I’m not even doing anything that complicated, and it’s still hosing up. Well, the software isn’t crashing or anything, I’m just not entirely sure how to notate something. I think I can manage some way to make the software show what I want, but I’m not sure if I can make it clear on the page what I want. It really makes me look at notation in a far more skeptical way, especially when players sweat tiny, little details about what someone meant by “gioioso” versus “con gioia” or whatever. I’m not sure there isn’t more “oh the hell with it, just do the best you can here” in some of the great works. I suppose it depends on the composer. Some of them were probably more easygoing, and others more picky (Beethoven).
At least the stuff I’m writing now that is causing this problem is recitatif, so it’s supposed to be somewhat metrically free anyway. I’ll put a note on top saying, “The pianist is invited to play the following section with relatively free rhythm,” or whatnot. The intro and the “Dove sei?” parts are/will be more firmly set down, but I’m not sure recitatif can ever be as pinned down as actual music.
That’s how many time zones I am from the New York Met, and how many tickets I’ve bought to different performances there. At this rate, that’s more than I’ve seen by the LA Opera (where I saw “Tamerlano”).
This weekend, I’ll be watching “Rodelinda,” and on January 21, I’ll be enjoying “The Enchanted Island.” Both performances that I otherwise wouldn’t have a prayer in hell of seeing, thanks to the Met’s HD broadcasts.
I’ve written a good chunk of it down, but not all of it. Nevertheless, I’m pleased.
And once again, WordPress’s YouTube embedding is totally screwed up:
Tuning a cello with harmonics
Notice that she states that she still uses an electronic tuner for her A string.
It just struck me that no one explains this — how they work. I don’t mean the harmonic series that results in the overall color of a given note. I mean the whole “touch the string as lightly as possible” business where the viola suddenly sounds like it’s acquired a falsetto. (Same thing with violins and cellos, and I’d imagine basses as well.)
People should understand this — why it happens. Until I sussed out what was going on, I had trouble doing it, but now even a goob like me can do it reliably.
I should write something explaining it — for real. Just going through all the various harmonics and explaining why they happen the way they do. It’s not hard. At bottom, it’s about not so much “cutting” a string by pressing down on it so that only the part between your fingertip and the bridge vibrates. It’s about imposing a non-vibrating node at a given spot on a string with your fingertip, pressing lightly enough so that the whole string can still vibrate even though that one bit under your finger is held still.
I need to make some illustrations.
The Enchanted Island — an actual, live, honest-to-Dog pastiche in the grand Baroque tradition of opera as variety-show-rock-concert with cool clothes and special effects.
And David Daniels.
I’ve got to see it. This Live-in-HD thing is great! I’ll end up seeing more shows by the Met than by the LA Opera at this point!
It doesn’t seem to do any good. I should hire a bookie.
I ended up working out the opening to “Dove sei?” along with a chunk of the starting recitatif accompagnato, that fabulous “Pompe vane di morte” business. I’ve got a good piece of the chords worked out — he likes diminished 7ths almost as much as Scott Joplin. It might be worthwhile to go through the whole blasted thing and just work as much of it as possible out to see what sorts of chord changes recitatif typically uses. Dims may well be standard tools for that sort of thing. I was already pleasantly surprised to see how he used the recitatif in the middle of “Con rauco mormorio” to get back into the key he had started in at the end of the B theme.
Anyway, it’s all very fun, and once again I get to listen to great music a dozen times. The score is — once again — a half-step sharp for me, so I’m flatting everything I see, and it makes things a bit confusing sometimes. Thankfully, a decent ear and knowledge of theory is letting me do a lot of it by ear. I haven’t had to consult the score too often.
I’ve written the chords in on the accompagnato relative to a 440 A and have started putting it into Musescore in the key I’m playing it in on the piano (AM/F#m). If I ever play it on a viola in this lifetime, I’m tuning down. (Or up.) I’m not playing anything in EbM on that thing.
So I had some fun. Didn’t do much on the viola, though. I’m not even including the viola on this arrangement; it’s just for piano this time. EbM? No way.
If you want to show off how fast you can play, go pick on Liszt and leave Vivaldi alone. This woman has an unbelievable voice, and I’m not normally a soprano-lover. But wowza:
If only I could import it into Ableton and cut the tempo in half. There is absolutely no excuse for this garbage. Once again, FedEx Guy strikes with the force of a 10-ton anvil. RBP has skewered certain metal guitarists for being mindless shredders who are just out to play faster than anyone else, but classical music suffers as much from that sort of thing if not more. I mean, let’s face it, ruining Vivaldi of all people should be a capital crime.
Makes me wonder if Liszt wouldn’t also be quite good when played at a more sane tempo, and whether or not he’s not being destroyed by speed demons out to show nothing more profound than “lookie how fast I can play.” *sigh*
WTF is up with WordPress and the YouTube embeddings?!