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#2038750 - 02/24/13 11:50 PM Feld Saxophone Sonata
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13802
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Hi all,

It occurs to me that I rarely post here, mostly because I don't do a lot of solo performing these days. But this piece is a particular favorite of mine, and the school decided to post it on their youtube channel, so enjoy - the alto saxophone sonata by Jindrich Feld (contemporary Czech composer.)

http://youtu.be/6M0pDfcILpA
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#2039346 - 02/25/13 11:14 PM Re: Feld Saxophone Sonata [Re: Kreisler]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
I guess everybody is afraid to say anything to you. ha

But seriously folks.... grin ....Kreisler, I wish you posted more of your playing! What little we've had the chance to hear has always been terrific.

For contemporary music, this piece feels unusually "accessible." It's easy to listen to and easy to like. There's a range of moods, always clearly delineated, often very playful and fun, including it seems for the players, lots of pizzazz, lots of wit, and lots of "stuff happening"; it doesn't just sit there. Also I found that even on hearing it for a first time, I was able to have a feel for what was going on and where we were, and to recognize themes when they came back. I don't know if maybe that doesn't seem to you like any big deal, but I think especially for amateurs and for people who aren't much experienced with "modern music," I think it is.

Whenever I see a performance like this of any such piece, I can't help but be impressed that the pianist could just learn the piece, not to mention being able to play it so capably, presumably without having spent hours and hours on it. I feel like asking the question that often gets asked, including sometimes of me, and which I find so boring and stupid: "How long did it take you to learn that?" grin
You don't have to answer. ha

And of course y'know, even when we think something is real good, we like to also have some criticism, to pretend to be smart ha .....so.....

The piece gave me more the impression of a suite than of a sonata. I realize this may be only because of my not being more familiar with this kind of music and only hearing it just once (although I did go back and hear some parts more than once), and also I'm aware of what you mentioned on another thread about how "the sonata" has become such a varied thing. I think the things that gave me this impression were the variety of moods, especially with the frequent quick shifts, and the playfulness. I know that the movement structure and the usage of the themes is very sonata-like, but I'm talking about overall feel. Know what I mean? Do you think this is indeed a characteristic of the piece, or just something that would change for me with more familiarity with the style or with the piece?

BTW, I wish we had a better view of your 'knocking' of the piano. Your ability with that is another thing that I found impressive about the performance, because even though I suppose it's 'easier' than virtuoso piano playing, it's a completely different kind of skill, and the ability to do it well isn't at all to be taken for granted. The other day I was at a string quartet concert where the cellist had a part like that (in a piece by Lou Harrison) and I was equally impressed. I had a good time afterwards talking with him about how the part was notated (answer: pretty simply) and about what amount of what he did -- which was pretty complex, including hitting different parts of the cello for different pitches and timbres -- was his own doing (a lot).

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#2039374 - 02/26/13 12:18 AM Re: Feld Saxophone Sonata [Re: Kreisler]
RachelEDNC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 81
I really like the piece! Especially the second movement, not just the knocking (although that too) but more the general feel of that movement.
I listened to some of his other stuff after viewing this. I had never heard of the composer before. Alot of it seem very much "accessible" as MarkC said. In my getting lost on youtube though, another thing happened...

I apologize, b/c I am about to go way off-topic.

I ended up at the U. of Iowa Pedagogy Project Channel (which I LOVE referring students to as a go-to for listening). In the side was this link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQEvJ_qRpBM
This is awesome!!! I really really love this. I feel like I am constantly looking for music for students that they will actually enjoy playing. This seems like such a great piece and I am purchasing this immediately!

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#2039401 - 02/26/13 01:50 AM Re: Feld Saxophone Sonata [Re: RachelEDNC]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3927
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: RachelEDNC
[...] I ended up at the U. of Iowa Pedagogy Project Channel (which I LOVE referring students to as a go-to for listening). In the side was this link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQEvJ_qRpBM
This is awesome!!! I really really love this.


I know what you mean, Rachel! That was awesome! I heard Jason do this Kabalevsky thing, once, that was way cool, too!

What Mark said about Jason should post more...

+1

I still have this Sarabande thing in my head that he posted, once.
grin


Edited by Cinnamonbear (02/26/13 01:53 AM)
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2039402 - 02/26/13 01:53 AM Re: Feld Saxophone Sonata [Re: Kreisler]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13802
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Thanks! And it's not entirely off-topic. The Incognito video and the Feld sonata were recorded in the same room and on the same piano. smile

As for the Feld, the notes aren't as weird as you'd expect. The first movement is based on symmetrical harmonies. After the octave Bb's, the first crunchy RH chord is G-Bb-Db-Eb. The LH plays G#-A#-C#-E. If you play them, you'll notice that the intervals are symmetrical. The RH is G-m3-m3-M2 going up. The LH is E-m3-m3-M2 going down. All of the chords are like that, and the hands always move in contrary motion. As a nice bonus, the hands generally use the same fingering, too. Much of the last movement uses a very similar harmonic structure.

The 3rd movement also uses a lot of symmetrical stuff. Most of the clusters are either black key or white key clusters, and the hands alternate and do a lot of contrary motion stuff. The middle section is also contrary motion, but with tritones. Again, once you get it in your fingers it makes a lot of sense and is pretty straightforward.

The hardest part about the knocking is counting all the rests. That section has a time signature of 10/16. Technically it's easy, but if either player gets lost, you're screwed.

Almost every single scale in all four movements is chromatic noodling. You have to figure out where the twists and turns are, and nonstandard fingers are helpful every now and then, but it's all chromatic. It's not nearly as thorny as some of the odd scales you find in Prokofiev. Feld also knows the piano very well, so the whole thing just feels right.

If you like it, there's also a flute sonata that's quite similar, and he also wrote a Prelude and Toccata for Piano that deserves to be played. (I've never seen it programmed and it doesn't seem to be on YouTube.) It sounds like the Prokofiev Diablolical Suggestion and Toccata had a baby that was slightly less difficult but quite a bit longer (18 pages.)
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#2039403 - 02/26/13 01:55 AM Re: Feld Saxophone Sonata [Re: RachelEDNC]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: RachelEDNC

Jason, your cinematography takes faceless modesty to new heights. grin

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#2039404 - 02/26/13 02:07 AM Re: Feld Saxophone Sonata [Re: Kreisler]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5306
Loc: Europe
Heck Jason! You SHOULD post more often!

I won't mention anything about both your performances. They are lovely...

But I'd like to ask if Feld is primarily a pianist. It sounds a little that there's more 'attention' to the piano rather than the sax... Does this stand any ground at all, Jason?
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2039406 - 02/26/13 02:13 AM Re: Feld Saxophone Sonata [Re: Nikolas]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6112
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Heck Jason! You SHOULD post more often!

I won't mention anything about both your performances. They are lovely...


I agree!
And I am glad to have been introduced to Feld in such a nice way!
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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