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As a lifelong jazz player, I recently had the great good fortune at the age of 62 to start studying classical music with the great pianist and teacher Irina Lankova. After learning Gnnossiene, it felt natural to expand the harmonies into more jazz-based voicings, expand the range, and embellish the melody.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsJDbjKXGAk

I'm curious as to how real classical players would feel about this, any reactions would be appreciated..Interesting? Disgraceful?

Blessings and keep swingin

Dave Frank
NYC

Last edited by Dfrankjazz; 03/06/19 09:00 AM.
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I love the Gnossiennes and play 1 and 3, working on 4. I prefer the originals. Respectfully, yours has none of the tension of the original.

Last edited by ebonykawai; 03/06/19 10:03 AM.

Lisa

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can you explain that a bit more, thanks..

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Hi, DFrankJazz -- Overall, I preferred it to the Satie original -- you snuck in some especially nice modal substitutions, and I thought that you "filled it out" very tastefully with the richer chording and expansion of range. I know that Satie intended his Gnossiennes to be quite austere, with a mid-Eastern flavor, but I thought that you retained the atmosphere he probably desired. I don't think I'd seek out a whole album of this material, but I thought this was effective.

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well, it's not really a question of preferring it or not, there's no idea that it should be preferred in any way, just from the classical player's perspective whether this was viable as a concept, to take a cherished piece and alter it..thanks for listening)

Dave Frank

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All art must be completely free Dave, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.” “Ought tos” and “shoulds” are vexatious to a creative spirit. That’s why both classical and jazz ceased to interest me a long time ago. If it sounds good to you that is all that matters, what other people think is immatesticle.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
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Originally Posted by Dfrankjazz
well, it's not really a question of preferring it or not, there's no idea that it should be preferred in any way, just from the classical player's perspective whether this was viable as a concept, to take a cherished piece and alter it..thanks for listening)

Jazzers have been doing this sort of thing for millennia, well, ever since jazz was invented. Bach, Chopin, even Mahler are all fair game for the likes of Jacques Loussier and Uri Caine. So I don't know why you're asking this question - the composers are all safely dead & buried, and can't complain.

However, I don't know what the composer of these pieces would say to anyone who tried to jazz them up:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pak3U_f0H4o

Wanna give them a go? I won't tell him, honest wink .


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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hey that's a cool piece! Was it the theme song to Sister Act 6?

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Originally Posted by ebonykawai
I love the Gnossiennes... I prefer the originals. Respectfully, yours has none of the tension of the original.
I agree. The simplicity of the originals is what makes them so haunting. Adding more notes diminishes the effect.

By the way, do you play a string instrument? I notice you are occasionally vibrating your hand after playing some notes, as one would see on a guitar, violin or other string instrument. Just an FYI, this has no effect on the piano.


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Deborah
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Originally Posted by gooddog
I notice you are occasionally vibrating your hand after playing some notes, as one would see on a guitar, violin or other string instrument. Just an FYI, this has no effect on the piano.


I do this sometimes. It's good for relaxation and also helps me feel if my wrists, fingers, and arms are well aligned.

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Great, thanks) The shaking of the finger simulates the vibrating nature of the sound from the note itself. Simulating the note vibration allows you to hear the true nature of the sound you are making clearer and can give you a better signal as to how long to let the note ring. Keith Jarrett does this to great effect, all of his notes are held exactly the right length of time, creating a finger vibration (or a circle) is one reason why.

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I listened to it twice and it is definitely growing on me. I have played the original Satie but I am not in a position to critique any improvisations. I’m just going with my gut reaction.



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If it's growing on you there should be some ointment at the pharmacy that will take care of that)

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Originally Posted by gooddog
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
I love the Gnossiennes... I prefer the originals. Respectfully, yours has none of the tension of the original.
I agree. The simplicity of the originals is what makes them so haunting. Adding more notes diminishes the effect.



+1


Lisa

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On a tangent...

Donald Lambert taking Grieg's Anitra's Dance in stride....(video live at Newport 1960)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0P_vx4xEqoQ

taking Wagner's Pilgrim's Chorus in stride...(from a recording 1941)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHLGVl9Ek8E




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Originally Posted by Dfrankjazz
well, it's not really a question of preferring it or not, there's no idea that it should be preferred in any way, just from the classical player's perspective whether this was viable as a concept, to take a cherished piece and alter it..thanks for listening)

Dave Frank

Why does it matter? If we aren't going to care if a listener prefers it or not, why would we then care if the listener was upset with you for being disrepectful or whatever 'stick up the butt' reaction we might be anticipating?

However, since you asked... Satie kind of threw conventions on the wood pile - he introduced the augmented 4th and used the melodic minor both ascending and descending, both integral to jazz, but kind of shocking at the time. So of course it makes sense to explore and extend that language. Personally I would love to hear a lot more music using Satie's compositional language.

Plenty in the classical world vilify this sort of thing, but who cares? I prefer the outlook of someone like Philip Glass, who gleefully recomposes rock/pop using the musical language he learned at University, and encourages people to take his music and recompose it into their rock/pop/whatever language.

In this case I guess what I'd really want is something that stays true to Satie's language but reintroduces that 'shocking' element so that it sounds as fresh and novel as it did to the ear at the turn of the century, but that's a tall order that I'm not sure is possible to achieve.


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nice, thanks

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Originally Posted by bennevis

However, I don't know what the composer of these pieces would say to anyone who tried to jazz them up:
.

It's an interesting question. Personally, I would only be too happy people would still consider the music at all, music that was written a hundred + years ago, whether it is an original or for inspiration of new works, or applied to other genres, even if the resulting product is not what the original composer would have liked.

The very idea the music is used at all is enough to be proud, not an insult, at least that is how I would take it, in a humble sort of way.

I know many composers had very strong views, and probably see it differently. Satie was a bit of a special case, he broke with traditions of the time as we know, much to the dismay of many. Knowing the person he was, from what I read, I suspect he would have been open minded about jazzification. I am not sure it is even an officially accepted word, but it sounds good anyway to make my point grin

Drfrankjazz. I enjoyed it.

Cheers thumb


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The only guy I feel bad about is poor old Hanon hahaha! He probably wrote great symphonies and piano concertos, but the only thing anyone remembers is...

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Originally Posted by Dfrankjazz
The only guy I feel bad about is poor old Hanon hahaha! He probably wrote great symphonies and piano concertos, but the only thing anyone remembers is...

The only thing I could find on spotify with a quick search was indeed just that ... what we remember him for.
grin

https://open.spotify.com/album/4wspsvy8TTrKZKRIlX3Bxa?si=z0iqiJKFTqOC2l5hYhak5Q


Selftaught since June 2014.
Books: Barratt classic piano course bk 1,2,3. Humphries Piano handbook, various...
Kawai CA78, Casio AP450 & software pianos.
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My struggles: https://soundcloud.com/alexander-borro
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