MONDAY, May 3, 2021 – 4:01 AM
MONDAY, May 3, 2021
Grieg Elves Dance
This is another of Grieg’s Lyrical Pieces. I planned to record it in about a minute, but like everything playing it well is not as easy as I thought.
This is one of the longest and most complicated arrangements I’ve ever done. The film came out in 1995. The music is by James Horner. As with all this music there are only standard, stock arrangements, and many cases – perhaps most – they are not done by the composers. The people who produce sheet music are overworked and underpaid, and they hardly have big incentives to get creative. Everything that was most interesting to me was not in the music. It was in the film itself, so I took extra themes and incorporated them into the arrangement.
This is HARD. I had to make numerous changes to make it smoother and more effective. In fact it was so hard that I delayed tackling forever. But I really think this is one of the nicest things that Horner ever wrote. I have a huge respect for film composers, and in my opinion there is no greater mistake than ignoring this music, which logically and artistically should be included right in the same concerts with Mozart, Grieg, Rachmaninov and so. In the past young pianists always showcased music that was being written in their lives. They promoted it, championed it, and that’s how it became known.
But today there is a divide. If it’s “popular”, it can’t be serious, or important, or played in the same venues as popular music, which is insane. A couple centuries it was just the opposite. Young composers played the best of everything, no matter if it was earlier music or something written the week before.
I don’t know how the music business became so fragmented. It’s insane.
Agustín Barrios Mangoré: Cathedral
I transcribed this a few months ago, and I’ve taught it to several students. It’s one of those pieces that never stops, and that’s always harder for me. No places to breathe, relax or refocus. One little mental lapse and it all goes up in smoke. The guitar composition is very famous among guitarists, but I wanted it available for pianists. There is never too much music for us.