Schoenberg and Stemper

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Re: Schoenberg and Stemper

Postby andrew » Sat May 05, 2012 2:07 pm

Nice sound and well played: the digital keyboard performs fine here, probably because big sonorities are not called for. The Schoenberg sounds very like a descendant of late Liszt, e.g. Nuages Gris. I would hesitate to call it atonal: there are sufficient tonal constructs within it for me to feel a definite key signature in the first half, and there are also figures which sound derived from whole-tone scales. Not music I'd choose to listen to regularly, but interesting and worthwhile music nonetheless.

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Re: Schoenberg and Stemper

Postby musical-md » Sat May 05, 2012 7:23 pm

Oliver Neighbour in The New Grove, Second Viennese School (Norton publisher) begins Chapter 2, Works, 1. Early Tonal Works, thusly:
Schoenberg's music may be divided into four periods, the second and third of which were inaugurated by crises in compositional technique that had important consequences not only for the composer's own work but for music in general. The music of the first period is tonal, or at least employs a tonality as a central point of reference. In 1908 Schoenberg abandoned tonality; he was the first composer to do so. The music of the ensuing second period is often called 'atonal'. Schoenberg considered this term nonsensical, preferring 'pantonal'. Since either term properly embraces his serial music as well, the period will be refered to here as 'expressionist'. From his work of this time he gradually evolved the principle of serialism, which he first used consistently in 1920; the serial music written between that date and 1936 constitutes the third period. The fourth, less well defined phase may be said to emerge during the 1930s. It is marked by greater stylistic diversity, including occasional returns to tonal composition.
Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne

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Re: Schoenberg and Stemper

Postby hanysz » Sun May 06, 2012 12:43 pm

I like the quiet mood of the Schoenberg piece, and I think the tempo is good. I agree that it's not exactly atonal--it's almost in G major!

The performance directions translated into English: äusserst kurz=extremely short; etwas gedehnt=slightly stretched; gut im Takt=well in time. I think the "extremely short" is important: the piece should be played with a lot less pedal. The contrast between the wide open spaces and the few sustained sounds makes it more dramatic and suspenseful. Pay particular attention to bar 3, where the right hand is sustained while the left hand is still staccato. And you can make much more of the mf dynamic in bar 2: compared to the rest of this piece, mf should sound shockingly loud!

There are a few rhythmic errors (not that anyone would know without following a score).

By the way, this set of pieces is opus 19.

I too liked the presentation of the video; the astronomical images are very appropriate.

Are you going to record the rest of the set?

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Re: Schoenberg and Stemper

Postby techneut » Sun May 06, 2012 3:56 pm

Oh, what perfect ID3 tags ! I always knew you could do it !
Now it is on the site.
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
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Re: Schoenberg and Stemper

Postby musicusblau » Sun May 06, 2012 5:11 pm

Hi Riley,
I like both pieces very much. The piece of Kemper mirrors very well that cosmic atmosphere. It´s a great little composition.
Also the Schönberg-piece you play with nice expression. Here I only have some suggestions of improvement at three places, you did some little rhythmical mistakes: bars 5, 7,8. In bar 5 on the first and second beat the rhythm isn´t correct. In bar 7 you leave out the quarter break on the second beat and in bar 8 the second third comes too early. I personally like your tempo, it´s just a matter of counting correctly throughout the whole piece. Your dynamics are very nice.
And what great pictures you have in your video! I really have enjoyed both performances very much!

Kind regards

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