Author Topic: 24 Preludes for Piano, Nos. 9-12  (Read 137 times)

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williamhu

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24 Preludes for Piano, Nos. 9-12
« on: January 09, 2021, 05:09:45 PM »
Hey everyone!
It's been a while from my end. I've been having a particularly rough past year (I'm sure a lot of other people have been too...), and maybe some of that is reflected in my prelude cycle as we hit the halfway point.

Prelude No. 9 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaaUiZwNHRg ) is a meditation in E Major with a fixation on Lydian. I tried to create a very mystical and enveloping feeling of calm, with floating harmonies, long melodic lines, and themes which seem to blend in and out of focus across the hands. It is mostly a very restrained piece. A strange chant-like interjection returns at the end as a moment of exultation.

Prelude No. 10 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4XP_JygF0U ) is a bit of sheer escapism as a caricature of a breaking clock. A bizarre, geometric main theme is repeated before a collection of mechanical motifs are introduced at breakneck speed. The main theme recurs and recurs but is each time more and more distorted by intrusions of the mechanical motifs, as if the clock no longer knows where to place each part of itself! This is the most modernist of these four, with janky rhythms and more adventurous harmonies. A lot of my pieces have a strong focus on melody so I wrote this one as a challenge to myself to make a piece that wasn't focused on the beauty of a melody.

Prelude No. 11 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3-OJlbI1sc ) is more simplistic, and is supposed to capture the feeling of an iridescent portal leading you to a new, and perhaps better, place. I wanted a prelude that was less densely packed with material and easier to play, so it passes by very quickly.

Prelude No. 12 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wogAykdKK08 ) is a slow build of unleashing emotion, and I wanted it to evoke the image of colossal oceans. I am trapped on the opposite side of the world to home right now and these are the oceans between me and comfort. The bass register is heavy throughout the entire piece, and although I imagine a triumphant climax, this is not a fairytale where we do not have to think about what comes after the story is over. The final bars inject an uncertainty in the major tonality and hang like a curling question mark.

I hope you find something to enjoy in these short pieces. I'm really happy to be halfway through the cycle. The project has been taking a lot longer than I expected because I don't have as much time or energy to devote to music as I once hoped, but I'm very proud of each and every piece that's come out of it so far. Wishing you all a better 2021!


Rex Potam

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Re: 24 Preludes for Piano, Nos. 9-12
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2021, 08:50:09 AM »
Hello,

I must say I'm impressed. The music is really beautiful.
But I wonder: how many hands do you have?  :D It is obvious you played those pieces, they sound recorded; but although I am not a pianist, I tried to at least play a few chords and I just could not. There are too many notes or they are really too spread out for my two standard hands  ;D

Well, I'll keep wondering; to me it's magic. The good sort.

Well done!
Rex

mjf1947

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Re: 24 Preludes for Piano, Nos. 9-12
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2021, 09:04:51 AM »
William good hear to hear from you.  Prelude #9 is evocative and lovely.

I do have some questions though on the piano parts.  Please note I am not a pianist.  However, there are a few measures where the same note crosses over for both hands. For example, measures 13 and 30.

Mark

Michel.R.E

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Re: 24 Preludes for Piano, Nos. 9-12
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2021, 09:38:36 AM »
some of the "questions" regarding playability of the pieces mostly are related to notational errors or awkwardness.
"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"

mjf1947

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Re: 24 Preludes for Piano, Nos. 9-12
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2021, 09:58:16 AM »
some of the "questions" regarding playability of the pieces mostly are related to notational errors or awkwardness.

Michel, could you elaborate on this?  Awkwardness,etc.

Mark

Michel.R.E

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Re: 24 Preludes for Piano, Nos. 9-12
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2021, 10:03:04 AM »
one example would be the notes you see as the same note being played by both hands, which at first sight seems illogical.
normally one would either bring the notes to overlap in one or the other staff, which makes it a "single note".
or if you kept them each in their own staves then you'd have to choose one that would "not be played" and indicate that by parentheses on the unplayed note.
"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"

whitebark

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Re: 24 Preludes for Piano, Nos. 9-12
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2021, 10:10:17 AM »
All the preludes sounded lovely, but I especially enjoyed the "clock" prelude, which was a nice change from the overt romanticism of the other three preludes. Fun stuff.

Jay

williamhu

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Re: 24 Preludes for Piano, Nos. 9-12
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2021, 10:38:49 AM »
Thanks all for the feedback!

@Rex, I have just the two standard hands :) I can reach white-white tenths and black-white/black-black minor tenths with a single hand, and if there's anything bigger the other hand will usually 'steal' a note from the other stave. To keep the effect smooth there is sometimes a bit of hidden gymnastics going on - for instance, in bar 13 of Prelude 9, there is what seems to be a span of an octave and a fifth in the right hand, but the lower C# is in fact taken by the left hand which must leap up to that note and then back down to continue the accompanying line.

@Mark & Michel, yes, oops, parentheses is probably a good idea! The notes which appear simultaneously in both staves are played only by one hand, and in the specific bars you mentioned are taken by the right.