2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad) Piano Sight Reading
train piano sight reading with your iPhone or iPad
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
56 members (Abdol, anotherscott, Chr15, 36251, chrisb42, AlphaTerminus, 15 invisible), 358 guests, and 623 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 797
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 797
I heard his transcription of an interlude from a Rameau opera, titled "The Arts and the Hours", which is a strong contender for the most beautiful thing i've ever heard.



I originally had the well-known Bach-Siloti andante from the violin sonata in my 2nd round programme for a competition, but I would really like to play the Rameau-Olafsson instead.

Thing is, the only available scores are non-professional, made by people who have transcribed the piece by ear. One of the scores even looks ghastly, and uses, if I remember correctly, a font similar to comic sans, and the direction: "emotionally", below the tempo marking in the beginning.

I know I probably can't play a piece for which the judges won't even be able to find a trustworthy score. But how come there is no score available, not even on Olafsson's website? he must have written something down. Or does he just not want to publish the scores for any of his transcriptions?

I haven't been in this situation before where I want to perform extremely recently written music (or transcriptions) so i'm slightly at a loss about what to do. It just seems like there is no way I can perform this piece without causing some sort of trouble. I'd be very thankful for any advice.

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 14,538
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 14,538
There is a transcription available on IMSLP, but not by Ólafsson (whose version is pretty similar):

https://ks.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/1/1e/IMSLP381212-PMLP430377-polimnie_clavecin.pdf


"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."
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 29,855
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 29,855
It's not so uncommon for a pianist not to notate his own transcriptions and make them available. Horowitz, for example, didn't write down his transcriptions. If you think the judges would complain if you used the transcription whose link was given on PW and Olafsson hasn't published his transcription, then you can't play the piece in the competition. I don't think the use of "emotionally" is a negative, and I do think the transcription available is pretty accurate. Perhaps you can contact those in charge of the competition and ask if the available transcription would be allowed.

Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 797
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 797
Originally Posted by bennevis
There is a transcription available on IMSLP, but not by Ólafsson (whose version is pretty similar):

https://ks.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/1/1e/IMSLP381212-PMLP430377-polimnie_clavecin.pdf

Wow, I didn't know about that one. Thank you!

Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 797
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 797
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
It's not so uncommon for a pianist not to notate his own transcriptions and make them available. Horowitz, for example, didn't write down his transcriptions. If you think the judges would complain if you used the transcription whose link was given on PW and Olafsson hasn't published his transcription, then you can't play the piece in the competition. I don't think the use of "emotionally" is a negative, and I do think the transcription available is pretty accurate. Perhaps you can contact those in charge of the competition and ask if the available transcription would be allowed.

Interesting.

I will do that, thanks.

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,300
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,300
Interesting that Olaffsson changed the key from D to Db.

There is also an excellent video by Professor John Mortensen discussing how he would study/prepare the Edlund transcription:



Sam

Joined: Dec 2019
Posts: 19
T
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
T
Joined: Dec 2019
Posts: 19
I'd like to thank everyone involved in the development of this thread. Once again, a beautiful composition has set sail in the world.

Even better, one that I can learn to play, eventually ...

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 1,812
S
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 1,812
Though it is well played, i find the Olafsson version lacking in harmonic complexity and intensity compared to the original version. It sounds almost too nice and too melodically gentle.

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 1,812
S
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 1,812
The 6,5 mouvement is the application of a very old harmonization approach called the rule of the octave where local tonic and dominant bass notes would receive a 5th harmony and the other notes a variation on a 6th chord. There are tens of other typical harmonization sequences as well as typical bass mouvements.

Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 797
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 797
Originally Posted by Sidokar
Though it is well played, i find the Olafsson version lacking in harmonic complexity and intensity compared to the original version. It sounds almost too nice and too melodically gentle.

I'm not very good at harmony so I can't comment on that, but I just loved the simplicity of his transcription. I knew him before as a great player of Philip Glasses etudes and other minimalist music, and his taste in music might be reflected here.

But did he really exclude/change many harmonies?

Joined: May 2015
Posts: 7,966
Silver Subscriber
7000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 7,966
Originally Posted by CianistAndPomposer
Originally Posted by Sidokar
Though it is well played, i find the Olafsson version lacking in harmonic complexity and intensity compared to the original version. It sounds almost too nice and too melodically gentle.

I'm not very good at harmony so I can't comment on that, but I just loved the simplicity of his transcription. I knew him before as a great player of Philip Glasses etudes and other minimalist music, and his taste in music might be reflected here.

But did he really exclude/change many harmonies?


The Mortensen video addresses the harmonies being lost. You might want to listen


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 797
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 797
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by CianistAndPomposer
Originally Posted by Sidokar
Though it is well played, i find the Olafsson version lacking in harmonic complexity and intensity compared to the original version. It sounds almost too nice and too melodically gentle.

I'm not very good at harmony so I can't comment on that, but I just loved the simplicity of his transcription. I knew him before as a great player of Philip Glasses etudes and other minimalist music, and his taste in music might be reflected here.

But did he really exclude/change many harmonies?


The Mortensen video addresses the harmonies being lost. You might want to listen

I will

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,868
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,868
Speaking about "lost" harmonies, I can't stand the Bach-Siloti Prelude in B minor, which is a kitschy simplification of the WTC1 Prelude in Em. I know some people are fascinated by it but I find it absolutely offensive and disrespectful towards Bach.


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 14,538
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 14,538
Let's listen to (and watch) the music as Rameau composed it, in its context, as a lyric tragedy put into music:



"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."
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 29,855
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 29,855
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Speaking about "lost" harmonies, I can't stand the Bach-Siloti Prelude in B minor, which is a kitschy simplification of the WTC1 Prelude in Em. I know some people are fascinated by it but I find it absolutely offensive and disrespectful towards Bach.
There are hundreds of Bach transcriptions, and this is one of the most popular among professionals. It is not based on the WTC 1 Prelude in Em although this is a very common misconception. I only recently learned from this video the piece it is based on:

Joined: May 2015
Posts: 7,966
Silver Subscriber
7000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 7,966
Back to the original topic: my ears find the Rameau to be a wonderful piece that doesn’t translate well to piano


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 14,538
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 14,538
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by CianistAndPomposer
but I just loved the simplicity of his transcription. I knew him before as a great player of Philip Glasses etudes and other minimalist music, and his taste in music might be reflected here.

But did he really exclude/change many harmonies?


The Mortensen video addresses the harmonies being lost. You might want to listen
That Mortensen video is so blatantly padded out and replete with misconceptions that I wondered whether the good professor just wanted to show off his skill at analysis rather than actually help a student improve his playing of the music. Not to mention whether he's ever heard all those piano transcriptions by so many other pianist-composer-arrangers, who actually know how to write effective transcriptions.

He obviously has never heard the orchestral original (as in the video I linked). And he failed to realize that the transcriber Andreas Edlund arranged it for harpsichord, not piano, hence all those extra ornaments (which Ólafsson doesn't play).

And not least, all those dissonant suspensions which "must be heard" (in his words) are deployed very frequently in Classical and Romantic piano music by composer-pianists from Mozart and Beethoven to Chopin and Schumann and Mendelssohn and Brahms.....where they "cannot be heard". BUT we continue to hear them - because the brain latches on to the melodic note and 'hears' the line as the melody continues to the next note, even when the sound is dying away and almost inaudible. (And the fortepianos in Mozart's and Beethoven's time had very poor sustain.....) Great composers are fully aware of that fact and use it liberally. Double striking that top melodic note is totally unacceptable and against the grain of the melody (if you imagine a singer singing it, for example).

This is the first video of his that I've watched, and I certainly won't be watching any more.


"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."
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,868
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,868
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Speaking about "lost" harmonies, I can't stand the Bach-Siloti Prelude in B minor, which is a kitschy simplification of the WTC1 Prelude in Em. I know some people are fascinated by it but I find it absolutely offensive and disrespectful towards Bach.
There are hundreds of Bach transcriptions, and this is one of the most popular among professionals. It is not based on the WTC 1 Prelude in Em although this is a very common misconception. I only recently learned from this video the piece it is based on

Thanks, indeed it's not based on the WTC prelude but on an earlier piece by Bach which I just downloaded and played (https://ks4.imslp.net/files/imglnks/usimg/c/ce/IMSLP129139-WIMA.728a-Bach_Preludes7_E.pdf)

Well, I still prefer the Bach's original version where the note movement is in the bass and apparently the WTC prelude is based on that earlier study prelude written for his son Wilhelm Friedemann.

It also changes my attitude towards the Bach-Siloti piece. Without the original Bach's piece it was making it very odd to accept that the extremely beautiful WTC prelude can be simplified into that Bach-Siloti piece out of nowhere. I couldn't find a reason for myself why one would simplify it. However all makes sense now: Bach created the first "simple" prelude and then made a gem from it in the WTC. And Siloti created a reversed-hands arrangement out of the origin piece.

I apologize for my strong words against the Bach-Siloti arrangement.


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Couch to Concert Hall
Couch to Concert Hall
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Do steinways have smaller key depth?
by NightShade - 05/11/21 08:11 PM
another mansion piano
by rogerzell - 05/11/21 06:47 PM
Portrait of Manet
by Dfrankjazz - 05/11/21 06:00 PM
Are any of the following songs good for beginners?
by Dutch-guy - 05/11/21 05:47 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics206,871
Posts3,092,433
Members101,481
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5