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 Post subject: L'isle Joyeuse: A lunchtime recital by Wui-Ming Gan
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 1:48 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:52 am
Posts: 64
Location: Bard College (NY)
Dear fellow pianists and pianophiles,

Last Thursday I gave another lunchtime piano recital here at Bard. One of the pieces of the program that may be of special interest to some of you is Cortot's solo piano arrangement of Franck's violin sonata, which is an interesting and pretty effective transcription that not many people know about. If I hadn't known its roots, I might have been convinced that it was a piano sonata by Franck.

Here's the first piece on the program, Bach's sixth French Suite in E major.

Bach - BWV.817, French Suite no.6 in E major, I. Allemande
Bach - BWV.817, French Suite no.6 in E major, II. Courante
Bach - BWV.817, French Suite no.6 in E major, III. Sarabande
Bach - BWV.817, French Suite no.6 in E major, IV. Gavotte
Bach - BWV.817, French Suite no.6 in E major, V. Polonaise
Bach - BWV.817, French Suite no.6 in E major, VI. Menuet
Bach - BWV.817, French Suite no.6 in E major, VII. Bourreé
Bach - BWV.817, French Suite no.6 in E major, VIII. Gigue

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 2:05 am 
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Location: Bard College (NY)
Here's the Franck.

Franck - Cortot piano transcription of violin sonata in A major, I. Allegretto ben moderato
Franck - Cortot piano transcription of violin sonata in A major, II. Allegro
Franck - Cortot piano transcription of violin sonata in A major, III. Recitativo-Fantasia
Franck - Cortot piano transcription of violin sonata in A major, IV. Allegretto poco mosso

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"Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. . . . Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time."
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 2:30 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:52 am
Posts: 64
Location: Bard College (NY)
And here's Debussy's L'isle Joyeuse, the last piece on the program.

As an encore, I played my own virtuoso arrangement of One Day More from the musical Les Miserables. Now, I'm not sure what your copyright policies at the Piano Society are, and indeed what is the general view of such transcriptions -- as I see it, this is carrying on in the tradition of opera paraphrases and fantasies by Liszt and Thalberg and all the great pianist-composers from the golden age. But I suppose in today's commercial world, the folks in Broadway might not be so amused. So feel free to remove it if you feel that this is an infringement of copyright.

For completeness' sake, here are recordings of two compositions of mine that I included as bonus tracks in the CD of this recital that I'm giving to friends, as well the CD cover art (no back cover because I'm distributing it in thin jewel cases).

Debussy - L'isle Joyeuse
Gan - Paths of Peril, Duo for Violin (David Bowlin) and Cello (Andre Emelianoff)
Gan - Rag to the Riches
Gan - Piano Transcription of Schonberg's One More Day from Les Miserables

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"Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. . . . Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time."
— Jean Cocteau


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 10:02 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:27 pm
Posts: 1842
Location: Sweden
Hi Gan!

This will be great to listen on my 3 hours ride by train today but I will probably not be able to put them up until later.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 11:54 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:29 am
Posts: 692
Location: Germany
Listened so far "only" to the French Suite. It is a splendid performance! Crystal clear playing with perfect articulation, beautiful.

I only cannot understand why you played that Courante in ultrafast speed. A Courante is normally a slow to medium old dance. It is technically brilliant played, but I could imagine it sounds at half speed more Courante-like.

Especially I like how you treat the ornaments in a different way in the repetitions, but always technically persuasive. Thank you for sharing this!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 12:00 pm 
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Posts: 64
Location: Bard College (NY)
Thanks for your compliments. I chose my tempi (and repeats and ornaments and everything) based on what I felt the music needed instead of following historical tradition, and hopefully my choices (or at least my performance of them) are convincing.

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"Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. . . . Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time."
— Jean Cocteau


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 4:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:27 pm
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Location: Sweden
Me too has only gotten through the French Suites so far and it is really a very good performance and I can understand the enthusiastic applause after the Gigue. You are very talented and can go very far if you continue like this.

I have put the French Suite up on the site...took really long time on the unreliable Internet connection on the train.

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 Post subject: Bach
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:26 pm
Posts: 829
Location: Miami, Florida, USA
The Bach was flawlessly played. I did notice that the Courante was quite fast, but it was very clean as was all of your playing I listened to. I also enjoyed listening your your encore. It was a delightful encore. Sorry, I can't provide any constructive criticism, but it was a beautifully played.

I didn't get a chance to listen to the Franck, but I will later.

I looked up Bard College on Google. What a beautiful place! You are so lucky to be studying there. I'm going to read more on the Bard site.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 6:50 am 
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I have now put up the Cortot transcription of the Violin Sonata by Franck. I have no reference but it must be a great performance. You technique is splendid and your phrasing and dynamics sounds very well planned. Great job!

I put it up under Franck as a Cortot Transription and did not bother create a composer page of Cortot. I hope that is ok.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 7:09 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:27 pm
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Location: Sweden
The Claude-Michel Schönbergs Les Miserables is also extremely well performed. As from you write, I assume this transcription is entirely your own? This piece perhaps comes with copyright problem as this is a living composer. Not sure what happens to copyright when you transcribe something but I think it would be ok if I file it under you as a composer.

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Last edited by robert on Wed May 16, 2007 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 8:28 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:27 pm
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Your Debussy I'isle Joyeuse is also very very good. I begin to really like your playing! It is up on the site.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 8:31 am 
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How would you like your own compositions to be filed? Shall I create a separate genres for them (duo and rag)?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 11:20 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:52 am
Posts: 64
Location: Bard College (NY)
Hi Robert,

Thanks for your compliments. I think you are absolutely right to file it under Franck and not under Cortot, because it is basically the piano part of the Franck violin sonata with most of the violin line reworked into the texture. But it is definitely more Franck than Cortot. =)

As for the Les Mis, it is my own transcription, but it is basically One Day More with my own coda that draws on a couple other themes from the musical (this started out as the finale to a whole Les Mis fantasy that I'm still not completely happy with and is too long and difficult and that I plan to revise). I'll leave it to your discretion how to file it. If you choose not to put it up at all, that's fine too, because I wouldn't want your site to get in trouble with copyright.

With my compositions, I think it would probably be best to create categories for piano and duo? I'll upload a couple of my other compositions later for your consideration. And actually, can you hold off on the rag? I have an alternative recording (not live) of the rag that you might possibly prefer.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that you can find the Franck--Cortot score at http://www.piano.ru/scores/frank/fr-son.pdf if you're looking for it. Cortot's name doesn't appear on the score but the transcription is definitely by him.

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"Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. . . . Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time."
— Jean Cocteau


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 9:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:27 pm
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I have now put up your compositions as well and I am most impressed! I also visited your homepage from the link of the CD cover (possible to buy?). Some work to do but you seem to have an eye for designing part as well as computing. If you wish to link your recordings from pianosociety, just tell me first as I block any attempt to link directly to recordings (I have to).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 10:12 am 
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Location: Bard College (NY)
When my website is finished, I intend to put all my recordings up there. My hosting service should provide enough space for that. Thanks though!

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"Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. . . . Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time."
— Jean Cocteau


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