Snow, Moon and Flowers: Sculthorpe
An interest in Eastern harmonies would be considered important for this piece. A learner who would benefit the most would enjoy experiential music that portrays a theme and an awareness of tonal centres.
The Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe is quoted as saying he wanted his music to make people feel better and happier. This piece was written in 1971 which is towards the end of the period characterised by the influence of Japanese and Far Eastern music.
This work requires a careful touch with full awareness of the process involved. It requires listening skills and a confidence in silence. An acknowledgement of each notes position in time will be required.
The phrasing is closely connected to the pedal and pitch. Allowing the music to breathe and grow will
This piece resonates the lower notes on the piano to mimic the giant Indonesian gongs. Each note needs to be cleanly depressed with sufficient pressure to feel the resonance of the note. The prominence of the E3 flat, A3 flat and B3 flat in bar 10 & 11 and 13 & 14 need bringing forward above the right hand accompaniment
Clean pedal work is required throughout with careful execution of the composers shown pedal line. Remember that not all of the piece requires pedal, the silences are as important as the pedalled sections.
The style is based on Japanese Haiku and the expansion and contraction on tonal centres.
The tempo requires an internal understanding of the subtlties of pulse and nuance.
Listen first, to as many performances as possible while following the music. Listen with the lights on and in darkness, listen with headphones and outside. Analyse your feelings as you listen, consider all this when you practice, the sound creates the emotion. All the music to breathe through each thought.
Sept. 23, 2023 at 11am
This pieces requires equal amounts of technical skills and imagery, and understanding of the historical and social influences from China, Japan and Indonesia will bring many of the original thoughts of the composer into the performance.
An accomplished performance will transport the listener to a different place and time. It will feel as if time has stood still and the lack of sound at the end will wait, poised to envelop if it is not broken.
A satisfying performance will bring imagery of the Far East. The rhythm will be secure and dynamic contrast apparent. Character will be included and pedalling somewhat secure.
An acceptable performance will contain the correct notes, show an awareness of timbre and texture, provide a hint to the possibilities in the music and demonstrate some pedal skills.
C.L. Caton-Greasley CT ABRSM, DipLCM(TD), ALCM(TD), LLCM(TD)
30 May 2020, 10:40:02