which composer is best known for this particular style?

Posted by: dracaa

which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/26/12 05:26 PM

What composer(s) is best known for pioneering the style of playing a lyrical octave melody with the right hand, over sweeping arpeggios played by the left hand?

(I have an idea but want to know if it's the one others consider most well known for that technique)
Posted by: beet31425

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/26/12 05:28 PM

One perhaps associates that texture with Chopin or Liszt, but Beethoven did it many times before them. Off the top of my head: the development section of the first movement of his op.14/1 sonata.

-J
Posted by: BDB

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/26/12 06:47 PM

Are you perhaps thinking of Thalberg, who played arpeggios with both hands with the theme played by his thumbs in the middle registers?
Posted by: dracaa

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/26/12 06:55 PM

No, not thinking of Thalberg.

I did listen to Beethoven's sonata op 14/2, but it doesn't have quite the fullness and flow as the work of the composer I'm thinking of. Nothing I've heard by Liszt or Chopin does either. But it could be my personal preference.

I would love to hear more examples cited such as that Beethoven sonata.
Posted by: btb

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/27/12 12:49 AM

Henry Mancini ... Moon River (1961)
lyrics by Johnny Mercer.

An arpeggiated LH up to a RH melody.

“Moon River wider than a mile
I’m crossing you in style
Old dream maker you heart breaker
where ever you’re goin’
I’m goin’ your way.

Two drifters off to see the world
There’s such a lot of world to see
We’re after the same rainbow’s end
waitin’ round the bend,
my Huckleberry friend,
Moon River and me.”
Posted by: jeffreyjones

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/27/12 12:41 PM

Originally Posted By: dracaa
What composer(s) is best known for pioneering the style of playing a lyrical octave melody with the right hand, over sweeping arpeggios played by the left hand?

(I have an idea but want to know if it's the one others consider most well known for that technique)


Sounds like Rachmaninoff.

Edit: but Liszt's Un Sospiro has this too. He didn't use it as extensively as Rach though.
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/27/12 01:30 PM

Chopin, of course.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/27/12 02:46 PM

I think the keyword is "pioneering". In that, I have no clue. My guess is you're looking for someone in the mid-18th century. It is quite possibly some entirely obscure composer no one today has ever heard of-- but at the time, someone like Chopin had heard of him, and "borrowed" and popularized that particular style.
Posted by: celegorma

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/27/12 02:57 PM

I don't know about "pioneering" but the person who did it best is Brahms and later Rachmaninov. Chopin had moments like this but this is definitely not a highlight of his style.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/27/12 03:41 PM

Originally Posted By: dracaa
What composer(s) is best known for pioneering the style of playing a lyrical octave melody with the right hand, over sweeping arpeggios played by the left hand?
[...]


"Sweeping" might be open to interpretation, I mean, Chopin rarely "swept" did he? [1]and would suggest nothing earlier than Romanticism, given the shorter keyboards of earlier periods. Many composers have some pieces that could fit this description. As for "pioneering," that, too, might be open to question.

[1] Op 10, No 1; Op 25, No 12; Op 31 (meas. 118-130) are exceptions, among others.

Regards,
Posted by: Ian_G

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/27/12 04:17 PM

For "pioneering," I suppose the in-between boys. John Field and that crowd. Weber, Hummel, Czerny et al.
Posted by: dolce sfogato

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/27/12 05:22 PM

D.Scarlatti
Posted by: BDB

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/27/12 09:17 PM

A. Scarlatti
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/27/12 10:21 PM

^ I can only assume that the above post -if not meant facetiously- is taking the thread into 'which composer is best known for their particular style'. And if we wish to go there, then let us do so.

Alessandro Scarlatti -as BDB knows- is entirely known today for his operas and vocal chamber music. If he wrote any keyboard music, I am not aware of it, but even if he did -which is certainly plausible- it has not been influential.
Posted by: BDB

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/27/12 11:58 PM

Alessandro Scarlatti's keyboard music might have influenced Bach, and it certainly influenced Domenico.
Posted by: Ferdinand

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/28/12 12:52 AM

Does the question mean:
a) Among all composers, which of them is most identified with this style?
or
b) Name a composer who, among all the styles he or she is known for, is primarily known for this style?

For the b) option, there could be more than one correct answer. And the composer(s) could be very obscure.

Put another way -- here's this style; which composer do you think of first? Or, here's composer X; what style do you think of when hearing his or her name?

I'm not sure "style" is the best word for this. Maybe "texture" as used by Beet31425 above, or perhaps "figuration."
Posted by: fledgehog

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/28/12 03:41 AM

Chopin (ie Nocturnes)
Posted by: dracaa

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/28/12 09:59 AM

The composer I was thinking of is Rachmaninoff. I have developed a great appreciation for classical music, and listened to lots of Beethoven, Liszt, Chopin, Brahms, etc but I've never heard any other composer/pianist do it as well as Rachmaninoff. His second piano concerto (esp 1st mvmt) is my favorite, but I've been openmindedly checking out everything I can from other composer/pianists and can't find anything that has the flow and feeling that Rach had. I've resigned to the view that Rachmaninoff took all his previous pianist/composer influences and combined into his style that has hardly been improved by anybody since, other than having fresh interpretions of his material from other virtuoso pianists.

I do love a lot of other classical piano musical styles, but the particular style I mentioned (octave melody over sweeping arpeggios) seems to me to have been associated mostly with Rach, and I was wondering if that is just me or if that style is widely attributed to him by the pianist world. I did read that the producers for the movie Dangerous Moonlight had that exact piano style in mind (I even read they wanted "Rachmaninoff style") and when they couldn't get Rach to do the music, they found another pianist to provide the same exact type of style of music that I associate with Rach.

I appreciate all your input. I'm going to check out the other composers mentioned in this thread and want to know if anybody nailed this style as well as Rach did before him.
Posted by: dracaa

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/28/12 10:36 AM

Indeed Liszt's Un Sospiro is the best example of this style from Liszt that I've heard.

I'm curious as to what Brahms pieces demonstrate this style?
Posted by: BruceD

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/28/12 01:27 PM

I really don't think that so generic and common a figure as a right-hand octave melody over arpeggios can be considered to have been "pioneered" by Rachmaninoff. Moreover, to take only one example, the opening of the Second Piano Concerto, as "pioneering" seems to be really stretching the point when so many examples of this kind of writing are evident from the Classical period onwards.

But, of course, comparing this one aspect of Rachmaninoff's writing from 1901 with that of other classical and earlier Romantic composers is hardly valid. Even though Rachmaninoff's writing is frequently classified as post-Romantic, so much changed in harmonic vocabulary and in pianism between, say, Beethoven's works and those of Rachmaninoff that the best one can say is that there are similarities.

A small point of correction : when the producers of "Dangerous Moonlight" couldn't get Rachmaninoff, they looked for another composer, not another pianist, and ended up with Richard Addinsell, giving the world the "Warsaw Concerto."

Regards,
Posted by: beet31425

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/28/12 02:07 PM

If we're still discussing who "pioneered" this, I'm sticking with Beethoven. (Besides op.14/1 which I mentioned, we have parts of the last movement of 27/2, and the slow movement of 106, if memory is serving correctly. I'm sure there are others.) Thoughts, disagreements, counter-examples?

-J
Posted by: Ian_G

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/28/12 03:45 PM

Seems like the OP is smitten with that texture, and is looking for its like. Check out Henselt, who influenced Rachmaninoff plenty: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC4nFHuFIUg
Posted by: dolce sfogato

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/28/12 05:33 PM

Liszt took it from Thalberg, outdid him and poor Sigismund went into obscurity ever after.
Posted by: dracaa

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/28/12 07:20 PM

Yeah that Henselt etute definitely has that style.

What are some of Thalberg's works along those lines that I should check out?
Posted by: Ridicolosamente

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/28/12 08:56 PM

I think it's humorous that some effortfully answered a question that didn't seem to be asked.
I would have fallen for it too had I chimed in earlier.

Originally Posted By: beet31425
If we're still discussing who "pioneered" this, I'm sticking with Beethoven. (Besides op.14/1 which I mentioned, we have parts of the last movement of 27/2, and the slow movement of 106, if memory is serving correctly. I'm sure there are others.) Thoughts, disagreements, counter-examples?

-J
Jason I see your 1798 Op 14/1 and raise you 1795 WoO70:


-Daniel
Posted by: Ridicolosamente

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/28/12 09:23 PM

Originally Posted By: dracaa
The composer I was thinking of is Rachmaninoff... I've never heard any other composer/pianist do it as well as Rachmaninoff...
Indeed Liszt's Un Sospiro is the best example of this style from Liszt that I've heard.
I don't think it's a "Rachmaninoff-style" at all. I don't even know what point of the 2nd piano concerto you're referring to. Chords vs octaves over "sweeping arpeggios" are very different textures in my opinion. "...lyrical octave melody with the right hand, over sweeping arpeggios played by the left hand..." is textbook 19th century, especially Liszt:



-Daniel
Posted by: Ridicolosamente

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/28/12 09:34 PM

dracaa, check out Liszt's Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude.
Gorgeous "sweeping arpeggios" over "sweeping arpeggios".


-Daniel
Posted by: dracaa

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/28/12 10:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Ridicolosamente
I don't even know what point of the 2nd piano concerto you're referring to.


Thanks for the suggestions, I will check them out.

2 examples I was thinking of from the Rach PC2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANP4CNzbqkY&t=1m38s
and a faster tempo:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJRHht55E1M&t=7m34s
Posted by: celegorma

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/29/12 02:26 PM



Brahm's late style.
Posted by: Chopinlover49

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/29/12 07:29 PM

I'm definitely not a musicologist, but I think several of Mozart's piano concertos utilize this style/technique. Was it someone earlier you are think of? I am not sure if Handel did it in a keyboard work, but some of the opera material seems to be of this style. Answers? I'm dying to know who you have in mind.
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/29/12 07:29 PM

Those interested in this kind of writing should look into the other lesser-known Russian romantics:

Lyapunov, Arensky, Medtner

(Especially the Transcendental Etudes by Lyapunov, they're amazing!)
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/29/12 09:30 PM

Some of the examples given so far seem to fit the description mentioned in the OP but many don't I think. Among those that don't I'd include most of the Chopin Nocturnes, Beethoven Op.27 No.2, Op. 14 No.1, WoO70, Brahms Ballad, D. Scarlatti.

Reminds me of some of the answers to the mystery rag thread where the OP specifically mentioned tremolos and many of the suggested answers had no tremolos whatsoever.
Posted by: Ridicolosamente

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/30/12 08:20 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Some of the examples given so far seem to fit the description mentioned in the OP but many don't I think. Among those that don't I'd include most of the Chopin Nocturnes, Beethoven Op.27 No.2, Op. 14 No.1, WoO70, Brahms Ballad, D. Scarlatti.

Reminds me of some of the answers to the mystery rag thread where the OP specifically mentioned tremolos and many of the suggested answers had no tremolos whatsoever.
Funny. I know my Beethoven WoO70 doesn't have 3-octave spanning arpeggios, I still think it's a good early example. I did find some of the other suggestions bizarre myself.

But it's the Internet and PW. You always get that "er.. what?" chime-in, and you'll always have people like me that defend what they write smile

-Daniel
Posted by: dracaa

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 11/30/12 09:02 PM

I guess the catalyst for my question is that this is the particular style that lured me back into classical music, but there are other more difficult styles in classical music that I am not attempting at this time.

The point being when somebody asks me what style piano I like to play, it is inaccurate for me to state I play generic "classical piano". I want to describe the style yet I don't know how to describe this style other than Rachmaninoff style, which is misleading since only a small part of Rach's overall style was influential although he is my favorite composer/pianist. How do I describe this playing style?
Posted by: wr

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 12/01/12 07:34 AM

Originally Posted By: dracaa
I guess the catalyst for my question is that this is the particular style that lured me back into classical music, but there are other more difficult styles in classical music that I am not attempting at this time.

The point being when somebody asks me what style piano I like to play, it is inaccurate for me to state I play generic "classical piano". I want to describe the style yet I don't know how to describe this style other than Rachmaninoff style, which is misleading since only a small part of Rach's overall style was influential although he is my favorite composer/pianist. How do I describe this playing style?


I don't get it. If you are playing a piece by Rachmaninoff, then you are playing classical piano music (which isn't really a style, but a genre). It is accurate to describe a piece by Rachmaninoff as "classical music".

There isn't a "style" descriptor for music that simply is a tune in octaves over big arpeggios. It's just another of the myriad of homophonic textures available to a composer. The fact that you've singled it out as something that Rachmaninoff does at times doesn't mean that it is a "style".
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 12/01/12 07:55 AM

Originally Posted By: Ridicolosamente
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Some of the examples given so far seem to fit the description mentioned in the OP but many don't I think. Among those that don't I'd include most of the Chopin Nocturnes, Beethoven Op.27 No.2, Op. 14 No.1, WoO70, Brahms Ballad, D. Scarlatti.

Reminds me of some of the answers to the mystery rag thread where the OP specifically mentioned tremolos and many of the suggested answers had no tremolos whatsoever.
Funny. I know my Beethoven WoO70 doesn't have 3-octave spanning arpeggios, I still think it's a good early example. I did find some of the other suggestions bizarre myself.
From the score you posted the arpeggios never go beyond even a single octave and thus, I think, cannot be described as "sweeping". I'm not sure most would even classify the figures in that piece as arpeggios... to me they're more like an extended alberti bass.
Posted by: jeffreyjones

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 12/01/12 12:00 PM

Originally Posted By: dracaa
I guess the catalyst for my question is that this is the particular style that lured me back into classical music, but there are other more difficult styles in classical music that I am not attempting at this time.

The point being when somebody asks me what style piano I like to play, it is inaccurate for me to state I play generic "classical piano". I want to describe the style yet I don't know how to describe this style other than Rachmaninoff style, which is misleading since only a small part of Rach's overall style was influential although he is my favorite composer/pianist. How do I describe this playing style?


You're thinking like a bad pop pianist; you have one trick and can apply it to everything. It's a severely limited and confining view of musicianship and you should abandon it as soon as you possibly can, even if you have no pretensions of being a classical musician.
Posted by: dracaa

Re: which composer is best known for this particular style? - 12/18/12 03:01 PM

Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
you have one trick and can apply it to everything. It's a severely limited and confining view of musicianship and you should abandon it as soon as you possibly can, even if you have no pretensions of being a classical musician.


I've been tossing around in my brain what you stated above. Are you discouraging playing by ear? Because improvisation & playing by ear involves a lot of reapplied "tricks" and I understand that may be contrary to what's taught in classical musicianship.