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 Post subject: Rodrigo - Cinco piezas del Siglo XVI
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 11:59 am 
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At long last I recorded some solo work again. Joaquin Rodrigo is one of my favorite composers - he was both forward-looking and completely in tune with the Spanish music of past centuries. These lovingly reworked compositions of 4 different Spanish Renaissance masters sound completely idiomatic and I hope I am doing them justice. Note in particular how in the Diferencias the noble theme appears consequently in all 4 different voices (not at all easy to realize, this voicing).

Rodrigo - Cinco piezas del Siglo XVI - 1: Diferencias sobre el "Canto del Caballero" (Antonio de Cabezon) (3:14)
Rodrigo - Cinco piezas del Siglo XVI - 2: Pavana (Luis de Milan) (1:36)
Rodrigo - Cinco piezas del Siglo XVI - 3: Pavana (Luis de Milan) (1:35)
Rodrigo - Cinco piezas del Siglo XVI - 4: Pavana (Enriquez de Valdebarrano) (3:27)
Rodrigo - Cinco piezas del Siglo XVI - 5: Fantasia que contrahace la harpa de Ludovico (Alonso Mudarra) (1:36)

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 Post subject: Re: Rodrigo - Cinco piezas del Siglo XVI
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:46 am 
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Chris,

I enjoyed all of these. I'm not that familiar with Rodrigo's work.

I found the rhythm in the last variation of number 1 quite interesting. It had an interesting irregular feel that, until I started tapping my foot to the beat, sound almost like an odd meter.

One thing, in the Pavanes (most notably the 3rd one), many times notes seemed to come just a tad before their time. You clearly have a firm grip on the beat, but are you thinking about the division. At least in Spain, the Pavane is a musical representation of a peacock's strutting around. I don't know if you have ever seen a peacock strut, but they did exist where I lived in S. Texas. Unless frightened, or angry, and particularly when their tails are all open, each step is very deliberate and placed precisely in time (as if they are calculating in milliseconds). Thus, to me, even a fraction of a moment less time, which could barely be called a problem with rhythm in general, sounds a bit to hasty. IMHO a beat or sub-beat that lasts a fraction too long would be preferable.

Just some thoughts, but I think these are excellent otherwise.

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Rodrigo - Cinco piezas del Siglo XVI
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:39 am 
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Hi Scott,

Thanks for the feedback ! I just love ancient repertoire seen through the eyes of 20th century composers. Rodrigo had a very special affinity with Spain's musical and cultural heritage.

Interesting that the Pavane should hark back to strutting peacocks ! I never knew that. One should really emit one of these weird and wonderful shrieks every now and then :D But Wikipedia suggests it is more likely to derive from Padovana (dance from Padua).

Incidentally I took all 3 considerably faster than Rodrigo's metronome mark. They just did not feel right so slow. And I've not been able to find other performances to prove me wrong.

Attacking before the beat is something I want to guard against (although church organists do it all the time). So I tapped along with Pavane 3 but I found it pretty darn metronomic ! And did not really hear any hurried moments. Maybe if you could pinpoint one or two actual moments ?

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 Post subject: Re: Rodrigo - Cinco piezas del Siglo XVI
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:24 pm 
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Hey Chris,

Sorry to take so long to respond.

The spots were minor, but they stood out to me. I set a pulse based upon the very first repeated notes (assuming that they were quarters, I created an eighth note pulse. I allowed for a bit of natural quickening and relaxing the pulse. The first spot that stood out to me is around 0:22, where after your nice rallentando into the end of the phrase, the very next note beginning the next phrase just seemed a little rushed to enter. There are a few other spots like this to me. At 1:38 and the rall. before the reprise of the A section, these seem right.

Also circa 0:28, the bass note really stands out to me as early. On the reprise, this same bass note feels rightly placed.

At 0:54 and 1:08, an inner voice seems to move to quickly to the note after the beat.

Finally at circa 2:33, the melody note after the beat again feels a little rushed.

The tempo seems to be based on Q = c. 71. In general, I like the rhythmic flexibility that you take quickening to increase tension and then releasing. I'm not talking about being metronomic. On slow pieces like this, I think of the division of the beat and let it guide my accels. and ralls. rather than trying to do it with just the beat in my head.

Concerning the derivation of "pavane", the Wiki article on the English Wiki does indicate that the origins are uncertain.

Quote:
The origin of this term is not known. Possibilities include the word being
from Italian "[danza] Padovana", meaning "[dance] typical of Padua" (as in Bergamask);
this is consistent with the equivalent form, "Paduana",[1]

or from the Spanish pavón meaning peacock (Sachs 1937, 356),

though the dance was "almost certainly of Italian origin" (Brown 2001).


Under history, it goes on to say:
Quote:
The decorous sweep of the pavane suited the new more sober Spanish-influenced courtly manners of 16th century Italy.


At least, as far as the Spanish are concerned, it may actually contain both meanings. The Spanish and Italian word for "peacock" is "pavo" and they have a verb "pavonear" which means: 1. To strut, to flaunt about the streets, to flutter. (n) (essentially like a peacock). Or, they may have just mistranslated it.

Willi Apel's Harvard Dictionary of Music does give the origin of the name from the Italian "Pava", which was a dialect of Padua.

Anyway, these are just little nit-picks, but where would the site be if we didn't pick a few nits now and then? ;-) I did enjoy all of these pieces immensely and will look into more of Rodrigo's works in the future.

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Rodrigo - Cinco piezas del Siglo XVI
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:10 pm 
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Hi Scott,
Thanks for this detailed feedback. These are really infinitesimal nits to pick ;-)
I agree about 0:22 and 0:28 - I could and should have taken just a little bit more time there.
However the other spots you mention - 0:54, 1:08 and 2:33 - they are played exactly as written. I do not hear anything hurried - which is not to say they could not have been played differently,
Note that the spot at 1:08 is rather an odd duck, see image, which for some reason took me a while to sort out.
Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Rodrigo - Cinco piezas del Siglo XVI
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:45 pm 
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hi, Cris! I like Rodrigo, but I never new he reworked some ancient pieces like these (I knew he wrote some atonal pieces, I have the score but I never tried to play it, too tired to read something not easy. [;)] )

your sure did justice to them!

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Luís Sarro


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 Post subject: Re: Rodrigo - Cinco piezas del Siglo XVI
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:58 am 
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Thanks Luis ! I think most people only know Rodrigo from his charming guitar concertos but there is so much more to him. He was a splendid pianist despite being blind, and wrote a marvelous body of piano music (mostly
small scale piecesthough). His piano concerto is a real block buster. Some of his music is very complex and forward looking - if never exactly atonal. I consider Rodrigo (ex aequo with Falla) the most interesting Spanish composer.

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 Post subject: Re: Rodrigo - Cinco piezas del Siglo XVI
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:27 pm 
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I'm not a big fan of Rodrigo (or guitar music) and thought I should give this a pass but I am really glad I didn't. This is fantastic! Incredibly crisp voicing and an interesting sound of the piano which fits the music extremely well - did you do something different in the recording or processing, or is it just the effect of how you play parts with a flattened dynamic, keeping long stretches very even? In any case, very well rendered. Also to my surprise I found the music very interesting. Thanks for posting.

Joachim


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 Post subject: Re: Rodrigo - Cinco piezas del Siglo XVI
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:13 am 
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Thanks Joachim ! The voicing in the Diferencias is surprisingly hard to bring off. No I did not do anything special except for putting on my best behavior :)

Hopefully this will make you hear more of Rodrigo. Such a fantastic composer !

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