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 Post subject: Rare music of Eduardo Dutra: Preludio, Op. 32 in F#m
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:01 pm 
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Composed in 1940 and dedicated to his son, Farnesio, this beautiful and haunting late romantic “Preludio”, Op. 32 in F# minor composed by Eduardo Dutra (1908-1964?) leaves no doubt as to the fine talent and craftsmanship of this obscure Brazilian composer. The character of this prelude is that of a lament. I’ve included a biography below.

David

Piano: Baldwin Model L Artist Grand (6’3”) with lid fully open
Recorder: Korg MR-1000
Microphones: Earthworks TC20 matched pair of small diaphragm omni-directional condenser mics in A-B configuration

Comments welcome.

BIO:

Eduardo Dutra (1908 to 1964?) (No image found)

Eduardo Dutra was a 20th century Brazilian composer. Very little is known about this composer, including where he was born or died, although he might have resided in Rio de Janeiro, as his son Farnesio (1921-1987) later aka "Dick Farney", a pianist, singer and composer, was born there. Eduardo's wife's surname was Silva and was a singer. It is established that Dutra was a part-time composer, implying that he depended on an occupation other than composing for his livelihood. Unfortunately, there is no listing, not even a partial one, of his works. His scores were not published by the music publishing houses of his day, and only private printings were made. Following Dutra’s death most of his manuscripts and existing printed scores were apparently either lost or destroyed. Thus finding copies of his scores now is extremely difficult. Hopefully future searches by musicologists and musicians of libraries, archives and private collections in Brazil might yield more of Dutra’s compositions.

-- David April

Dutra - Preludio in F-sharp minor, Op. 32

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"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Last edited by Rachfan on Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:33 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Eduardo Dutra: Preludio, Op. 32 in F#m
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:37 am 
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That certainly is a rarity!

The climax and ending strikes me as the most effective section; it would be a fine piece for an unguessable encore. :) You put the music across well even if the piece is perhaps a little slight. Well worth hearing, and the bass on your piano sounds really good.


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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Eduardo Dutra: Preludio, Op. 32 in F#m
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:59 am 
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Hi Andrew,

Thanks so much for pausing to listen to this piece. I think it turned out OK. The Baldwin was tuned just last week, and despite the harsh winter we're having here (tonight the temperature will be -15 F), it sounded good. While he was here I had a discussion with my tuner/technician. I do believe the piano is a bit bright now, so he'll be doing some voicing of the Ronsen Wurzen hammers to darken the tone a little. So a different sound down the road.

David

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"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Eduardo Dutra: Preludio, Op. 32 in F#m
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:00 am 
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I do like dark and lamenting music and this certainly fits the bill! Great playing, David; I would expect nothing less from you on a piece like this!

And this is up. Thank you for the bio, but I've put it in the miscellaneous composer section, since Dutra is not well-known and we have only this one short piece.

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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Eduardo Dutra: Preludio, Op. 32 in F#m
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:20 am 
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Hi Monica,

Thanks for listening and for the compliment! I find this prelude to be a very personal piece of music, a beautiful memory... but ending tragically.

I figured that Dutra would most likely have to be added into the Miscellaneous category, as his sheet music is most difficult to find. A lady at another website asked me how to find it and told her she might need the services of an archeologist, a gold prospector, and a detective to unearth the scores. It's almost that difficult. :(

I'm so glad you enjoyed this music.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Eduardo Dutra: Preludio, Op. 32 in F#m
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:22 am 
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I can see why you were attracted to this piece David, and I wonder where you first heard it. I'd never even heard of Dutra, despite knowing quite some Brazilian composers (most only by name of course ;-) )

Save for the occasional flash of Brazilian-ness, whatever that is, the piece could well be Russian late-romantic, and a good one at that. The piece may be single-minded but I do not think it is slight. Marvellously played, one of your best recordings I've heard. The dynamics are very good, and the instrument is in great voice. The only possible nag I can have is that it seems a little over-reverberant in places, not sure if it's because of pedal usage or the reverb settings. Not a big deal though, all perfectly acceptable.

Thanks for making PS yet more worthwhile with unknown repertoire !

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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Eduardo Dutra: Preludio, Op. 32 in F#m
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:37 pm 
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Talk about mysterious mediaeval composers... You cannot get more mystrious than this: even more obscure than Bortkiewicz!

What can I say that has not been said already above? Good listening and good playing.

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He is doing his best."
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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Eduardo Dutra: Preludio, Op. 32 in F#m
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:25 pm 
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Hi Chris,

To be honest, I had never heard of Dutra either. It was serendipity. One day I got an email from a professional pianist with the pdf of the score attached suggesting that I might like to play the piece. I contacted one of our favorite Brazilian pianists here at PS, and he was equally in the dark in regards to Dutra. This is another of those cases where I had to develop a performance concept from scratch. This piece is a short work, but nonetheless I was really struck by the intensity of it!

I agree with you on the style. Had I gotten a Villa Lobos sound, for example, that would have been unsurprising. But yes, this was almost like late romantic Russian music. And I have no way to tell if it's characteristic of of Dutra's writing in general, or an exception. We can all pull out a piece by almost any composer and point to it as not being characteristic of a composer's usual style and idiom. But here we have no comparison pieces. I guess it just adds to the mystery of Dutra and his music.

On the reverberation, I believe it's the pedaling. In the higher tenor and up into the treble, one can often get away with more pedal up there. And in the bass, if the notes are well above forte, they can often override any preexisting overtones nicely. So sometimes it was intentional. But... yesterday I had done several takes, and it could be that my pedaling had become a bit lazy toward the end of the session, as this was the final take. Overall, I don't think it's too bad though.

Thanks for listening to this unknown work and your nice compliments. I appreciate it! :)

David

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"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Eduardo Dutra: Preludio, Op. 32 in F#m
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:29 pm 
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Hi Richard,

Thanks for listening and your compliments on my playing! Yes, I must admit that at first this piece was quite a mystery to me as well. But the more I got into it while practicing, the piece began to reveal its secrets. At first I didn't think I'd much like it, but the more I played it, the more it grew on me.

David

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"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Eduardo Dutra: Preludio, Op. 32 in F#m
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:34 pm 
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Hi David,
that´s a profound piece and interpretation as we are used from you! There is an inspiring expression and and there seems to be a deep understanding of that piece, though I don´t have the score and can judge it only by intuition here, of course. Are there triplets against eigth or something like that at some places? In every case there seems to be a polyrhythmic structure, which seems to be well elaborated to me. Thank you for sharing this rare gem. It´s very interesting for me to meet it in such a convincing performance here!

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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Eduardo Dutra: Preludio, Op. 32 in F#m
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:50 pm 
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Hi Andreas,

I'm so glad you enjoyed hearing this virtually unknown composition of Dutra. When I first received the piece, I didn't quite know what to think of it frankly. But as I gained insights into the music, the piece grew on me. And yes, you have a fine ear--the polyrhythms are unrelenting! I didn't let that bother me though, as that aspect of idiom seems to be quite pervasive throughout the Late Romantic literature. For a two-page piece, the complexities were a bit surprising. This is also the first South American music I've ever played.

Thanks so much, Andreas, for your compliments on my interpretation and performance. I appreciate it!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Eduardo Dutra: Preludio, Op. 32 in F#m
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:35 am 
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Hello David, excellent recording and excellent repertoire choice!
I specially like the title of your post hehehe

I already knew this piece. My teacher, Neusa França, has a copy of it dedicated by the author (actually, I'd go as far as supposing that you have her copy). The Belgian pianist Pierre Feraux recorded it in his "Brasileiro" CD, and scanned the sheet-music from Neusa França's collection.

http://users.tvcablenet.be/personal/tvc ... racks.html
www.pierreferaux.com

The dedicatee of the piece, his son, was a famouse Brazilian pianist of popular music called Dick Farney.

Best,
Alexandre


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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Eduardo Dutra: Preludio, Op. 32 in F#m
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:15 am 
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Hi Alexandre,

Thanks so much for your kind words! I appreciate that!

The history of my involvement with this piece began when one day I received an email from a professional pianist containing this prelude in pdf format. When I printed it out, there was no special inscription on it, so it looked like ordinary sheet music in every way. At the bottom right-hand corner it did indicate: Mario, Gravador. So probably it didn't originate from Neusa Franca's collection. But... nonetheless, I suspect it could have originated from another source in France that comes to mind now.

That's so interesting to learn more about Dutra's son Farnesio (1921-1987)! When his father dedicated the "Preludio" to him, Farnesio would have been 19. It would seem that Farnesio aka "Dick Farney" with his long performing career ultimately became far more famous than his composer father. I only wish that while Farnesio was still living, that others could have explored with him the whereabouts of his father's manuscripts and printed scores, if they had not been lost or destroyed. That is, he might have known exactly where it was all stored!

Thanks too for those links.

Best regards,
David

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"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Eduardo Dutra: Preludio, Op. 32 in F#m
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:58 am 
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Rachfan wrote:
The history of my involvement with this piece began when one day I received an email from a professional pianist containing this prelude in pdf format. When I printed it out, there was no special inscription on it, so it looked like ordinary sheet music in every way. At the bottom right-hand corner it did indicate: Mario, Gravador. So probably it didn't originate from Neusa Franca's collection.


I assume "Gravador" means engraver, in the same way as some English edition scores have the name of the person who engraved/set the score.


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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Eduardo Dutra: Preludio, Op. 32 in F#m
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:34 pm 
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Hi Andrew,

That was my thought also.

David

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