In Yellow Waves, for Bb trumpet, alto saxophone and drums

InYellowWaves_title

 

  1. Larghetto e dondolante
  2. Allegretto energico

 Genre contrapuntal pieces

Date of composing October 2014, November 2016 – revised (I); March 2017 (II)

Style contemporary, jazz

Duration [1’57”], [1’47”]

Level of difficulty intermediate to advanced

Copyright © 2014-2017 Natalia Pispini

Description

The idea of these pieces occurred after the trip through the Arabian desert. The highway crossed endless sand-dunes which took bizarre dark-yellow color due to the car’s UV-protected windows. The view of that sand ocean together with the huge sun disk hanging indifferently in the sky had left an unforgettable image. Thus ‘In Yellow Waves I’ was created. Later I composed the second piece, a ‘companion’ with similar conception of undulating melody but contrasting by tempo, rhythm and character.

In both compositions the contrapuntal polyphonic technique of canon (strict or free) was applied. The texture keeps canon fragments coming and disappearing, or it may change intervals. The drums (one player) perform rhythmic accompaniment. Bitonality (I) and bimodality (II) bring more chilly and dissonant sound. Another distinctive feature is the uneven meter 7/8 in the second piece.

The following instruments are used for the drums part:

I – acoustic bass drum, acoustic snare, hi-hat, 2 hanging toms and a floor tom, crash cymbal, ride cymbal, tambourine, triangle, cowbell.

II – acoustic bass drum, acoustic snare, hi-hat, 2 hanging toms and a floor tom, crash cymbal, ride cymbal, China cymbal, tambourine.

To learn the further details, to look at the score and the audio samples and to purchase the scores, please click on the links below.

In Yellow Waves I

In Yellow Waves II

In Yellow Waves II, for Bb trumpet, alto saxophone and drums

 

From ‘In Yellow Waves, for Bb trumpet, alto saxophone and drums

Date of composing March 2017

Genre contrapuntal piece

Style contemporary, jazz

Duration [1’47”]

Level of difficulty advanced

Copyright © 2017 Natalia Pispini

Description

In C/G, Allegretto energico. Waving melody principle once again (after The Yellow Waves I) is employed in this piece. The uneven meter 7/8 together with complex syncopations and accents bring particular drive to this composition. Polyphonic technique of free canon is used (when the voice-follower imitates the interval number and not the quality). Two canon voices – trumpet (leader) and saxophone (follower) – are in different tonalities (C and G) and modes, so the basic canon interval is the fourth but not necessary. In B and A2 sections of the simple quaternary form AA1BA2 the canon intervals are changing, and by the end the canon structure is dissolving. The drums (one player part) accompany the canon.

Performance notes

Quick changes of legato, non legato, staccato and glissando, in combination with ‘jumping’ melody and specific accentuation constitute technical difficulties in this piece for trumpet and saxophone players. The trills are always with the note above, tone or semitone apart. The drums part requires good foot technique.

The drums notation:

InYellowWaves2DrumsNotation

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Learn about the first piece in the same opus, In Yellow Waves I

 

In Yellow Waves I, for Bb trumpet, alto saxophone and drums

From ‘In Yellow Waves, for Bb trumpet, alto saxophone and drums

Date of composing October 2014; November 2016 – revised

Genre contrapuntal piece

Style contemporary, jazz

Duration [1’57”]

Level of difficulty intermediate to advanced

Copyright © 2014-2016 Natalia Pispini

Description

In C/A, Larghetto e dondolante. The swaying motion of this piece is imitating moves along sand-dunes. Hard-swinging rhythm, triplets and syncopation refer to jazz style. The structure is simple ternary form ABA1 with a brief introduction. The texture is more sophisticated with a polyphonic strict canon which is ‘scattering’ by the end of the composition. Two canon voices – trumpet (leader) and saxophone (follower) – are in different tonalities (C and A), and the canon interval is the major third. The drums (one player) accompany the canon.

Performance notes

Combination of legato and glissando is the primary playing technique here for trumpet and saxophone players. The extended pitch range is applied. The percussion set includes triangle and cowbell. The triangle sound is of two qualities: 1) the normal sound, and 2) the quieter sound (out of the inner area of the instrument).

The drums notation:

InYellowWaves1DrumsNotation

 

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Learn about second piece in the same opus, In Yellow Waves II

Two Salon Pieces, for string quartet

Two Salon Pieces

  1. Expectation. A major. Tempo di Valse
  2. Determination. A minor. Tempo di Mazurka

 Genre pieces for string quartet (2 violins, viola, cello) in character of waltz and mazurka dances

Date of composing October 2014; March 2016 – revised

Style Neo-Romantic

Duration [2’00”], [1’57”]

Level of difficulty beginner to intermediate; intermediate to advanced

Copyright © 2014-2016 Natalia Pispini

Description

Here is my first attempt to compose miniatures for string quartet, with classical approach to musical form and texture, and touches of Neo-Romantic emotionalism on the level of harmony and tonalities. Both pieces display an airy and capricious character; both are connected with the dance meters / rhythmic patterns. Maybe, these things have eventually brought me to the title ‘Salon Pieces’. Both are composed in a simple ternary musical form ABA1. The texture is basically homophonic (melody or ‘thickened’ melody vs. harmonic support) and enriched by flashes of ‘spicy’ chromatic notes. The bowing technique is specified if necessary.

To learn the details please click on the links below

Expectation

Determination

Determination, for string quartet

 

From ‘Two Salon Pieces, for string quartet’

Date of composing March 2016

Genre a piece for string quartet (2 violins, viola, cello) in character of mazurka

Style Neo-Romantic

Duration [1’57”]

Level of difficulty advanced

Copyright © 2016 Natalia Pispini

Description

In A minor, Tempo di Mazurka. Lyrical and dramatic mood is prevailing here, with mazurka meter of ¾ and the rhythmic patterns typical for this dance. The ternary form ABA1 has shortened B section. The almost relentless tempo, the predominance of minor tonalities and the ‘insisting’ repeated figure at the cello part – all these features serve the named character of ‘determination’. But the chromatic details reveal anxious and unstable qualities in the whole.

Performance notes

The performance of this piece requires basic level of virtuosity. Besides dramatic development within the piece, it is expected to be played in relatively light and elegant sound. Holding strictly the tempo and following precisely the rhythmic patterns are essential for the musical image.

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Songs of Spring, three choral songs on Walt Whitman’s poems

 

songs_of_spring_title

  1. The First Dandelion. C major. Adagio
  2. After the Dazzle of Day. B minor – B major. Lento
  3. Out of May’s Shows Selected. G major. Allegretto

Date of composing April 2014; May 2015 – revised; January 2016 – revised

Genre choral songs for mixed chorus SATB a cappella; the second song is for SATB and alto solo

Language English

Style Romantic

Duration [1’43”], [2’21”], [1’52”]

Level of difficulty advanced

Copyrights music: © 2014-2016 Natalia Pispini; lyrics: Walt Whitman’s poems from public domain (credit to http://www.gutenberg.org)

Ideas and inspirations

Composed in spring but in desert scorching environment, the work was inspired by my dreaming of a spring full of fresh colors, fragrant smells and awaking noises. Three short poems by Walt Whitman had been chosen from his great poetic cycle ‘The Leaves of Grass’, because of their vivid and picturesque character. They were combined within a cycle with its own evolution of poetical mood. The unity of these songs I could describe as a course of spring with the parallels to some phases of human life. Thus, the music is displaying images from the early spring (1st song with its pale colors, fresh plants, shy emergence, innocence, calmness) through the moment of pause and self-reflection (2nd song) to the late spring (3rd song with its bold colors, grown plants, completed existence, maturity, motion). The alternating focus onto external and internal world creates additional lyrical dramatic contrast within the cycle.

Performance notes

When performed together, it is important to follow up the original tonalities and tempo marks. For the performance notes, score samples and audio samples of each of the songs please click on the references below. Although the songs are intended to be performed as a cycle, it is possible to sing them separately.

The First Dandelion

After the Dazzle of Day

Out of May’s Shows Selected

Out of May’s Shows Selected, on Walt Whitman’s poem

 

From the choral cycle ‘Songs of Spring’, No.3

Date of composing April 2014; May 2015 – revised; January 2016 – revised

Genre choral song for mixed chorus SATB a cappella

Language English

Style Romantic

Duration [1’52”]

Level of difficulty advanced

Copyrights music: © 2014-2016 Natalia Pispini; lyrics: Walt Whitman’s poems from public domain (credit to http://www.gutenberg.org)

Description

The song is in G major, Allegretto. It is based on ‘Out of May’s Shows Selected’ poem by Walt Whitman, from ‘The Leaves of Grass’:

Apple orchards, the trees all cover’d with blossoms;

Wheat fields carpeted far and near in vital emerald green;

The eternal, exhaustless freshness of each early morning;

The yellow, golden, transparent haze of the warm afternoon sun;

The aspiring lilac bushes with profuse purple or white flowers.

The form is ABA1B1C, where C is a resuming coda. The A-sections have a melody sung by male voices and bird-calling like short repetitive motifs of female voices. In the B-sections the melody is led by soprano-alto-tenor voices and accompanied by bass voices. The tonality changes are mainly from G major to B flat major and back, with additional tonal switches in between.

Performance notes

The performance is expected to have light-colored voice sound and brilliant virtuosity. The basic difficulties are bird-calling motifs and quick tonality changes and shifts. The syllable ‘le’ is suggested for those notes without lyrics, but it is given to the choice of a choir conductor to change the syllable if necessary. The vocal ranges are: Soprano – D4 – A5, Alto – G3 – C5, Tenor – D-flat3 – E4, Bass – G2 – A-sharp 3

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