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All my musical productions with videos
Ravel Piano Concerto in G - 2nd movement
This is the second movement of this wonderful Piano Concerto composed by Maurice Ravel and first performed in Paris in January 1932. The slow second movement is one of the most poignant and beautiful pieces of music ever written. It begins with a long melody for solo piano that has an almost improvised quality. Despite its apparent spontaneity, Ravel confessed: “That flowing phrase! How I worked over it bar by bar! It nearly killed me!” Part of its secret is that the simple, pulsing accompaniment is in 6/8 (one-and-a-two-and-a) while the melody is in 3/4 (one-and-two-and-three-and). The two meters tug against each other, creating a subtle tension beneath the music’s tranquil surface. The melody itself displays great rhythmic subtlety, frequently evading strong beats with suspensions and other ornaments. It is no wonder that Ravel, ever the consummate craftsman, laboured so long over one of his most perfect creations. The 6/8 accompaniment continues throughout the entire movement, only resolving to 3/4 in the penultimate measure. After the piano’s initial melody, a contrasting middle section begins as the orchestra enters. The woodwinds engage in an intimate conversation with the soloist, who then begins a wandering, Bachian melody. The piano’s ornamental figuration becomes faster as the harmonies become more emotional and intense, reaching an exquisite climax. The opening melody then returns in the English horn as the piano embellishes it with delicate, music box-like figuration. The woodwinds return in a brief coda as the music dies away. (the description of this movement from the Houston Symphony Orchestra website is brilliant, so I have simply copied it as I can't think of a way to write something better. The original can be found here: https://houstonsymphony.org/ravel-piano-concerto/) This is a performance created using virtual instruments, with some parts played in from a keyboard (where particular sections would only work entered this way) whilst the rest was extracted by scanning the orchestral parts. It is a painstaking task creating a realistic performance, but the final product is worth the effort (well, at least I think it is)! If you are a composer looking for someone to 'realise' your work so you can send a performance with the score to real orchestra managers to consider, do get in touch.
RAVEL PIANO CONCERTO in G major 1st movement
The concerto famously opens with the crack of a musical whip. The piano begins in an accompanying role as the piccolo and trumpet introduce the playful main theme of the movement. A more meditative piano solo is interwoven with a new, jazzy motif in the clarinet, trumpet and piccolo. The soloist then introduces a broadly lyrical secondary theme, but the melody is interrupted by short, tart, repeated notes. The bassoon takes up the theme, leading to a series of fast, virtuoso passages for the pianist and the reappearance of the jazzy motif. These dazzling runs double as both the conclusion of the second theme and the development—Ravel chooses to omit a more lengthy traditional development, perhaps in his pursuit of a more “light-hearted and brilliant” concerto. The solo pyrotechnics lead to a reprise of the main theme, this time played by the piano. The following piano solo then morphs into an entrancing passage for the harp featuring airy harmonics. The return of the lyrical second theme doubles as the movement’s cadenza, an extended solo for the piano alone. The tart interruptions are now gone; instead the melody is accompanied by delicate, expressive trills. The strings slip back in almost imperceptibly, completing the theme as the piano returns to the virtuoso runs which now bring the movement to a close. (the description of this movement from the Houston Symphony Orchestra website is brilliant, so I have simply copied it as I can't think of a way to write something better. The original can be found here: https://houstonsymphony.org/ravel-piano-concerto/) This is a performance created using virtual instruments, with some parts played in from a keyboard (where particular sections would only work entered this way) whilst the rest was extracted by scanning the orchestral parts. It is a painstaking task creating a realistic performance, but the final product is worth the effort (well, at least I think it is)! If you are a composer looking for someone to 'realise' your work so you can send a performance with the score to real orchestra managers to consider, do get in touch.
RAVEL PIANO CONCERTO in G 3rd movement (newer version available)
Ravel Piano Concerto in G major - 3rd movement (Presto) The brief and irresistible finale completely lives up to Ravel's “light-hearted and brilliant” concerto ideal. There are various fragmentary reminders of motifs which rotate throughout this sprightly music, but here the pianist has now abandoned any notion of being an accompanist or chamber‑music partner. Two other ideas play important roles: a march-like melody based on three descending notes and brassy fanfares. These and other ideas compete throughout the movement amid the pianist’s virtuoso passages. Wind solos add to the humour by being in different keys and there are startling trombone slides. The bassoon has a particularly demanding virtuoso passage. In a characteristic witty twist, the movement ends exactly as it began. I wasn't very familiar with this work, but listening to Martha Argerich perform this in the 2009 Nobel Prize Concert was an inspiration (look it up on YouTube). If you are a composer and are looking for a way to get your works 'materialised' so you can forward your score and a performance to orchestral conductors to consider, do get in touch. More and more composers use virtual instruments to create performances of their works, and here is a video where a Dr. Wayne Oquin explains how. https://youtu.be/E6VphdEVLbI I go somewhat further than he does when I create performances as I use a large variety of different virtual instruments from different companies, and I make subtle changes to temp and volume (of each note) to make the performance as realistic as possible. If you don't have the time, the equipment, or the expertise, why not get me to be create a performance for you? Have a look at my website (ny-productions.org) where there are more details, together with a large number of other works (many without video).
Spiegel im Spiegel with images from the Peak District
When I heard this music on Classic FM, I straight away thought this would sound good using the Virharmonic Bohemian Violin virtual instrument, and as I already had lots of images of the Peak District, I thought the music would work beautifully with the score. 'Spiegel im Spiegel' in German means 'mirror in the mirror', referring to two parallel mirrors, which produces an infinity of images reflected the plane mirrors: the tonic triads repeat endlessly with small variations as if reflected back and forth.
The Liberty Bell March by John Philip Sousa
This marvellous march was played in a concert at the Royal Albert Hall that I sung in (Classical Spectacular). I hadn't heard this work for over thirty years - when I ran a Wind Band at the school I taught at. It was a favourite ! I thought I'd create my own virtual performance, and here it is.
Johann Strauss’s 'Du und Du' Waltz arranged by Dohnányi
This wonderful arrangement of Johann Strauss’s Du und Du Waltz is a masterpiece. My performance here uses the amazing VSL Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. I hope you enjoy this performance. Do please leave a comment (good or bad) and even subscribe to my channel! I have loads of different styles of music on my website – mainly produced using a keyboard and a computer, ranging for Choral to Orchestral. www.ny-productions.org.
Brahms Clarinet Sonata No 2 Opus 120
This Sonata is one of the most beautiful written for the clarinet, and here we have the complete 2nd Sonata. It was written for Richard Mühlfeld and given its first public performance in Vienna in January 1895. Brahms was a phenomenal pianist, and this sonata is a real challenge for any pianist. It is beautifully written for the clarinet (and piano), and shows that Brahms had acquired a great understanding of the qualities of the instrument, no doubt enhanced by hearing Richard play privately to him. I intend to upload a real performance (with me playing the clarint) of both Clarinet Sonatas later in 2021. This performance was created using a keyboard and three Vienna Symphonic Library sample sets. If you like this performance, please leave a comment and subscribe to my channel. Versions are available for DISKLAVIER and also in a version without the clarinet so a budding player can have a decent piano accompaniment (the score displayed is the same as in this video) If interested, do get in touch - if you are a composer and are looking to get your works performed, I may be able to help. If you check my website, you will hear my performances of well know works. This is the quality of the performances I create using sampled instruments. My aim is to help composers get their music heard, and ideally then performed by live musicians ! www.ny-productions.org
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