Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Florence Price’s “Adoration”

Augustin Hadelich at the piano, with thirty-seven other musicians, performing Florence Price’s “Adoration.” It’s a piece for organ, arranged for violin and piano by our household’s composer and arranger Elaine Fine. It’s a beautiful project. My response to these performances in this year of sorrows is beyond words.

comments: 9

Fresca said...

I was just saying to my sister that These Times bring out the worst in people... and the best.
Here is the best.

Fresca said...

P.S. I don't know what it means to "arrange" a musical piece.
Does it mean it was not originally written for violin + piano, so Elaine, like... translated it into different instruments?

(I guess I could google this, but it's neat to know a composer and arranger to explain a specific case, if she (you) wouldn't mind.)

Michael Leddy said...

Calling Elaine. Come in, Elaine. Over.

Elaine Fine said...

Price wrote the piece for organ, so I copied the melody line, and adjusted the phrasing so it would feel comfort on the violin. Then I used the pedal notes for the organ as the bottom notes for the left had of the piano, and then I organized (no pun intended, but I wish I had said that intentionally) the rest of the pitches so that they would feel comfortable and sound good on the piano. I didn’t add any notes, and I kept this arrangement in the original key.

Fresca said...

Elaine! Thank you for explaining!
Wow, that is so cool--your process is close to what I guessed, but I wasn't sure.
Super impressive---it does seem to me a bit like translating a piece of literature from one language to another, across eras.

I recently read about a translator, Dillwyn Knox, who faithfully translated into English the newly discovered work of an ancient Greek dramatist, Herodas.

Critics of the translation said much of it was so convoluted, it was unreadable.
Knox replied that that was because much of the original was unreadable: Herodas was a terrible writer.

I looked up the composer Florence Price too, and was glad I did.

Thank you for doing the work that made possible this beautiful, uplifting collaboration.

Elaine Fine said...

You're welcome, Fresca! Transcription is far easier than translating, though, because most of the language of music is common between instruments. A better analogy might be in visual art: painting the same image in oils or watercolors, or in different light. The composition is concept and the arrangement of the objects to be painted on the canvas, but the medium and the lighting can change the way we see those objects, and that allows us to experience the composition and the objects in it differently.

Frex said...

ELAINE: Oh, interesting! I like that analogy--the violin and the organ are different media, same language.

brownstudy said...

Lovely. Thank you for sharing that.

Michael Leddy said...

Glad to. :)