Go out and listen to something…

March 27, 2006

Arcane piano stuff

Filed under: music — burnett @ 9:22 am

originally posted March 15, 2006
Ok, this is arcane piano stuff, so you are welcome to skip to the date below.
In the F minor Fantasie of Chopin, a few pages in, he presents a charming theme in Ab. It is 4 measures long, which repeats for the most part, down an octave forming an 8 measure passage. The quick fluid theme is harmonized note for note in the right hand, a bit of a technical challenge. It features a few II-V progressions, the kind of thing adored by jazz arrangers. Anyway, it’s a fun little passage, great melody, beautiful sounds, etc. He throws off this melody as if it’s nothing, and it really is a fabulous little tune, albeit only 4 measures long.
But what really makes this interesting is that he brings it back twice: the first time in Gb, the second in Db. Gb is OK, as it is just a step down, and mechanically speaking, you are ready for it after you figure out the Ab section. The Db section is another matter. The bass accompaniment is spread out, requiring more attention down there, and the right hand is rather up in the stratosphere where the overall sound is for some reason a little harder to control. I’ve always (for 30 years) been uncomfortable in the Db section, but maybe that will change in the next in the next 30.
I’ve always adored this piece. The first agitato in f minor is for me one of the highlights of all music.

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