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 Post subject: Schoenberg and Stemper
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:58 am 
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I have been practicing two pieces over the past week, an old piece by my teacher and a piece by Schoenberg. In terms of the music idiom, the two pieces are quite similar. I would not describe it as atonal. Many composers dislike the term because the prefix a- (for ex. averse, atypical) means "not." Therefore, if atonal means "without tone," it doesn't describe the type of music that is not in a key, per se. These pieces have tones, to me they simply are not comparable to something by Mozart or Bach that is in a key, and has very few non-diatonic tones I have created videos of these two pieces:

Music Videos:

No. 1 from Stemper's "Four Piano Pieces" (1976)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uITDIm6ry4k

No. 2 from Schoenberg's "Six Little Piano Pieces" (1911)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnlpZ3JO_Is&feature=relmfu

Audio Files:

Schoenberg - Six Little Piano Pieces Op. 19 - No. 2: Langsam (1:10)

The audio files are the same as each video soundtrack.

Enjoy,

Riley

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Riley Tucker


Last edited by pianoman342 on Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Schoenberg and Stemper
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:52 am 
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Hi Riley,
First "atonal" does not mean "without tone," rather it means "without tonality," tonality meaning following the hierarchical relationship of the scale degrees and the functional harmony associated with it. These two works are atonal. This is not however the same as saying that they are 12-tone, which the Schoenberg is not (by about 10 years). I'm away from my score of the Schoenberg, so can't be sure but I think you did a good job. I don't know the other at all.

Keep going forward!
Regards,
Eddy

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 Post subject: Re: Schoenberg and Stemper
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:41 pm 
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Hi Eddy,

Thanks for listening. Now that I listen back to other recordings of the Schonberg No. 2, I think I have played it too slow (the score says "langsam" but no specific bpm).

In general, I agree with your assessment. The term "tonality" refers to functional harmony, a piece that has a tonic and a key signature. Both of these pieces do not contain any sharps or flats (for a key signature). But to me it is the different between artwork in black and white the same in color. One is not better than the other, right? you don't refer to black and white paintings as acolor paintings :lol:

My music history textbook has it as 1923 when Schoenberg first developed the 12-tone method of composing.

I am curious what you think of this type of music?

Regards,

Riley

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"I don't know what music is, but I know it when I hear it." - Alan Schuyler
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 Post subject: Re: Schoenberg and Stemper
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:04 pm 
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They sound like well played (nice dynamics in both pieces !) though I can't really judge, not knowing the music. The Schoenberg piece somewhat reminds me of 'Dawn' from Bartok's Easy Pieces. Maybe it's the calm legato way you play it (Andy Lee's recording on the site is far more quirky). I wonder of one of these composers had heard the others' piece. Very good to venture into this kind of repertoire ! These can surely go on the site (Stemper in the Various section).

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 Post subject: Re: Schoenberg and Stemper
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:01 pm 
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Riley - thank you for posting these very interesting pieces. I really wish I could get into this sort of music (atonal, etc) more, but I must admit I appreciate it much more than I enjoy it.

It seems to me that you did a great job with both recordings, and I did enjoy them MUCH more with the visuals on YouTube than as audio by themselves. It's probably just like anything else - the more I learn about composers such as Schoenberg and expose myself to their music, the more I'll get from it. Certainly my own shortcomings here I feel, not yours!

Keep up the great work!

Matt

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 Post subject: Re: Schoenberg and Stemper
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:11 am 
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pianoman342 wrote:
I am curious what you think of this type of music?
Riley, like liver pâté and escargot, I like it in limited quantities. :)

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"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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 Post subject: Re: Schoenberg and Stemper
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:57 pm 
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@ Chris

I had a listen to your recording of Dawn by Bartok, I can hear the similarity, wonder if he was influenced by Schoenberg, though if my memory serves me weren't the 10 Easy Pieces adapted from folk songs? And I listened to Andy Lee's recording, he does plays the running eighths staccato, and Chiara Bertoglio's recordings is the same. I talked to my teacher today and he was happy to hear my rendition, but said there were a few parts that I played wrong so I would rather that piece not go on the site, if you could put the schoenberg piece on the site I would appreciate it.

@ Matt

I am the same way, some new music I have trouble enjoying, and sometimes for me it takes several listenings for me to really comprehend the work in its entirety. Thanks for listening.

@ Eddy

I don't know what pâté is, but I understand escargot to be snails. Gross! I think the only circumstances I would eat a snail is if someone offered me a million dollars to! :lol:

Riley

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 Post subject: Re: Schoenberg and Stemper
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:03 pm 
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pianoman342 wrote:
I think the only circumstances I would eat a snail is if someone offered me a million dollars to! :lol:

Hehe, you don't have to eat them raw, you know :D

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 Post subject: Re: Schoenberg and Stemper
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:12 pm 
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pianoman342 wrote:
I had a listen to your recording of Dawn by Bartok, I can hear the similarity, wonder if he was influenced by Schoenberg, though if my memory serves me weren't the 10 Easy Pieces adapted from folk songs?
Only some of them. Actually I'm not sure if he used original folk material or made up his own (some composers can do that).

pianoman342 wrote:
I talked to my teacher today and he was happy to hear my rendition, but said there were a few parts that I played wrong so I would rather that piece not go on the site, if you could put the schoenberg piece on the site I would appreciate it.
Sure, but not before you've done your bit. Please re-upload with correct file names and ID3 tags, as described in this sticky topic:
http://pianosociety.com/new/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5115&p=51530

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 Post subject: Re: Schoenberg and Stemper
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 11:43 pm 
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Quote:
Only some of them. Actually I'm not sure if he used original folk material or made up his own (some composers can do that).


That would be a cool skill to have 8)

Quote:
Sure, but not before you've done your bit. Please re-upload with correct file names and ID3 tags, as described in this sticky topic:
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5115&p=51530


I have found the ID3 tagging feature on Windows Media Player. One interesting thing I noticed in the tag editor is next to genre there are a number of moods you can select for a file: Party, Angry and Sunday Brunch to name a few. What is a sunday brunch mood :roll: I left the mood blank :?

Now to practice and record Evocation, an Invention, a Haydn piece and after that, a work by Mr. Pfaul. It may take till next year to get this all done :P

Riley

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 Post subject: Re: Schoenberg and Stemper
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:05 pm 
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pianoman342 wrote:
I have found the ID3 tagging feature on Windows Media Player. One interesting thing I noticed in the tag editor is next to genre there are a number of moods you can select for a file: Party, Angry and Sunday Brunch to name a few. What is a sunday brunch mood :roll: I left the mood blank :?

That is good :) However you also did not fill the all-important Name tag (or rather it is filled with the file name). I would insist that everybody gets this right from now on, as described in the mentioned sticky topic.

pianoman342 wrote:
Now to practice and record Evocation, an Invention, a Haydn piece and after that, a work by Mr. Pfaul. It may take till next year to get this all done :P
Better hurry up then :) Good luck with Evocation, you "only" have to compete with Francois de Larrard now, as I have withdrawn my version.

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 Post subject: Re: Schoenberg and Stemper
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 3:08 pm 
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Quote:
That is good However you also did not fill the all-important Name tag (or rather it is filled with the file name). I would insist that everybody gets this right from now on, as described in the mentioned sticky topic.


I think I have it right now, third time has to be the charm :)

Quote:
Better hurry up then Good luck with Evocation, you "only" have to compete with Francois de Larrard now, as I have withdrawn my version.


It will be quite a challenge to compete with Mr. Larrard :!:

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"I don't know what music is, but I know it when I hear it." - Alan Schuyler
Riley Tucker


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 Post subject: Re: Schoenberg and Stemper
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 6:32 pm 
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pianoman342 wrote:
I think I have it right now, third time has to be the charm :)


Nope, this is not right yet. You left out your name and the year, and did not put the actual title (Six Pieces) in the Name tag, that should be

Schoenberg - Six Little Piano Pieces Op. 19 - No. 2: Langsam

It seems like getting people to do this right may be more work than fixing the tags ourselves. But it's become a matter of principle now.

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 Post subject: Re: Schoenberg and Stemper
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 3:12 am 
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Poor Riley.... :)

Sorry, Riley, but Chris is right in that we really need people to make correct tags and titles so as to save us the time from having to do it.
And sorry again for my delay in listening to your recordings here, but now I finally found a bit of time. I don't have really much to say about the first piece, except that your space images are perfect. I always call this kind of music 'space music'. I liked the Schoenberg piece best. I never used to like him before, but then I heard all six pieces from this set and printed them out. They're sitting on my piano, but alas I have no time to play them. Someday.... Anyway, nice playing and nice videos! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Schoenberg and Stemper
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 8:03 pm 
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Chris,

Quote:
It seems like getting people to do this right may be more work than fixing the tags ourselves. But it's become a matter of principle now.


I have made the changes. Should have all the information this time!

Monica,

Quote:
Sorry, Riley, but Chris is right in that we really need people to make correct tags and titles so as to save us the time from having to do it.


I understand, and redoing the ID3 tags is good because now I know exactly what to label for a future recording :)

Quote:
I don't have really much to say about the first piece, except that your space images are perfect. I always call this kind of music 'space music'. I liked the Schoenberg piece best. I never used to like him before, but then I heard all six pieces from this set and printed them out. They're sitting on my piano, but alas I have no time to play them. Someday.... Anyway, nice playing and nice videos!
\

Thanks for the compliment and for listening! I am glad you like the visuals for the video. I think this type of music is more abstract and free floating, what seems to me to be how space is. Of course, I have never been anywhere but earth, just my interpretation 8)

Riley

Schoenberg - Six Little Piano Pieces Op. 19 - No. 2: Langsam (1:10)

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 Post subject: Re: Schoenberg and Stemper
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 2:07 pm 
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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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 Post subject: Re: Schoenberg and Stemper
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 7:23 pm 
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Oliver Neighbour in The New Grove, Second Viennese School (Norton publisher) begins Chapter 2, Works, 1. Early Tonal Works, thusly:
Quote:
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.

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"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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 Post subject: Re: Schoenberg and Stemper
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 12:43 pm 
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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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 Post subject: Re: Schoenberg and Stemper
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 3:56 pm 
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Oh, what perfect ID3 tags ! I always knew you could do it !
Now it is on the site.

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 Post subject: Re: Schoenberg and Stemper
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 5:11 pm 
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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
Andreas

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