfire Audio VSL, Ivory Synthogy
Day job: Pharmacist
Composing/Arranging output: all musical forms except chamber
Goal: Write emotional, impressionistic works that move the soul and make one think; also trying to develop my own distinct style
Play: Piano (advanced), viola (intermediate), French horn & clarinet (student level)

amdg

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 175
  • Karma: 18
Re: Prelude #35 for solo piano
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2019, 07:41:23 PM »
Allen,

Very nicely done here.  I enjoyed listening to this prelude quite a bit.  I can see where Jerry noticed a little Scriabin, and I sensed in a few places a bit of Spanish flavor.  I think you succeeded in achieving that "tragic sweetness" mentioned in earlier posts.

Will be interested in seeing what you have to offer in the future.
Brian

Jerry Engelbach

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 429
  • Karma: 32
Re: Prelude #35 for solo piano
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2019, 01:36:32 PM »
Gerry,

Thank you very much, as well! To answer your question: I prefer to write without key signatures altogether; but I've been finding that the preludes I've been writing have a tendency to encompass a number of keys.  While I don't want to present what might amount to "white note" music, I also don't want it to be awkward to read, with an excess of accidentals.  Should I change the key signature each time a work moves into a new key? I'm not sure.  I suppose that's rather subjective, particularly depending on how long the piece stays in that new key.  What do you (or anyone else for that matter) think? Any opinions? I'd love to hear them.

Best,
Allen
Allen,
 
I agree that it's somewhat subjective. I think you made a valid choice in changing the key signature only when the theme actually changed.
 
Cheers,
Jer
 
(PS, it's Jerry with a J.)
Finale 26
NP3
GPO 5
JABB 3
iMac Mojave

Michel.R.E

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,002
  • Karma: 229
  • B.FA (composition) M.Mus (composition)
    • Les Éditions du Dos Blanc
Re: Prelude #35 for solo piano
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2019, 05:26:48 PM »
The base idea is lovely.
But as has been noted, the repetitive movement by 3rds with the repetition of the motif, gets a bit tiring.

What would serve it better would be to establish a fixed key at some point for a few measures.
Nothing stops you from moving in 3rds during that section, but not always moving in 3rds... ie: C to A, then BACK to C, rather than continue to F then D, etc...

it needs a bit of stability.

Measures 34 and 38, the right hand, 2nd to last beat, should those be naturals as well? (E in the first case, A in the 2nd)

At measure 5 (and subsequent repetitions of the same material), the sudden stop in movement really jars. It makes it sound like the piece wants to end but doesn't know if it really wants to or not.
Try to keep a certain flow going for a longer period of time without resorting to these abrupt stop/go rhythms.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

@ADR2Music

  • Posts: 32
  • Karma: 4
Re: Prelude #35 for solo piano
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2019, 08:30:13 PM »
Jordan,

Thank you very much for such a thoughtful and detailed analysis.  I very grateful that you took so much time with my work.  Please rest assured that I will take your input to heart as I post future works here and know that I value your generous input.

Brian,

I read your words of encouragement with genuine gratitude; they made me smile.  I look forward to hearing any thoughts you might like to share with regard to anything I post in the future.

Jerry,

I'm sooo sorry for the misspelling! I have a close friend who shares your name but spells it with a "G" and I clearly didn't think carefully enough before responding to your comments.  I humbly apologize and will not allow this to happen again.

Michel,

Your insights are always most welcome and appreciated.  My intent with the key changes was to provide a tiny surprize to the listener with each new iteration of the theme, but perhaps that notion wasn't as effective as I had hoped.  With regard to measures 34 and 38, right hand, second to last beat: I tried making those naturals but it felt a little too "common practice" to me, so I left the notes flatted.  At measure 5, and it's repetitions, I added the notes at beat four for both hands in an effort to help the music flow to the next iteration of the theme (originally the music came to a complete stop at those measures, but even I sensed that there needed to be a stronger connection to the following sections).  Clearly, I will need to put more effort into this aspect of my work.  Thank you, as always, for your generous feedback.

Best to all,
Allen
« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 08:33:28 PM by @ADR2Music »
Finale 26