Sunday, April 26, 2015

My accompaniment nemesis

I'm still working as the Performing Arts piano accompanist this semester. I'm still in love with it. I think I've met my accompaniment nemesis, though. I had thought it was last semester's Hello O Margaret It's You, but NO. It's Bolcom's Amor.


This piece is insane. Deceptively so - it combines a tricky and non-intuitive rhythm with the need for precision. There's no way to fudge your way through this piece. Everyone will notice. People in the comments think the female soloist posted this video. They are wrong. The accompanist posted it, because he knows he is hot stuff on the piano. Seriously, he is so good! After two weeks of practice, I think I've got this piece down...enough. Luckily, the soloist I'm playing it for has a good sense of timing and is confident enough to sing with accompaniments that rarely follow exactly along with her melody.

My favorite pieces this semester are Johnson's Will There Really Be a Morning (for the women in the choir), and a solo piece called Sure On This Shining Night by Barber. The former I love even though the words come from my least favorite poet (sorry, everyone - if I tell you that most of her poems can be sung to "The Yellow Rose of Texas," she will be ruined for you, too). The latter I love because the accompaniment is not just a background, but is a tandem performance with the vocals.

In other accompaniment news, I've been pounding out chords a lot with Schubert (Was Ist Sylvia and An Die Musik). There have been a few Italian arias as well, some crazy Copland (All the Pretty Little Horses), a creepy-but-pretty lullaby (Lullaby), and some familiar American songs (Long Time Ago and Deep River (!!!!)).

Oh, I forgot my runner-up nemesis might be Don't Rain On My Parade. If the Emirati girl singing it can pull off this Barbra Streisand showstopper - and if anybody can, she can - I only hope I can keep up! What a song.

It's shaping up to be another great semester of music!

4 comments:

Jen and Joe. said...

It's a beautiful piece----and you're right, HE'S GOOD. He's also a very good page turner. That's a skill I admire a LOT in a good piano player.

Also? I have very mixed feelings about Emily Dickinson. She's my home girl, though, so there's that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oTCWwlUNzc

Crys said...

He is hot stuff! Love all the pretty little horses. Wonder if you will ever get a Papa can you see me. That is one of my favorite Barbra numbers.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Haha, I just thought of one her poems and sang it to that tune.

Last spring I stopped at her home in Amherst just because it was there. It was closed for the day.

Kathy Haynie said...

Her poems are even worse to the "Gilligan's Island" theme song tune. :)

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