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Subtitled: In Which Ludwig Van Beethoven And Olivier Messiaen Are Seduced By A Piano Named Lucille

Please let me know what you think of this.  Thanks!

https://soundcloud.com/richard-t-hill/piano-sonata-no-1

This composition was inspired by the aggressive style of Beethoven and the harmonic language of Olivier Messiaen. At first I dubbed it "Europa" but the more I listened back to it as a whole, the above subtitle seemed more fitting for the tongue-in-cheek intent I had in mind.

-Rich Hill

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I definitely heard the Beethoven elements, but less of the Messiaen elements. And it is aggressive. Overall its a good piece, not the biggest fan of the harmonic language just because to my ears it seems to not know what it wants to be. The rhythmic language sounds the most like Beethoven and I think that is what lends itself to sounding confused harmonically. Other than that musically its a good piece. 

Notionally however, this piece needs a little polish. There are a lot of spelling issues that make it awkward to read and the score overall is a little cluttered. I am also confused as to why the title is the title size on every page. Also, a tempo marking that indicates the style in which the piece is performed would be a good idea. Clean this up and there is no reason why this can't be performed live. 

 

I just wanted to post a very brief remark here, having only heard the first portion, the first five minutes, up until the recapitulation of the main theme.

 

My initial reaction is highly positive, and I simply wanted to say that now, before I hear the rest, later.

 

I am quite enamored of the nature of the task you set for yourself here, and the way you go about it in the beginning.  I enjoy the shifts in rhythm and tonality, and transitions from one mood to another, which keep that first section very interesting.  I would like to point out particular shifts and transitions I like, but I think, time permitting, I will do that on another occasion.

 

This is just a short overview of my thoughts on what I have heard with no real complaints. I am wondering whether the rest will be more Messiaen and less Beethoven, or more Beethoven and less Messiaen.  I look forward to the listening to the remainder, with high degree of curiosity.  (I also wonder if you can keep this up for the full 25 minutes, and hold my interest throughout).  I hope to say more at a later date, since what you have done just with the opening bit really interests me.

 

Your revised title is better than "Europa".  But why the piano is named Lucille, I have no idea.  [Don’t tell us, because we may be able to figure it out].

 

Thanks for sharing the work with us.

HI there, Richard, 

I very much enjoyed all of this.  I can't critique your music, as I found nothing about it that deems being critiqued, musically.

My issue was that as a listener, aware of the subtitle, that I was listening for Beethoven and Messiaen.  Yes, I hear those elements, but I would have had an EVEN better listening experience if I wasn't looking out for them.  The piece stands alone beautifully, as just "Piano Sonata," IMO.  Great piece Richard!

Thanks, Dave. I think I was insecure about the piece. It's an odd thing I've purposefully done.  Perhaps I'm shooting myself in the foot with the subtitle.  I'm very glad that you've enjoyed the piece though. 

-Rich



Dave Ostrowski said:

HI there, Richard, 

I very much enjoyed all of this.  I can't critique your music, as I found nothing about it that deems being critiqued, musically.

My issue was that as a listener, aware of the subtitle, that I was listening for Beethoven and Messiaen.  Yes, I hear those elements, but I would have had an EVEN better listening experience if I wasn't looking out for them.  The piece stands alone beautifully, as just "Piano Sonata," IMO.  Great piece Richard!

Tyler,

Again, thank you for your wonderful insights and your encouragement. For sure I have to clean up the score. The Messiaen influence throughout is from me borrowing his Modes Of Limited Transposition but using them in a way that he would probably not like one bit (scalar and triadic) . Also, the 2nd movement rhythmically departs radically from the first movement in a very 20th century manner but not in a way that seems like an imitation of Messiaen's piano music (gosh, I hope not).  

Rich

Richard,

To me this is an enjoyable piece on both emotional and intellectual levels. Personally, short of a little bit of tidying up of the score, I wouldn't alter a thing. A fine piece of work worthy of public performance.

Many thanks for allowing us to enjoy the listening experience.

S

Very complex, I like the wholetone harmony parts. Has a nice, intense mood.

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