Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Piano music (still religious)

I mentioned that I'd get away from organ music all the time.

Pange Lingua is an ancient piece of plainsong (wikipedia info here) with a compelling little tune. Very simple and straightforward. Six lines of music, ranging an octave. Several years ago, I wrote a little set of variations on the tune for the piano. The style is one I would use at St. John's College while improvising during communion - high in the piano range, in perpetual motion, with wavelike figures. Eventually (in the second variation), this set breaks in to overtone playing of the sort Messaien asks for, where the right hand softly plays the natural overtones of the melody, colouring it. This has become a favourite technique of mine at the piano, and has figured in to some of my solo preludes and similar pieces, and in to the previous mentioned Sonatina for Piano and Violin. It's also a part of my writing in my Flute/'Cello/Piano trio which will no doubt be seen here soon.

I had some fun with the image file this time and made it in to an animated GIF, slowly scrolling through each page in turn so you can get an idea of each variation. It should change once every five seconds. For those interested in the five-page PDF file, it can be found here.

Creative Commons License
Pange Lingua Variations by Mike Cutler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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