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#1463389 - 06/26/10 11:29 AM Can someone identify this tune?
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6041
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Does this ring a bell with anyone? Its a familiar early 19th century European solo piano composition - but I'm having trouble identifying the composer - and I'd really like to get ahold of the score. The melody of the opening bars is as follows:

cdeeag#ea / cdeeag#ea

Any help would be appreciated - THANKS !!

P.S. - Its not in the Barlow/Morgenstern Dictionary of Musical Themes
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#1463393 - 06/26/10 11:34 AM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: carey]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19297
Loc: New York
Can you give us more help on what's the rhythm?
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#1463483 - 06/26/10 02:20 PM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: Mark_C]
GeorgeB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/10
Posts: 635
No idea soz.

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#1463488 - 06/26/10 02:34 PM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: GeorgeB]
SoundEffect Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/10
Posts: 78

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#1463490 - 06/26/10 02:39 PM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: Mark_C]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6041
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Can you give us more help on what's the rhythm?


The first two notes are 8ths - the next five are quarters - and the final note is a half note.

Either 2/4 or 4/4 time. First two notes fall on the first beat.

Tempo is probably Allegretto

Thanks !


Edited by carey (06/26/10 02:45 PM)
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#1463491 - 06/26/10 02:40 PM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: SoundEffect]
Chopinist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/10
Posts: 162
Originally Posted By: SoundEffect

I did, but no definitive match was found (even assigning rhythm the lowest priority).
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#1463493 - 06/26/10 02:46 PM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: Chopinist]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6041
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Chopinist
Originally Posted By: SoundEffect

I did, but no definitive match was found (even assigning rhythm the lowest priority).


Yup - I struck out there as well.
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#1463499 - 06/26/10 03:11 PM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: SoundEffect]
FunkyLlama Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 359
Originally Posted By: SoundEffect
this website is fantastic o_o

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#1463957 - 06/27/10 05:44 PM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: carey]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19297
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: carey
The first two notes are 8ths - the next five are quarters - and the final note is a half note.

Either 2/4 or 4/4 time. First two notes fall on the first beat.

Tempo is probably Allegretto....

OK -- that all helps. I have a feeling we still won't get it, but.....maybe you can also tell us:

I'm assuming the first "a" is up from the e, not down? And then the next "e" is down from the g#? And the final "a" is down from the e?

And finally: Are you sure all the notes are exactly right? If not, we can start thinking about possible 'modifications.'

BTW....It feels familiar to me. That's why I'm pursuing it.
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1464020 - 06/27/10 07:16 PM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: Mark_C]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6041
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Thanks for hanging in there with me on this one Mark. I appreciate it.

The final "a" is up from the "e" - otherwise your assumptions are correct.

I heard a snippet of this piece being performed by the pianist Abdel Rahman El Bacha in a 20 second excerpt from an hour-long DVD called "The Making of a Steinway." El Bacha is playing the replica of the 1836 Steinway Kitchen Piano which was built by Chris Maene. The video accompanies the display of the original instrument (on loan from Steinway in New York) here at the new Phoenix Musical Instrument Museum (where I've been volunteering). Anything I can find on the web regarding the video simply states that El Bacha is playing "early works" by Chopin. This may or may not be accurate. I've inquired to see if the museum itself owns a copy of the full DVD. Seems the key folks I need to talk to are on vacation. As a last resort I might order a copy myself. In the meantime I'll try to listen to the fragment again just to make sure I haven't remembered it incorrectly.

The piece is very familiar to me as well - but I hadn't heard it in years.

Best -
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#1464058 - 06/27/10 09:03 PM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: carey]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19297
Loc: New York
I'm still coming up empty. But here's a thought: I would have guessed it's more like mid- or late-19th century. And if the melody is exactly as you indicated, I would be shocked if it's Chopin, not just because it doesn't seem like his style but because I think I'd know if it were something of his.

I'm thinking something like Dvorak, Grieg, or a minor composer.
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#1464064 - 06/27/10 09:41 PM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: Mark_C]
heidiv Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/21/09
Posts: 579
Loc: piano bench, usually
I think I know it!
Chopin's Rondo for Two Pianos
The theme you posted comes in at 3:15.

I love love love this piece, and actually bought the score about 10 years ago thinking maybe someday...

Is that it? (fingers crossed)

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#1464067 - 06/27/10 09:49 PM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: heidiv]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19297
Loc: New York
Looks like you nailed it! smile
(Shows what I know!) ha

HOW did you get it???

The notes are a little different than Carey said -- sounds like it's:
low a - e - e - high a - g# -- e -- high a (and a little later, when it gets repeated, the first note is indeed c, as Carey said)

But I can't use that as a reason why I thought it wasn't Chopin -- I just don't know the piece. (Although indeed it's the 'wrong' notes at the beginning that made it seem Czech or Norwegian or something like that.) It's pretty common to remember melodies like this a little bit wrong -- I do all the time -- which was what made me wonder.


Edited by Mark_C (06/27/10 10:32 PM)
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#1464071 - 06/27/10 09:56 PM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: Mark_C]
heidiv Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/21/09
Posts: 579
Loc: piano bench, usually
Like I said, Mark, I just love this piece. I heard it for the first time about 10 years ago, a recording that blew me away. I listened to it so many times that it's one of those pieces that's etched into my brain forever.

Don't feel bad about not knowing it. It's not exactly a mainstream piece, I suppose partially because it requires two pianos and plus, it's difficult.

A catchy tune, though. I guess carey thought so too!

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#1464097 - 06/27/10 10:23 PM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: heidiv]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19297
Loc: New York
How did you come across the piece at all? Most of us probably haven't. (Although....I think I did either hear it or look through it, years ago, probably just once.)
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#1464103 - 06/27/10 10:32 PM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: heidiv]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6041
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Heidi -

You nailed it - BLESS YOU !!!! thumb

Thanks so much!! (Mark - you too !!!)

There must be a solo piano arrangement of this - I'll investigate. The overall Rondo sounds more than a bit challenging - so I may end up simply learning excerpts - but we'll see.

This is definitely not mainstream - but it is familiar - and the theme sounds like eastern European folk music - which makes sense, given that Chopin was from Poland !!!

Sorry I flubbed the opening notes - I wrote the theme down from memory a couple of hours after hearing it at the museum.

[Edit: Actually I was correct - the initial c and d are part of the accompaniment].

The Museum curators are off the hook. smile

Thanks again - you folks are terrific !!!!



Edited by carey (06/27/10 11:16 PM)
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#1464123 - 06/27/10 11:02 PM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: carey]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6041
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
FYI - "Frederic Chopin's Rondo Op.73 for two pianos, four-hands was originally conceived for solo piano. The composer, perhaps unconvinced by the original version, later revised it for two pianos. This was Chopin's only dabble with the two-piano genre."

Quite honestly, I'm surprised that this work isn't better known.
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#1464125 - 06/27/10 11:22 PM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: carey]
Chopinist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/10
Posts: 162
carey and heidiv: I sent you a PM (and would have done to Mark_C as well if he accepted them).
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#1464130 - 06/27/10 11:38 PM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: Chopinist]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19297
Loc: New York
Why not say it on here?
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1464133 - 06/27/10 11:42 PM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: Mark_C]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6041
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
http://klasikal.com/frederic-chopin-rondo-op-posth-73-in-c-major-for-two-pianos/

Here's a link to another (exquisite) performance - audio is much better - and you can follow along with the score !!

ALSO - this Rondo was composed by Chopin in 1828 - so it is indeed an "early" work.


Edited by carey (06/28/10 12:29 AM)
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#1464204 - 06/28/10 06:50 AM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: carey]
heidiv Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/21/09
Posts: 579
Loc: piano bench, usually
Originally Posted By: carey
FYI - "Frederic Chopin's Rondo Op.73 for two pianos, four-hands was originally conceived for solo piano. The composer, perhaps unconvinced by the original version, later revised it for two pianos. This was Chopin's only dabble with the two-piano genre."

Quite honestly, I'm surprised that this work isn't better known.


It's such a likable work that, yes, it is a wonder that it's not better known. However, consider the logistics of performing a piece like this: The technical challenges put it out of reach for all but the most dedicated amateurs. So to perform it, you would need two advanced players, two pianos on which to practice together, and the willingness of both players to dedicate a substantial amount of time to learn it. I don't know that I would want to forego my solo repertoire to study this piece!

As you say though, carey, it was originally written for solo. IMO the solo version doesn't have quite the fullness and excitement of the two-piano version, but it sure makes it much more likely to be played! But, the only place I've ever heard a solo version is on youtube just last night. I wonder why.

So carey, I suppose we'll hear you posting the solo version of this work in a few months. thumb

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#1464234 - 06/28/10 08:39 AM Re: Can someone identify this tune? [Re: heidiv]
Peyton Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 2503
Loc: Maine
What a wonderful piece. I can't believe I've never heard (or heard of) it. Carey, your link is great. Those guys do a wonderful job and it's well filmed.
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