According to the German Wikipedia, István Szelényi (no, don’t ask me how to pronounce that) was a not-German and yes-Hungarian pianist and composer, born in 1904. He studied at the Budapest Academy of Music and liked performing and editing Liszt cause they’re both Hungarian and hungary for the satiater that is ~romantic music~. Except Szelényi had “the drive to write a tonal and intelligible, while contemporary music close.” Which means that he was actually an expressionist.
He composed Musikalisches Bilderbuch (Musical Picture-Book) in 1967, just 5 years before his death at 68 years old. This Reliable Source (totally not copied from German Wikipedia) suggests that Musical Picture-Book “is one of the most stimulating educational collections of piano music of the 20th century.”
So why does nobody have a numbered song list of it?!
the numbers are important because math»
(Yes, I’m digging through old RCM pieces now that it’s finally over. Do have a listen to Das Artige Kind, another simple study.)
The title of this post is somewhat misleading because Music of Our Time, Book 2 isn’t called ‘Twotone’. Twotone is one of the pieces in the book, but I don’t know which one. Imagine it as ‘Music of Our Time, Book 2, No. ???: Twotone,’ and it doesn’t seem as confusing. Of course, ‘No. ???’ looks appallingly ugly and I wouldn’t write such a travesty if my life depended on it, but…
Music of Our Time was actually a collaboration by renowned Canadian composer Jean Coulthard, and her two students David Duke and Joan Hansen. (I really don’t know how to properly Oxford comma this sentence, so I’ll just leave it as-is.) Twotone was written by Joan Hansen, an enigmatic mortgage sales representative-cum-composer.
…Yeah, that’s not the Joan Hansen we’re talking about. Probably shouldn’t go into so much detail on a composer when we have such a short little piece to talk about.
I really like the polytonality of this. (There’s… not much more to like. What can you like about 11 bars of music?) You can distinctly hear the two different hands, and the dissonances and parallel fifths actually sound alright. The key switch in the middle section seems a bit trivial, since the left hand F-major chord in bar 7 is still natural, and you don’t actually encounter any c-sharps in the right hand there. Actually, you don’t encounter any c-sharps in the entire piece…
If the dynamics aren’t contrasting enough, blame my camera: it automatically makes soft sounds louder and loud sounds softer. I think I did pretty well, though. I fessed up at bar 10 – there’s a two-beat rest, and I only rested for one. I hope nobody uses my recording to help them learn this piece… (which isn’t in the syllabus anymore, lol)
In two words, this piece is pretty cute.
it is late I am late today we will talk about CORNELIUS GURLITT’s marvellous étude, DAS ARTIGE KIND.
cornelius gurlitt was a classmate of the son of the leipzig conservatory head (and subsequently studied with him). he was a pretty cool guy, became a Professor of Music at the accademia nazionale di santa cecilia (which is supposedly a pretty cool thing to get). he didn’t write music to entertain, but to educate, so he wrote many studies like das artige kind
‘das artige kind’ in english is ‘the good/kind/polite child’. i think. i don’t german, i don’t want to be guilty crown
‘die anfangs-stunden’ means ‘the first lessons’, and this collection in english is ‘the first lessons: 34 short pieces for the pianoforte (opus 117)’. as you expect, das artige kind is the 19th short piece in this collection
you can read the music right here but BEWARE it may possibly be illegal somewhere i don’t know this guy’s been dead for 111 years, alright
if you scroll down you’ll see a difference; it’s played up an octave on the second part. well my OFFICIAL ROYAL CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC NEW PIANO SERIES STUDIES ALBUM 1 & 2 suggests otherwise. what i play comes from my rcm studies book, not the gurlitt collection version (the publisher’s name isn’t even listed there…)
what’s more, i don’t even know when he composed this, or even when it was first published. that’s why for composition date i just wrote ‘between 1820-1901’, since it’s doubtful he composed this before his birth or after his death
anyways that is all. see if you can spot the bulbasaur hidden among my pants
Oh hey, another Musical Monday!
Remember last Musical Monday, when I posted about Stephen Chatman’s Ginger Snaps? Neither do I! Here’s another composition that features parallel fifths like there’s no tomorrow. What’s it called?
As opposed to opposed fifths»
Welcome to another (late) Musical Monday! Today’s piece of music is titled… wait, I’ll let you guys guess…
..that’s right! It’s titled
Friday, featuring the beloved Rebecca Black Ginger Snaps, written by Stephen Chatman in his music collection, Preludes for Piano, Book 3 between 1999 and 2001. Yep, it’s a recent (21st-century!) composition, and as you’d expect from recent compositions, it defies conventions a little bit.
The fies can fence shins»
It’s time for the long-awaited sequel to Charles-Louis Hanon’s Le Pianiste Virtuose en 60 Exercices!! Well, not really, because Le Pianiste Virtuose en 60 Exercices (The Virtuoso Pianist in 60 Exercises) doesn’t have a sequel. No, this is the sequel to my first post about the Virtuoso Pianist, and in this part, we’ll cover pianos, fingers, and not much else. If you’re reading this series for the first time, do read the first post’s introduction first. Really. Seriously. Honestly. Lie. Wait, no, it’s not a lie, it’s a -ly
We’ve moved past the Preparatory Exercises, so now, it’s time for harder exercises. In fact, you could even say they’re ‘Transcendent Exercises For Preparing The Fingers For The Virtuoso Exercises’. That’s what Hanon says. I mean, said, because he’s dead (hey, that rhymes), which means… woohoo, we’re still doing preparatory exercises…
Prepare to READ»
It’s Musical Monday, and perhaps just playing Czerny all the time has gotten a little boring for you guys. But don’t sweat, because I’ve got something much more exciting prepared, just for you: Hanon exercises, instead!
Charles-Louis Hanon’s Le Pianiste Virtuose en 60 Exercices (The Virtuoso Pianist in 60 Exercise) is an (in)famous collection of (you guessed it) 60 piano exercises, meant for developing finger and wrist strength, agility, endurance, flexbility, suppleness, you name it. Ask any piano teacher or pianist what the most useful book of exercises are for the piano, and half will probably name Hanon’s. Ask the ones that don’t what the most harmful book of exercises are for the piano, and chances are, they’ll probably all name Hanon’s.
But: you must have at least a year of keyboarding experience before starting Hanon practice. Starting it too early will a) dumb down your musical sense b) force you into amateurish hand postures and c) be impossible to play. If you’re here and want to learn how to play piano, Lypur’s ‘Learn How to Play Piano’ playlist is the perfect tutorial for you! Well, maybe it’s not perfect, and maybe it’s not for you, but do give it a shot. (Look, he’s even made a video about the Virtuoso Pianist and Erster Wiener Lehrmeister im Pianofortespiel!)
Like it or hate it, every pianist has encountered Hanon’s exercises sometime in their lifetime. Thus, in this series of posts, I’ll be venturing to play them all. Like a Pokémon master but without the Poké, without the mon, without the mast, and without the er.