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 Post subject: Oscar Esplá - Levante
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:41 am 
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Some of you already know, I recently discovered Esplá, and this set of miniatures is real sweet! I very much enjoyed learning them. And what I learned about Espla is that he practically invented music of the Spanish Levantine and even invented his own scale, which you can clearly hear in his music. The harmonies are so neat - very exotic - just my kind of thing and not far off from Mompou's harmonies.

As you can see below, there are ten pieces in the set - all very short but quite different from each other. Some of them are pretty easy, but a few gave me some troubles. I especially love nos. 2, 3, 5. Also no. 6 because it's just so different to my ears than what I'm used to, but I really love it. And in it Espla uses one key in the RH and a different key in the LH. I've never played a piece like that before and it was kind of weird at first; my poor brain was confused! Oh, but I also love no. 7! The harmonies - wow- sooo nice! Really, it feels like my heart is being ripped out when I play it.

So anyway, I hope you like this music as much as I do. I made another dumb little video too - only nos. 2 and 10 (which I botched up the end). But I'm wanted to see what my 'little' camera could do and I was too nervous and tired to try for a better no. 10, so well...that's it. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano?feature=mhw5


Espla - Levante, I: Allegretto moderato
Espla - Levante, II: Andante
Espla - Levante, III: Allegro non molto
Espla - Levante, IV: Andantino
Espla - Levante, V: Andante
Espla - Levante, VI: Allegretto
Espla - Levante, VII: Allegro moderato
Espla - Levante, VIII: Moderato
Espla - Levante, IX: Allegro ritmico
Espla - Levante, X: Allegro animato

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: Re: Oscar Esplá - Levante
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:10 am 
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A charming set indeed. Not all are equally good, I did not much like no.9, partly because your playing seems not very ritmico here. No.10 is great, evoking the Granados of the Zapateado and similar vigorous pieces. Well played.

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 Post subject: Re: Oscar Esplá - Levante
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:29 pm 
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techneut wrote:
A charming set indeed. Not all are equally good, I did not much like no.9, partly because your playing seems not very ritmico here. No.10 is great, evoking the Granados of the Zapateado and similar vigorous pieces. Well played.


Thanks for listening, Chris. That's the way it usually is - not 'every' piece in a set is that great. I didn't care much for the no.4. But I did play no. 9 exactly as it's written - checked with metronome settings and all that, Espla wrote those in. Oh well...

But looks like I won't be playing my piano for awhile because last night as I was playing, a leg fell off and the whole piano crashed down to the floor. You can imagine how shocked I was when it happened. :shock:

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: Re: Oscar Esplá - Levante
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:44 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
But looks like I won't be playing my piano for awhile because last night as I was playing, a leg fell off and the whole piano crashed down to the floor. You can imagine how shocked I was when it happened. :shock:

Huh... it just 'fell off' ? Sounds like a bad joke. You must have noticed the thing had worked itself loose, and the piano being instable. Things don't just collapse out of the blue. And now, irrepairable damage ?

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 Post subject: Re: Oscar Esplá - Levante
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:53 pm 
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It is a joke.

APRIL FOOLS!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: (I just had to do it...)

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: Oscar Esplá - Levante
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:06 am 
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Hi Monica,

I saw that April Fools joke coming. Chris was caught because they probably don't have April Fools in the Netherlands. I've been on guard all day! :)

I listened to 1, 2, 5 and 10 for starters. Espla idiom sound very fresh. It's a modern sound, yet retains some ties to the past. You play these pieces with artistry and flair. Nicely done, and the whole set too. Congratulations!

By the way, did you know that Espla is a short form name of Esplanade?

[Aarrrggg... you didn't take the April Fools' bait, and it's now after midnight, April 2nd. I'll just have to work up a much better one for next year. :wink:]

David

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Last edited by Rachfan on Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:50 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Oscar Esplá - Levante
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:36 am 
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Fantastic suite! Your connection with the music runs deep on Nos. 2, 3, and 7, to the point where the inner harmonies tell their own story. My favorites are nos. 2, 7, and 10. I feel as though the music is transporting you somewhere else through his exotic harmonies and sonorities. It has that atmospheric quality which you have captured very well. More than once now, your recordings of late have a nice balance to the sound where the reverb is just right - very good taste!

I enjoyed the videos, and congratulations on the new camera. Everything looks wonderful - sharpness, color, motion. I compared the video quality with a few other recordings, and I really like the color and sharpness of your new camera. IMHO, you'd be better off using the new camera from now on. What a nice music room you have there too..... I think you were tired on No. 10, otherwise you would have nailed that passage. When that happens to me, it's usually a fingering issue. I am curious, are you comfortable with the fingering in that passage?... Why not record it again after a good nights sleep. We miss the smiling Monica...

Have a Happy Easter Weekend! :D

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Last edited by 88man on Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Oscar Esplá - Levante
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:10 am 
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Location: Lyon, France
Thank you Monica for the discovery of this composer and for this set of very nice pieces ! I loved the 'bitonal' one, and your articulation is so clear and elegant, as usual...

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 Post subject: Re: Oscar Esplá - Levante
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:12 am 
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Rachfan wrote:
I saw that April Fools joke coming. Chris was caught because they probably don't have April Fools in the Netherlands. I've been on guard all day! :)

Nah, I am just too gullible. I never assume people say something that isn't true.

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 Post subject: Re: Oscar Esplá - Levante
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:22 pm 
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:lol: :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Oscar Esplá - Levante
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:41 am 
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Thank you for listening, David, George, and Francois. :D

David - funny - you did actually fool me for a couple seconds. I started thinking, "Espla, Esplanade - okay that's possible..." :lol:

George - wow - I'm impressed that you figured out I had a fingering problem in the no. 10. My last piano teacher often shook his head at my wacky fingering so I'm sure it's me doing something dumb. But really, I tried different fingering, but nothing worked without turning me into a pretzel. I think Espla just wrote something awkward right there. Thanks too for the comments about the sound and video. So the little 'cheaper' camera is better than the 'bigger' expensive camera. That figures! Oh well...thanks for everything. :)

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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