Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Mozart

Afternoon: Last night, I finished my work early and enjoyed a bit of quiet before I went to bed. I picked up and old book and enjoyed relaxing after accomplishing the day’s tasks. In the space of quiet I had a hankering for Mozart’s Sonata For 2 Pianos. It’s the music that was the basis of the "Mozart Effect" & "Baby Mozart" craze (which happened to be a gross misunderstanding of scientific data). It’s a lot of fun to listen to with headphones on and it was my companion as I went to sleep. As I was listening to it, I was struck by the beauty in the 2nd movement (Andante). It was a light and playful piece and because there are two pianos, it’s almost like a duet, but not really. It was interesting to see the similarities between Mozart, Keith Jarrett & Bill Evans.
I listened to it again a couple times this morning and I decided I wanted to look a little deeper into the piece. So I sat down and worked on transcribing the first section: melody first, bass second and harmony third. It’s a moderately simple piece (hard to put on guitar all together right now), with a beautiful melody and nice sweeping piano fills between the phrases. The melody line looks like G major and then G Lydian towards the end. The harmony line uses some very nice but simple closed voicing triads and it quite amazing to hear. Because of the two pianos, the accompanist can double the melody note on in his piano. This is where it’s like a duet, but not.
I picked up some nice comping ideas from it (Dennis Cayhil uses similar voicings & dynamics) and want to continue the piece and see how the melody shapes out over the entire movement.
At first I felt it might be a distraction to what I’m already doing, but after working on it I think it will be a helpful study.

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