Discussion:
To Spross: Musical Interpretation--Chaconne
(too old to reply)
David Raleigh Arnold
2007-01-15 18:21:10 UTC
Permalink
At 17 minutes performance time, which is what Arthur Ness timed a
couple of orchestral versions at IIRC, the 256 measures (plus one beat)
come out at MM 1/8 = 90 plus a tiny bit, which seems to me to be a tempo
very attainable by real people. I have no doubt whatsoever that a
*magnificent* performance on the guitar is perfectly possible at that
tempo. It is at least not necessary to get through it in ten minutes or
less, and it *may* be counterproductive to play it as fast as that.

(for students:) After working at it at near 90 for a while, it would be
good to cut the beat to 1/4 = 44, but 1/8 = ca. 90 will help a lot more
at first, for sure. So will counting 1 ka ta ka and ka ta ka 2 ...

I am not allowing for ritards and fermatas, but I think it's a real good
idea to ignore those for a while and use dynamic phrasing instead. As an
example of that, playing it in a *probably* anachronistic romantic manner,
try a crescendo to the E near the end and then dimming down to almost
nothing on the octave D's at the end. Have the trill start late, speed it
up while dimming a bit, and then let it die, all in tempo or very close.
It's a very effective way of ending it, and it's as easy as falling down.
I'm not sure that anyone can prove that it wasn't supposed to be played
that way.

A lot of cleaning up (muting) of open strings and getting rid of excess
slurs has to be done, but that probably was unfinished business anyway.
(It was in my case. Before yeaterday I hadn't played it in decades. I had
it memorized once upon a time.) The Legnani is such a bitch (but not
as bad as the rap) that it's nice to have a relatively easy project also,
especially such magnificent music. daveA
--
Free download of technical exercises worth a lifetime of practice:
"Dynamic Guitar Technique": http://www.openguitar.com/instruction.html
You can play the cards you're dealt, or improve your hand with DGT.
To email go to: http://www.openguitar.com/contact.html
rcspross
2007-01-15 18:55:01 UTC
Permalink
Hi David,

I thought your idea of not playing at a "loco" speed right in line
with the general thrust of my comments and using the Chaconne
was a great example. I've never learned it, mostly because the
speed at which the thirty second note runs appeared to be taken
was never obtainable for me, however following your advice,
perhaps it is worth relooking over. At the moment I've been
going over the Tedesco Sonata in D major and I probably need
to do more work on that before I drift away into other projects.
Guilty me, the work on the Lute suite nr. 4 and the Ponce Sonata III
have lapsed. Eventually I'll get back to them though.
Cheers,
Richard Spross
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
At 17 minutes performance time, which is what Arthur Ness timed a
couple of orchestral versions at IIRC, the 256 measures (plus one beat)
come out at MM 1/8 = 90 plus a tiny bit, which seems to me to be a tempo
very attainable by real people. I have no doubt whatsoever that a
*magnificent* performance on the guitar is perfectly possible at that
tempo. It is at least not necessary to get through it in ten minutes or
less, and it *may* be counterproductive to play it as fast as that.
(for students:) After working at it at near 90 for a while, it would be
good to cut the beat to 1/4 = 44, but 1/8 = ca. 90 will help a lot more
at first, for sure. So will counting 1 ka ta ka and ka ta ka 2 ...
I am not allowing for ritards and fermatas, but I think it's a real good
idea to ignore those for a while and use dynamic phrasing instead. As an
example of that, playing it in a *probably* anachronistic romantic manner,
try a crescendo to the E near the end and then dimming down to almost
nothing on the octave D's at the end. Have the trill start late, speed it
up while dimming a bit, and then let it die, all in tempo or very close.
It's a very effective way of ending it, and it's as easy as falling down.
I'm not sure that anyone can prove that it wasn't supposed to be played
that way.
A lot of cleaning up (muting) of open strings and getting rid of excess
slurs has to be done, but that probably was unfinished business anyway.
(It was in my case. Before yeaterday I hadn't played it in decades. I had
it memorized once upon a time.) The Legnani is such a bitch (but not
as bad as the rap) that it's nice to have a relatively easy project also,
especially such magnificent music. daveA
--
"Dynamic Guitar Technique": http://www.openguitar.com/instruction.html
You can play the cards you're dealt, or improve your hand with DGT.
To email go to: http://www.openguitar.com/contact.html
David Raleigh Arnold
2007-01-15 20:54:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by rcspross
Hi David,
I thought your idea of not playing at a "loco" speed right in line with
the general thrust of my comments and using the Chaconne was a great
example. I've never learned it, mostly because the speed at which the
thirty second note runs appeared to be taken was never obtainable for me,
however following your advice, perhaps it is worth relooking over. At the
moment I've been going over the Tedesco Sonata in D major and I probably
need to do more work on that before I drift away into other projects.
Guilty me, the work on the Lute suite nr. 4 and the Ponce Sonata III have
lapsed. Eventually I'll get back to them though. Cheers,
Don't skip Legnani. He was a singer, and Op36 reflects the idea that
putting audible and noticeable ends to *melody* notes, even
sometimes within phrases, makes the guitar sound more human. I have never
encountered this exact concept before, anywhere, and it changes the way
you look at all guitar music. Another big surprise for me was how often
occasional finger apoyando, for muting, is required. They were not
titled as etudes but they *are* study pieces.

I remember the late John Marlow talking those up when we were both
kids at American University. At the time, I was doing other stuff of
course, and I don't remember whether he was impressed by much except its
apparent difficulty. I wish now I'd pitched into it. I wish he were
still alive, too, to say "I told you so". daveA
--
Free download of technical exercises worth a lifetime of practice:
"Dynamic Guitar Technique": http://www.openguitar.com/instruction.html
You can play the cards you're dealt, or improve your hand with DGT.
To email go to: http://www.openguitar.com/contact.html
rcspross
2007-01-15 23:28:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
Post by rcspross
Hi David,
I thought your idea of not playing at a "loco" speed right in line with
the general thrust of my comments and using the Chaconne was a great
example. I've never learned it, mostly because the speed at which the
thirty second note runs appeared to be taken was never obtainable for me,
however following your advice, perhaps it is worth relooking over. At the
moment I've been going over the Tedesco Sonata in D major and I probably
need to do more work on that before I drift away into other projects.
Guilty me, the work on the Lute suite nr. 4 and the Ponce Sonata III have
lapsed. Eventually I'll get back to them though. Cheers,
Don't skip Legnani. He was a singer, and Op36 reflects the idea that
putting audible and noticeable ends to *melody* notes, even
sometimes within phrases, makes the guitar sound more human. I have never
encountered this exact concept before, anywhere, and it changes the way
you look at all guitar music. Another big surprise for me was how often
occasional finger apoyando, for muting, is required. They were not
titled as etudes but they *are* study pieces.
I have to admit my big weakness is the late classical / early romantic era.
I have no Legnani in my solo drawer. I may have some in various collections.

I remember the late John Marlow talking those up when we were both
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
kids at American University. At the time, I was doing other stuff of
course, and I don't remember whether he was impressed by much except its
apparent difficulty. I wish now I'd pitched into it. I wish he were
still alive, too, to say "I told you so".
Did you know Jim Bertram? who graduated from American University under
Marlow?

Richard Spross
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
daveA
--
"Dynamic Guitar Technique": http://www.openguitar.com/instruction.html
You can play the cards you're dealt, or improve your hand with DGT.
To email go to: http://www.openguitar.com/contact.html
David Raleigh Arnold
2007-01-16 00:36:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by rcspross
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
Post by rcspross
Hi David,
I thought your idea of not playing at a "loco" speed right in line
with the general thrust of my comments and using the Chaconne was a
great example. I've never learned it, mostly because the speed at
which the thirty second note runs appeared to be taken was never
obtainable for me, however following your advice, perhaps it is worth
relooking over. At the moment I've been going over the Tedesco Sonata
in D major and I probably need to do more work on that before I drift
away into other projects. Guilty me, the work on the Lute suite nr. 4
and the Ponce Sonata III have lapsed. Eventually I'll get back to them
though. Cheers,
Don't skip Legnani. He was a singer, and Op36 reflects the idea that
putting audible and noticeable ends to *melody* notes, even sometimes
within phrases, makes the guitar sound more human. I have never
encountered this exact concept before, anywhere, and it changes the way
you look at all guitar music. Another big surprise for me was how often
occasional finger apoyando, for muting, is required. They were not
titled as etudes but they *are* study pieces.
I have to admit my big weakness is the late classical / early romantic
era. I have no Legnani in my solo drawer. I may have some in various
collections.
I've got it on my site, from Boije, reduced a hair to letter size. It's
in the files/ directory. It's 4mb+, a bit larger than all the rest of the
site.
Post by rcspross
I remember the late John Marlow talking those up when we were both
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
kids at American University. At the time, I was doing other stuff of
course, and I don't remember whether he was impressed by much except
its apparent difficulty. I wish now I'd pitched into it. I wish he
were still alive, too, to say "I told you so".
Did you know Jim Bertram? who graduated from American University under
Marlow?
I heard the name at some point, but I don't remember meeting him. I may
have. Of course I was long gone from there. JM was a year or two
younger than I. daveA
--
Free download of technical exercises worth a lifetime of practice:
"Dynamic Guitar Technique": http://www.openguitar.com/instruction.html
You can play the cards you're dealt, or improve your hand with DGT.
To email go to: http://www.openguitar.com/contact.html
h***@verizon.net
2007-01-16 01:16:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
I remember the late John Marlow talking those up when we were both
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
kids at American University. At the time, I was doing other stuff of
course, and I don't remember whether he was impressed by much except
its apparent difficulty. I wish now I'd pitched into it. I wish he
were still alive, too, to say "I told you so".
Did you know Jim Bertram? who graduated from American University under
Marlow?
I heard the name at some point, but I don't remember meeting him. I may
have. Of course I was long gone from there. JM was a year or two
younger than I. daveA
Dear David and Richard,

It's interesting that you mention AU and John Marlow, I studied with
two AU grads who studied with him, they were Dennis Coleman and Rob
Winter. Did either of you ever run into either of them? (I was in the
DC area before NYC and NJ)

Seth
David Raleigh Arnold
2007-01-16 04:40:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@verizon.net
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
I remember the late John Marlow talking those up when we were both
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
kids at American University. At the time, I was doing other stuff of
course, and I don't remember whether he was impressed by much except
its apparent difficulty. I wish now I'd pitched into it. I wish he
were still alive, too, to say "I told you so".
Did you know Jim Bertram? who graduated from American University under
Marlow?
I heard the name at some point, but I don't remember meeting him. I may
have. Of course I was long gone from there. JM was a year or two
younger than I. daveA
Dear David and Richard,
It's interesting that you mention AU and John Marlow, I studied with two
AU grads who studied with him, they were Dennis Coleman and Rob Winter.
Did either of you ever run into either of them? (I was in the DC area
before NYC and NJ)
Not that I recall. Young Spross is more likely to have. ;-) daveA
--
Free download of technical exercises worth a lifetime of practice:
"Dynamic Guitar Technique": http://www.openguitar.com/instruction.html
You can play the cards you're dealt, or improve your hand with DGT.
To email go to: http://www.openguitar.com/contact.html
rcspross
2007-01-16 05:10:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@verizon.net
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
I remember the late John Marlow talking those up when we were both
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
kids at American University. At the time, I was doing other stuff of
course, and I don't remember whether he was impressed by much except
its apparent difficulty. I wish now I'd pitched into it. I wish he
were still alive, too, to say "I told you so".
Did you know Jim Bertram? who graduated from American University under
Marlow?
I heard the name at some point, but I don't remember meeting him. I may
have. Of course I was long gone from there. JM was a year or two
younger than I. daveA
Dear David and Richard,
It's interesting that you mention AU and John Marlow, I studied with
two AU grads who studied with him, they were Dennis Coleman and Rob
Winter. Did either of you ever run into either of them? (I was in the
DC area before NYC and NJ)
Seth
Sorry Seth,

I haven't heard of either. The only person Jim mentioned in his past guitar
period at AU was Howard Bass, who is also a lutenist, or may be primarily
a lutenist.

I think Jim possilby graduated from there in the Spring of 1969. This is only

an educated guess because he arrived at CSU, Hayward, ( now CSU, East Bay )
in the Spring Quarter of 1970, at least that's when I became aware of him.

He was an graduate student in music at the time. We lower division students
politiced on his behalf to be given a graduate assistantship to teach us,
since
he was the one who could play circles around the rest of us. This of course
led the interim teacher being let go. Bertram stayed there eventually
becoming
a full professor with tenure before his untimely death while careening around

the Hills on his motorcycle. He died at age 56 I think. This was almost ten
years
ago I believe maybe a wee bit longer.

Richard Spross
David Raleigh Arnold
2007-01-16 11:55:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by rcspross
Post by h***@verizon.net
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
I remember the late John Marlow talking those up when we were both
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
kids at American University. At the time, I was doing other stuff
of course, and I don't remember whether he was impressed by much
except its apparent difficulty. I wish now I'd pitched into it. I
wish he were still alive, too, to say "I told you so".
Did you know Jim Bertram? who graduated from American University
under Marlow?
I heard the name at some point, but I don't remember meeting him. I
may have. Of course I was long gone from there. JM was a year or two
younger than I. daveA
Dear David and Richard,
It's interesting that you mention AU and John Marlow, I studied with two
AU grads who studied with him, they were Dennis Coleman and Rob Winter.
Did either of you ever run into either of them? (I was in the DC area
before NYC and NJ)
Seth
Sorry Seth,
I haven't heard of either. The only person Jim mentioned in his past
guitar period at AU was Howard Bass, who is also a lutenist, or may be
primarily a lutenist.
(Also?) (Square? Folk? Traditional?) dancing master and caller. He made
the newspaper at some point.

I met Howard Bass one time at AU when I went to see John and heard him
play HVL #1. He played it very well for a first year student.
daveA
--
Free download of technical exercises worth a lifetime of practice:
"Dynamic Guitar Technique": http://www.openguitar.com/instruction.html
You can play the cards you're dealt, or improve your hand with DGT.
To email go to: http://www.openguitar.com/contact.html
h***@verizon.net
2007-01-16 13:05:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by rcspross
Post by h***@verizon.net
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
I remember the late John Marlow talking those up when we were both
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
kids at American University. At the time, I was doing other stuff of
course, and I don't remember whether he was impressed by much except
its apparent difficulty. I wish now I'd pitched into it. I wish he
were still alive, too, to say "I told you so".
Did you know Jim Bertram? who graduated from American University under
Marlow?
I heard the name at some point, but I don't remember meeting him. I may
have. Of course I was long gone from there. JM was a year or two
younger than I. daveA
Dear David and Richard,
It's interesting that you mention AU and John Marlow, I studied with
two AU grads who studied with him, they were Dennis Coleman and Rob
Winter. Did either of you ever run into either of them? (I was in the
DC area before NYC and NJ)
Seth
Sorry Seth,
I haven't heard of either. The only person Jim mentioned in his past guitar
period at AU was Howard Bass, who is also a lutenist, or may be primarily
a lutenist.
I think Jim possilby graduated from there in the Spring of 1969. This is only
an educated guess because he arrived at CSU, Hayward, ( now CSU, East Bay )
in the Spring Quarter of 1970, at least that's when I became aware of him.
He was an graduate student in music at the time. We lower division students
politiced on his behalf to be given a graduate assistantship to teach us,
since
he was the one who could play circles around the rest of us. This of course
led the interim teacher being let go. Bertram stayed there eventually
becoming
a full professor with tenure before his untimely death while careening around
the Hills on his motorcycle. He died at age 56 I think. This was almost ten
years
ago I believe maybe a wee bit longer.
Richard Spross
Too bad! 56 is awfully early to go!

Seth
Che'
2007-01-16 14:27:34 UTC