Sunday, April 26, 2015

Video of the Week: Four Seasons by Mel

Move over Vivaldi.  Here comes my own "Four Seasons" ... all for piano.

This all started back in 1986 when it was cold, so I decided to write a piece called "Winter."  I entered it into some statewide competition and got second or third place (can't remember which).  I got beat by some kid composing some kind of chicken scratch (which I would compose myself when I got to college).

The judges critiqued my piece with me in some room.  I remember them asking me why I changed key signatures in the middle of the piece.  My answer: "Beethoven did it."  How else was I supposed to answer?  Heck ... Chopin uses the wrong key signature in one of his etudes.  So, there!

I just wanted to write a "cold" piece.

Anyway, the other three seasons materialized over the next four years.  I put them together in my own "Four Seasons."  Enjoy!

1. Winter
2. Spring
3. Summer
4. Autumn

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Video of the Week: Introduction to Ligeti

This week I'll go with a more modern composer, Gyorgy Ligeti.  His music appears in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Specifically the parts with the apes and the travel scene at the end.

Now, you can hear his "Nonsense Madrigals," an amazing set of short a cappella choral pieces.

My first exposure to this was a live performance of the King Singers at BYU back in 1993.  They performed "The Alphabet" (which starts at 3:46).  That performance blew me away and stuck with me all these years.  I hope you enjoy this recording ...

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Video of the Week: Chopin's Revolutionary Jazz

This week, I'll go with something light.  I'm sure you've heard a dozen performances of Chopin's Revolutionary Etude (op. 10 no. 12), but perhaps you haven't heard it like this.  Throw in a little jazz and ...