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Topos/motive of the city/place in piano literature
#2830993 03/24/19 08:36 PM
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I am looking for piano pieces that are relating to the motive of city or place (geographical - country, region etc.), either directly as a programmatic music, or in terms of circumstances sorrounding the creation of the piece. I would be very grateful for recommendations at any level of difficulty, and from any period in the history of music.

The first thing that comes to my mind are Collines d'Anacapri and Danseuses de Delphes by C. Debussy, there might be also a loose connection of Suite Bergamesque to Bergamo through Bergamasca dance. Some other examples are: La Citta Fiorita by D. Alaleona, Fontane di Roma and Pini di Roma in transcription for 4 hands by O. Respighi, Finlandia by Sibelius in his own transcription, but I am sure, there are many other examples.


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Re: Topos/motive of the city/place in piano literature
justyna_ewa #2831005 03/24/19 09:37 PM
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If you take a look at Liszt's Annee's de pelerinage, you'll find quite a few including:
Switzerland: Chapelle de Guillaume, Au lac de Wallenstadt, Valee d'Oberman, Les Cloche de Geneve
Italy: Gondoliera (Venice), Aux Cypres de la Villa d'Este, Le jeux d'eaux a la Villa Este.

I can't tell you their difficulty, but they are certainly not for beginners.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Topos/motive of the city/place in piano literature
justyna_ewa #2831009 03/24/19 09:42 PM
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As a native of Kiev/Kyiv, I can't help mentioning Mussorgski "Great Gate of Kiev" from Pictures at an Exhibition.

Re: Topos/motive of the city/place in piano literature
justyna_ewa #2831011 03/24/19 09:51 PM
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Evening in Grenada(Debussy), Cordoba, Sevilla, Asturias, Grenada(Albeniz)

Re: Topos/motive of the city/place in piano literature
justyna_ewa #2831014 03/24/19 09:55 PM
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Albéniz used place names in Iberia:

Fête-Dieu à Séville
Rondeña (D major), after the Andalusian town of Ronda.
Almería (G major), relating to the Andalusian seaport of Almería, is loosely based on tarantas, a flamenco form characteristic of the region of Almería.
Triana (F♯ minor), after the Gypsy quarter of Seville.
Lavapiés (D♭ major), after the district of Madrid.

Debussy:

Danseuses de Delphes
La soirée dans Grenade
Les collines d'Anacapri
Bruyères

Mussorgsky:

The Great Gate of Kiev

Liszt: Venezia e Napoli

Grieg: Wedding Day at Troldhaugen; Dance from Jølster; On the Dovrefjeld in Norway; The Woman from Setesdal; The Raven's Wedding in Kraakeland


"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."
Re: Topos/motive of the city/place in piano literature
justyna_ewa #2831023 03/24/19 10:24 PM
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Falla: Fantasia Baetica, 4 Spanish Pieces(Aragonesa, Cubana, Montañesa, Andaluza), Night in the Gardens of Spain

Re: Topos/motive of the city/place in piano literature
justyna_ewa #2831067 03/25/19 01:21 AM
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There are lots of 4-hand dances from various parts of the world:
Hungarian (Brahms)
Slavonic (Dvorak)
Norwegian (Grieg)
Spanish (Moszkowski)
Swedish (Bruch)
Finnish (Busoni)
Moravian (Janacek)
Polish (X. Scharwenka)


Semipro Tech
Re: Topos/motive of the city/place in piano literature
justyna_ewa #2831088 03/25/19 03:24 AM
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Very many of the compositions of David Thomas Roberts are associated with places, for example "For Kansas City" and "Through the Bottomlands". The best known of such is probably the set called "New Orleans Streets".

Franklin Avenue


"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
Re: Topos/motive of the city/place in piano literature
justyna_ewa #2831125 03/25/19 07:34 AM
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Thank you for all suggestions, I can't believe I forgot about Mussorgsky and Albeniz...

I would appreciate more reccommendations of pieces by contemporary composers as well.


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Re: Topos/motive of the city/place in piano literature
justyna_ewa #2831238 03/25/19 01:36 PM
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Alexandre Tansman's Tour du Monde.


Ralph

Kawai VPC1
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Pianist since April, 2015
Re: Topos/motive of the city/place in piano literature
Ralphiano #2831348 03/25/19 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Ralphiano
Alexandre Tansman's Tour du Monde.


I will look for the score. Tansman was born in my city.


Kawai DS 65
Re: Topos/motive of the city/place in piano literature
justyna_ewa #2831356 03/25/19 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by justyna_ewa
.

I would appreciate more recommendations of pieces by contemporary composers as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpJB-XXE9Xg

Performed by the composer, who died a few years ago.


"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."
Re: Topos/motive of the city/place in piano literature
justyna_ewa #2831428 03/25/19 10:52 PM
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Ginastera, "Danzas Argentinas." (Not quite contemporary but 20th century).

Re: Topos/motive of the city/place in piano literature
bennevis #2831775 03/26/19 10:18 PM
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Thank you, Bennevis, for alerting me to “Farewell to Stromness”; it is beautiful! And timely, as my next lesson features that rare event, “pick out new music to learn”! (Rare, because it takes me soooo loooong to learn a new piece!)


Currently at home with Mister Upright.
Re: Topos/motive of the city/place in piano literature
justyna_ewa #2831889 03/27/19 09:36 AM
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Hi, justyna_ewa! A few others

Deodat de Severac -- the piano suites "En Languedoc" and "Cerdana". Both are located in the border region where France and Spain meet, in the east Pyrenees and on the north end of the Mediterranean sea.

Aaron Copland -- "Our Town" suite -- the fictional Grover's Corners, New Hampshire.

Elie Siegmeister -- "American Sonata" -- not exactly locale specific, but takes you musically to different regions of the USA.

Re: Topos/motive of the city/place in piano literature
Qwerty53 #2831898 03/27/19 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Qwerty53
Thank you, Bennevis, for alerting me to “Farewell to Stromness”; it is beautiful! And timely, as my next lesson features that rare event, “pick out new music to learn”! (Rare, because it takes me soooo loooong to learn a new piece!)

Yes, Farewell to Stromness has become very popular and performed by concert pianists as well as lots of amateurs - and stolen by guitarists (- like Albéniz's Asturias, it's probably more often performed by them than by pianists.....).

Just a couple of things: ignore the composer's metronome marking - he (and almost everyone else) plays it much slower. And there is a companion piece called Yesnaby's Ground, which is faster and more difficult, but again with an appealing folk-like tune:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBvJK9cjFvA

Yesnaby is the nearby clifftop beauty spot on the same island as Stromness, which is in the Scottish Orkney Islands (a good place for people who prefer seabirds to humans for company....... thumb)

https://goo.gl/images/nBaVNf


"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."
Re: Topos/motive of the city/place in piano literature
justyna_ewa #2831977 03/27/19 12:27 PM
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So many new proposals... I knew it was a proper place to ask this questions. Bennevis, I had the same impression on Farewell... as Qwerty53.


Kawai DS 65
Re: Topos/motive of the city/place in piano literature
justyna_ewa #2831985 03/27/19 12:42 PM
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New York Skyline by Heitor Villa Lobos
Perhaps not exactly what you are looking for, because it does not capture the atmosphere of the location but literally maps the silhouette.

Re: Topos/motive of the city/place in piano literature
florhof #2831990 03/27/19 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by florhof
New York Skyline by Heitor Villa Lobos
Perhaps not exactly what you are looking for, because it does not capture the atmosphere of the location but literally maps the silhouette.
Or did they create the silhouette just to go with the video?

Re: Topos/motive of the city/place in piano literature
florhof #2832064 03/27/19 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by florhof
New York Skyline by Heitor Villa Lobos
Perhaps not exactly what you are looking for, because it does not capture the atmosphere of the location but literally maps the silhouette.


Thank you for writing about this example. I read about this technique - transposing the sketch of a landscape into a music notation - in a monograph on XXth Century Avantgarde.


Kawai DS 65

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