ITM, classical arrangements

ITM, classical arrangements

I was asked to participate in a classical showcase. Since I don’t play classical harp, and it being near SPD, I decided to play some traditional tunes that had been incorporated or arranged in classical compositions. Then the event was cancelled due to plague.

But this gives me a chance to work up some more tunes for the rescheduled concert. So, anyone have some suggestions?

Originally I planned to play Molly in the Shore and The Temple Hill (Sweetheart) Reel (certified weirdo Percy Grainger), Star of the County Down (Ralph Vaughan-Williams), The Gentle Maiden and The Littke Red Lark (William Alwyn), and The Air From the County Derry (just about everyone), plus a couple Carolann tunes.

Thanks.

Re: ITM, classical arrangements

Leslie’s March (aka the "March from Oscar and Malvina)
https://thesession.org/tunes/987
would sound good on harp.
Read the comments there about the age of the tune and how it was used in a ballet or opera.

Re: ITM, classical arrangements

Dia dhaoibh! Greetings all and hoping you’re all keeping safe and well!

One of the most moving pieces of Irish music with classical arrangement that I have experienced has to be the incredibly brilliant Liam O’Flynn performing with the RTÉ Orchestra, the Shaun Davey composition called ‘The Brendan Voyage’.
SORRY, can’t give you a link, but that information should find you a result.

I think it was the first time a piece of pipes music had been composed specifically for that purpose.
Liam did tell me once about the challenges of having to learn to work with a set score and the disciplines of an orchestra.
Such a beautiful humble and gifted man!

All the best
Brian x

Re: ITM, classical arrangements

Could anybody enlighten my ignorance and define what is meant by ‘classical’ . I don’t really understand why a lot of Irish trad tunes are not regarded as classical tunes, but then, does it refer to how the tunes are played, say, with a lot of melodic harmonies or something? Only two days ago when I was listening to classical music on the radio I heard a really nice version of the Galway Hornpipe played slowly, but solely on the fiddle. It was presented as classical music.

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Re: ITM, classical arrangements

There are all sorts of definitions and most people don’t bother, just go with, "I know it when I hear it."

I think a good rule of thumb is which is crucial, the piece of music or the performer? In classical musics the piece, the music, has a clearly defined existence which performers aspire to conform to.
In non-classical musics the piece of music is a vehicle for the performer.

You wouldn’t normally go to a trad concert just because the publicity tells you that Cooley’s Reel will be played!
You might go to hear Beethoven’s Nth symphony without worrying which professional orchestra is playing.

Re: ITM, classical arrangements

I would disagree somewhat, TomB-R. A piano concerto is very much a vehicle for the performer.
I would say that classical refers to a style of playing associated with Western Art Music. For me that means a very stylised form of expression with excessive vibrato (especially in the voice), massive dynamics and liberal use of rubato, amongst other things.
Oh, and a lack of crackingly good tunes, especially since the start of the twentieth century.

Re: ITM, classical arrangements

"A piano concerto is very much a vehicle for the performer." True enough DonaldK, I don’t disagree. Maybe not a clear choice of words on my part as in some ways all music is a vehicle for the performer. But with a piano concerto you have to follow the "composers intention" and stay within the accepted boundaries of interpretation.
The classical musician aspires to a wonderful realisation of "the piece" the non-classical musician does whatever they like.

Re: ITM, classical arrangements

I think with most styles of music you are encouraged to "stay within the accepted boundaries of interpretation" if you want to be true to the style. Each style has its own "accepted boundaries".
It is true that, nowadays, "classical" music is very much score led with very little space, if any, for extemporisation, except in some very modern far-out scores. (In the past I believe cadenzas were left to the performer until Mozart and others started composing their own.)

"…the non-classical musician does whatever they like." Really? Would it be acceptable for a trad fiddler to play with classical vibrato on every note or use lots of accidentals in "Lark in the Morning"? Would it be acceptable for a jazz saxophonist to play the changes of "White Christmas" in A over rhythm changes (the harmonic progression of "I Got Rhythm" in Bb)? The non-classical musician certainly has more freedom with the notes than his classical counterpart, but surely not total freedom.

Perhaps the easiest way to identify music as "classical" visually are the dinner suits!

Re: ITM, classical arrangements

Dinner suits aside, what’s your definition or test Donald?

Re: ITM, classical arrangements

It’s to do with a mixture of the complexity of the music (in terms of sound), the instrumentation, the structure, the development (both melodic and harmonic) and the style of expression. It’s difficult to describe but you know when you hear it.

One thing that classical and trad have in common is that the music tends to be associated with composers (if known) rather than performers in that there’s no such thing as a cover version (LSO cover of Beethoven’s 5th, Kevin Burke cover of Carolan’s Concerto).

Re: ITM, classical arrangements

Thanks for everyone’s help. The discussion is a bit off the main track, but it continues to be interesting and informative, so don’t stop. I’m just looking for toooons.

I’m looking for Irish trad tunes (example: The Gentle Maiden) that have been arranged or incorporated in compositions that would generally be considered classical (examples: string quartets, orchestral suites, solo songs with artsy-fartsy accompaniment) written by composers generally considered classical (example: Ralph Vaughn Williams). The compositions don’t need to sound at all Irish or incorporate traditional instruments, though they may, but the tunes used should. I plan to play the tunes “straight”, not as they are arranged, but I’m looking for a particular connection between the tunes and classical music (whatever that is*).

*Classical (small c) music is what i’m pointing at when I say “that’s classical music.

Again, thanks for those intriguing suggestions. Being in voluntary quarantine, I have time to learn some new tunes.

Re: ITM, classical arrangements

Gobby: "I don’t really understand why a lot of Irish trad tunes are not regarded as classical tunes, …

Googled article: " “Classical” means “traditional” or “being present for a long time”… “Classical music” refers to well established music *genres* (plural) of the past centuries (incl. recent 20th c.)."

Gobby (cont’d.):" but then, does it refer to how the tunes are played."

Me: Well, there will always be that. Any way you dice it it’s all music & everyone seems to have
something to say about how it is played.

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Re: ITM, classical arrangements

Careful with what you say or we might have to start wearing tuxedos to sessions!

Re: Classic ITM Dress Code?

No worries, Cheeky. A session is not a performance; in the "classic/trad" sense.
;

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