Postby Jean-François Delcamp » Wed May 31, 2017 6:37 am
Please start by downloading the latest version of volume D04.
If you are new to the course, please read this message to familiarize yourself with the conditions for participating in the lessons. You should also read the first message in lesson 1, where you will find advice on how to make the most of your study time and on the methods of practising that I recommend.
Now we are going to work on a series of exercises:
page 123 Delcamp, Jean-François Mordants et Trilles, numéros 38 et 39
Finally, we'll look at 5 pieces.
- page 18, 19 Adrian Le Roy Premier branle de Bourgongne
Each phrase is followed by its division. The first phrase and its division each consist of 4 bars. After that, the structure of phrases and their divisions is of 6 bars, to the end of the piece.
- pages 80, 81 Losy, Jan Antonín – Ciacona sobre las Folias
Page 80 - I have adapted for the guitar the original tablature of this chaconne for mandore. Page 81 - I suggest an ornamentation the elements of which came from a recording made last month with a baroque guitar.
Melodic ornaments are the addition of neighbouring notes, before or after the original notes. These additions are formed at an interval of a major or minor second (depending on the key of the piece) above or below the original note. Note that these same neighbouring notes are used in mordents, turns, appoggiaturas, acciaccaturas and trills. Neighbouring or conjunct notes are the basis of ornamentation, to be fitted in between the original notes while taking great care not to distort the tempo. As there are limits to the maximum playing speed that we can achieve, we would put more ornamentation in a slow passage than in a fast one. For the same reason we would ornament long notes more than short ones in the same piece.
As far as rhythm is concerned, the crucial thing is to maintain the tempo and accentuation throughout. When we first start to improvise ornaments, we often tend to distort the tempo unintentionally. But don't worry, if you persist and, above all, if you improvise an ornamentation while counting the beat out loud (1 and 2 and 3 and), you will be pleasantly surprised to find you make fewer and fewer mistakes. There are also metronomes which you can set so that one in every 3 beats or in every 4 beats has a distinctive sound, as a marker of the first beat of the bar in 3 or 4 time.
At the start of the chaconne, the first two 8-bar phrases are made up principally of chords, and lend themselves well to strumming. I also introduce a few percussive effects, to add zest to the rhythm. This sort of rhythmic improvisation can be a very pleasant way to practise improvising while concentrating particularly on keeping to the beat.
- page 77 Paganini, Niccolò Ghiribizzo n°37
This piece has great simplicity, and the bass notes (tonic, subdominant and dominant) are unobtrusive. Paganini indicates: "Adagetto con espressione". It is through phrasing, articulation and accentuation that we can be expressive.
- page 84,85 Johann Kaspar Mertz Valse en sol majeur,
here the rhythm is the main element, and it is by reproducing the accents and articulation indicated (legato, staccato) that the valse will become lively and light.
I ask you first to work on all these exercises and tunes for a week and then to upload your recordings of:
- pages 80, 81 Losy, Jan Antonín – Ciacona sobre las Folias
- page 48 Štepán Rak - Nostalgický valcik
We have reached the end of this year of studying together. I am intending to resume next year.
My thanks to the students, to Geoff for his splendid translations, and also to Colin Bullock, John Montes, Rich (oski79), Marko Räsänen and lagartija who have enabled these courses to run so smoothly.
This lesson contains a song very interesting: the Ciacona on "Las Folías de España" by Losy.
The theme of Las Folías was well known and used in ancient classical music (XVI-XVIII). Perhaps the most popular song on Las Folías are the Variations of Arcangelo Corelli: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHRdFILo_Yw
In guitar literature it was very popular. Gaspar Sanz has his Folías in his Instrucción de Música. Perhaps the best-known song in the guitar is the Variations on Les Follies of Fernando Sor. And this popularity has come to our times: Manuel Ponce has also composed his Variations on Follies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EbE_JYZ7xE
And above all (if less known) Las Folias of the French film "Tous les matins du monde", where the young Marin Marais, to be admitted as a student for Sainte Colombe, plays variations on "Las Folías" with a Viola da gamba (Jordi Savall is the musician): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZV4mxJuRhM
Here my little musical contribution to the long history of Las Folias.
You are right, I have not well done the crescendo in M10 and the ritardando in M41. My G in M9 is not enough piano: perhaps it is the cause I have not made a good crescendo to M10; I was already in mezzoforte in the beginning and I cannot increase more the volume!!! Too much things really!
We must practice more and more
Finally I made anot so bad recording of the Ghiribizzo.
This song is very interesting. The title of the first part is "Rossini" and that of the second "Paganini". This undoubtedly indicates that the first part is an original composition by Rossini, on which Paganini made a small variation (the second part).
After a few walks for the Internet, you can find where the Rossini melody is: in Scene 5th of Act I of "La gazza ladra" (The Thieving Magpie). The overture of this work is well-known, but the rest, certainly not.
Here we have the air "Ma quel piacer che adesso..." ("But that pleasure that now"), where Gianetto, back from war to his country, finds his beloved Ninetta and shows them his love with this song. You can listen here:
It is noteworthy that Rossini's air time seems to be an Andante and Ghiribizzo means "Adagetto con espressione", i. e. much slower the guitar version.
My recording. I did not always play good the "grupetti" (or maybe never I did!). But these four and five-note grupetti are very difficult. Good exercise, of course.
I did not respect the damps indicated. I think Paganini has only designed it (as we do today by writing Am, DM, to indicate the harmony of the song) but did not want to indicate the duration of the bass rigorously. I did generally damps a little later than the punctuation of the score, to accompany the melodic line until the next phrase.
You are right. So says also Sagreras: "In executing the descending ligados, the finger that should be pressing harder is not the one which is playing the ligado, but the one that is fretting the lower note and holding the string firmly to stop it moving when the other finger pulls off the first note to produce the ligado. In general, there is a tendency amongst all students to do the opposite when they first start to play descending ligados. The teacher should warn the student against that". (Exercise 14 from Segundas Lecciones).
But in a four or five notes slurs the same finger can be first the holder finger, and after the playing finger. In the Ghiribizzo, for instance, M2, the finger 2 is the pressing finger (slur 4-2), and straightaway the playing finger (slur 2-1). It is a not easy this play of press and let go; difficult for me!!
And here, the last piece of this season, the Valse by Johann Kaspar Mertz. Left hand in the second part of the piece is very hard, if you want play at a good tempo. I cannot play it without some mistake.