Tuesday, January 12, 2010

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Christmas apparently arrives late when you live on the Plateau of Piano Mediocrity. Maybe they use another calendar here.

Box.net link - O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Actually, the real problem is that I had quite a bit of difficulty with this piece. Listening to it (you are listening, right? go on, it's short...), you'll wonder what the fuss is all about. Trust me, it's harder than it sounds, and I would certainly tell you otherwise.

It comes from Bastien's Book of Christmas Classics, Book 4. Almost every piece in this book was a real stretch for me, either because of tempo or, fancy keys with lots of flats or sharps, or because it required sort of technique I hadn't learned. The latter is the case here. This piece required that I play multiple notes with the same hand (not new) and sustain some while releasing and moving onto others (new and strange). It took quite a long time to get this presentable, to say nothing of getting it good. But it's coming up on mid-January, and it's time to move onto something else.


- Aw2pp, who bows to his Sensei.


Michelle Himes said...

Hey, I'm impressed that you were able to tackle something in a book that has "Book 4" in the title. It's really not bad except for the hesitations. If you revisit it occasionally you should be able to polish it for next year's Christmas Piano Bar.

pdxknitterati/MicheleLB said...

I love this song. It's so minor key and gorgeous. I've played it on the guitar to accompany singing, but not on the piano. And even so, it was hard, because you can't just strum it. It has to be just arpeggiated chords. So a stretch no matter whicn instrument you play for it.

Nice work. Don't you love that minor key? So evocative!

Always Wanted to Play Piano said...

Actually, the minor key is why I chose it. It's so plaintive, and I felt like that comes across well in the music.

For the most part, I'm not big on Christmas music. To me, Christmas music is a choir of college kids singing Coventry Carol, accompanied by an organ or something similar... "High Church Music", if you will. Things like "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas" or "Jingle Bells" sort of annoy me. But this... this is a real favorite.

mom3gram, the Bastien's Book 3 pieces seemed really easy, but the Book 4 pieces were all stretches. In retrospect, knowing what I know now, I might have made a different choice, but at least I already have next year's book!