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 Post subject: Re: Charles Griffes - "The White Peacock"
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:44 pm 
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Thank you, Richard.
I don't know the other pieces in the set. I've got them, but haven't had time to read through them yet. I'm betting they will be hard, though, like this one.

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 Post subject: Re: Charles Griffes - "The White Peacock"
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:58 am 
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Location: Carbondale, IL
@ Monica

Quote:
I think it really can put one into a trance at the end.


I had a listen to your performance again last night and YES, the end really did put me into a trance! If I am correct the last notes are a F#- C - F# (a tritone) what a spellbinding ending, indeed! Interesting how the Tritone is the only interval that is the same backwards and forwards (when threaded between an octave).

By listening back I realized again just how complex and challenging this piece is, really challenging and really complex :lol:

Again, nice job! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Charles Griffes - "The White Peacock"
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:07 pm 
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Thank you again, Riley. You are right, it is a really challenging and really complex piece. :) I also like pieces that put you in a trance-like state.
Almost every one of the Musica Callada pieces are doing that to me as I work on them. I should be sleep-walking by now...haha.

I know we here know this already, but I just heard/read a couple reports lately about how music soothes peoples' nerves. I know...Duh! But also I think it said that people who listen to classical music live longer.

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 Post subject: Re: Charles Griffes - "The White Peacock"
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:57 pm 
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
pianolady wrote:
... pieces that put you in a trance-like state...
Music doesn't only affect people. I have this library book out at the moment, a treatise on harpsichord tuning by the 17th century Frenchman Jean Denis, instrument builder. In the midst of his technical ramblings there appear a couple of anecdotes demonstrating the power of music, specifically when it is consonant and harmonious. One story is about a white peacock, and I suddenly remembered this White Peacock, so I thought I would come back here and relate the story.

Denis writes this allegedly true story which a lute builder friend of his had told him. A potential customer had asked to borrow a lute he had seen in his shop, and also invited him to his country mansion for the weekend, asking him to bring an expert lute player along, so that the instrument could be demonstrated to the assembled company.

So they duly arrive on Saturday afternoon and are well received, etc. On the Sunday morning, the lute player rises early and goes for a walk in the garden. He hears a mass being sung in the church and attends it. When he comes out, he finds himself without anyone to talk to because everyone else has gone to the later mass. To pass the time he gets his lute and plucks idly away at it while still strolling in the grounds. Suddenly he becomes aware of a white peacock walking along next to him, apparently enjoying the music, and following him around wherever he went, until he stopped when the others got back from church. Over lunch he told them what had happened, but they thought he had just fabricated the story.

He wanted to prove to them that it was true, so after lunch out they all went, but the peacock was nowhere to be seen. Laughingly the doubters said to the player that he should just start to play, and if what he said was true, the peacock would soon show itself. So he played, and sure enough the peacock appeared and did everything he said it would, much to everyone's astonishment.

But this is only half the story. What follows demonstrates not just the peacock's taking pleasure in the sound of the lute, but also in its consonances and harmonies, i.e. it needs not just to be played, but played well.

Later, a servant decides to have a bit of fun with the peacock, grabs the lute and plays it, and soon the peacock comes and follows him around. Alas, the servant can't really play very well at all, and soon the peacock realises that the servant's playing is worthless, unharmonious, and discordant. It attacks the servant with talons, beak, and wings, and in terror the servant drops the lute and runs away to the house to tell everyone what had happened. They all come out and see the peacock still attacking the lute, trying to smash it to pieces, unfortunately with some success.

In a footnote, the translator remarks that it would seem the moral of the story is that peacocks ought to be brought along to concerts and recitals.


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 Post subject: Re: Charles Griffes - "The White Peacock"
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:16 pm 
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OMG, I just burst out laughing and now all co-workers are looking at me..
This is so Funny!! If only there was a video!!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Charles Griffes - "The White Peacock"
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:13 pm 
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Location: New York City
Hi Monica,

Your playing was really good. I think, if you were to shade things dynamically a little more,
it would be out of this world playing.

Kaila

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 Post subject: Re: Charles Griffes - "The White Peacock"
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:42 am 
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Thank you, Kaila.
I think my recorder stifles some of my dynamics, but I'm sure I can always do better. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Charles Griffes - "The White Peacock"
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:50 am 
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Location: Illinois
Sorry to weigh in so late, Monica, but what I just heard is exquisite.

I have known about this piece since I started piano. It always showed up in a series of books from the 40s and 50s -- considered "intermediate" -- blah blah blah blah. I could never get my head around it then (well, I was 12 or 13). So you performance is the first that I have heard and it is gorgeous.

Though I have never seen a white peacock, during my 22 years in Texas I have seen plenty of peacocks. The owners of the mobile home park in which my parents lived had peacocks (which I tried to chase an wrangle a few times -- they are fast on their feet). Also there was a Mexican resturant between San Juan and Alamo, TX that had a court yard with peacocks (and peahens) that you could watch as you dine. They are marvelous birds. They do not fly well but they do strut their stuff. Most of the time their tail simply lays behind them, but when they see something that turns them on, it will come up and it is a great sight. This music, and your performance was so evocative of that. I heard them strutting and then the tails unfolding. So thank you.

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Charles Griffes - "The White Peacock"
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:34 am 
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Thank you, Scott. :)
I never knew about this piece until just recently. And I've never seen a white peacock either. I used to go to the Brookfield zoo often when I was a kid, and there were always a couple 'regular' peacocks walking around this one fountain/park area. They were so pretty....

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 Post subject: Re: Charles Griffes - "The White Peacock"
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:41 pm 
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Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Great playing and interesting piece! A peacock is beautiful but sounds quite ugly, You capture the former!

I had no problem visualising a strutting peacock most of the time, you play with great conviction. I had a look at the music at imslp and this is far from simple, not only to get the notes right but to shape it into something convincing. This must have taken not only lots of practice but also lots of thought.

After adding to the deserved praise expressed by others, since you say you feel weird in the absence of constructive criticism: At the ff passage into 3 mins I kind of lost the peacock. It is beautiful and evocative but a bit too architectural - I don't know how to put it properly. Perhaps that part could go a little bit faster (though I realise that is quite hard). Anyway, this may be a matter of taste. Congrats on a fine achievement!


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 Post subject: Re: Charles Griffes - "The White Peacock"
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:10 pm 
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Hi Joachim. This piece is pretty tricky in spots --I probably did lose the peacock a couple times. But thank you, I'll make a note of what you said in my score. :)

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