Saturday, March 15, 2008

Franz Liszt: La Campanella

La Campanella ("The Handbell" or "The Little Bell") is a piano etude, also known as a study piece, written by virtuoso pianist and composer Franz Liszt as part of a series of six Grandes Etudes de Paganini ("Grand Paganini Etudes"), S. 141, composed in 1838, revised in 1851. As the name suggests, it is based on musical themes by Niccolò Paganini. The 'La Campanella' theme is borrowed from the final movement of Paganini's Violin Concerto No. 2 in B minor, a rondo in which the harmonics were reinforced in the ringing of a handbell.

Liszt had already used the theme for an earlier set of variations, Grande Fantaise de Bravoure sur "La Clochette" de Paganini in B minor for piano in 1831-32. He then revised the piece as Etudes d'Execution Transcendante d'apres Paganini ("Trancendental Etudes after Paganini") No. 3 in A-flat minor, S. 140—not to be confused with Études d'exécution transcendante S. 139. This revision actually contains not only the La Campanella theme from the 2nd Violin Concerto, but also the main theme from the rondo of Paganini's first violin concerto. The final version of Grandes Etudes de Paganini, which is the now most commonly published and recorded of the available variations, is written in the enharmonic key of G-sharp minor.

The etude is played at a brisk pace and studies right hand jumping between intervals larger than one octave, sometimes even stretching for two whole octaves within the time of a sixteenth note, at Allegretto tempo. As a whole, the etude can be practiced upon to increase dexterity and accuracy at large jumps on the piano, along with agility of the weaker fingers of the hand. The largest intervals reached by the right hand are fifteenths (two octaves) and sixteenths (two octaves and a second). Sixteenth notes are played between the two notes and the same note is played two octaves or two octaves and a second higher with no rest. No time is provided for the pianist to move the hand, thus forcing the pianist to avoid tension within the muscles. Fifteenth intervals are quite common in the beginning of the etude, while the sixteenth intervals appear twice, at around the thirtieth and thirty-second measures.

Sheet File: lacampanella.pdf

Pictures at an Exhibition No.10: The Great Gate of Kiev (La grande porte de Kiev)

Pictures at an Exhibition (Russian: Картинки с выставки – Воспоминание о Викторе Гартмане, Kartínki s výstavki – Vospominániye o Víktore Gártmane, Pictures from an Exhibition – a Remembrance of Viktor Hartmann) is a famous suite of ten piano pieces composed by Modest Mussorgsky in 1874. It is generally acknowledged to be Mussorgsky’s greatest solo piano composition, and has become a showpiece for virtuoso pianists. It has also become known through various orchestrations and arrangements produced by other musicians and composers, with Ravel's arrangement being the most recorded and performed.

Mussorgsky composed the work in commemoration of his friend, the artist and architect Viktor Hartmann, who was only 39 when he suffered an aneurism and died in 1873. The working title for the suite was Hartmann:

"Hartmann is seething as Boris was. Sounds and ideas float in the air and my scribbling can hardly keep pace with them."
—Modest Mussorgsky, letter to Stasov

No. 10 "Богатырские ворота" (В стольном городе во Киеве) [Bogatïrskie vorota (v stol'nom gorode vo Kieve)] (Russian: The Bogatyr Gates (in the Capital in Kiev)): Key of E flat major, in 4/4 time. Bogatyrs are heroes that appear in Russian epics called bylinas. This movement is commonly translated as "The Great Gate of Kiev." The title is also sometimes rendered "The Heroes' Gate at Kiev." Stasov: "Hartmann's sketch was his design for city gates at Kiev in the ancient Russian massive style with a cupola shaped like a slavonic helmet." Hartmann made a sketch for a planned (but never built) monumental gate for Tsar Alexander II. This gate was to have commemorated the Tsar’s narrow escape from an assassination attempt on 1866 April 4. Hartmann felt that his design for the gate was the finest work he had yet done, and it won the competition for the gate’s design. The movement has the following form (roughly ABABCA):
  1. Majestic
  2. Solemn (piano)
  3. Majestic (with descending and ascending 8th note scales)
  4. Solemn (fortissimo)
  5. Bells (with a final variation of the 'promenade' theme)
  6. Majestic (half note triplets)
  7. Coda

Sheet File : Lagrandeporte.pdf
Midi File: Lagrandeporte.mid

Nocturne No. 14 in F sharp minor, Op. 48, No. 2

Nocturne No.14 in F-sharp minor Op.48 No.2:

Composed by Frédéric Chopin in 1841, published in dedication to Mademoiselle Laure Duperré.

There are two things about the middle section :
1) it is in Db major
2) like the middle section of op.48 No.1, it is slower than the rest of the nocturne (molto piu lento), which is not the usual organization of a nocturne (slow-fast-slow)

The midi is generated based on a concert performance by Artur Rubinstein.

Midi File: NocturneNo14_fsharp_minor_op48-2.mid

Sheet File: NocturneNo14_fsharp_minor_op48-2.pdf

Pachelbel: Kanon

The piece played by the female lead in My Sassy Girl, the Variations on the Kanon by Pachelbel from George Winston's album December.

Midi File: kanon.mid

Sheet File: kanon.pdf

Yiruma: Maybe

Concert version of Yiruma's Maybe.

Midi File: maybe.mid

Sheet File: maybe.pdf

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Yiruma: River flows in you
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Friday, March 14, 2008


Alas, my love, you do me wrong,
To cast me off discourteously.
For I have loved you well and long,
Delighting in your company.

Greensleeves was all my joy
Greensleeves was my delight,
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but my lady greensleeves.

Your vows you've broken, like my heart,
Oh, why did you so enrapture me?
Now I remain in a world apart
But my heart remains in captivity.


I have been ready at your hand,
To grant whatever you would crave,
I have both wagered life and land,
Your love and good-will for to have.


If you intend thus to disdain,
It does the more enrapture me,
And even so, I still remain
A lover in captivity.


My men were clothed all in green,
And they did ever wait on thee;
All this was gallant to be seen,
And yet thou wouldst not love me.


Thou couldst desire no earthly thing,
but still thou hadst it readily.
Thy music still to play and sing;
And yet thou wouldst not love me.


Well, I will pray to God on high,
that thou my constancy mayst see,
And that yet once before I die,
Thou wilt vouchsafe to love me.


Ah, Greensleeves, now farewell, adieu,
To God I pray to prosper thee,
For I am still thy lover true,
Come once again and love me.

Sheet File: GreenSleeves.pdf
Midi File: GreenSleeves.mid

Thursday, March 13, 2008