Header Image (book)

aowheader.3.2.gif

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Musical Interlude

Felix Mendelssohn's Venetian Boat Song No. 2 Op. 30 No. 6, a musical selection to dispel this winter's day:

14 comments:

  1. Not sure if it did any dispelling, but enjoyable indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This piece is quite easy to play. One of my personal favorites!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Haunting! I first learnt this moody little piece at age ten, and have loved it all my life. It is one of many small "character pieces" written by Mendelssohn collected under the title Songs Without Words -- Lieder ohne Worten or Chants sans paroles.

    I've always felt these little works to be some of Mendelssohn's best and most endearing creations. His larger works feature extreme brilliance and require true virtuosity on the part of the player. Wonderful, of course, but the little pieces -- most of them accessible to those with modest talent -- touch the heart and remain longest in the realm of fond memory.

    I have long felt the Songs Without Words must have exerted great influence on the lyrical works of both Schumann and Grieg in whom one often hears echoes of Felix Mendelssohn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FT,
      I think that I was about 12 when I learned this one, and the learning of it came quite easily. I'm sure that I could have learned it earlier, but my first teacher never assigned it.

      My adult piano student (age 67 and didn't begin studying piano until age 63) tried it a few years ago and gave up -- even though he had already mastered the 1st movement of Moonlight Sonata some time before.

      I think that I know what gave my student trouble with "Venetian Boat Song" -- covering so much keyboard. I'm sure that he could play the piece now, so I'll suggest it to him when he returns from his winter in Colorado. This kind of piece is right up his alley.

      Delete
    2. Try to teach him to think harmonically. The accompaniment figures are all members of basic chords -- F#-Minor, C#-Dominant Seventh, B-Minor, etc.

      It helps great deal to identify each chord in the piece, practice it in its basic root position, then in first, second and third inversion, then arpeggiated. THEN, learn the left hand alone memorizing it as you go. After that start putting the hands together -- very slowly -- measure by measure always overlapping by one or two notes into the next new measure.

      Tedious perhaps, but it's the best way to learn. If you can get to the point where you can see, hear and literally feel your way through the piece AWAY from the KEYBOARD -- you should have a very solid performance to offer.

      Delete
    3. FT,
      He has resisted learning theory and harmony.

      The accompaniment figures are all members of basic chords -- F#-Minor, C#-Dominant Seventh, B-Minor, etc.

      It helps great deal to identify each chord in the piece, practice it in its basic root position, then in first, second and third inversion, then arpeggiated.


      You're correct, of course.

      I had an excellent knowledge of theory and harmony -- thanks to my wonderful first teacher, who introduced music theory in lesson one. I learned this piece quite easily.

      Delete
  4. Just lovely. I am sorry I never learned this in the day when I could play the piano. That's actually a new year's resolution - so, full of hope I downloaded the sheet music after hearing this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Baysider,
      Excellent! Let me know how you progress with the piece.

      Delete
    2. Well, I have to start practicing scales first! I haven't played for years as my eyes were getting bad and I couldn't read the music, but they're as fixed as they'll get now, and it is back on my radar. Mr. B wants it for his funeral, while people are getting seated - gentle but not 'funeral-ey'. (You can tell where we've been this week.)

      Delete
  5. Baysider, if you ever need any help on piano, let me know.

    Mr. Z adored the 2nd movement of the Pathetique..the Adagio...it's the ONLY piece I find some play a bit too quickly. ..I'm a kind of "move it along" girl, so this is rare. A friend played it while people arrived for his funeral.

    This Mendelssohn piece is sweet.. thanks for posting it..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Z,
      The Pathetique "Adagio" is a lovely piece! Mastering the required tone control is no easy task, and the instrument must be capable of a great deal of range of tone control.

      Delete
    2. When Mr. Z came to my house for a date, the very first time, I asked him if he'd heard the piece and how much I loved it and had been working on it....so I played a bit of the Adagio...when I stopped, he said "They played that at my mother's funeral"... We were stunned I'd pick THAT one of ALL the classical music I love and love to play. He played very well, too....
      good times...

      Delete
    3. When Mr. Z came to my house for a date, the very first time, I asked him if he'd heard the piece and how much I loved it and had been working on it....so I played a bit of the Adagio...when I stopped, he said "They played that at my mother's funeral"... We were stunned I'd pick THAT one of ALL the classical music I love and love to play. He played very well, too....
      good times...

      Delete
    4. Z,
      Thanks for sharing that personal story.

      Delete

We welcome civil dialogue at Always on Watch. Comments that include any of the following are subject to deletion:
1. Any use of profanity or abusive language
2. Off topic comments and spam
3. Use of personal invective