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 Post subject: Presentation of the pianist and composer Antonio Guida
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:01 am 
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Hello all.
My name is Antonio Guida, I'm 32 and I am an italian pianist and composer. Thanks to your site I came into possession of the works that I did not know, and I could appreciate great performances by pianists who have deposited their records.
I am writing because I'd also like to be part of Pianosociety as a COMPOSER.
In compliance with your requirements contained in the regulations, I ask the attention of the Commission to assess the forum three of my compositions which are, respectively: the second, third and sixth movement of a Piano Sonata in six movements, written in 2011: the "Grand Piano Sonata No. 1” called "Slovak". These three tracks, and thus the whole Sonata, have written music that goes beyond the extension of a standard 88-key piano, because it was designed for a "Bosen-dorfer 290 Imperial," a piano with 97 keys. For recording of this work, I turned to several recording studios, and I think you will have no difficulty believing that none of these utilize a "Bosendorfer 290 Imperial" for the recordings! For this reason, the only way to record the execution of my work has been to buy a VST instrument (Plug-in) with a "Bosendorfer 290 Imperial" virtual piano (championship). The result, in my opinion, was excellent. Wanting to be more precise, the software used for recording is "Galaxy II Grand Pianos VST - Vienna Grand" (the "Bosendorfer 290 Impe-rial" with 97 keys).

I am waiting for your opinion and remember that the songs are original and that I am both the au-thor and executor of the same.

If your evaluation will be positive, I shall send all six movements of the "Grand Sonata No. 1 "Slo-vak" in the exact order, together with a curriculum vitae, all according to how you communicate.
Furthermore, in the case of positive evaluation of these first three songs attached, I would like to include the recording of my other works that were carried live on a real mechanical piano.

Pending on communications, I take this opportunity to extend my most cordial greetings.

Antonio Guida

PS: Sorry for the imprecision of my English.


Attachments:
File comment: Sixth movement of my Great Piano Sonata No. 1 "Slovak"
6) Forze ancestrali dei boschi.mp3 [7.23 MiB]
Downloaded 170 times
File comment: Third movement of my Great Piano Sonata No. 1 "Slovak"
3) Il collegio di Banska Stiavnika.mp3 [13.06 MiB]
Downloaded 145 times
File comment: Second movement of my Great Piano Sonata No. 1 "Slovak"
2) La raccolta della legna e delle erbe.mp3 [5.44 MiB]
Downloaded 132 times
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 Post subject: Re: Presentation of the pianist and composer Antonio Guida
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:39 am 
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I listened to the 3rd movement because the title interested me, but had a hard time sitting out all 14 minutes of it. It seemed to me like little more than a colossal pile-up of outlandish gestures, vaguely reminiscent of Sorabji but without that composer's cogency and wit. I had no idea where this movement was going or what it was trying to say. And this was only one movement of a 6-mvt sonata....

Sorry Antonio, but digitally rendered music does not belong here. And I would put that this would be impossible to play with the fingers, even if you had access to a 97-key Bosendorfer. Are you saying you would have recorded this in a studio if only you had been able to find such an instrument ? That is quite an amusing story. You could have easily changed a very small part of the piece to make it suitable for a normal keyboard, instead of resorting to digital rendering. I can't think that these few extra keys are so essential to the composition. Some of the fast and furious passases sounds impossibly artifical and unpleasant, as midi recordings tend to do. The sheer density and speed reminded me a bit of Hamelin's famous Circus Gallop.

If you could submit some recordings of normal-sized pieces that are playable, and played, on a real piano, I will gladly have another listen.

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Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
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 Post subject: Re: Presentation of the pianist and composer Antonio Guida
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Antonio,
I listened to the 6th movement, and for me it recalled the caricatures of Lizst breaking a piano apart under his playing. Bombastic is too soft a word. Further, I don't know why any composer would wish to limit the performing of their work by using extreme instrument examples. You have a work that may use the required extended range maybe 0.001% of the composition and you get no appreciable return for it. It's like scoring an orchestra to include Bb Contrabass Clarinet or bass flute (lower than alto flute). You create a selection bias that will likely cause your work NEVER to be performed, especially if the claims on the pianist are superhuman as they frequently are in this work. I heard repeated notes in this movement faster than any piano action CAN produce. If you're submitting a composition, I have no problems personally with it being realized/rendered as a digital performance. I would hate to see all the usual musical spelling mistakes that happen with such creations. My advice to you is simply to come back down to earth and try for something that doesn't require the listener to over-engorge themselves. I am not attracted to the idea of a 6-movement sonata. Does it actually ever use the principles of sonata form, even if interpreted in a modern fashion? Perhaps you would have a better response from a society for modern composers. However, I would like very much to hear submissions from you for your piano playing, and hope you will share some with us. Can you give us some repertoire you have recorded and maybe let us pick what we might enjoy listening to? Or just surprise us -- I would love to hear you play.

Sorry I couldn't be more encouraging regarding your Grand Sonata, but I hope you will still participate with us.

Sincerely,
Eddy

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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


Last edited by musical-md on Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:42 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Presentation of the pianist and composer Antonio Guida
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:25 pm 
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Location: Atlanta, GA
Antonio - thank you for uploading these samples. I certainly do appreciate that you have put in a lot of work here, and personally I can say I've not heard anything quite like it! :)

I must agree with the previous posts, however, in that I don't think this site is the best place for your creation. It would take quite an elite pianist (and instrument) to pull this off - but I'm guessing that as an electronic creation you may not have even intended this as a piece to be performed?

I listened to about half of your 3rd and 6th movements. I didn't find it very musical, to be honest, although the first few minutes of the 3rd movement had some interesting variations in my opinion.

Regardless, I wish you the best of luck with your composing.

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Matthew Wyman
And today the great Yertle, that Marvelous he, Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see. - Dr. Suess


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 Post subject: Re: Presentation of the pianist and composer Antonio Guida
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:00 am 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
I listened to the sixth movement, and though I was struggling to discern any clear structure, I thought there were some rather interesting effects in it, in particular from around 4.00. 5.53 was rather unexpected! Though it is obviously technically demanding music, I wouldn't like to say it was unplayable without looking at the score; most of it sounded perfectly feasible and I suspect some of the more difficult-sounding sections are written by sharing the texture between the hands (think of a modern-day version of Liszt octaves, for example).


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 Post subject: Re: Presentation of the pianist and composer Antonio Guida
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:36 am 
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The music is certainly not without its interesting moments. But its prolixity and discursiveness works against it.
Maybe it's not unplayable, I just don't believe it could be played like this.

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Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
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 Post subject: Re: Presentation of the pianist and composer Antonio Guida
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:58 am 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
techneut wrote:
Maybe it's not unplayable, I just don't believe it could be played like this.


Not wishing to be argumentative, but I have consistently found (when producing scores with Sibelius, for example) that rapid passagework and effects sound harder when rendered digitally than when played on a real piano - probably due to different timbre and the passagework being inhumanly even. Of course precision is the one advantage the machine has, and it's also easy to set playback to just that little bit faster than the human pianist will manage cleanly.


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 Post subject: Re: Presentation of the pianist and composer Antonio Guida
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:04 pm 
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andrew wrote:
Of course precision is the one advantage the machine has, and it's also easy to set playback to just that little bit faster than the human pianist will manage cleanly.

Well then ! I rest my case :)

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Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
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 Post subject: Re: Presentation of the pianist and composer Antonio Guida
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:13 pm 
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Haha. My point is really that I think the playback system makes it sound harder than it is. I can't tell difficulty for sure without seeing the score. I also found videos of the composer playing what I assume are his own arrangements, and they contained passages in a similar vein in terms of number of notes (I think the "notiness" is used as a textural device), so that increased my belief they could be legitimately playable.


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 Post subject: Re: Presentation of the pianist and composer Antonio Guida
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:28 pm 
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Hello everyone.
I read all the criticisms that We've written and I have noticed, with deep regret, that the contents of your writings have been more technical than artistic. I would like to remind you all that this is a composition, not a pastime to produce music with electronic equipment. The decision to use a piano with 97 keys is a choice of an art contest would not be fair. Even Ravel, in his "Gaspard de la nuit" Scarbo wrote some issues with the wrong notes for the simple fact that a 88-key piano is not allowed to run. In fact, on some editions of "Gaspard de la nuit", are the notes to play when you have a fully Bosendorfer.
At this point, I avoid to send the other 3 movements of the sonata, since your interest is to know if I can play the piano with a transcendental technique, rather than discover the artistic content of my compositions. Enter, however, a couple of songs "difficult" written by me some years ago and live performed with a mechanical piano, with the hope that your doubts about my ability to play the piano to be clarified. Take this opportunity also to provide more concrete evidence about my abilities and send you the links of videos of concerts performed when I was younger (the audio is not great because they were recorded with a video camera to low quality).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SwPa5BX ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYSd1Miy ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3uX0GHl ... re=related

Sorry again for my English.


Attachments:
4) Il respiro del Vasa.mp3 [16.6 MiB]
Downloaded 142 times
11) V. Vorticare di spiriti reprobi.mp3 [4.11 MiB]
Downloaded 140 times
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 Post subject: Re: Presentation of the pianist and composer Antonio Guida
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:40 pm 
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Thank you for your videos! Yes, the sound quality may be poor, but the playing is fantastic! You do like to rip up the piano. :) And there is certainly time and room for that kind of playing. Regarding your reference to Ravel's Gaspard, in my opinion it makes my point stronger, for Ravel wrote it for a standard piano and gives optional notes if the Bosendorfer Imperial is available. I think your approach should be the same. Even those who play the Bartok Sonata, will use scordatura of the DD#/EEb (D#1/Eb1) to get one of the two required extra notes and then transpose by an octave the other, or simply use inversion or octave-transposition to bring the 2 required extra notes into the playable region. What a headache for pianists who want to play the work. Don't place such a burden on the performer, not to mention practicing it.

I listened again to the 6th movement, and find it a mixed-bag of language and quality. Consider that when other composers tell a story, they do so with a consistent voice that is all their own. You are using whatever you like at any moment, throwing in elements that momentarily would be heard as, Debussy, Ravel, Liszt, Cowell, Crumb, Stravinsky and others that may be recognized by others. What kind of language is that? Do you want to tell a story with an atonal palet? Then do so throughout. Do you wish it to be impressionistic or post-romantic, that's OK but to change from moment to moment makes it sound..., well schizophrenic. This is the most difficult task for a young composer - discovering their voice. If I had to judge what is the voice of Guida based on the 6th movement of your Sonata, I would have to say pastiche. But that is more a device than a language. So you're still stuck trying to discover/invent your language. The second most difficult duty of a young composer is to exercise discipline in his or her writing. The first of these is similarly staying in one language. I would personally like to hear the 1st movement of this work, to see if a sonata-form can be appreciated. If not, then you have not written a sonata at all and should re-title the work as a suite. So often, young composers cannot do the simple mechanics of modulating from one key to another, or following a prescripted form. Have you tried a fugue yet? (not 18th-century style mind you; Have you played the Barber Sonata?). Too often the works of budding composers are nothing but free-forms or rhapsodies; this is an escape from discipline. You must learn your craft and by doing so earn the right to compose in such undisciplined forms. This is what I mean by exercising discipline. You have moments of real beauty in your writing, like at 5:20-30, but I get dizzy with the kalidoscopic changes that you take me through. Again, based upon the 6th movement of your sonata, I would add that your approach to composition is pianistic, but to be great, it must transcend that, it must be purely musical. To give an example of some of the worst pianistic writing that nonetheless soares as a musical achievment, consider the Beethoven Op. 57, iii. This aspect is a matter of maturity. In time you would advance from thinking in pianistic terms to more musical ones (that happen to be executed on a piano).

I hope this is more helpful for you.

Sincerely,
Eddy

_________________
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


Last edited by musical-md on Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Presentation of the pianist and composer Antonio Guida
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:19 pm 
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Location: Netherlands
Hello Antonio,

Your reaction, while understandable, is not entirely to the point. There was actually some evaluation, on the artistic level, of your music. And the question that was raised was not "can he actually play this" but "can this be played at all". Being pianists, that question interests us.

Having seen these videos, there can be no doubt of your pianistic abilities. In fact I have the impression that you create your extremely difficult music because the "standard" things are rather too easy for you (although you could have fun with composers like Alkan, Sorabji, Ligeti, or Finnissy).

I can't say that the pieces you posted here much alter my perception. It seems more of the same - heaps of notes and grand gestures but nothing that sticks (although the quiet part of "Il respiro del Vasa" is quite memorable). I think Eddy is right in saying that you are still trying finding your own voice as a composer. Until such time as you find that voice, it might be good to carefully prune your torrents of ideas and notes, and try give them some shape and meaning. Less is more :)

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Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
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 Post subject: Re: Presentation of the pianist and composer Antonio Guida
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:48 am 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
musical-md wrote:
I listened again to the 6th movement, and find it a mixed-bag of language and quality. Consider that when other composers tell a story, they do so with a consistent voice that is all their own. You are using whatever you like at any moment, throwing in elements that momentarily would be heard as, Debussy, Ravel, Liszt, Cowell, Crumb, Stravinsky and others that may be recognized by others. What kind of language is that? Do you want to tell a story with an atonal palet? Then do so throughout. Do you wish it to be impressionistic or post-romantic, that's OK but to change from moment to moment makes it sound..., well schizophrenic. This is the most difficult task for a young composer - discovering their voice.


I think this is a very astute post. I did wonder whilst listening (to the 6th movement) if the writing could be classed as polystylistic; I have heard a similar approach in the music of Alfred Schnittke, but that was a very long time ago, and I can't even remember the piece in question. I do wonder how you went about the compositional process: whether there was an organised attempt to impose structure and work from that. Perhaps I'm not listening carefully enough to discern the internal logic of the music, but it sounds somewhat like a free improvisation that has been written out post-event. In my limited attempts at composition, I have found that improvisatory material often needs considerable pruning and editing, in short, having discipline imposed on it. I actually really like some of the effecs in the music, and they are the sort of effects which would probably only feature when the composer has a keen knowledge of the sonic possibilities of advanced piano technique. It's just that the music seems a little effects-driven.


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 Post subject: Re: Presentation of the pianist and composer Antonio Guida
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:10 pm 
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Well, no one's ever seen a sonata in six movements. It 's just that some people think it is more suitable as a suite, but the fact is that I have an idea of ​​the sonata, which approaches the concept of symphony that Mahler had: a huge universe where every piece of music and even sound can be adapted to realization of the idea. In fact, in his symphonies you can find themes, music systems, folk tunes, and even cultural reminiscences diverse performance practices among them. According to Mahler, it all had to help meet the creative process of an artist. In fact, more than one suite like I consider this my work a sonata, although it is divided into 6 movements. The presence of the atonality joined the tonal system, the presence of phrases that recall a romantic pianism along with others that are far ahead in the language is not a random thing. All this suggests the testing of a personal language on my part but it is not: all the elements in this sonata are the result of precise artistic choices, just as happened in Mahler's intentions. And Mahler himself was also famous for the fact of entrusting certain instruments of the orchestra parts unnatural and awful records.
Then I would end up with a question: why someone has challenged the use of a piano 97 keys and is not objected to the use of prepared piano by great artists? Basically, I have not made ​​any changes to the piano ....

To satisfy the curiosity of Eddy I send the links of all the movements of my Sonata in exact order:

GRANDE SONATA N. 1 "Slovacca" (youtube links with audio in low quality)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtMgLzWt ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVkM_8Nd ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiY8Etmk ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECblb-Ht ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02lYUn_v ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzNeoKl6 ... re=related


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 Post subject: Re: Presentation of the pianist and composer Antonio Guida
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:47 pm 
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Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Antonio,
I listened to your 1st movement and here is what I would say to you. First, it is very beautiful writing. This movement demonstrates clear unity. It is heavily influenced by Debussy (but lacking melody), and in my opinion, by some Webern only for his use of shifting timbre's. The movement does not use any sonata form features. Thus, I would tell you that you have mistitled your grand work and you should recast it. This 1st movement would make an excellent slow movement between two faster movements; that combination would satisfy a more conventional idea of a sonata and you would have Slovac Sonata No.1. With the remaining 3 sonatas, you might fashion a Slovak Sonata No. 2, and you have immediately doubled your oeuvre. :) Otherwise, you should consider naming this grand work Slovak Symphony for Piano in 6 movements. If you wish to write in the enormous world of Mahler-like composing, expect to be played as often also. Have you ever attended a concert of his Symphony of a Thousand (No.8?), or Scriabin's Mysterium? I bet not. You have tremendous talent and potential. Good luck!

Sincerely.
Eddy

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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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