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Angela Lear

Cinnamonbear - Tansman Mars: Message Board

Cinnamonbear's Comments

This is from the fourth and final book in a series of progressive studies, "les Jeunes au Piano," by Alexandre Tansman. The book is titled, "Au Telescope." The piece is called, "Mars." It is the first in the book, and it starts with a bang! It is marked "Allegro con fuoco," and is a fitting tribute to the planet named after the god of war. The book was printed in 1951, but an inscription after the last piece indicates the works were finished in "Paris, 1939."

The piano is a 1940 Lester spinet, tuned to the Equal Beating Victorian Temperament III at A443. So, in a way, you could say this piece is played on a period instrument!

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Name Date Comment
Carey 2011-08-30 15:54:09 Wow Andy - this one is right up there with your Beethoven Opus 79. Brilliant playing !!!! And the Mighty Lester was a most cooperative collaborator !!!!
wr 2011-08-28 02:55:09 Loved it - made me smile. Your way of characterizing the music suits it perfectly.
David 2011-08-25 21:30:17 As soon as I listened to this piece, it was obvious that it demands a clean, precise, nimble articulation and intonation, and you certainly provided it! I liked too all the military flourishes. The music has much energy, spirit and drive. Your playing was excellent, Andy!
Mel / dannylux 2011-08-25 18:19:02 What a great piece! And you play it brilliantly. I'm going to have to get the score of Au Telescope.
Inlanding 2011-08-21 13:27:10 This piece has a very large presence to it. You certainly take full advantag, and make that Lester respond to your touch so wonderfully.
Cinnamonbear 2011-08-21 09:08:38 Thanks, guys! Justin, I'll be happy to help. I think the music is out of print, but we'll make something work...

Julian, here is the deal with those quick repeated notes: the piano is actually a spinet with a drop action rather than an upright with a direct-blow action. The drop action feels a little more like a grand. On the spinet's drop action, the inverted stickers are pulling at the whippen rather than pushing up through the whole mechanism, so gravity factors differently into the equation. The other consideration is having a tech willing to regulate a spinet! Bill Bremmer and I went over the action twice this year, and set the let-off and the aftertouch very, very close. It is, therefore, a very speedy piano, now, and operates very smoothly. Then, there is practice, of course! The technique in this piece is a three finger motion, with a rapid 4-3-2 pattern, and I found I needed to keep my 5th finger tucked underneath my hand to make it work, drop onto the key with my forth finger with a crisp attack, keep my hand and arm very steady, and then use my finger muscles! I also had to find the key's sweet spot, but it was sufficiently wide, and it IS there.

If you play your piano a lot, save your pennies, nickles, dimes, quarters, dollars, pence, pounds, chickens, hams, jams, or whatever counts for currency in your region, and consider having your piano regulated and voiced. If you have opted to keep a humble piano, the sheer playing pleasure you will get from having it well-regulated, well-voiced and well-tuned can be well worth it. : )
Justin 2011-08-20 20:03:27 Can you message me a link (Opus1Music) to the sheet music?
Justin (Opus1Music) 2011-08-20 20:01:20 I really enjoyed this piece, and then I had to go check out "Venus." Makes me really want to explore these in the future! Excellent work!
Julian (SlatterFan) 2011-08-20 15:40:00 Wow! Great composition and playing. (How do you play those rapid repeated notes so nimbly on an upright?!)
Greg 2011-08-20 12:28:30 Oh, I guess it is - you write that! Your tunings are an enjoyable listen as well as your playing. :-)
Greg 2011-08-20 12:27:38 I like Tansman. I enjoyed your rendition of "Venus" from last year, and this one is every bit as good, and sounds technically more challenging. It's a militaristic feel, isn't it? The red planet? Very nicely played, Andy! Is this on the Lester?