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The Miniatures Project (#1: Grieg!) July 4, 2011

Posted by contrapuntalplatypus in Music, Recordings, Teaching, The Miniatures Project.
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Short version: Some Grieg for you to enjoy, recorded by Yours Truly aka The Contrapuntal Platypus!😀

Dedicated to my wonderful friends Ana and Keith, and Joanne and Josh, recently engaged/married…

…And to my high-school best friend Yun-Yun, as she prepares for her wedding this August…

(…And to all the happy couples in New York state who, as of July 24, 2011 will legally be able to marry!)

I wish you all many happy years of joy, companionship and love together.🙂

*******

Long version:

I had my year-end private studio recital last week (just in time for the holiday long weekend, which added to the excitement and the celebratory atmosphere!) I am amazed, proud, and utterly blown away by my students’ playing. They were all superbly prepared and played very well (no devastating memory slips, tears, breakdowns or other disasters… :S) On a big Steinway piano, in a large hall, some of their performances sounded downright magical. Seriously, I was repeatedly on the verge of tears (good ones!)🙂

At the end, I played (and recorded) a bit of Grieg I’d wanted an excuse to learn for years: Wedding Day at Troldhaugen.

Some friends of mine had been clamoring for me to post recordings here, so I thought I’d oblige. For a while I’d been thinking about a new project. See, in my B. Mus and M. Mus years, I was all into BIG stuff. Beethoven sonatas, Bach fugues, and my senior recital pièce de résistance, the Liszt Dante sonata.😀 Nary a Grieg or Chopin or Mendelssohn piece to lighten the mood. No, I scorned miniatures – “salon” music, I thought, light, trite and not worth my time.

Problem is, after you graduate and are asked to play for weddings, churches and so on, people want to hear Chopin and Debussy and so on. (They certainly don’t want the Liszt Dante Sonata or the Bach-Busoni Chaconne, I can tell you.) And – with the reduction in practice time that comes with 40 students – even I began thinking it might be time to tackle something less…enormous.

So, here is my challenge to myself: over the next 6 weeks, I aim to learn, polish and record at least 10 miniatures – pieces under 5 minutes in length. (The Grieg is an exception as it’s mainly repeats. :D) Hopefully I’ll end up with a solid repertoire of wedding-ready music…and a variety of short recordings for my blog as well!

– The Contrapuntal Platypus

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