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#1624791 02/21/11 12:02 AM
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I need some recommendations for American Composers and preferably specific compositions that might catch my interest. I need 'at least 10 minutes' worth of music from any American Composers. I was thinking something like a small set of 'imagery' pieces that may display my artistic abilities rather than virtuoso and technical abilities. It's for a International Competition I wish to enter. So it should also be difficult.

My line up so far is Ravels Sonatine , Campanella with the 6th Paganini Etude then Mazeppa and Feux Follets , following by *Insert American Composer here* , ending with Spanish Rhapsody. So as you can see my list is very 'heavy' except Ravel which is still technically demanding.

Preferably something not Heavy. Give me a chance to refresh after the etudes... Thanks a lot!

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It's getting late on a Sunday night -3 day weekend too!- so I'm sure you will get great advice by tomorrow.

10 minutes seems unfair. I think the Elliot Carter sonata a wonderful piece of music (do I dare prefer it over Barber?), but really, when you get on with it, Night Fantasies is Carter's masterpiece.

Very hard going, and of course above me technically, but wow! when you get on its wave length, such miracles!


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-Charles Griffes' Roman Sketches, Fantasy Pieces, or the piano sonata
-Barber piano sonata
-Copland piano sonata or piano variations
-Or you could use a loophole and play something by Rachmaninoff, since he ended up becoming an American citizen


(I'm just kidding about the last suggestion.)

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Thanks for the suggestions so far. I actually am cutting out the campanella and 6th paganini etude and replacing them with something different. I am really thinking of Mozarts Variations on twinkle twinkle little star. I'll need to have balls of steel to perform that piece seriously at an international competition laugh

I'll check out the pieces above but in the meantime keep 'em coming!

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Something by David Thomas Roberts, if you can handle the rhythm.

Maria Antonieta Pons

La Donna

Through the Bottomlands



"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 Ted
Something by David Thomas Roberts, if you can handle the rhythm.

Maria Antonieta Pons

La Donna

Through the Bottomlands



Hey-- he's a friend of mine! I see him semi-regularly in the California Bay Area, and I played a composition of his ("Two Pieces") for last year's Unsung Heros e-cital. Cool!

-Jason


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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
-Charles Griffes' Roman Sketches, Fantasy Pieces, or the piano sonata
-Barber piano sonata
-Copland piano sonata or piano variations
-Or you could use a loophole and play something by Rachmaninoff, since he ended up becoming an American citizen


(I'm just kidding about the last suggestion.)


Ugh I wanted to bash my head against the wall after listening to the first minute of the Copland variations. Ugh again!!

Barber is way too difficult with the liszt stuff as well. Interesting though I guess.

The Charles Griffs pieces are kind of nice. I'm listening to all his other pieces now ...

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Originally Posted by argerichfan
It's getting late on a Sunday night -3 day weekend too!- so I'm sure you will get great advice by tomorrow.

10 minutes seems unfair. I think the Elliot Carter sonata a wonderful piece of music (do I dare prefer it over Barber?), but really, when you get on with it, Night Fantasies is Carter's masterpiece.

Very hard going, and of course above me technically, but wow! when you get on its wave length, such miracles!


Ack , atonal stuff drives me up the wall if I listen to it for more than a few minutes. But thanks for the suggestion smile

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Originally Posted by Ted
Something by David Thomas Roberts, if you can handle the rhythm.

Maria Antonieta Pons

La Donna

Through the Bottomlands



Would this type of music be appropriate for a competition? It sounds a lot like ragtime music... Not very difficult at all it looks as well. Catchy though

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George Gershwin.

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Perhaps some Gottschalk, since you do not seem to be terribly interested in more contemporary music. Late Romantics might be John Alden Carpenter, Charles Wakefield Cadman, Arthur Foote, or Arthur Farwell.


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Originally Posted by BDB
Perhaps some Gottschalk, since you do not seem to be terribly interested in more contemporary music. Late Romantics might be John Alden Carpenter, Charles Wakefield Cadman, Arthur Foote, or Arthur Farwell.


Great thanks for the extra names! I can't stand contemporary music! I would rather chain my cat to the piano keyboard and spray it with a hose!

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Michael Jackson.

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Originally Posted by Dustin Sanders
Originally Posted by BDB
Perhaps some Gottschalk, since you do not seem to be terribly interested in more contemporary music. Late Romantics might be John Alden Carpenter, Charles Wakefield Cadman, Arthur Foote, or Arthur Farwell.


Great thanks for the extra names! I can't stand contemporary music! I would rather chain my cat to the piano keyboard and spray it with a hose!


It's really not that bad. I hear TONS of new music here in Louisville and a lot of it is bearable.

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More people like Charles Griffes and Edward Mcdowell please! I enjoyed everything I heard by Griffes so far. A real genius he is!

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A few more specifics to what has been suggested to date:

If McDowell, review pieces from his "Woodland Sketches" and "New England Idylls". I particularly like "The Joys of Autumn" and "In Deep Woods" from the latter set.
You might want to check out Amy Beach -- I particularly like her "Fireflies" and "The Hermit Thrush at Morn".
If Barber, review his "Excursions".
If Carpenter, his "Impromptu" is especially beautiful.
For quite contemporary, check out Lee Hoiby's "Ballade", Richard Danielpour's "Childhood Memory", and Dan Welcher's "Prelude for Dani". Perhaps Jennifer Higdon's "Secret and Glass Gardens", if you're a little more ambitious.

Otherwise, Griffes is your best bet, based on your tastes.
Oh, one other, if Gottschalk, then "La Pasquinade".

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Do you know the African-American composer R. Nathaniel Dett? There's a wonderful suite "In the Bottoms" from ca. 1913. The last movement, "Dance (Juba)" is striking and virtuosic. I don't recall the other movements exactly, but they're also worthwhile.

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Originally Posted by Dustin Sanders
More people like Charles Griffes and Edward Mcdowell please! I enjoyed everything I heard by Griffes so far. A real genius he is!


I hope you enjoy this. I was 15 when I recorded it, and I could do SOO much better with it now:


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OSK, I've always thought that was one of Griffes's most effective pieces, and you never hear it. Pretty clearly, he worshiped Debussy, and this piece is to me heavily reminiscent of Debussy's "Masques" -- another piece you don't hear much.

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Another composer to consider might be Ethelbert Nevin, or Daniel Gregory Mason.


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