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#2201521 - 12/22/13 05:31 PM Improvising on classical stuff
Cudo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 130
Loc: Heidelberg, Germany
Wasn't it Beethoven who improvised extensively on his ideas before writing them down to paper?
I thought it would be worth a try to follow his harmonic traces to build up something own.

Based on the left-hand pattern from Beethovens first movement of the Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor I developed the following:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmNqezl76Wc

I think experimenting with the principle idea of a given composition gives a much deeper impression of it than just playing the original.

What do you think about this approach?


Edited by Cudo (12/22/13 05:32 PM)

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#2201969 - 12/23/13 04:40 PM Re: Improvising on classical stuff [Re: Cudo]
Cudo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 130
Loc: Heidelberg, Germany
Almost 2000 views and no answer in one day! Wow, that's impressive!

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#2202038 - 12/23/13 08:31 PM Re: Improvising on classical stuff [Re: Cudo]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Beautifully arranged and played Cudo.
Impressive !
My teacher has also been getting me to use the harmonies of Bach's Inventions and Chopin's Preludes
1. as is
2. completely dissected e.g. same pitches, different orders, different rhythms

to improvise over.

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#2202410 - 12/24/13 02:52 PM Re: Improvising on classical stuff [Re: custard apple]
Cudo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 130
Loc: Heidelberg, Germany
Originally Posted By: custard apple
Beautifully arranged and played Cudo.
Impressive !
Thank you.


Originally Posted By: custard apple
My teacher has also been getting me to use the harmonies of Bach's Inventions and Chopin's Preludes
1. as is
2. completely dissected e.g. same pitches, different orders, different rhythms

to improvise over.

Your teacher had a good sense for historical background.
Bach actually was teaching his students improvisation and Chopin was one of the greatest improvisers ever.
When playing their oeuvre one should keep this in mind always.

The inventions of Bach are really fantastic to play with.
As I am more into Jazz my interpretation of them is rhythmically more swing oriented.
For example Invention #6 in E major
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUvM82KNWHU

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#2202918 - 12/25/13 09:29 PM Re: Improvising on classical stuff [Re: Cudo]
stalefleas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/13
Posts: 249
yeah i like this

ever heard art tatum's chopin op 64 no 2 (waltz in c# minor)? pretty wild stuff.

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#2202986 - 12/26/13 03:17 AM Re: Improvising on classical stuff [Re: Cudo]
AtomicBond Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/13
Posts: 62
"Chopin was one of the greatest improvisers ever."
[off-topic] Was Fantasie Impromptu an improv before it was turned into sheet music? Does anybody know? Just wondering because of the name

Improvising on top of existing sheet music is something I love to do!
You can use just about any music, in fact, I was planning on making a similar post about it soon.

I quite like the way you play here.

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#2202994 - 12/26/13 05:03 AM Re: Improvising on classical stuff [Re: Cudo]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: Cudo
[quote=custard apple]

The inventions of Bach are really fantastic to play with.
As I am more into Jazz my interpretation of them is rhythmically more swing oriented.
For example Invention #6 in E major
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUvM82KNWHU


I don't know this particular invention yet.
I'm more into jazz too and agree that Bach's inventions are ideal for experimenting with jazz rhythms, free improv and anything jazz.
I like your inventiveness with the rhythm section and the synthesized organ sound.

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#2203069 - 12/26/13 10:43 AM Re: Improvising on classical stuff [Re: Cudo]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2991
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Cudo,

Great playing there.

Check out what this guy is doing with invention 4,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QOYP0hopws
quite different from what you are doing but i enjoyed it also.

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#2203243 - 12/26/13 06:30 PM Re: Improvising on classical stuff [Re: knotty]
Cudo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 130
Loc: Heidelberg, Germany
Thank you knotty and custard apple for listening.

I already knew this take from Inventio #4. His approach is totally different. He is playing original Bach as written. Only he opens a part with an "e" pedal point in the left hand where the right hands seems to have liberty - than he returns to the original score.
My concept is somehow different. I am using the complete invention as a guide line where improvisation is all the time present.
Here is my try of inventio #4: --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP_HjQBshe8



Edited by Cudo (12/26/13 06:35 PM)

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#2204460 - 12/29/13 12:01 PM Re: Improvising on classical stuff [Re: Cudo]
Cudo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 130
Loc: Heidelberg, Germany
Does anybody know Prelude (Opus 40, Nr.3) from Anatoli Ljadow?
It is harmonically so rich. I love it.
As I am also in love with latin piano, I did some improvisation in Latin-Style over it.


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#2204871 - 12/30/13 07:22 AM Re: Improvising on classical stuff [Re: Cudo]
Riddler Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 588
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: Cudo
..
Based on the left-hand pattern from Beethovens first movement of the Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor I developed the following:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmNqezl76Wc


Awesome, beautiful, the only imperfection being that I was left wanting more. Much more!

Kudos to Cudo, bigtime.

Ed
_________________________
http://edsjazzpianopage.blogspot.com/

My fingers are slow, but easily keep pace with my thoughts.


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#2206549 - 01/01/14 07:05 PM Re: Improvising on classical stuff [Re: Cudo]
RonDrotos Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 58
Loc: New York City
Hi Cudo,

I watched your YouTube video and it's a gorgeous improvisation! Thanks for sharing it.
It's such a strange thing that the classical piano world has relegated improvisation to such a small "footnote" over the past 100 years. When I was learning jazz and rock music in high school, I was lucky to be inspired by musicians such as Frank Zappa, Herbie Hancock, and Chick Corea. They all played and composed music with no stylistic boundaries; they might write a rock song, and have a string quartet come in midway with a Bartok-influenced passage. Then switch to jazz, etc.
In short, I learned the elements of music as a kind of language, and the various genres as dialects of a sort. You seem to have a similar outlook. So when one plays a classical piece, it's very easy to use the piece's musical vocabulary and improvise on it.
I think this is totally in line with how the great composers and pianists of the past viewed music. The composition, with exceptions of course, was flexible.
Have you seen this book? http://www.amazon.com/After-Golden-Age-Romantic-Performance/dp/0195178262
A friend recently recommended it to me, and I was astounded at how much improvisation went on in the classical world. There's a fun account of Liszt seeing a piece for the first time, and immediately trying parts of it out in different keys and altering modulations, etc. Just like a jazz musician of today might do.
Nice to hear someone else improvise on classical pieces, like I enjoy doing!
_________________________
Ron Drotos
rondrotos@keyboardimprov.com

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#2206882 - 01/02/14 12:53 PM Re: Improvising on classical stuff [Re: Cudo]
Cudo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 130
Loc: Heidelberg, Germany
Thanks Riddler for listening and for your kind words. I appreciate it very much.

Hi Ron,

it is so true what you are saying. Also here in Germany all the tradition of classical improvisation is lost. The only place left for a little improvisation is for the organ player in church.

I found this video from Susan McClary (Professor of Musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles) very interesting. Listen to what she is saying.
[video:youtube]http://www.artistshousemusic.org/videos/improvisation+and+canon+in+western+music[/video]

Thanks also for the book recomandation.

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#2207138 - 01/02/14 08:55 PM Re: Improvising on classical stuff [Re: Cudo]
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
Problem here is that none of my ideas in an improvisation come even remotely close, on my best day of my life playing, to the ideas in the piece! smile


Edited by daviel (01/02/14 08:57 PM)
_________________________
"She loves to limbo, that much is clear. She's got the right dynamic for the New Frontier"
http://roadhouseallstars.com/

David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#2209988 - 01/07/14 05:15 AM Re: Improvising on classical stuff [Re: Cudo]
Andy Quin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/31/13
Posts: 17
Loc: UK
Most of my practise time is taken up with improvisation, either on classical themes, my own compositions or jazz standards. Although I am usually regarded as a jazz pianist, jazz is in fact only a small (but popular) part of the world of improvisation and it's stylistic elements do not always work very well with the source material in my opinion. Here is an example of what I hope does work well in a jazz improvisatory idiom;

https://soundcloud.com/andy-quin/satie-gymnopedie-no-1-jazz

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#2209994 - 01/07/14 05:29 AM Re: Improvising on classical stuff [Re: Andy Quin]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Hi Andy
That was so very enjoyable. Great groove. Thanks for posting.
Only after studying Bach and Chopin in the last year am I beginning to realize the truth of your interesting statement, that jazz is only a small part of the world of improv.

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#2213242 - 01/12/14 05:15 AM Re: Improvising on classical stuff [Re: custard apple]
Andy Quin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/31/13
Posts: 17
Loc: UK
Dear custard,

Thanks for your comment. I do come across this issue all the time that as soon as you mention improvisation people immediately think 'jazz' and yet for example the great French organists such as Marcel Dupre it was always an major part of their musical world long before jazz was thought of!

here's a different take...a contrapuntal baroque-ish impro section on a jazz theme;)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jz_RIbpdVWw

All the best and happy improvising!!

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#2213516 - 01/12/14 05:03 PM Re: Improvising on classical stuff [Re: Andy Quin]
Michael Martinez Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 384
Loc: California
Classical music was improvised up until the late 1800s and then there was a shift in paradigm and it quit being the thing to do. I've done research into this and prior to the 20th century improvisation was as much a part of classical performance as it is in jazz or rock today.

Improvisation has always been a part of music, especially popular music, stuff that's for entertainment of people.
_________________________
Music Educator, Computer Engineer, avid reader of literature, enjoyer of the outdoors
http://www.michael--martinez.com/music/

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#2213518 - 01/12/14 05:04 PM Re: Improvising on classical stuff [Re: custard apple]
Michael Martinez Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 384
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: custard apple
Hi Andy
That was so very enjoyable. Great groove. Thanks for posting.
Only after studying Bach and Chopin in the last year am I beginning to realize the truth of your interesting statement, that jazz is only a small part of the world of improv.


why just jazz? you're ignoring rock and pop which are heavily improvised. You're ignoring all the guitar solos of pretty much every rock and roll band since the 60s.
_________________________
Music Educator, Computer Engineer, avid reader of literature, enjoyer of the outdoors
http://www.michael--martinez.com/music/

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#2213519 - 01/12/14 05:05 PM Re: Improvising on classical stuff [Re: daviel]
Michael Martinez Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 384
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: daviel
Problem here is that none of my ideas in an improvisation come even remotely close, on my best day of my life playing, to the ideas in the piece! smile


You need to take time to analyze the harmony of the piece.
_________________________
Music Educator, Computer Engineer, avid reader of literature, enjoyer of the outdoors
http://www.michael--martinez.com/music/

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