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#1666382 - 04/25/11 03:49 PM Looking for American repertoire.
tomasino Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 2039
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
I'm looking for American repertoire. Here are a few pieces I've learned successfully over the last two or three years to give you an idea of my level:

Beethoven, opus 90.
Schubert, little A major sonatata, I think it's 644.
Schubert, big A major sonata, 959.
Prokofieff, selections from Fugitive Visions.
Franck, Prelude, Chorale and Fugue.
Schubert, Gb major impromptu.
Janacek, In the Mist.

I'm looking for something that actually sounds American, so Charles Griffes' the White Peacock doesn't quite do it for me, even though it's a wonderful piece. I learned the Gerschwin preludes many years ago too, so that's out.. Gottschalk appeals to me, as he deliberately went after American idioms, but his work seems uneven, and I don't want to spend a lot of time on a piece just to realize it's second rate half-way through learning it--so does anyone know enough about Gottschalk to steer me straight on this? Think of any other suggestions? Barber, perhaps? I just draw a blank. I'd appreciate hearing.

Tomasino
_________________________
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10


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#1666387 - 04/25/11 03:59 PM Re: Looking for American repertoire. [Re: tomasino]
sarah_elizabeth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 466
Loc: Texas, U.S.
I don't know exactly what you're looking for, but since you mentioned Barber you might want to look into his Nocturne or Ballade. The Ballade is quite difficult - composed for the Cliburn competition semifinals a while back, as I remember - but from your rep list I think you could handle it. The Nocturne is somewhat easier, although not necessarily a walk in the park either.

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#1666421 - 04/25/11 05:04 PM Re: Looking for American repertoire. [Re: tomasino]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2359
Loc: San Jose, CA
Copland! Look into the Piano Variations, which is a smaller work, or the Piano Fantasy, which is a 30-minute epic.

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#1666425 - 04/25/11 05:14 PM Re: Looking for American repertoire. [Re: tomasino]
AaronL619 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/11
Posts: 46
Loc: United Kingdom
Edward MacDowell? He was an American and in my opinion his style of music in comparison to other European composers at that time sounds very American to me.

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#1666430 - 04/25/11 05:24 PM Re: Looking for American repertoire. [Re: tomasino]
DameMyra Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1973
Loc: South Jersey
Norman Dello-Joio, 3rd Piano Sonata
Muczynski, Desperate Measures (Paganini Variations)
Rzewski, Winsboro Cotton Mill Blues
Also to add to the Copland already mentioned above, his Passacaglia
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher
MTNA/NJMTA/SJMTA

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#1666436 - 04/25/11 05:30 PM Re: Looking for American repertoire. [Re: tomasino]
DameMyra Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1973
Loc: South Jersey
I would also add the Carter Sonata and Night Fantasies.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher
MTNA/NJMTA/SJMTA

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#1666532 - 04/25/11 08:41 PM Re: Looking for American repertoire. [Re: DameMyra]
Tim Adrianson Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 1069
I'll throw in a few more that I think have a specifically "American" sound:

Aarom Copland Four Piano Blues; Piano Sonata
Samuel Barber Excursions
William Schuman Three Score Set
Vincent Persichetti Sonata No 5
Irving Fine Piano Music
Roy Harris Five American Folk Song Settings
Gail Kubik Sonata for Piano; Celebrations and Epilogue
Ned Rorem Three Barcarolles

Since you mentioned Gottschalk, the following pieces are very nice The Banjo; Pasquinate; Berceuse (Creole Lullaby); and La Bamboula.

THe Copland Fantasy and Carter's Sonata and Night Fantasies are VERY difficult -- be forewarned!

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#1666545 - 04/25/11 08:59 PM Re: Looking for American repertoire. [Re: tomasino]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
I like what you've worked on over the last few years...nice selections. Of course, there's no Bach, and for that you shall consider yourself chided. If you've got it in you, the Barber sonata will keep you busy for quite some time.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1666596 - 04/25/11 11:21 PM Re: Looking for American repertoire. [Re: tomasino]
RealPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2340
Loc: NYC
How about something from the American experimental wing?

Henry Cowell: The Banshee, Advertisement, Anger Dance, Nine Ings, The Tides of Manaunaun, Exultation, Vestiges... There are dozens of pieces, maybe hundreds, and they're published.

Charles Ives: The Anti-Abolitionist Riots, Some Southpaw Pitching. Some Studies may be in print.

John Cage: If you don't happen to care for the later chance-based works, how about Music for Marcel Duchamp, Four Walls, Bacchanale, or a host of shorter pieces from the 1940s?

Ruth Crawford? Johanna Beyer?

Morton Feldman has many pieces for piano. Early works from Peters Edition. Later ones like Palais de Mari or For Bunita Marcus from Universal Edition.

John Adams: China Gates

Tom Johnson: Music for 88, An Hour for Piano, etc.

I could go on, but it's getting late...
_________________________
Joe

www.josephkubera.com

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#1667147 - 04/26/11 09:11 PM Re: Looking for American repertoire. [Re: tomasino]
tomasino Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 2039
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Thanks everyone, for your input. I’ve listened to a lot of YouTube as a result.

First, about Barber. He doesn’t seem decisively American to me. It seems to me to be a mixed style, but more Eurocentric than American.

Copland. I listened to a lot of it, but didn’t find anything. I love Copland, I really do, but I like his other style better--the music that brings images of Hoover Dam and Mount Rushmore to mind, especially his 3rd symphony. His piano work seems highly intellectual, seems to lack meaning. Notes relating to notes rather than to extra musical ideas. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it wasn’t what I was looking for, and I don’t find it appealing.

Carter. I’m not about to go there. The music is meaningless to me. I’ve never understood the appeal.

Roy Harris. I’ve always like his 3rd symphony, but I could not find “Five American Folk Song Settings.”

There were other suggestions, Ives, Cowell, Cage, Ruth Crawford, and so on. But for one reason or another, they didn’t seem quite right.

Dame Myra mentioned “Winsboro Cotton Mill Blues,” by Rzewski. I had forgotten all about it, and it never occurred to me, but it’s the kind of thing I’m looking for.

YouTubing around, I found another piece by Rzewski: “North American Ballade #3, ‘Down by the Riverside.’” This piece hits the spot. Shirtsleeve American. Openly opinionated. Honest.

It’s very difficult, and it may be beyond me, but I’m going to give it a go. I hope I can get my teacher interested in it. She has a tendency to teach things she knows. But I got her interested in learning Janacek’s “In the Mist,” and she ended up absolutely loving it. She’s even giving it to other students. So maybe I can get her to go for “Down by the Riverside” too.

Thanks for everyone’s input.

Tomasino
_________________________
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10


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#1667279 - 04/27/11 03:52 AM Re: Looking for American repertoire. [Re: tomasino]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5512
Loc: Orange County, CA
Boogie-Woogie Etude, by Morton Gould (there's a very fun recording by Shura Cherkassky on Youtube).
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1667711 - 04/27/11 10:28 PM Re: Looking for American repertoire. [Re: tomasino]
thaiguy20fromla Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 132
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: tomasino
Dame Myra mentioned “Winsboro Cotton Mill Blues,” by Rzewski. I had forgotten all about it, and it never occurred to me, but it’s the kind of thing I’m looking for.

YouTubing around, I found another piece by Rzewski: “North American Ballade #3, ‘Down by the Riverside.’” This piece hits the spot. Shirtsleeve American. Openly opinionated. Honest.

It’s very difficult, and it may be beyond me, but I’m going to give it a go. I hope I can get my teacher interested in it. She has a tendency to teach things she knows. But I got her interested in learning Janacek’s “In the Mist,” and she ended up absolutely loving it. She’s even giving it to other students. So maybe I can get her to go for “Down by the Riverside” too.

Thanks for everyone’s input.

Tomasino



I happened to shake hands and be introduced to Roger Wright, who played the Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues at Van Cliburn back in 2001... He just so happens to accompany my old high school's choir, among other things.
_________________________
Fall 2012 Rep:
Polonaise Op. 53 - Chopin
Ballade Op. 47 - Chopin
Piano Sonata K.333 - Mozart
WTC Prelude and Fugue in D Major, Bk 1 - Bach
Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues - Rzewski
Piano Concerto No. 1 - Liszt
Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano - Cage

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#1667759 - 04/28/11 12:55 AM Re: Looking for American repertoire. [Re: thaiguy20fromla]
pianoanne Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/02/04
Posts: 649
Loc: Pacific NW
Originally Posted By: thaiguy20fromla
Originally Posted By: tomasino
Dame Myra mentioned “Winsboro Cotton Mill Blues,” by Rzewski. I had forgotten all about it, and it never occurred to me, but it’s the kind of thing I’m looking for.

YouTubing around, I found another piece by Rzewski: “North American Ballade #3, ‘Down by the Riverside.’” This piece hits the spot. Shirtsleeve American. Openly opinionated. Honest.

It’s very difficult, and it may be beyond me, but I’m going to give it a go. I hope I can get my teacher interested in it. She has a tendency to teach things she knows. But I got her interested in learning Janacek’s “In the Mist,” and she ended up absolutely loving it. She’s even giving it to other students. So maybe I can get her to go for “Down by the Riverside” too.

Thanks for everyone’s input.

Tomasino



I happened to shake hands and be introduced to Roger Wright, who played the Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues at Van Cliburn back in 2001... He just so happens to accompany my old high school's choir, among other things.


Really, Roger Wright accompanies your HS Choir? You guys are lucky.

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#1667761 - 04/28/11 12:58 AM Re: Looking for American repertoire. [Re: tomasino]
pianoanne Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/02/04
Posts: 649
Loc: Pacific NW
Originally Posted By: tomasino
Thanks everyone, for your input. I’ve listened to a lot of YouTube as a result.

First, about Barber. He doesn’t seem decisively American to me. It seems to me to be a mixed style, but more Eurocentric than American.

Copland. I listened to a lot of it, but didn’t find anything. I love Copland, I really do, but I like his other style better--the music that brings images of Hoover Dam and Mount Rushmore to mind, especially his 3rd symphony. His piano work seems highly intellectual, seems to lack meaning. Notes relating to notes rather than to extra musical ideas. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it wasn’t what I was looking for, and I don’t find it appealing.

Carter. I’m not about to go there. The music is meaningless to me. I’ve never understood the appeal.

Roy Harris. I’ve always like his 3rd symphony, but I could not find “Five American Folk Song Settings.”

There were other suggestions, Ives, Cowell, Cage, Ruth Crawford, and so on. But for one reason or another, they didn’t seem quite right.

Dame Myra mentioned “Winsboro Cotton Mill Blues,” by Rzewski. I had forgotten all about it, and it never occurred to me, but it’s the kind of thing I’m looking for.

YouTubing around, I found another piece by Rzewski: “North American Ballade #3, ‘Down by the Riverside.’” This piece hits the spot. Shirtsleeve American. Openly opinionated. Honest.

It’s very difficult, and it may be beyond me, but I’m going to give it a go. I hope I can get my teacher interested in it. She has a tendency to teach things she knows. But I got her interested in learning Janacek’s “In the Mist,” and she ended up absolutely loving it. She’s even giving it to other students. So maybe I can get her to go for “Down by the Riverside” too.

Thanks for everyone’s input.

Tomasino



The first movement of the North American Ballades "Dreadful Memories" is very nice as well, and I think a little easier than "Down By the Riverside". I played that movement a few years ago, very enjoyable.

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#1667801 - 04/28/11 02:18 AM Re: Looking for American repertoire. [Re: pianoanne]
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
Originally Posted By: apianonne
Originally Posted By: thaiguy20fromla
Originally Posted By: tomasino
Dame Myra mentioned “Winsboro Cotton Mill Blues,” by Rzewski. I had forgotten all about it, and it never occurred to me, but it’s the kind of thing I’m looking for.

YouTubing around, I found another piece by Rzewski: “North American Ballade #3, ‘Down by the Riverside.’” This piece hits the spot. Shirtsleeve American. Openly opinionated. Honest.

It’s very difficult, and it may be beyond me, but I’m going to give it a go. I hope I can get my teacher interested in it. She has a tendency to teach things she knows. But I got her interested in learning Janacek’s “In the Mist,” and she ended up absolutely loving it. She’s even giving it to other students. So maybe I can get her to go for “Down by the Riverside” too.

Thanks for everyone’s input.

Tomasino



I happened to shake hands and be introduced to Roger Wright, who played the Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues at Van Cliburn back in 2001... He just so happens to accompany my old high school's choir, among other things.


Really, Roger Wright accompanies your HS Choir? You guys are lucky.



If you like "Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues", then you might also be interested in the third movement of Elie Siegmeister's Sonata No. 1 ("American").........

_________________________
Sam

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#1667928 - 04/28/11 09:27 AM Re: Looking for American repertoire. [Re: tomasino]
Tim Adrianson Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 1069
Tom, since you seemed to have some interest in the Roy Harris, I mis-remembered the title: it's actually "American Ballads", and the publisher is Carl Fischer. To be specific, there are five settings of American folk songs: Streets of Laredo; Wayfaring Stranger; The Bird; Black is the Color of my True Love's Hair; and Cod Liver Ile. They're quite effective -- somewhat challenging technically, but not overly difficult. Don't know whether Fischer still carries it (I bought it MANY years ago), but I continue to recommend it to your attention.

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