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Did Liszt write the first "water pieces"?
#2868512 07/11/19 08:30 PM
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Meaning piano pieces imitating water(and not boats on the water). I can't think of any before his Fountains of the Villa d'este, Au bord d'un source, Lake Wallenstadt(not sure if I would call this a water piece?).

Re: Did Liszt write the first "water pieces"?
pianoloverus #2868518 07/11/19 08:55 PM
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Schubert has the piano part depicting water in a few songs (Auf dem Wasser zu singen, Auf dem See etc), and Liszt transcribed one or two of them.

And don't forget Beethoven's Szene am Bach which has been transcribed by Liszt.

Did Freddy think of raindrops in Op.28/15?

Maybe someone has transcribed Handel's Water Music for piano too....


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Re: Did Liszt write the first "water pieces"?
pianoloverus #2868556 07/11/19 11:52 PM
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I am on a Liszt trip right now and I have to say I agree that he really started the water thing, with due respect to Schubert whose waterfall motif is a trifle lame. So this year I've been learning Au bord and Jeux d'eau (along with Vallee d'Obermann, which I know is irrelevant). I've also been learning Ravel's Jeux d'eau, so I guess it's a total "water" trip. I consider both of the Liszt works to be masterpieces. Au bord d'une source is a bit different because it's ripples and sprinkles of water from a spring, but Jeux d'eau really is fountains; you can almost see the rainbow effects in the glistening figurations that make up the whole middle section of the piece. To me, Ravel's Jeux d'eau is less impressionistic, more realistic, if that makes sense.

So yes, I think Liszt is the water piece initiator. Op. 28 No. 15? I don't think so. Handel's Water Music? Music to be performed on the water. Beethoven 6? Merely evocative of the emotions associated with existing near a creek and certainly not a musical painting of water stuff.


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Re: Did Liszt write the first "water pieces"?
pianoloverus #2868647 07/12/19 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Meaning piano pieces imitating water(and not boats on the water). I can't think of any before his Fountains of the Villa d'este, Au bord d'un source, Lake Wallenstadt(not sure if I would call this a water piece?).


He did it first, and they're all wonderful pieces of music. Wallenstadt is definitely a water piece IMO and a great encore.

Re: Did Liszt write the first "water pieces"?
bennevis #2868686 07/12/19 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis


Did Freddy think of raindrops in Op.28/15?



According to Alan Walker in his new Chopin bio, the raindrop association with that prelude was Sand's idea, and Chopin denied it when she suggested it to him.

Re: Did Liszt write the first "water pieces"?
SiFi #2868687 07/12/19 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by SiFi
I am on a Liszt trip right now and I have to say I agree that he really started the water thing, with due respect to Schubert whose waterfall motif is a trifle lame. So this year I've been learning Au bord and Jeux d'eau (along with Vallee d'Obermann, which I know is irrelevant). I've also been learning Ravel's Jeux d'eau, so I guess it's a total "water" trip.


Here's another "water" piano masterpiece I suggest for your next water piece: Griffes' "The Fountain of the Acqua Paola." There's a very good performance of it by a young fella here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlpWbKYRbxs

Re: Did Liszt write the first "water pieces"?
pianoloverus #2868717 07/12/19 12:07 PM
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There's a difference between music for floating on water and music in imitation of water. 😆 I don't think Handel could handle the latter.

"Au bord" is gnarly, but worth it.

The Liszt Concerto No. 2 is rather watery or sparkly in places, though not specifically programmatic.

Chopin's "Ocean" Etude?



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Re: Did Liszt write the first "water pieces"?
pianoloverus #2868732 07/12/19 12:32 PM
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And Chopin's "Raindrop" Prelude (regardless of whoever gave nicknames)?

But, Liszt does seem to be more legitimately pioneering in the bells, water, and birds (maybe) categories.


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Re: Did Liszt write the first "water pieces"?
WhoDwaldi #2868748 07/12/19 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
And Chopin's "Raindrop" Prelude (regardless of whoever gave nicknames)?

But, Liszt does seem to be more legitimately pioneering in the bells, water, and birds (maybe) categories.
My guess is that Couperin and/or Rameau wrote pieces in imitation of birds although I can't name them. Even if Chopin named his Raindrop Prelude(which seems highly unlikely) it really doesn't imitate water IMO.

Re: Did Liszt write the first "water pieces"?
pianoloverus #2868755 07/12/19 01:20 PM
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Rameau wrote 2 pieces on birds: le rappel des oiseaux and la poule. LC Daquin wrote also the well known coucou. Several pieces on birds by F. Couperin. He also composed 2 pieces with water: les ondes in his 5th keyboard order and les gondoles de Delos in the 23rd.

Re: Did Liszt write the first "water pieces"?
pianoloverus #2868756 07/12/19 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
And Chopin's "Raindrop" Prelude (regardless of whoever gave nicknames)?

But, Liszt does seem to be more legitimately pioneering in the bells, water, and birds (maybe) categories.
My guess is that Couperin and/or Rameau wrote pieces in imitation of birds although I can't name them. Even if Chopin named his Raindrop Prelude(which seems highly unlikely) it really doesn't imitate water IMO.


Drips a little. 😁

With birds being melodic and ornamented, the musical references are earlier. Water seems to require more chromaticism and advanced harmony.


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Re: Did Liszt write the first "water pieces"?
pianoloverus #2868757 07/12/19 01:23 PM
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Geez am I on everybody's ignore list? To reiterate: Chopin did not name that prelude "Raindrop," Sand did.

Re: Did Liszt write the first "water pieces"?
scriabinfanatic #2868764 07/12/19 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by scriabinfanatic
Geez am I on everybody's ignore list? To reiterate: Chopin did not name that prelude "Raindrop," Sand did.


Sorry about that. I did fly right through the earlier raindrop comments like a mosquito. 😆

Makes sense about Sand, but it's more fun to blame Hans von Bulow for any Chopin nicknames.


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Re: Did Liszt write the first "water pieces"?
WhoDwaldi #2868839 07/12/19 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Originally Posted by scriabinfanatic
Geez am I on everybody's ignore list? To reiterate: Chopin did not name that prelude "Raindrop," Sand did.


Sorry about that. I did fly right through the earlier raindrop comments like a mosquito. 😆

Makes sense about Sand, but it's more fun to blame Hans von Bulow for any Chopin nicknames.



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Re: Did Liszt write the first "water pieces"?
pianoloverus #2872321 07/24/19 05:26 PM
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after a while Chopin told his pupils to study his 'goutte d'eau', he adopted Sands nickname.


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Re: Did Liszt write the first "water pieces"?
pianoloverus #2874590 07/31/19 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
And Chopin's "Raindrop" Prelude (regardless of whoever gave nicknames)?

But, Liszt does seem to be more legitimately pioneering in the bells, water, and birds (maybe) categories.
My guess is that Couperin and/or Rameau wrote pieces in imitation of birds although I can't name them. Even if Chopin named his Raindrop Prelude(which seems highly unlikely) it really doesn't imitate water IMO.


Exactly, for instance Rameau 'la poule' (the chickens). Here's my attempt at it

rameau - la poule


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Re: Did Liszt write the first "water pieces"?
pianoloverus #2874624 07/31/19 05:39 PM
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Beethoven, opus 109, 3rd movement, variation 4 = water.
(var. 2 = air, var. 3 = fire, var. 5 = earth).

Re: Did Liszt write the first "water pieces"?
pianoloverus #2874727 08/01/19 12:37 AM
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Strictly piano, I can't think of anything before Liszt.

But in all of music, do madrigals count? Renaissance madrigals were quite rich in text-painting (where music imitates the text rather obviously), and Monteverdi's Madrigals of Love and War (maybe a little after Renaissance... early Baroque?) have sections that are about water, and Monteverdi did what he could at the time to imitate water the the voices (as well as fire, fighting/struggle, and other forms of imagery in text-painting). I'm sure there are others by other composers, but I'd have to go searching again.

It's easy to sit here with our modern ears and say, "Oh, that's stretching compared to Liszt," or "Oh, that doesn't imitate water NEARLY to the point of Liszt's piano music," but put yourself in the 1600's... The imitation of water is quite obvious.

Also, in regards to birds, Janequin composed "Chant des Oiseaux" which imitates birds long before Couperin and Rameau were even born.

Re: Did Liszt write the first "water pieces"?
pianoloverus #2877717 08/08/19 03:11 PM
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While some people have dug out some truly fascinating examples from earlier music, I tend to agree with the OP. I learned Liszt's Les Jeux d'Eau a la Villa d'Este this year. It's quite probably the piece that first created the specific pianistic textures that we associate with the water music of the French greats, Debussy and Ravel. So while there were other attempts at imitating water, Liszt created the Impressionist palette in his Jeux d'Eau.

It's an absolutely fantastic piece, btw - it's much more textual and philosophical than one might initially assume. But good lord was it a challenge. The bare arpeggios on the first page are disgustingly hard.

Re: Did Liszt write the first "water pieces"?
Orange Soda King #2879331 08/13/19 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Strictly piano, I can't think of anything before Liszt.

But in all of music, do madrigals count? Renaissance madrigals were quite rich in text-painting (where music imitates the text rather obviously), and Monteverdi's Madrigals of Love and War (maybe a little after Renaissance... early Baroque?) have sections that are about water, and Monteverdi did what he could at the time to imitate water the the voices (as well as fire, fighting/struggle, and other forms of imagery in text-painting). I'm sure there are others by other composers, but I'd have to go searching again.

It's easy to sit here with our modern ears and say, "Oh, that's stretching compared to Liszt," or "Oh, that doesn't imitate water NEARLY to the point of Liszt's piano music," but put yourself in the 1600's... The imitation of water is quite obvious.

Also, in regards to birds, Janequin composed "Chant des Oiseaux" which imitates birds long before Couperin and Rameau were even born.

Yes ! ,and music does not evolve towards something more "perfect"

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