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Angela Lear

SlatterFan - Goossens Kaleidoscope (selection) 18/2: Message Board

SlatterFan's Comments

Eugene Goossens (1893 - 1962) was an English composer and conductor. He wrote operas, ballets, symphonies and chamber music, including some interesting miniatures for solo piano. Kaleidoscope, written in 1917-18, is a collection of 12 pieces and is almost an English response to Debussy's Children's Corner. The titles and style similarly suggest a day in the life of a child and his or her toys, however the harmonic style is more chromatic and jazz-influenced. Here I play three pieces from the set:

#2 Promenade
#4 March of the Wooden Soldier
#12 Good Night

I played my Yamaha CLP-230 digital piano recording directly to the microphone jack of my PC using Windows Sound Recorder, and later joined the three pieces into one track using Audacity 1.3. Please excuse the clipped end to the first piece! At the time I thought I was just cutting silence, and I realized my mistake too late to correct it.

Post your comments on SlatterFan's performance!

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Name Date Comment
Rachfan 2010-08-26 23:48:35 Yes, definitely fascinating.

gerg 2010-08-26 17:15:51 Isn't it interesting music, David? Maybe not our "home" but fascinating nonetheless.

Having studied the Promenade movement for a couple of days now, I appreciate how the composer sets forth a complex ambiance through implication, relying heavily upon noetic inferences of the listener. In my own simplistic understanding such is characteristic of impressionism, tending as it does toward the creation of scenes rather than moods. This would be a fascinating area for philosophical analysis.

The sweetening near the end coincides with a change in time signature from 5/4 to 3/2. I like how Slatterfan maintained such an even tempo and therefore brought out the "Promenade" feel so well.
Rachfan 2010-08-24 22:56:21 Hi SlatterFan,

I must admit your recordings are my first exposure to Goossens' piano works. The recording process somehow caused an odd low level distortion, mostly noticeable in the quieter sections of these pieces, but your fine playing shined through regardless. Wonderful, engaging performances!

gerg 2010-08-22 23:03:44 Slatterfan, that would explain it. What happened: When you amplified it, Audacity also amplified the error (the hiss/distortion) which is normally at such a low level that it is not noticeable. Should be able correct this, in your recording setup, by simply upping the volume on your CLP-230 a few notches. Like I said below, the music was so good that I didn't care about the recording quality.

FWIW I've already begun learning the Promenade. All I can say is, throw out everything you were taught about chord progression theory! :D I'm appreciating firsthand the nuances of this music.
SlatterFan 2010-08-22 17:19:15 Thank you all so much for the warm comments; they touch and inspire me more than I can say. wr: For some reason the pieces all recorded extremely quietly via Windows Sound Recorder, so I then had to amplify them in Audacity. I should be able to figure a way around this in the future.
heidiv 2010-08-22 12:44:11 These pieces are so fun, they really brought a smile to my face. Your playing enhances their wonderful character.
inlanding 2010-08-21 22:41:41 Quite a feat. Three unlike pieces, yet all related. I like those big, complicated chords and not so typical chord progressions. Wow!
gerg 2010-08-21 13:49:06 wr, that's just a recording artifact. I had the same problem with my Fauré Nocturne recording, unfortunately. One has to up the latency to get rid of it. I didn't care because the music more than made up for it.
wr 2010-08-21 03:47:29 Excellent little pieces, beautifully played.

I think I did detect some kind of odd distortion in the sound, though. Sort of a hazy background noise. Not sure what would cause it...
gerg 2010-08-21 00:52:50 Of all the pieces in this e-cital, and not a bad apple in the bunch (well, except maybe Lightly Row :-D), Goosens is the name that most sticks out for me because I love miniatures and adore dissonance esp. when it is anchored.

You have packed three delightful movements in a little over 3:00 of recording time, and have placed them wonderfully on display, like an intricately-detailed N-scale trainset complete with little cars, working railroad crossings, and miniature people. It's like a musical Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.

I cannot say enough about Kaleidoscope. I definitely will be ordering the sheet music for this! Very, very nicely played. Thank you 100 times for the inspiration.
Carey 2010-08-20 23:10:19 The March definitely sounds like it was written by both Percy Grainger and Prokofiev. These are great little miniatures. Very nice playing !!
Sorcerer88 2010-08-20 20:26:09 Ah, another Clavinova user, i almost my submitted CLP-220 recordings, they really have a nice sound.

nice miniatures, i liked the dissonances in the march. maybe playing the good night piece often enough to children for bed can get them accustomed to the modern style ^^ i know of a person which often heard music with dissonances as a kid in the household and now doesn't quite understand the ruckus about them ;)
gerg 2010-08-20 12:43:39 I like this well enough to learn it! Children's Corner is a good comparison. The selection you've chosen is like a Poulenc Mouvements Perpetuels. It also has a rather Prokofievesque feel.