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Translucent Landscapes -- Stephen Paulus #2743605
06/11/18 09:46 AM
06/11/18 09:46 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,877
Tim Adrianson Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Tim Adrianson  Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,877
Stephen Paulus -- Translucent Landscapes

A Themed Recital honoring Claude Debussy will go "live" later this week in the ABF -- a commemoration to the 100th anniversary of his death. In conjunction with that, I thought I'd post a couple of contemporary compositions in which the influence of Debussy is IMO pretty direct. The first of these is a piano suite "Translucent Landscapes" by American composer Stephen Paulus. Paulus is best known for his choral compositions, but he did write some solo piano music -- "Translucent Landscapes" was written when Paulus was 29, and commissioned by pianist Michael Sellers in 1978 under the auspices of the William Kapell Piano Foundation for Contemporary Music and Musicians. Paulus does not sound like Debussy (at least IMO), but the quality and character of the pieces is for me very reminiscent of Debussy's two books of Preludes. In Paulus's suite, the five pieces are entitled:

1 Gossamer
2 Summer's Dance
3 Meadow Winds
4 Tarn
5 Starry Night

To me, they are analogous in emotional and descriptive character to these five Debussy Preludes from the 1st Book:

1 Voiles
2 La Danse de Puck
3 Le Vent dans la Plaine
4 Des Pas sur la Neige
5 Les Collines d'Anacapri

Any feedback is welcome -- enjoy!

Re: Translucent Landscapes -- Stephen Paulus [Re: Tim Adrianson] #2743637
06/11/18 01:04 PM
06/11/18 01:04 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,128
dogperson Offline
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dogperson  Offline
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Posts: 3,128
Hi Tim
A ‘new to me’ composition which is quite lovely and well played! Thanks so much for sharing.

"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: Translucent Landscapes -- Stephen Paulus [Re: Tim Adrianson] #2743767
06/11/18 11:34 PM
06/11/18 11:34 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 8,732
Phoenix, Arizona
Carey Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Carey  Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 8,732
Phoenix, Arizona
Actually "Summer's Dance" reminds me a bit of Copland's Piano Variations. smile

This is an appealing contemporary suite.

I wish there were more folks like you championing this and similar works that definitely deserve to be heard.

Top notch playing as always.- thank you for sharing. thumb

Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: Translucent Landscapes -- Stephen Paulus [Re: Carey] #2743864
06/12/18 10:40 AM
06/12/18 10:40 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,877
Tim Adrianson Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Tim Adrianson  Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,877
Hi, Carey, dogperson -- thanks for listening!

Carey -- Well, if Puck is the analogy, he has indeed gone to the dark side, hasn't he! And admittedly, that analogy is a stretch. But, bye-the-bye, there is a fair amount of, well, Puckish humor in Copland's absolutely fantastic score -- IMO, one of the finest of his considerable legacy..

As you might expect - yes, I too wish that there were more pianists playing 20th Century Classical pieces, up through to the present time. I get the general impression that it has devolved into "a niche within a niche" -- only "specialists" with very small audiences exist. I can remember, with sadness, when Leonard Bernstein was optimistic enough to bring Classical music to "the masses", and when you had the Louisville Orchestra devoted to recording contemporary American works. Ah, well! On an informal basis, in the future I do plan to use this Forum to introduce other virtually unknown pieces that I think are compelling -- much like I did just now. In that sense, your words are an encouraging spur!

Moderated by  Kreisler 

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