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Posted By: Riddler December Piano Bar - 12/03/19 04:41 PM
Good morning, and I hope you are all looking forward to a happy holiday season!

Time to get the Piano Bar going.

My piece this month is Giant Steps. It was written by John Coltrane and is probably his best known (though not, I think, his best-loved) composition. It is notoriously difficult to improvise over, having 10 key modulations in 16 measures. The key changes are ingenious but are so unusual and disorienting that it has been called "a musical M.C. Escher painting”. Real jazz guys play it at breakneck speed, but my own neck being old and brittle, I opt to settle for a more leisurely, foot-tapping pace.

I am playing from a lead sheet, along with a backing track.

Ed

Giant Steps
Posted By: Jytte Re: December Piano Bar - 12/03/19 06:05 PM
3 weeks till Christmas... No Christmas music? Anyone??
Posted By: Tim Adrianson Re: December Piano Bar - 12/03/19 06:43 PM
Time Flies -- Jimmy Webb

Thanks for opening up the Bar, Riddler! I have a number of projects going on this month, and so I decided to provide a couple of my favorites from 3 - 4 years ago. The first of these is "Time Flies", by Jimmy Webb. Actually, your posting of "Giant Steps", with its multiple modulations, was what reminded me of this superb song. Webb wrote in 1993 for a musical entitled "Dandelion Wine", adapted from a Ray Bradbury story about a man reminiscing experiences from his 12 year old youth, in 1928. It is IMO just a well-nigh perfect fusion of music and lyrics -- here is the last verse:

"...Night turns to dawn
And then to bright skies,
And bright skies to picnics
On warm Julys,
To deep umber autumn
And winter goodbyes,
And while we are dreaming,
Time flies.

And while we are dreaming,

Time

Flies."
Posted By: BillM Re: December Piano Bar - 12/03/19 07:02 PM
Here are a couple of Christmas Songs I recorded this week. I’ve recorded these a couple of times in the last few years and find it fun and interesting now that I’ve turned 70 to see how much I’ve improved/deteriorated over time.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and Peace on Earth to all!



Posted By: Jytte Re: December Piano Bar - 12/03/19 07:49 PM
Thank you Bill, that put a big smile on my face smile
Posted By: Tim Adrianson Re: December Piano Bar - 12/03/19 10:00 PM
Time Flies -- Jimmy Webb

Resubmitting recording of "Time Flies" (see above)
Posted By: Tim Adrianson Re: December Piano Bar - 12/03/19 10:14 PM
In a Sentimental Mood -- Duke Ellington

My second entry is Duke Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood" -- a piece he pretty much composed impromptu at a party in 1935 (although I'm sure he had the piece in his head beforehand). I chose this one because of the Liz Story arrangement -- Liz Story is predominantly known as a New Age pianist, but prior to that she had done extensive work as a Jazz pianist, and in the late 80s she published a book of her arrangements of Jazz Standards, many of which are my all time favorites. Just listen to the subtlety and lushness of the progressions!
Posted By: Riddler Re: December Piano Bar - 12/04/19 03:41 AM
Bill, a couple of my fav Christmas songs, performed with warmth and musicality, as usual. I always forget that White Christmas has a verse. It sets the stage very nicely. Living in FL, I think I like the memory of snow better than I ever liked the reality of it growing up in the north!

Tim, I liked that Jimmy Webb song. I don't think I have heard it before. That arrangement of In a Sentimental Mood is a winner! Beautiful harmonies!

Ed
Posted By: BillM Re: December Piano Bar - 12/04/19 02:33 PM
Riddler - This sounds incredibly difficult to play to me, however you pull it off with your usual style and flair. This one is a bit short but really swings - had to give it a few plays. Well done!
Posted By: BillM Re: December Piano Bar - 12/04/19 02:45 PM
Tim Adrianson - a couple of rather melancholy pieces from you this month - lovely tunes artfully performed. A bit of a buzzkill though - love the pensive ending on Sentimental Mood. Thanks for sharing although I now need more coffee to boost my energy level.
Posted By: Pianist685 Re: December Piano Bar - 12/04/19 03:01 PM
I do not have any new recordings of Christmas songs, but I wiped the dust off my old 18th century harpsichord and re-recorded this famous piece by Bach

Bach, Air from the Orchestral Suite No. 3, BWV 1068
Posted By: Jytte Re: December Piano Bar - 12/04/19 06:43 PM
Pianist685, maybe not Christmas, but close enough smile Beautiful, and I like the harpsichord. Thank you.
Posted By: Pianist685 Re: December Piano Bar - 12/05/19 10:31 AM
Riddler – Giant Steps A fun piece and disorienting, indeed. Well, I got the impression this song is lacking a melody if it just consists of those chord progressions from 0:00 until 0:26 and the rest is impro.

Tim – Time flies Yes, I remember you have posted a recording of this wonderful, pensive song some time ago in the Bar already. It is a pleasure to listen to your rendition – as always – though the character of this song is quite sad, unlike Ed’s contribution this time.

Tim – In A Sentimental Mood So this is an arrangement by Liz Story? Great music with rich, jazzy chords.

BillM – White Christmas Thanks for opening the Christmas Season. Yes, I prefer hearing this all-time classic with the verse included. I do not think we “deteriorate” with age, we become better every day.

BillM – The Christmas Song So for this one, you had to put on your reading glasses… Is that “deterioration”? I don’t think so since I need reading glasses as well, and I am not yet any near your age.

You will remember that I recorded and posted my own renditions of these two Christmas songs one or two years ago, and I do not want to repeat myself, so I will not re-post them this time.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: December Piano Bar - 12/05/19 11:24 AM
Originally Posted by Pianist685
Riddler – Giant Steps A fun piece and disorienting, indeed. Well, I got the impression this song is lacking a melody if it just consists of those chord progressions from 0:00 until 0:26 and the rest is impro.

I hope I am not insulting jazz by asking, does jazz have a melody? I thought improvisation was improvisation on chords, not a melody?

And I really liked Giant Steps. It was a lot of fun. Good job Riddler!
Posted By: BillM Re: December Piano Bar - 12/05/19 01:37 PM
Pianist685 - Wonderful performance! The quality of your playing and the clarity of the recording are both first class. Thanks for posting this jewel!
Posted By: Tim Adrianson Re: December Piano Bar - 12/05/19 04:10 PM
Hi, folks! Well, as usual, all the submissions to date were just a pleasure to listen to!

Riddler -- A great cover on what must have been early Coltrane -- his later efforts were, uh, considerably more challenging. This for me represents the best of Jazz -- swinging, straightforward, celebratory. Yeah, a lot of chord changes, but always inevitable, not labored.

BillM -- As always, a fresh cover of two well-deserved Christmas classics. I love the fact that your renditions are never "by the numbers" -- there are always surprises as the music evolves. And it does sound like a freshly tuned piano, to boot! Thanks for sharing these!

Pianist685 -- What a sumptuous transcription of the Bach "Air for the G String" -- who was responsible? I might just seek it out. And as usual, your performance was deeply satisfying in every way -- particularly the attention to ornamentation. And I did find the colors of the harpsichord setting very attractive.

With regard to melody in Jazz -- I believe, for example, that the melody of "Giant Steps" is very discernible; i.e., given an appropriate lyric, a Pop/Jazz singer could present it "straightaway" without improvisation. Having said that, though, most of the "melodies" I've encountered in Jazz Fake Books do not stand by themselves very well -- they're more intended for improvisatory variations over the chord progressions at least implied, and usually stated, in "the theme" -- the melody, if you will. Many of the American Songbook standards, though, do lend themselves pretty naturally to Jazz improvisation as well.

Well, let's hope for a few more submissions this month -- Jytte, any Danish songs to share?
Posted By: Jytte Re: December Piano Bar - 12/05/19 04:40 PM
Tim, Oh I wish! But my playing at present is not something you'd want to listen to, and I have none learned at the moment frown
Posted By: Pianist685 Re: December Piano Bar - 12/05/19 07:16 PM
Tim, thanks for your kind comment. The transcription is by Srdan Depolo whom I do not know. See this post. https://imslp.org/index.php?title=Special:WikiForum&thread=10437
Posted By: Riddler Re: December Piano Bar - 12/05/19 11:37 PM
Constantin, that has always been one of my favs. Really, can anyone name a more beautiful melody? Wonderful playing and recording.

Ed
Posted By: Riddler Re: December Piano Bar - 12/05/19 11:40 PM
About the question of melody, a few thoughts.

First, whether a person hears Giant Steps as a melody or as a series of chords, may depend on the tempo. Coltrane actually played it much faster. I wonder if perhaps we experience things on different time scales, so that one person perceives a pattern as a melody, but another person does not, unless it is speeded up. I dunno.

However, there are lots of jazz guys who do not particularly like the song, and describe it as a mathematical puzzle rather than a beautiful piece of music. Then again, that has been said about a few of the great masterpieces.

And of course it's true - jazz guys don't always need a singable, memorable tune for improvising over. Great improvisers make beautiful music out of forgettable tunes that sound downright trite. I'll refrain from giving examples for fear of inciting a debate, but there are lots to choose from.

Anyway, thanks for the comments and thoughts.

Ed
Posted By: ˆTomLCˆ Re: December Piano Bar - 12/05/19 11:53 PM
Gentlemen, You never disappoint. Some of my favorites; Coltrane, Duke Ellington, and Mel Torme. Pianist685, The harpsichord is beautiful to hear. It must be difficult to play.

A while back one of you, I think Tim, submitted this tune by Michel LeGrand and I loved it. I found an arrangement by Robert Schultz which isn't too difficult. With a few changes here it is: What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?

Please feel free to give me some advice. This is the first improvisation I have attempted.


Posted By: Riddler Re: December Piano Bar - 12/07/19 05:33 AM
Sound good to me, Tom. Love that song!

Ed
Posted By: Pianist685 Re: December Piano Bar - 12/07/19 10:45 AM
Tom and Jytte, I was joking when I pretended I own an 18th century harpsichord. I once had the opportunity to play such an instrument which was a very interesting experience. Its unweighted keyboard was very touch sensitive, I almost got a sound by just looking at a key. But here I just used the harpsichord sound of my silent system.

Tyrone, improvisation can either be done on stand-alone chords or on chords from a song with a melody. Both can be jazz. I prefer the latter where the artist gets some inspiration from the melody and is not just playing random things on a chord progression that does not have any further meaning. We did the former in our music class in school where the teacher gave us just the two alternating harmonies Dminor7 and G7, one per bar, and we were playing random things on these two chords for about twenty minutes and thought we were such great artists. In fact, we weren’t, and we did not realize that that “jam session” would have been boring to an audience after half a minute already. The question whether jazz has a melody furthermore depends on what kind of jazz you are referring to, but initially – in the 1920s, the so-called Jazz Age – a band or a musician would play the melody from a song (that often had lyrics), then improvise on the chords from that specific song, and come back to the melody again in the end. I think you know that. In the case of “Giant Steps” we have something I would not call a ”song” in its proper sense since it cannot be “sung” because it does not have a melody, at least to my ears, but it definitely provides a framework for improvising and is – because of its complexity - far better than the thing we did in school.

Tom – What are you doing the rest of your life This is a very beautiful and rather appropriate interpretation. Wonderful! The impro is perfect, with chords in the left hand and the right hand improvising (as far as I can hear). There is no need for any advice IMO. Well, maybe Tim can say a bit more since he is more familiar with the piece than I.
Posted By: Handyman Re: December Piano Bar - 12/07/19 12:25 PM
Here's my interpretation of the beautifully nostalgic Christmas classic first sung by Judy Garland in the 1944 movie "Meet Me in St. Louis" - this is a Dan Coates arrangement that I think I uploaded here before a while back - I want to submit it again because it perfectly fits the holiday mood of this month's Bar, and also because it's one of the few songs I've ever recorded that I didn't feel like I should go back to some time in the future and try re-recording to get a "better take"...


Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Posted By: Jytte Re: December Piano Bar - 12/07/19 12:50 PM
John - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas... Oh thank you so much! One of my favourite movies, and one of the best Christmas songs ever. Enjoyed that very much smile
Posted By: Pianist685 Re: December Piano Bar - 12/07/19 01:02 PM
Handyman - Have yourself... Dan Coates' piano arrangements are always very pleasing and not that difficult to play. Thanks for contributing. Happy holiday (I hope it is not too early to say that).
Posted By: Riddler Re: December Piano Bar - 12/07/19 03:23 PM
Handyman,

Well done. One of my Christmas favs. I've seen MMISL on stage a couple of times and I always assumed the movie was based on the stage production, but apparently the opposite is true. Ya learn something every day. Good arrangement, well played!

With regard to the Giant Steps discussion, one way to hear the basic melody more clearly might be to listen to the first half minute or so of this gorgeous lady singing so gorgeously:

Giant Steps vocal

Ed
Posted By: Pianist685 Re: December Piano Bar - 12/07/19 03:34 PM
Oh, yes, I can hear it now. So that is the melody behind it. That makes Tyrone's question even less understandable.
Posted By: ˆTomLCˆ Re: December Piano Bar - 12/07/19 03:40 PM
Handyman, I liked the slow tempo. It’s a sad song that many perform in an upbeat tempo. I prefer your recording, slow and reflective.

‘Giant Steps”: I have the album so I listened to it this morning. The Smithsonian Jazz Anthology describes Giant Steps as a “densely packed 16 bars. An extremely vertical piece.” It is taken at a breakneck tempo of 276 beats per minute.” “Giant Steps became a test piece for jazz musicians, a staple of jazz education programs, and a modern jazz standard...”. It was groundbreaking at the time.
Posted By: Riddler Re: December Piano Bar - 12/07/19 07:03 PM
A more listenable and watchable version of the vocal:

Vocal

Notice how the guitar player reacts when she starts the scat part at about 0:30.

Here's the backstory:

backstory


Ed
Posted By: ˆTomLCˆ Re: December Piano Bar - 12/07/19 07:10 PM
She is AMAZING.
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist Re: December Piano Bar - 12/08/19 10:16 PM
Here is Silver Bells, which I recorded today. I played this yesterday at a workshop on a Steinway B. It sounds so much better on that. One day, we'll have a Steinway ...

Hope you enjoy. There is a flub in there somewhere. This is an arrangement found in Christmas Songs For Classical Piano, arranged by Phillip Keveren.

Posted By: Riddler Re: December Piano Bar - 12/08/19 10:49 PM
bSharp(C)yclist, gee, what a perfect arrangement, it sounds very Christmassy. That was some nifty left-hand work on your part, well done!

Ed
Posted By: ˆTomLCˆ Re: December Piano Bar - 12/08/19 11:01 PM
Dan, Beautifully played and such a nice clean arrangement. Nice job.
Posted By: NobleHouse Re: December Piano Bar - 12/08/19 11:36 PM
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Here is Silver Bells, which I recorded today. I played this yesterday at a workshop on a Steinway B. It sounds so much better on that. One day, we'll have a Steinway ...

Hope you enjoy. There is a flub in there somewhere. This is an arrangement found in Christmas Songs For Classical Piano, arranged by Phillip Keveren.



Really played well. Thanks for posting.
Posted By: Jytte Re: December Piano Bar - 12/09/19 07:51 AM
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Here is Silver Bells, which I recorded today. I played this yesterday at a workshop on a Steinway B. It sounds so much better on that. One day, we'll have a Steinway ...

Hope you enjoy. There is a flub in there somewhere. This is an arrangement found in Christmas Songs For Classical Piano, arranged by Phillip Keveren.


Lovely, just the right thing to put you in the mood for the season smile
Posted By: Pianist685 Re: December Piano Bar - 12/09/19 10:47 AM
Dan, thanks for this nice and well-played arrangement of a very fine Christmas tune. You did not have the opportunity to record your performance on the Steinway, did you?
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist Re: December Piano Bar - 12/09/19 01:05 PM
Thanks NobleHouse, Jytte and Pianist685!

Originally Posted by Pianist685
Dan, thanks for this nice and well-played arrangement of a very fine Christmas tune. You did not have the opportunity to record your performance on the Steinway, did you?


Thanks! I did not, but the teacher did. She recorded the entire workshop. I'll have to ask her for the recording. I messed up somewhere in the middle of it though smile

The Steinway B is amazing. The touch is great, but it's the dynamic range that wows me, that difference between very soft and very loud.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: December Piano Bar - 12/09/19 06:21 PM
Nicely done bSharp(C)yclist!
Posted By: AssociateX Re: December Piano Bar - 12/10/19 08:22 PM
This is video of me playing Clara Schumann's Nocturne, Op 6 No 2 (from Soirees Musicales). It is too beautiful not to share.

I just recorded this today. It is a work in progress but I just love to play it, hope you guys enjoy it - feel free to add comments here or below the clip on the YouTube video...

Posted By: Riddler Re: December Piano Bar - 12/12/19 01:51 AM
Liz, a difficult piece, to be sure, but you are doing very well at it.

Thanks for sharing and for posting the link to the score. I love to read along.

Ed
Posted By: Pianist685 Re: December Piano Bar - 12/12/19 08:52 AM
AssociateX - Nocturne 6/2 (Clara Schumann) Oh, how beautiful and captivating! You are a very fine pianist and really mastering this difficult piece. I love your rendition. As per your invitation to add a comment on this work in progress, I wonder if it could be possible to play the left hand accompaniment softer than you are doing at the moment and whether you could end in pianissimo around 5:30-5:45 (though I have not had a look at the sheet music, I just felt it should end in pianissimo). I also had the impression this piece would sound even better if your piano had freshly been tuned. Please forgive me raising these "issues" because I got somewhat "spoiled" from what I can achieve with my VST and maybe I have forgotten what a real piano sounds like and where the threshold between playing softly and not getting a sound at all is on an acoustic instrument
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: December Piano Bar - 12/12/19 11:06 AM
Originally Posted by Pianist685
AssociateX - Nocturne 6/2 (Clara Schumann) Oh, how beautiful and captivating! You are a very fine pianist and really mastering this difficult piece. I love your rendition. As per your invitation to add a comment on this work in progress, I wonder if it could be possible to play the left hand accompaniment softer than you are doing at the moment and whether you could end in pianissimo around 5:30-5:45 (though I have not had a look at the sheet music, I just felt it should end in pianissimo). I also had the impression this piece would sound even better if your piano had freshly been tuned. Please forgive me raising these "issues" because I got somewhat "spoiled" from what I can achieve with my VST and maybe I have forgotten what a real piano sounds like and where the threshold between playing softly and not getting a sound at all is on an acoustic instrument

Just a comment that I actually do believe AssociateX's piano sounds well-tuned, just the temperament is slightly different than standard as if her tuner was seeking a slightly different effect.

Great job AssociateX. A challenging work well done! 👍
Posted By: peterws Re: December Piano Bar - 12/12/19 01:52 PM
Here's my Christmas offering. Some'll have heard it before, it's a few years old, and I'm attempting to resuffect it and write it down. Finding it hard going, unfortunately. . .
Here it is . . .

https://youtu.be/o3DHtEci6Xs
Posted By: Jytte Re: December Piano Bar - 12/12/19 02:52 PM
Peter, that was fun smile Thank you.
Posted By: peterws Re: December Piano Bar - 12/12/19 11:23 PM
Originally Posted by Riddler
Good morning, and I hope you are all looking forward to a happy holiday season!

Time to get the Piano Bar going.

My piece this month is Giant Steps. It was written by John Coltrane and is probably his best known (though not, I think, his best-loved) composition. It is notoriously difficult to improvise over, having 10 key modulations in 16 measures. The key changes are ingenious but are so unusual and disorienting that it has been called "a musical M.C. Escher painting”. Real jazz guys play it at breakneck speed, but my own neck being old and brittle, I opt to settle for a more leisurely, foot-tapping pace.

I am playing from a lead sheet, along with a backing track.

Ed

Giant Steps



Super stuff, Ed. Thought it was going to fly into "Sleigh bells" but loved the disharmonies that followed. Very subtle interesting stuff.
Posted By: peterws Re: December Piano Bar - 12/12/19 11:31 PM
Originally Posted by BillM
Here are a couple of Christmas Songs I recorded this week. I’ve recorded these a couple of times in the last few years and find it fun and interesting now that I’ve turned 70 to see how much I’ve improved/deteriorated over time.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and Peace on Earth to all!






Hello Bill! Long time no see . . .or hear for that matter. Super arrangements in your own inimitable style. Christmas is almost here . . . . too soon too soon!
Posted By: peterws Re: December Piano Bar - 12/12/19 11:34 PM
Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson
Time Flies -- Jimmy Webb

Resubmitting recording of "Time Flies" (see above)


Lovely! Contented song with very interesting movements. Big sound from your piano.
Posted By: peterws Re: December Piano Bar - 12/12/19 11:38 PM
Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson


Not heard you play this stuff before, the sophistication is something I'd love to aim for.
Tomorrow . . . . .
Posted By: peterws Re: December Piano Bar - 12/12/19 11:41 PM
Originally Posted by Pianist685
I do not have any new recordings of Christmas songs, but I wiped the dust off my old 18th century harpsichord and re-recorded this famous piece by Bach

Bach, Air from the Orchestral Suite No. 3, BWV 1068


This is just soooo adorable; Bach must have loved the harpsichord, it's so melodious and a worthy ancestor to the piano. How nice to have a real one twanging in one's drawing room . . .!
Posted By: peterws Re: December Piano Bar - 12/12/19 11:47 PM
Originally Posted by Riddler
About the question of melody, a few thoughts.

First, whether a person hears Giant Steps as a melody or as a series of chords, may depend on the tempo. Coltrane actually played it much faster. I wonder if perhaps we experience things on different time scales, so that one person perceives a pattern as a melody, but another person does not, unless it is speeded up. I dunno.

However, there are lots of jazz guys who do not particularly like the song, and describe it as a mathematical puzzle rather than a beautiful piece of music. Then again, that has been said about a few of the great masterpieces.

And of course it's true - jazz guys don't always need a singable, memorable tune for improvising over. Great improvisers make beautiful music out of forgettable tunes that sound downright trite. I'll refrain from giving examples for fear of inciting a debate, but there are lots to choose from.

Anyway, thanks for the comments and thoughts.

Ed


3 blind mice

The bells of St Mary

Anything by Bach. . . .
Posted By: ˆTomLCˆ Re: December Piano Bar - 12/13/19 01:24 AM
Peterws, that was so nice to listen to this time of year especially.

AssociateX, I enjoyed your playing. Nicely done,
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist Re: December Piano Bar - 12/13/19 01:50 AM
Like the Christmas tune, Peter. Makes me think of the movie a Christmas Carol. Perhaps I"ll watch the one with George C. Scott.

AssociateX - not familiar with that Nocturne. Sounds great! Thanks for the introduction.
Posted By: AssociateX Re: December Piano Bar - 12/13/19 05:54 AM
Originally Posted by Pianist685
AssociateX - Nocturne 6/2 (Clara Schumann) Oh, how beautiful and captivating! You are a very fine pianist and really mastering this difficult piece. I love your rendition. As per your invitation to add a comment on this work in progress, I wonder if it could be possible to play the left hand accompaniment softer than you are doing at the moment and whether you could end in pianissimo around 5:30-5:45 (though I have not had a look at the sheet music, I just felt it should end in pianissimo). I also had the impression this piece would sound even better if your piano had freshly been tuned. Please forgive me raising these "issues" because I got somewhat "spoiled" from what I can achieve with my VST and maybe I have forgotten what a real piano sounds like and where the threshold between playing softly and not getting a sound at all is on an acoustic instrument


Thanks everyone, and good ear on this, I will definitely try to end more pianissimo.my piano is temperamental, and although the piano is tuned, it was voiced differently by my tuner. The lower register sounds a bit harsher than I would like. Either way, I love this nocturne...It not too popular but it is listed as a bonus piece in one of the recent issues of Pianist Magazine (alas, no sheet music included, its just on the CD).
Posted By: Pianist685 Re: December Piano Bar - 12/13/19 10:26 AM
Originally Posted by peterws
Here's my Christmas offering. Some'll have heard it before, it's a few years old, and I'm attempting to resuffect it and write it down. Finding it hard going, unfortunately. . .
Here it is . . .

https://youtu.be/o3DHtEci6Xs

Thanks so much, Peter, now I am ready for Christmas. I particularly like the concert hall atmosphere of your recording.
Posted By: peterws Re: December Piano Bar - 12/13/19 12:49 PM
Originally Posted by Pianist685
Originally Posted by peterws
Here's my Christmas offering. Some'll have heard it before, it's a few years old, and I'm attempting to resuffect it and write it down. Finding it hard going, unfortunately. . .
Here it is . . .

https://youtu.be/o3DHtEci6Xs

Thanks so much, Peter, now I am ready for Christmas. I particularly like the concert hall atmosphere of your recording.


I thought it sounded like they'd plonked the piano in the school gym . . . .amongst all the other junk!
Posted By: Riddler Re: December Piano Bar - 12/13/19 04:12 PM
Wonderful playing, Peter. Brings back memories of happy, lighthearted Christmases.

Ed
Posted By: Tim Adrianson Re: December Piano Bar - 12/13/19 06:40 PM
Svyatki -- Sergei Lyapunov

In reviewing some of my past recordings, I came across what I consider to be a really fine set of four pieces, entitled "Svyatki", which roughly translated is "Christmas Celebrations", by the lesser-known Russian composer Sergei Lyapunov. The four pieces are as follows:

1 Rozhdestvenskaya Noch" -- Christmas Night
2 Shestviye Volkhov" -- Procession of the Magi
3 Slavil'shchiki* -- Christmas Choristers
4 Kolyada* -- Christmas Singing

The difference between 3 and 4 is that 3 is singing "in place", whereas 4 is singing door-to-door.

"Svyatki" is in fact a Russian Christmas festival that runs from early to mid-January, and is analogous to the 12 Days of Christmas in Western Christianity. Lyapunov wrote this set in 1911 -- to me, it comes off as REALLY Russian in character.

Enjoy!
Posted By: Tim Adrianson Re: December Piano Bar - 12/13/19 07:10 PM
Svyatki -- Sergei Lyapunov

Hmmm -- it appears that the set of pieces didn't transfer from the site to here -- let's try it again.

Yep -- this one is OK!
Posted By: Pianist685 Re: December Piano Bar - 12/14/19 10:23 AM
Wow, Tim, what a start into the weekend. My favourite piece of this set of 4 is #3, the only one I have played myself so far.
Posted By: BillM Re: December Piano Bar - 12/14/19 01:19 PM
peterws - What a fun and uplifting performance. You sir, are a talented pianist. Thanks for posting this!
Posted By: BillM Re: December Piano Bar - 12/14/19 01:23 PM
Handyman - One of my favorite Christmas tunes - love your thoughtful rendition. Very well played. Don’t see how you could improve much on this fine performance.
Posted By: peterws Re: December Piano Bar - 12/14/19 06:32 PM
Originally Posted by BillM
peterws - What a fun and uplifting performance. You sir, are a talented pianist. Thanks for posting this!


Everybody's calling me "sir" these days. I didn't realise 'till lately it was an age thing . . A guy at the Gym started it all off. Fat lot o' good that place is doin' me . . . frown
Posted By: Jason Lenthe Re: December Piano Bar - 12/14/19 10:12 PM
We've already seen a very sophisticated rendition of White Christmas from BillM, but I'd like to throw my mine out there as well. Its basically the Irving Berlin piano/vocal/guitar version with a few simple embellishments (and no singing or guitar smile ):

https://youtu.be/H5TqZn39FJk
Posted By: ˆTomLCˆ Re: December Piano Bar - 12/14/19 11:07 PM
Marvelous, Jason. Is that a new piano? The piano, the Christmas tree, presents under the tree. Nice.
Posted By: Jason Lenthe Re: December Piano Bar - 12/15/19 01:06 AM
Originally Posted by TomLC
Marvelous, Jason. Is that a new piano? The piano, the Christmas tree, presents under the tree. Nice.


Thank you, TomLC. I got the piano in June, so its practically brand new. I just had it tuned last week so its sounds really great.
Posted By: Pianist685 Re: December Piano Bar - 12/15/19 08:35 AM
Jason, what a nice video to watch. You have the perfect Christmas setting.
Posted By: Jytte Re: December Piano Bar - 12/15/19 01:31 PM
Jason, that is a nice arrangement. And with the tree and all, just lovely. Thank you smile
Posted By: Tubbie0075 Re: December Piano Bar - 12/15/19 01:40 PM
Beautiful... thank you.

Merry Christmas to you too 😊
Posted By: Handyman Re: December Piano Bar - 12/17/19 04:02 PM
Originally Posted by Jytte
Jason, that is a nice arrangement. And with the tree and all, just lovely. Thank you smile


I'll second that sentiment - Nice soulful playing Jason on America's most frequently recorded Christmas song ever...great sounding piano too!
Posted By: Handyman Re: December Piano Bar - 12/17/19 04:06 PM
Originally Posted by peterws
Here's my Christmas offering. Some'll have heard it before, it's a few years old, and I'm attempting to resuffect it and write it down. Finding it hard going, unfortunately. . .
Here it is . . .

https://youtu.be/o3DHtEci6Xs



Smooth and polished and delightful! A really enjoyable listen. Thanks for posting and hope to see you here every month at the most cordial Bar in town...
Posted By: Handyman Re: December Piano Bar - 12/17/19 04:09 PM
Originally Posted by BillM
Handyman - One of my favorite Christmas tunes - love your thoughtful rendition. Very well played. Don’t see how you could improve much on this fine performance.


Thanks Bill...I don't either - it was one in a hundred, when the piano gods were smiling smile
Posted By: Handyman Re: December Piano Bar - 12/18/19 12:21 PM
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Here is Silver Bells, which I recorded today.


Very nicely done - thoroughly delightful rendition.
Posted By: Handyman Re: December Piano Bar - 12/18/19 01:59 PM
Originally Posted by BillM
Here are a couple of Christmas Songs I recorded this week. ...

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and Peace on Earth to all!




Good job on the Christmas standards as usual Bill - really like your accompaniment stylings...
Posted By: piano_primo Re: December Piano Bar - 12/23/19 05:26 AM
15th Century Christmas music , I played in 2015, but will re-practice this year sometime.
I remember my niece was born the day I recorded it, and my parakeet laid an egg. My niece is getting big and my parakeet still tweets a-lot,alot when I try to practice.

Merry Christmas Happy Holidays and New Years 2019

Posted By: Pianist685 Re: December Piano Bar - 12/25/19 08:28 AM
Today, I sat down at the church organ I have in my cellar (no, I am just joking – you hear the organ sound of my silent system) and played some Christmas carols, something by Handel, then a German carol from the 17th century, and last not least a well-known tune that originally had a Latin lyric. Merry Christmas to ya all!

Carols at the organ
Posted By: Jytte Re: December Piano Bar - 12/25/19 12:22 PM
Pianist685, What a lovely way to start Christmas day. I recognized the Händel piece, but not the German one. Adeste Fideles was always one of my favourites. Thank you, and Merry Christmas smile
Posted By: Pianist685 Re: December Piano Bar - 12/25/19 06:15 PM
The German carol is entitled "Zu Bethlehem geboren" ("Born in Bethlehem"). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zu_Bethlehem_geboren
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist Re: December Piano Bar - 12/27/19 04:13 PM
Originally Posted by Pianist685
Dan, thanks for this nice and well-played arrangement of a very fine Christmas tune. You did not have the opportunity to record your performance on the Steinway, did you?


This is the video the teacher put together. It's just clips of various performances from 2 different workshops this holiday season. A lot of fun. I'm glad she hosts these workshops.

Posted By: Pianist685 Re: December Piano Bar - 12/29/19 01:12 PM
What a nice concert of Christmas and non-Christmas tunes hosted by your teacher in her own living room! Your "Silver Bells" sound great on your teacher's Steinway, but your performance came too short in the video. As I expected, there were only very few grown-ups in that session. It is a pity that most kids stop playing when they are leaving school. The girl at 10:20 and the guy at 11:10 seem to be very talented...
Posted By: KevinM Re: December Piano Bar - 12/29/19 01:25 PM
Two pieces I am working on for upcoming recitals here.

https://soundcloud.com/sheffieldkev...ieder-one-wortevenetianisches-gondellied

https://soundcloud.com/sheffieldkevin/beethoven-bagatelle-op-1194
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist Re: December Piano Bar - 12/29/19 02:00 PM
Originally Posted by Pianist685
What a nice concert of Christmas and non-Christmas tunes hosted by your teacher in her own living room! Your "Silver Bells" sound great on your teacher's Steinway, but your performance came too short in the video. As I expected, there were only very few grown-ups in that session. It is a pity that most kids stop playing when they are leaving school. The girl at 10:20 and the guy at 11:10 seem to be very talented...


Only 3 adults I know of, myself, girlfriend, and the guy at 11:10. He's very good! From what I know, he played through childhood, stopped for awhile, and then returned.

Yes, it's great that she hosts these workshops. She then has a more formal recital in June in her home as well. I like the idea of having a "formal" once a year, and then the monthly workshops in the same setting to prepare for the "recital".

I'll be playing 2 pieces at the next workshop in January, a little more difficult than the Silver Bells. I'll let you know how it goes in the January Bar wink But it should be relaxed, it's just a workshop, not recital. The word workshop feels a lot more pleasant than recital.

  • Invention No. 8 In F Major, BWV 779 – Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Polonaise In G Minor, Op. Posth., B 1 – Frédéric Chopin
Posted By: Pianist685 Re: December Piano Bar - 01/03/20 10:55 AM
Oh, you will be playing Chopin's first Polonaise... He composed that piece at the age of seven but it does not sound like the work of small kid.
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