Music Composers Unite!
I've been wanting to post this for over 3 years, but didn't because I couldn't get a decent audio of it (for various reasons I didn't manage get a recording of my own playing ... yet ... still working on that one). But anyway, some people eventually convinced me to cough up the score, which I did, and then one of them, a certain Mr. Hewer, was so kind as to perform and record it for me on his own initiative, with wonderful results.
So here it is at last: my Fantasia Sonata in G minor.
Update: Mike's excellent playing is now available on Soundcloud:
The score is intentionally ambiguous and open to interpretation in many places, and Mike's interpretation is only one of many possibilities. It is in fact a little different from how I would play it, but then I play it in wildly different ways at different times anyway, so who's to say one interpretation is more valid than any other? I enjoy hearing different, even unexpected, interpretations of my work, especially this one.
Anyway, hope you enjoy it. All feedback is welcome, including criticisms and flames (up to posting policy, of course).
Darn you Teoh, I'm just getting my mind wrapped around that fugue stuff and you show up with a sonata thingy? Well I just happen to be studying some of that and my first question is what does a fantasia have to do with a sonata? I'm sure you have that worked out so maybe can you explain that while I study your score further?
Hey Ingo, good to see you again. Been a while.
This was written over 3 years ago (December 2014, in fact), before I got into the fugue thing. If I were to write this today, perhaps I'd have thrown in a fugue or two in the middle. :-D
The reason I called it Fantasia was because I felt that it wasn't up to the standard of a sonata, and also it takes some liberties from a strict sonata form, so it somewhat has elements of a fantasia in it. That's all. Nothing really deep or secret here.
Update: Mike's excellent playing is now available on Soundcloud. He also most kindly corrected a small mistake in m.45 and provided the updated recording, which is the version you will hear on the Soundcloud track.
H. S., this is a beautiful piece! Moving from power to delicacy with the greatest of ease and wonderful themes. Some stretches that began to lose my attention though it must be said. I see Mike Hewer is no longer on this forum but used to be? Based on this you were lucky to be blessed with his interpretation even if a personal piece is sometimes hard to hear in another's hands - the good-natured complaints I occasionally got after organ recitals are proof of that!
Thanks for the kind words, Charles.
Just out of curiosity, which passages did you find less interesting? I don't think I will make any major changes at this point, but it would be nice to know for future reference.
Mike still frequents another forum, so we do still keep in touch. His interpretation is actually a little different from what I have in mind for this piece, but I play this piece myself very differently from time to time anyway, so I quite enjoy hearing his different take on it. Some of my work, like this one, is quite open for interpretation, and I deliberately used less precise indications in the score in order to allow the performer more leeway to supply his own interpretation.
A very appealing composition easy to love from the first moment. There is a repeating rhythm (ta, ta, taa) which maybe could be contrasted to make it even more interesting. But nearly 9 minutes of pure piano music without loosing my attention is impressive. I think the emphasis on melody, indeed beautiful, makes it sometimes close to song form. I found myself putting words to the themes.
Thank you Tech
I finally had a chance to listen more closely and I enjoyed this piece very much. This work is good for me as it demonstrates thematic development and transitions on a level that I can hear and appreciate, and the themes are clear and fun without extensive drama and complexity.
I think this would be a good student work, first because it is playable (not by me of course :) but more importantly it makes me want to spend time at the keyboard. Perhaps you should consider publishing this? Gregorio X was putting together an educational collection, maybe he would have a spot for this?
Thanks for commenting, Kjell! Glad you liked it!
@Ingo: To be honest, I'm not perfectly happy with this piece, and that's actually part of the reason I titled it a Fantasia Sonata as opposed to an actual Sonata -- I feel it's not quite up to the standard of a sonata. The score still needs some work. Anyway, there's some talk on another forum about orchestrating this piece, so I might go that route instead. We'll see.
Good work. I thought Hewer played it very close to your markings, and very tastefully. This is somewhere between Beethoven in style with more modern chord changes reminiscent of Rachmaninov. Good melodies and changes in tempo throughout. The only criticism is that you have used eighth note chords in the left hand for the whole 8 minutes. In such a long piece both Beethoven and Rachmaninov would break into some grandiose arpeggiation in the left hand which could span three octaves. It would be a respite from basic chord pattern. Thanks for the good music and for Mike's performance.
Thanks, Saul and Lawrence, for your kind words.
@Lawrence: yes, I realize that I've been using 8th note chords in the left hand pretty much throughout the entire piece. This is actually a reflection of my poor piano skills -- I composed this by playing it on the piano, which is what I did for pretty much all of my early piano works. Nowadays, I've given up writing stuff that I can play myself -- performance is not my strong suit, and never really my primary interest anyway -- so my more recent piano works should suffer less from such limitations. :-D