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Elfman Violin Concerto

Discussion in 'The RedBanned Bar & Grill' started by Mattia Chiappa, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. Hello!

    Yesterday I stumbled across this violin concerto written by Danny Elfman. I very much enjoyed it but I'm quite ignorant when it comes to concert music and I was wondering what you guys thought about this. When I listen to concert music, I often get distracted by the complexity of the material and long form development. I found this to be quite approachable for people like me yet challenging, full of surprises and great moments. Maybe I was biased from his previous film work but I thought this bridged the two different disciplines very well.

    Very curious to hear your thoughts!

  2. Hm, I listened not to the whole piece, actually I am at 15 minutes so far and what I notice is that there are many of his typical devices harmonically but also orchestrationally which I know from his movie scoring (also bits) from Batman. However which I wonder a bit is about the following: Where is actually his theme? I mean, there are chunks of motivic ideas here and there but I really can´t make out such of thing like a cohesive form or something to grab on. Maybe its my ears (which are on offline mode a bit) but while I think the track is so far very atmospheric and surerly evoking with all its colors I simply shut off after a while paying attention to the core of composition itself. I don´t know. I mean, Elfman has written great themes and maybe due to the length of such piece that motivic bits take a lot longer to establish I have actually to say that I have hard times to follow the material here. When I listen to a Concerto e.g. from Tschaikowsky its for me much easier to understand reasoning and logic also because I simply can make out a clear motiv which Tschaikowsky establishes and developes. Here it is absolutely nothing like that for me. It sounds like for most of the time like very well performed violin phrases virtuosic but I don´t know actually where I am in the track. I have no idea what he wants to tell me with his piece here so far. I don´t know how others feel but thats what my impression is so far. I go even that far to say that I get a headdache after a while..:confused:
  3. #3 Gregory D. Moore, Oct 13, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
    Very interesting and good questions Alexander. I can't answer yet (need to listen more) though I think Elfman may be approaching this differently from the way Tchaikovsky or even Korngold did. He says Shostakovich violin concerto was his inspiration though I'm not familiar with that either so I'll dive into that too. In the meantime, maybe we can learn something from the man himself?

    And how I wish Omni Music would release a score!

    Wow! This is the most interesting piece of music I've heard since Prokofiev's 2nd Piano Concerto. Amazing sounds. You certainly can hear a lot of influence from Shostakovich but he goes way beyond that. This is Elfman on bottles of steroids! Great stuff. While some of the harmonic material is relatively simple at times and sounds like Eddie Van Halen going wild on top, there really is so much more as you can hear the incredible harmonic interweave between violin and the orchestra.

    There are also some interesting insights into how he works here.
  4. Bravo to Elfman diving into concert work and to getting a violin concerto out. That is awesome and I tip my hat.

    However, I listened to the first movement with my father and we both were unimpressed, we both refused to listen to the rest of it because it was to us that bad. Not that I'm an expert in Violin Concertos but I have been on a huge kick and been listening to Korngolds, Tchaikovsky, Shotsakovich's, Mendelshons, Brahms, Mozart etc. etc.

    My father and I heard influences from Shotsakovich immediately and we heard Elfman being himself. However, it felt to us like a bunch of nonsense. I couldn't follow anything in the piece and couldn't figure out why Elfman was choosing to do this or that. Very few motific ideas he chose to go with and more felt like he was just coming up with a completely new idea or sound every phrase. Honestly, it felt like a film composer trying to write a concert piece without understanding how to write a concert piece in the first place. Trying to sound profound but ending up sounding quite silly. Lastly, if I could make a blank overall comparison, it felt like I was listening to a film score without any idea of the film or story. I'm perhaps a bit harsh in my opinion but I like Elfman so I was disappointed.

    It's great to hear Elfman be inspired by Shotsakovich and not everyone has to be as melodic as Tchaikovsky. I can even admit sometimes Shotsakovich is hard to follow in his vast depth of emotion & despair he puts in his writing. However, I still get a sense of discipline and control with Shotskovich and always is overly impressed even if I get lost at times with Shotskovich. Shotsakovich still has a story in mind and I can always sense and feel that when listening, I'm along with Shotakovich for the ride. I just didn't get this sense with Elfman's concerto unfortuantely.

    Last thing, I think Berstein here in this video puts it perfectly about writing a concerto. I truly believe the great concerto composers nail this and others forget a concerto still needs to be a great piece of music still.

    Don't misread as I really like Elfman and was looking forward to his concert work. We'll see how his percussion quartet comes out. :D

    If I can say one thing I did enjoy was the cadenza and how he introduced the orchestra back at the end of the cadenza.
  5. You know thats a good point because I approach those things also from a perspective how I would try or like to write and my own taste for sure. There are pieces which are definitely not melodic and they work, like what Dillon also mentiones with Schostakovich. I listened to some work of him (some of the later symphonies) and its also not easy listening to me though I can still make out motivs, themes and developmental structures.

    So probably there is the point for me personally where I miss a bit of that melodic framework which is simply easier to follow and more inviting me on a journey. Probably this concerto simply needs like a 10 times listening before you grab things there? But then I ask myself: If I as a working composer need like 10 times or more to understand or feel that piece then hm, is that a sign that I am simply too dumb to understand more complex material or is the piece simply lacking of the points I mentioned, you know? I am not quite sure. I mean I like challenging pieces and harmonies all over the place. I istened to Mahler Symhonies a lot and know most of them in and out and they are at times not quite easy but very complex. But here it is not complex but somehow more confusing, you know?

    Danny is a fine film composer and I admire him for a lot of his older scores he did regardless if it was beetlejuice, nightmare b. xmas, Batman returns and some more so I can´t say that I am negatively biased towards him in first place. His piece do also at times sound somehow a bit academic to me trying to sound very sohisticated to tell the audience: Look I am not only doing filmmusic but it misses the simplicity of ideas which are easy to comprehend therefore not able to develop to a complex level?It creates for me confusion mostly because I am thrown into a pot of question and have to make totally my own mind about what to think about it rather than getting a thing like: Oh yes that is what the composers wants to say.
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  6. #6 Gregory D. Moore, Oct 15, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
    @Dillon - If you don't like it, you don't like it. Fair enough. I love the first movement although I don't understand it - and I think that is part of the attraction for me. Still, I like the sound and I can listen to it over and over. I don't hear a clear structure as you normally would. Instead, I hear something more like an excursion down the rabbit hole with Alice. Its unusual, different and I like the sound. btw, on a complete aside, I understand you studied Tchaikovsky in depth? I'm studying him now too. Did you read the David Brown books? They are really excellent and full of wonderful analysis and examples. I'm also comparing some of his early works where he made different versions of the same piece such as the Overture in F (ver.1864 vs 1865). Fun stuff. I'd love to hear what approach you took to studying his works and if you have any recommendations. And absolutely love Berstein's lectures.

    @Alexander - I don't think you have to understand a piece to enjoy it. You either like it or not. Even if its confusing, you can still like it. For example, I absolutely love Prokofiev 2nd Piano Concerto but I don't understand the harmony. It baffles me. I bought the score and can play it on the piano but I still can't figure it out! Yet, the sound intrigues me. He uses chromatic harmony in a very interesting way that makes it sound quite tonal, yet its not. Elfman is doing something equally puzzling to me although its quite different. Elfman's harmonies (played by the orchestra) are often much simpler and he often seems to have a more complex counterpoint going on in the violin. Yet, the violin is what is carrying the piece forward. I agree it can be confusing, but to me, its confusing in a beautiful way. The Shostakovich Violin Concerto is much more straight-forward and although its complex too, its not confusing and can be broken down in a more understandable way than Elfman. To me, Elfman's Concerto doesn't sound academic in the way that Korngold's Violin Concerto does. Regardless of a piece's complexity or structure (or lack of), I think what is more important is simply if you enjoy it or not. I'm often drawn into pieces which puzzle me (although I hate non-musical puzzles). For example, Mozart's Gigue confused me although I found the sound interesting (Mozart's supposed to be simple right?). When I played it, I still couldn't make any sense of it until I played it over and over. When I got the hang of it, it was really fun to play though it certainly took some time to get into. So I guess my point is that you can enjoy music on many different levels. It doesn't have to always be simple and obvious nor intricately complex, just what ever interests your ears. I still want to understand better what Elfman is doing so I will listen more though its hard fully analyze really confusing music like this without a score. Thus, its likely that I'll understand Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2 before I fully digest what Elfman is doing.

    This is Mozart, not your typical Mozart but still Mozart!

    The chromatic harmony is so beatiful yet I don't understand how it works.
  7. I've had similar feelings about this. While I also don't understand the structure, the simpler, more familiar harmony makes it immediately more approachable for me. After watching the interview I immediately went to Shostakovich violin concerto and I must say, I had a really hard time listening to the whole thing especially the 2nd and last movement. The higher level of complexity makes it register to my untrained ears as near random, while I'm sure it isn't. For sure it would be easier to understand recurring themes and patterns after listening a few times but as for now, first time listener, I'm left with a similar sense of confusion. In the end, both concertos had a similar effect on me. I understand neither but can still enjoy Elfman's, while not so much the second even if more "academically" correct. Interestingly though, I think giving them both more time, I suspect these feelings would flip making the first the least enjoyable for the very same reasons I liked now.

    I'm very curious to listen to the ones Dillon mentioned above now!
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  8. I just listened to about the first 25 minutes of it, before my son came into the room demanding to play firetrucks.

    Out of everyone so fay, I would say I am by far the most enthusiastic about. It's the best thing I have heard from him in 10 years or so.

    I found it easy to follow. The biggest thing, and I am not sure how I feel about this, I noticed was how much of a studio recording this is.
    It verges on very artificial to my ears at times. Like the image of the woman with the violin.

    But on music terms, I think the 2nd mov has some really nice moments and a clear Hermann (Vertigo) influence.

    His channeling of "Donna Summer" in the first movement is less impressive to me. But hey....we all want to feel love.

    I look forward to hearing the rest, and overall I am pretty positive about the work. You know it takes writing a concerto or more to learn how to
    write one.

    timestamped for you below. Just up to about 10:30

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  9. #9 Alexander Schiborr, Oct 15, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
    Yeah thats very true and I am liking pieces too which I pretty much am not able to understand, some of scriabins work for instance where I have also hard times to grasp the things still loving them a lot. Probably my mistake is to approach that piece in the way what I expected hearing, not sure. I will give it another try and lets see how I feel about it.
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  10. @Gregory D. Moore - Hi Gregory, thank you for accepting that we can both have different tastes. I love that you liked this piece and I agree that you can enjoy and love a piece of music without fully understanding it. I do think personally I still need to be able to follow a piece of music but I think at times that can blur the lines with understanding it perhaps? Haha, in the end, I guess it's taste perhaps. Some people go stir-crazy for that Schoenberg and maybe to dive deep into Penderecki and I'm on the complete opposite spectrum.

    I'm glad you are diving into Tchaikovsky! I believe I read most of Brown's "Tchaikovsky: The Man and His Music". I did learn a lot of Tchaikovsky's history through Robert Greenberg's lectures on Tchaikovsky. I came to a point in my studies of asking why Tchaikovsky did this or that in his music that I needed to know the man himself which did answer a lot of my questions. For studying in my case if you wanted to follow, I went from Overtures to Symphonies to Ballets, to Concert Work (quartets/piano stuff), and leaving his Opera last (I'm still getting to his operas). I've been studying Tchaikovsky for almost 2 years now in-depth and probably will be for the rest of my life. There is just so much music of his to dive into, and specifically his Ballets are amazing and a huge chunk of knowledge. Plus, let's not leave out that not only was Tchaikovsky a master composer but a master orchestrator. Tchaikovsky loved to revise his early works as Romeo and Juliet Overture went through 3 versions. I found it very educational to see his first version compared to his last. What he came up with as the first version at age 30 compared was amazing. He had a lot of the core ideas set in stone. It wasn't till the second version where he changed the opening to a wind chorale as the "Friar Lawrence" theme, which resulted in changing much of the development section. Then, towards the end of his life, he completely revised the ending of this piece and to me, it's one of the most beautiful and satisfying endings. Knowing this, I push myself to at least by age 30 (2.5 more years for me), to be able to write something as close to Tchaikovsky's first version of R&J Overture. To wrap my Tchaikovsky's studies up, I analyze a lot of his music and write notes and descriptions down and then apply them to my music immediately so I can engrain Tchaikovsky's technique in composition into my own. Basically, learning from the master, my master. I'd love to just say though, that everyone can learn a lot from Tchaikovsky but I chose him because he out of everyone I've listened to is the most like me. After studying his life, he relates to my way of writing. Tchaikovsky's struggle with development, to also writing a melody always in full which would cause his struggle for development... to other things that he found Wagner to be boring and torture. The more I found out about him the more I found correlations to my writing. I do think everyone should find a master or teacher they have huge respect for their music, and learn from them. Tchaikovsky just happens to be mine. Oh, Tchaikovsky wrote some really good songs and quartets, sextets, check them out too.

    I think the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2 is great and fun. Harmony at times is interesting but I can follow this music still.

    @Doug Gibson -- Doug I loved that you loved this piece. I can't disagree that this is perhaps the best thing Elfman's written in 10 years or so. I know from interviews that Elfman is really fed up with how film score is handled these days and film quality in general. He finds his passion now in short/features in the indie world as well as now concert work. Also, you are right that sometimes to learn to write a concerto or symphony one must just write one. I mean, Tchaikovsky's first symphony is well, okay? I'll forgive him with the 1st one because 4,5,6 are just so impressive haha.

    Now, Doug, you mentioned you found it easy to follow. Not to put you on the spot but I think this would be a great learning oppourtunity and an infamous Doug video chat if you can explain how you are following this? Your ears and knowledge for classical repitore is huge compared to a lot of us on the forum, as well as I think you are more soaked and wet in this type of for lack of words, less-followable music? I personally for my education would love to know how you follow this so that I may know or not if I'm missing something crucial.

    Also, that Donna Summer's reference is hilarious. I'm more impressed you heard that. I can only imagine you grooving to Donna Summer every night at the dance bars. Which by all means dance on, I listen to Donna Summer a lot too. If I'm not listening to Orchestral I'm listening to 70,80s dance music.
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  11. Well, LOVE is a step too far. I feel positive about it. It's nice. I missed Gregory's remarks earlier. I feel he is more a fan of it than I.
    Movement 2 is the best of what I have heard.

    That is true.

    Sure..... I think it could be possible. Hmmm....... just thinking how to do this. I guess what I could do is something "John Madden" and go thru just talking about
    what I hear. It would not a full and proper "analysis", again more John Madden like.

    Yeah, it sounds kinda fun. I only had one listen. This will make me listen with more attention.

    I think that is basically it. That's Danny. More of an "odessy" or "Moment Form". Which is ok.......IMO. I must prefer spontaneous "magic carpet codas" than dull material that follows a formula. I mean your dudes 1812 is the ultimate "turn the dial on the radio" ending.
    (I find the material leading up to the French National Anthem stale and tedious to sit thru. It was good to turn the dial)

    Off one listen, the biggest criticism I would say is actually the pre-planned concept of eleven/eleven.
    The work sounds like it could be tightened up. The material itself does not seem to demand the elaboration it gets.
    This element feels "self concious", and meandering. He wants to makes sure this happens, and something that really should be a background structure
    feels in the foreground to me. I saw John Adams do something nearly identical with his last violin concerto. He just wanted it 45 minutes.....because......he's John Adams.

    I think a decimal point would tighten up the work. Like 888.8

    Let me see what I can do and at least track the first movement for you within the next day or so.
  12. @Dillion - Thanks for sharing your path study Tchaikovsky. Brown also wrote a series of four books on Tchaikovsky and that is what I'm reading. I also got Athony Holden's book because it was 5 stars, but its like reading about a complete different person. Holden's focus seems to be on Tchaikovsky's sexual adventures more than on his music. It makes for juicy reading but its missing so much of the depth about his music. Great to hear you were comparing different versions of Romeo & Juliet. Its really interesting that there are multiple revisions of the same score and that makes them very interesting to study. In the case of the Overture in F, I actually prefer the Ver A, but maybe I'm just the odd ball. I'm interested in Tchaikovsky for his orchestration. While the melodies are beautiful and the harmonies are interesting, they aren't "adventurous" in the modern sense as you see in Prokofiev and Stravinsky (who are still over 100 yrs old!). However, Tchaikovsky lived in an earlier era (less rebellious and revolutionary). Prokofiev was also studying Tchaikovsky together with Rimsky-Korsakov and found that reading about his life was an inspiration for his works. In his diary, Prokofiev talks about reading Tchaikovwsky at the same time he composed the 2nd Piano Concerto posted above. What strikes me as most interesting about both of their bios is how different liife in general was for them as compared with today. They both lived "the perfect life" in many ways (despite Tchaikovsky's personal difficulties) in that they lived in very supportive and musical environments and life back then wasn't full of modern day distractions. They were both able to spend the majority of their time composing, hearing performances, composing again, etc. This is a rare opportunity today for people outside a conservatoire, though they both went to conservatoires so maybe that's the difference? Maybe a better comparison with today's self-taught and struggling composer might be with the life of Rimsky-Korsakov and the Russian five, although even their life environment was different in many of the same ways. Today we got more stuff - tools, software, computers, etc. but its very hard to find an audience anymore that has more than a minute or two, and that doesn't want to spew out expletives about what they are hearing. It makes me wonder about what kind of a world we are creating compared to the way it was? Personally, I'd take that trip back in time, which is why I find it so much fun reading about this old history. And back on topic, this is why I find it so interesting to hear Danny Elfman's Violin Concerto - its refreshing to see that someone could break through all of the obstacles to create something beautiful like this (at least to me). I get your interest in Tchaikovsky, and wish you lots of exciting new discoveries about his works. For me though, he's just one of the composers I want to dive deep into and just happened to be studying his works at the moment, though if I had to choose a favorite, I think it would be Prokofiev (though I'm not that attached to any single composer, I tend to shift over time). Thanks for sharing your experience.

    @Doug - Yeah, first movement commentary, yay!
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  13. @Doug Gibson - Haha, my apologies on the word love. But, yes! John Madden that analysis. Just listening to it and pointing out how you're interpreting and following it would be hugely beneficial.

    I respect your thoughts on 1812 overture. Tchaikovsky wasn't even a fan of his own 1812 overture and felt it was just for the masses. He was much more fond of his Danish Festival Overture and thought it was more sophiscated than the 1812.

    @Gregory D. Moore - Thanks, Gregory! Does Brown give more descriptions and music analysis on Tchaikovsky? If so, I might force my self to check out this 4 book series. I can't get enough Tchaikovsky at this time. Tchaikovsky's sexuality and personal emotional life is a huge impact on his writing, but I do prefer to hear more in depth on his music and analysis. I'll check out the different versions again on Overture F as its been a year since I've heard both back to back.

    I sadly must agree that we live in different times to those of the masters. We aren't being monitored/critiqed by the masters on our compositions. I do think that it is a great comparison that we can only work hard indivually and push each other as friends/colleagues like the Russian 5 did for each other. If anything, that proves that an individual amongst colleagues can prove to be a master even if not taught by one.

    I think Prokofiev is great! I'm glad your studying a bit of Tchaikovsky and hope you find his story and his music intriguing.

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  14. #14 Gregory D. Moore, Oct 18, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
    @ Dillion - Yes, about 1/4 of the first Brown Tchaikovsky book (The Early Years) are score reductions and commentary. I would suggest getting the first book and comparing it to the one you have and see if you want the rest. The first Overture in F was considered a failure by many likely due to its simplicity and small orchestra. Yet, I find it charming and one of the first early examples of both Tchaikovsky's unique orchestration and composition style. His later version is beefed up, about twice as long and uses a larger orchestra with "proper" instrumentation and such. There is only one recording in the world of the first version and I could only find it on youtube. Mocking it up in Dorico with NotePerformer, I get very similar results to the recording so the orchestration seems successful to me. Tchaikovsky's early orchestration was very creative I think, as how would he know what it would sound like?

    And while Tchaikovsky's sexuality may have been a driving force for him (the Holden books paints him as a pedophile), it was much more so for Prokofiev. Today, he would be a clear convicted victim of the MeToo movement as he kept a scandalous diary of his lady dates and goes into great detail of why they were or weren't "hot" that day. He had so many women in his life he numbered them. Like "today I met 23B and she didn't look nearly as attractive as I remember last time, nevertheless 17A walked into the room and..." And this is from his own diary too. Reading it, one has to wonder where he had time for music. His life was a bit more like David Lee Roth's who I went to high school with (and yes, he really was as arrogant and cocky like he appears).

    As for differences today and back then, performers have really elevated their game today, whereas this is not the case with composers. Many highly trained classical performers might be good candidates as composers although few are ever willing to try. Horowitz did a bit, and so did Yuja Wang with her transcriptions but few others I can think of. I met Yuja once and she's so cool. Everyone talks about whether you need instrumental skills or not, but they really don't hurt. Tchaikovsky must've been quite good to write the way he did for piano, and in his bio, he and Laroche would get together for fun in the evenings to play Symphonies. Well, great to hear someone else is interested in this old history.

    Now this is how to have fun trasnscribing!
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  15. :eek:

    That's neat.

    @Dillon DeRosa @Gregory D. Moore

    Is this kind of what you were imagining? I had to go pick up my daughter from school, so I only got thru the opening 2 minutes.
    I'll add onto it later tonight

    Let me know if this is of use.....or not

  16. Doug, its very cool to hear how you break it down and hear how you interpret and are hearing it...and I was just getting into it....and it stopped,... just like that. The bat mobile broke down on the way to Gotham! And I was stuck just sitting there with a peanut butter sandwich and my chocolate milk. Nice teaser Doug. And I hope Dillion likes it too as I'd love to hear more. Its very interesting to hear someone else's interpretation. The markers is really a great idea too, I've never thought to do that while listening but it makes sense when you want to analyze.
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  17. @Gregory D. Moore - I'll definitely check out the book. I love reading more analysis of Tchaikovsky's music. It also helps me spot stuff that I miss from my own analysis. Thank you for the suggestions. I do like the first version listening to it now. As you said it's quite simple and a bit naive if that's the right word; nonetheless, it's still very much Tchaikovsky. I do prefer his second version but it's great to hear his growth. Also, Tchaikovsky can always write a coda; it definitely lets you know this is the damn ending to enjoy it.

    Greenberg talked too how Tchaikovsky was a pedophile, mama's boy, and a crossdresser. I'll be clear that I don't share the same values as Tchaikovsky in this department haha. But it is clear that Tchaikovsky's life is expressed in his music.

    Wow, I didn't know that about Prokofiev. Where did he find the time to be with so many women and write a vast amount of music. That's also crazy that you went to high school with David Lee Roth. Thank you for sharing!

    I agree that more performers should write and compose. I actually still think some of my writing is limited because of my bad/rusty piano skills. Tchaikovsky performed his own piano concerto in front of his teacher Rubenstein. When Tchaikovsky wasn't writing, he was either writing letters, playing cards, or playing the piano. He's quoted as himself saying he's a bad piano player but if he thinks he was bad and could still perform his own piano concerto, I might as well not even say I play the piano haha!

    Yuja Wang actually performed at my college. That was a great video thank you for sharing. That's also amazing you got to meet and talk with her.

    I admit in college I slept and ignored music history. I was never interested. However, now that in my studies to understand more of the composer's music you have to understand the composer themself, I think history is very important. If only I paid attention more in college haha.

    Also, have you heard of Sonya Belousova? She is an amazing pianist and she is becoming a film composer of sorts. She also I believe wrote a ballet and won some composition competitions. If anything, I think slowly but surely performers are starting to compose. Which only frightens me as I need to get my piano skills up to par. I feel 9/10 of the best composers and masters throughout history could play the piano damn well. So, I need to start practicing the piano more.

    @Doug Gibson - This casual talk was perfect. Love the color palette. Also, that mic drop scared the shit out of me haha. This is exactly and more of what I was hoping for Doug. I can't wait to hear more and am learning a lot. I think its so important to understand how to listen to a piece of music like this so we can appreciate it. That's what I'm hoping for is to enjoy this piece and others like this more by learning how to listen.

    Thanks Doug and I hope you feel better soon!
  18. I feel much the same way now. I'm working on improving my piano skills but its very difficult to make progress as an older person (I think I'm about twice your age), you have to work ten times harder. I'm not sure of your piano skill level, but regardless, if you like Tchaikovsky, there's nothing better than the Children's Album Op.39. There is so much to learn from these and I've yet to hear someone (even a pro) really play them as I think they should be played. Plus, you can learn a great deal about Tchaikovsky's harmony from these as well as there are so examples of great harmonic passages. My ex. is far from perfect but here's the fourth one. I sent it to my Mom, but she didn't seem to care!

    Tchaikovsky's Op.39, No.4, great practice and study material in this album

    I took my son's college course in Music History so he could graduate. He needed one more credit and he likes engineering and I like music - go ahead, thrown me in jail! Well, the course was AWFUL. It was an online course, and the teacher was a feminist that was re-writing music history making women all the prominent composers! I mean, I have great respect for women composers like Dora Pejačević and such (but no mention of her!) , but this course was pulling soggy rabbits out of a hat. I spent a lot of time arguing with her but we eventually passed and my son got his two engineering degrees! (and I now work for him). The point is, if this course was only slightly indicative on the state of music education in America, I can see why we have such a sad situation and the general public isn't interested in orchestral music.

    Now Pejačević, is really good, probably one of the best female composers and people should know who she is.

    Sorry to litter this thread with so many off topic examples, but we're just chattering while we wait for Doug to return. :)

    @Doug - btw, so far your analysis is really clear and spot on. However, as the piece moves on, its very easy to spot the underlying melodic and harmonic themes but its what he has going on above with with the violin, and, how he integrates that so well with the orchestra through Q &A's that makes it so interesting to me. I guess, like Elfman describes, not being a violinist, I'm very intimidated by this writing and virtuoso performance and wouldn't exactly know how to analyze. I guess I need to go back and study Venegerov and his break down of the Sibelius Violin Concerto as well as a bunch of other violin concertos. Its hard to learn the intricacies of such an instrument when you don't play it yourself.
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  19. Part 2 gets us into Gotham. More soon

  20. Doug, I just wanted to say thank you so much for doing this. Its very enlightening. Its interesting how the sound puzzled people and they had a hard time connecting with it (including myself), yet, when you break it down, its just triads and submediant modulations. How ridiculously simple! Yet, I guess the flying arpeggios above on the violin were throwing my ears off? Compared with something like Korngold's violin concerto (where the motif is much more complex), this appears much simpler (both in terms of chords and motifs). In any case, thank you for opening my ears up! Much appreciated. I look forward to what other rabbits you might pull out of the hat. You have good ears.
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