Author Topic: Henning's Headquarters  (Read 408810 times)

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6860 on: November 22, 2017, 02:49:52 PM »
Fresh mp3
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6861 on: November 24, 2017, 07:35:17 AM »
In more somber news, our parish will have three funerals or memorial services in the coming weeks.  For one, there was a request for an upbeat jazzy trombone solo, Just a Closer Walk With Thee.  I consulted the Pastor, who reported that clarinet would do just fine.  I have known this for two weeks and a half, but between laryngitis, the Triad concerts, and Thanksgiving, it is only this morning that I saw to the requisite composition.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 05:55:17 AM by k a rl h e nn i ng »
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6862 on: November 25, 2017, 07:40:41 AM »
And now, though we are not quite at the one-minute mark, the mp3 hath too great grown for simple attachment hereunto.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6863 on: November 26, 2017, 05:58:28 AM »
In more somber news, our parish will have three funerals or memorial services in the coming weeks.  For one, there was a request for an upbeat jazzy trombone solo, Just a Closer Walk With Thee.  I consulted the Pastor, who reported that clarinet would do just fine.  I have known this for two weeks and a half, but between laryngitis, the Triad concerts, and Thanksgiving, it is only this morning that I saw to the requisite composition.

A few modest modifications, some of them simply to repair miscalculation (my arrangement runs two measures for each one of the source hymn, but I "dropped" a measure here and there).  Withal, I think the glide is yet smoother.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6864 on: November 30, 2017, 06:11:33 AM »
Seven years ago!

Not just for the obvious reason (pleasure in the fact that fellow musicians and music-lovers respond so favorably to the music) I greatly enjoy Cato's essay.

I've started to read Alexander Waugh's (yes, Evelyn's grandson) Classical Music: A New Way of Listening, and the lion's share of the chapter I read this morning was good discussion on meaning in music . . . which we could summarize by a caption to one of the chapter's illustrations, to the effect that Beethoven wasn't thinking of moonlight when he wrote his piece, but there's nought wrong with 'hearing' moonlight in it.

So at first, it surprised me when Cato wrote that he hears Berg in the opening. But once I set that surprise to one side, I saw where he hears that . . . in short, one of the aspects of the essay which I enjoy (and find instructive) is getting a sense of what an entirely different pair of ears (and eyes) finds in this piece of my own.


For devotees of Karl Henning's music, especially of the recent Viola Sonata Opus 102 I offer the rather superficial analytical review of the First Movement Fair Warning: if you have not yet downloaded the score and performance, you should take care of that problem!   0:)

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,92.1940.html


In the first movement, you hear the shadow of Alban Berg in the Viola: a mysterious yearning arises from a kind of struggling non-tonal tonality.  Note that even in the first bar, in the 5:4 figure of 16ths, one hears a kind of tonality in the broken D# (= Eb) Bb (= A#) Eb (= D#) chord, and then again in bar 2, note the broken up D major scale in the 5:4 figure, nearly emphasized by the accent mark on the D after the 16th rest.  Bar 3 has the little march figure which again has an aroma of traditional tonality (F minor, starting with the C-F figure at the end of bar 2), and tells us that maybe the Viola has been wanting to be in F minor from the start, but cannot decide.  The seeming chaos in the piano, with its B/A# and D/C# in the bass, and similarly wide-spaced dissonances in the treble, would apparently not be involved, but listen carefully to the odd E major in the piano in bars 3 and 4, which the Viola picks up in its partially contrary figure at the beginning of bar 4.

The chord at the end of bar 4, with its open fifths in the piano and the Viola’s minor second G#/A stubbornly refusing to accept the engagement ring from either suitor, will become very important motivically, as it is paralleled in bars 28-31, and in bars 203-205, repeated nearly verbatim in bar 41, and paralleled again in the conclusion. The minor second in the Viola can of course be heard as a variation on the major 7ths in the piano’s bass at the beginning.  This idea is reinforced in bar 7 in the piano, where the bass ascends from Bb to Bb to G#, while the treble and the Viola hold an A.

Lest ye think that the little minor second is just a moment’s hesitation, let me send you to bar 14, where for a moment both instruments play G#, but then the piano plays F#2/G# on the last beat, and to the Meno mosso section at bar 45, where things are seemingly in accord, with a unison on B in both instruments, but immediately we get a disagreement (Bb in the piano/A# in the Viola), followed by a C/Db and then in bar 46 we hear that G#/A, resolved into a unison to be sure, but then note the minor seconds in bars 49 and 50 (nicely played in the performance).  This is one of the more comically poignant, or poignantly comic parts of the work.

The Piu mosso section at bar 59 shows a variation on the 5:4 motif from the opening melody.  The motif is now legalized with a time signature of its own (5/16), but does return in the piano for a moment in bar 64.  Of interest rhythmically and motivically are bars 66-72: the music struggles upward through major and minor seconds for a while.  In bar 69 the 5:4 figure in the piano sets the stage for an erratic ascent from B to C, with a minor ninth crescendo in bar 72.

The delicious Slow (but with life) part (bars 83-108) shows variations on the previous motifs (bar 86 develops the 5:4 figure, and the double open fifths in bar 87),  and I like how the wide leaps in the piano presage the sudden drop in the Viola in bars 97-98.  Octaves abound, but not for long, as the music fragments to a kind of pointillism in bars 109-132.  The open-fifths-vs.-minor-second debate is heard in the piano in bar 122, just to make sure you are paying attention, and that 5:4 figure now appears as a 5:6 in the base.

And then my favorite part: the completely schizoid Piu mosso ancora! (Bars 133-176) The section continues to play with items already established, e.g. hear the bass part of the piano continue the minor/major 2nd/7th/9th patterns, while the treble plays around with the motifs introduced back in bar 95ff. and 106-107.  Listen to how they contrast with the melodic line in the Viola, with trills (136-137), emphatically accented 16ths, the 5:4 and new 6:4 figures, while the piano obediently avoids such rhythmically complexities, allowing only some syncopations.  And I must remark upon how well the premiere performance handled this section!

In bars 177 the music develops the earlier Piu mosso (bars 59-82) and drives toward a climax where a variation of the opening is proclaimed beginning at bar 201.  During this drive, note again the presence of those minor/major 2nd/7th/9th patterns: bars 189 and 194-195 are especially impressive here, the latter two bars show a minor second expanding to a third and then a fourth, leading to the open fifths in the treble in the next two bars.

As mentioned earlier, those Beethovenian chords from bar 4 return in bars 203-205.  We then hear a brilliant, condensed, and varied recapitulation of the most important parts of the entire movement (e.g. listen to the piano in bars 212-214 and in the bass only to 218 and compare it to bars 95-102), while above one hears a near apotheosis of the 5:4 figure interspersed with continual variations on it: check out e.g. bar 219 where the Viola plays an eighth-note triplet with a duplet, as well as the bass part in the piano in bars 220-221.  Bar 221 is particularly fascinating with the way motivic and rhythmic elements coalesce in the piano, before our Beethovenian chords put an end to this serious yet playful and highly expressive movement! 

Very gratified that someone else is so fond of the Più mosso ancora . . . it probably fits the "schizoid" descriptor, but that section has layers which were carefully 'plotted' (I have fond memories of one evening in the staff lounge in the basement of the MFA as I worked on the more 'mechanical' aspects of it), and other layers of pure fancy, or fancy as nearly pure as my composition is capable of.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Cato

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6865 on: November 30, 2017, 03:32:46 PM »
And now, though we are not quite at the one-minute mark, the mp3 hath too great grown for simple attachment hereunto.

We note a G Major/g minor aspect in the piano's opening statement, and it seems that major/minor conflicts of various kinds may await us in future bars:  great start!

And many thanks for bringing back the masterful  Viola Sonata to our awareness!   ;)

"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline Rons_talking

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6866 on: December 06, 2017, 07:38:26 PM »
Fresh mp3

I really like this...is there more ?!

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6867 on: December 07, 2017, 02:34:26 AM »
I really like this...is there more ?!

Thanks; a little more, but then the pre-holiday distractions (as only expected) have taken over.  A couple of weeks more and I can resume my "a little progress each day" act.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/xAu8jmII5rk" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/xAu8jmII5rk</a>
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline arpeggio

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6868 on: December 07, 2017, 08:09:01 AM »
Wow.  I look forward hearing the completed work  ;)

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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    • Henningmusick
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    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6869 on: December 09, 2017, 07:01:17 PM »
A few modest modifications, some of them simply to repair miscalculation (my arrangement runs two measures for each one of the source hymn, but I "dropped" a measure here and there).  Withal, I think the glide is yet smoother.

And here is a "studio demo" I fluffed through on 5 Dec.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

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