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#2042135 - 03/03/13 03:03 AM Anybody ever play any Janacek?
fledgehog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 273
Loc: West Hartford, CT
Favorite of his piano pieces to play? Easiest? Hardest? Experiences? Other random thoughts?

I knew some of his orchestral stuff (Sinfonietta, Taras Bulba, and the Glagolitic Mass) and recently discovered that he had a small amount of piano music too. Currently listening to Leif Ove Andsnes' CD with the piano sonata, In the Mists, and the first series of On the Overgrown Path, and wondering if any of it might be fun to play. Anybody have experience with him?

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#2042161 - 03/03/13 04:44 AM Re: Anybody ever play any Janacek? [Re: fledgehog]
FSO Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 854
Loc: UK, Brighton
In the Mists; very rewarding to play, so beautiful...the only piece of his I've even attempted (and failed laugh )...um...it's doable, but definitely a challenge [worth taking] laugh Yay Janacek! ^>^
Xxx
_________________________
Sometimes, we all just need to be shown a little kindness <3

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#2042271 - 03/03/13 11:14 AM Re: Anybody ever play any Janacek? [Re: FSO]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
FSO: Off the subj, but wanted to let you know: I wanted to listen to your "Eww" but it seems to require a download, which I avoid doing. I wonder if it's possible that's why nobody else has replied too.

About Janacek: I've known little about him, but recently I looked into some of his works and read some about him after a friend recommended it in relation to other things we were discussing. From what I read, I wanted to like it, but wasn't very taken by the music. It felt like whatever I'd get from playing his works would be better gotten from other pieces. Maybe I just need more exposure, which is how it's been with some other composers.

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#2042282 - 03/03/13 11:31 AM Re: Anybody ever play any Janacek? [Re: Mark_C]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3815
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
From what I read, I wanted to like it, but wasn't very taken by the music. It felt like whatever I'd get from playing his works would be better gotten from other pieces. Maybe I just need more exposure, which is how it's been with some other composers.

I'll say this about Janacek: He's strange. But not strange in an "obvious" way like Schoenberg might be, or even Bartok. In contrast, Janacek seems to play by all the regular 19th-century rules, but he doesn't. Particularly, his sense of harmonic rhythm, i.e. his choices on when to change harmonies, follow rules like no one else's. Try his string quartets.

To the OP: I've read through a lot of Overgrown Path and Mists, and love them! They're like nothing else in the world.

-J
_________________________
Schubert: Bb Impromptu D.935/3; Mozart: D minor concerto; Chopin: first Ballade

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#2042285 - 03/03/13 11:35 AM Re: Anybody ever play any Janacek? [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: beet31425
....He's strange. But not strange in an "obvious" way like Schoenberg might be, or even Bartok....

My goodness!
Those are 2 of the 3 other composers that leaped to mind as I listened to his music, and to whom I was sort of referring in that post. (The other was Scriabin.)

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#2042294 - 03/03/13 11:46 AM Re: Anybody ever play any Janacek? [Re: fledgehog]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21671
Loc: Oakland
Some of his folk song and dance arrangements are really simple to play. Some of his other piano music is extremely difficult, particularly the Capriccio. You might start with the Zdenka Variations, which are a pleasant change from more well-known repertoire.
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Semipro Tech

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#2042322 - 03/03/13 12:39 PM Re: Anybody ever play any Janacek? [Re: fledgehog]
DameMyra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1974
Loc: South Jersey
I love the piano sonata and have always thought about learning it, but there was always something else to learn. Maybe when I'm done with my current program.
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#2042470 - 03/03/13 06:05 PM Re: Anybody ever play any Janacek? [Re: fledgehog]
didyougethathing Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 545
Loc: New York
The piano sonata is beautiful. On The Overgrown Path is amazing and has some very playable parts. I still need more time with In The Mists to form an opinion, but it's very unique.


Edited by didyougethathing (03/03/13 06:06 PM)

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#2042651 - 03/04/13 01:34 AM Re: Anybody ever play any Janacek? [Re: fledgehog]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Moravian Folk Dances for piano duet are not so difficult and a lot of fun to play, although it seems I am a bit of an oddity around these parts in (admitting to) enjoying playing quatre mains...

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#2042662 - 03/04/13 03:06 AM Re: Anybody ever play any Janacek? [Re: theJourney]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: theJourney
....although it seems I am a bit of an oddity around these parts in (admitting to) enjoying playing quatre mains...

Oh, it's not as odd as all that. grin
I'm with you on it.

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#2042701 - 03/04/13 05:56 AM Re: Anybody ever play any Janacek? [Re: Mark_C]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5279
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: theJourney
....although it seems I am a bit of an oddity around these parts in (admitting to) enjoying playing quatre mains...

Oh, it's not as odd as all that. grin
I'm with you on it.


I'd love to find someone who'd be willing to play Fauré's Dolly Suite and Debussy's Petite Suite with me..... cry

Going back to Janácek. I bought a volume of his complete solo piano music some time ago, but have only sight-read through a few movements so far. I'm still ambivalent about whether his unique folk-inspired style of music is really for me.....
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2042742 - 03/04/13 08:40 AM Re: Anybody ever play any Janacek? [Re: fledgehog]
Auntie Lynn Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 1108
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Yuppers, Overgrown Path. It was choreographed by Jiri Kylian and I am reliably informed it was used in the movie "Closely Watched Trains" - lots of atmosphere...

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#2042783 - 03/04/13 10:24 AM Re: Anybody ever play any Janacek? [Re: Mark_C]
FSO Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 854
Loc: UK, Brighton
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
FSO: Off the subj[...]

About Janacek ...it felt like whatever I'd get from playing his works would be better gotten from other pieces. Maybe I just need more exposure, which is how it's been with some other composers.

Consider it amended; it's been so long I forgot whether it needed anything downloaded or not; I loathe the downloadiness as well, um...forgive the inhumanity shocked Janacek *is* unique, I must say, in the way that all composers are unique; he has something to offer that nobody else does...but, I suppose, there's no more point forcing exposure of one over another, I mean, um...if it doesn't grab you immediately it will likely never (though not impossibly) shake your core and, perhaps, there are plenty other composers you'll get along with better...he *is* really good though ^>^
Xxx
_________________________
Sometimes, we all just need to be shown a little kindness <3

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#2043129 - 03/05/13 01:01 AM Re: Anybody ever play any Janacek? [Re: fledgehog]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2359
Loc: San Jose, CA
I love how Janacek's music sounds, especially his operas. For a long while I was obsessed with the Mackerras recording of Cunning Little Vixen and even transcribed the little folk dance in Act III for the piano. That was a long time ago, but I can still remember exactly how it goes. All of his music is quirky. The way it's written is odd, sometimes awkward, sometimes contradictory, but it's impossible to argue with the results. His sound is luscious.

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#2043556 - 03/05/13 08:10 PM Re: Anybody ever play any Janacek? [Re: fledgehog]
Lemon Pledge Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 353
During my student years I played Mists, the piano sonata, and the violin sonata. I remember wanting to do the Diary of the Vanished but being unable to assemble the forces. I loved all of those pieces at the time. I must be less of a fan now, because I haven't looked at any of that music for over a decade.

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#2043741 - 03/06/13 02:58 AM Re: Anybody ever play any Janacek? [Re: fledgehog]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21671
Loc: Oakland
I just got back from a concert where a piano trio played a transcription of the first string quartet. Interesting, but I think I like the original better.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2045569 - 03/09/13 04:39 PM Re: Anybody ever play any Janacek? [Re: fledgehog]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6112
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I have his Sinfonietta and love it!
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Music is my best friend.


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