Monday, January 09, 2006

Ricercare in C Major IV

OK. I have v. 1.0 Beta of the Ricercare in C Major finished, which is a huge relief. Now I can concentrate on my slow-play regimen and Convertible Counterpoint.

On the former, I have metronomed my way through the twelve Figuration Preludes over the last three days, and I have begun to retire some of them from the program: The earliest and easiest ones I can now play from 100 BPM to 50 BPM with my eyes closed... literally. Once I can do that, they are off the list. Tonight I'll start through the eighteen Axial Studies, and I should be able to retire two to four of them as well. The goal now is to get five or so off the list each time I metronome through the circa fifty pieces in my set until there are none left but the most challenging pieces. Then I can start adding new pieces again. I think as I retire pieces from the list I'll record them, and at the end of each time through I'll post them on my Fileshare page and archive the high-rez versions for the CD re-record.

On the latter, I'm being very meticulous, so it's just taking more time than I anticipated. The entirety of Chapter II should be posted by tomorrow sometime, and Chapter III I'll post in two parts. At the end of Chapter III will be the 1/3 point (Page 50) of what I want to cover this go-round (Two-voice vertical-shifting counterpoint). I kind of doubt that this topic is of much general interest, but blogging through a treatise is just an ass-kicking way to learn a subject: The combination of reading, transcribing, and commenting on the text just burns it slam into the ol' gray matter. My readership may dip during this project, but I'm sure as heck getting a ton out of it; much more than with the Beethoven project.


Here's the final page of the Ricercare as it stands now (The previous pages have not changed):



At the resolution to C I have started a harmonized version of the quasi-inversus form of the fugue subject that begins the Ricercare, and since it moves up, it traverses through the lowest voice. The upper voices are never really "brought down", but that's OK, as the final fugue in Sonata Zero picks up at this point later (That episode starts with an E minor chord, with just the top note here down a semitone. Schweet, no?).

Since the episode starts on the tonic and modulates to the dominant, the recapitulation begins over a dominant pedal instead of a tonic pedal like the first and last movements do. And, as you can see, the recap is the stretto of the final fugue, but here in the relative major: Since I had a major mode statement of the Extempore's expo/recap earlier, I thought it only fitting to use the fugues recap in the major mode here: All three pieces are tied together.

I usually do some polishing over the several days after "finishing" something like this, but it's out of the realm of my obsessiveness now, so I can move onto more pressing issues like Taneiev, metronomes, and digital recording.


A friend e-mailed with a hint of alarm in his tone about the "scantily clad women" appearing here. I would only say three things:

1) They are artistic masterpieces (Both beautiful women and the classic pinups).

2) They are paintings, and not photos.

3) Guitarists aren't the only ones who appreciate a good redhead pinup girl: Bassists evidently get in on the act as well.

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