December 31, 2020--Legende from 24 pieces in free style by Louis Vierne

Today's piece, the first work (Legende) found in the second book of pieces in free style by Louis Vierne, is a new project I am working on--all 24 pieces. I am starting on book 2 as I do not own book 1 at the moment.

The work is in a "free style" in that it seems to move from moment to moment much like a nocturne of Chopin or Legend by Liszt. I think it is meant to evoke feelings of myth and legend in the sense of antiquity, a story being woven by a master craftsman. There is repetition of ideas throughout, but there seems to be little rhyme or reason to it. One thing I fell in love with when I started working on it was the rhythm. The work is written in 6/8 time, which usually indicates the downbeats get the longer rhythm (6, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1). Vierne here chooses instead to place the shorter rhythm on the downbeat, shifting the rhythmic balance of the work until we arrive at a long held note (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1--measure 4 of the piece is where the first "downbeat" occurs, leaving us with a sense of rhythmic ambiguity). The registration I used was according to Vierne's indications (Sweet foundations [Flutes and strings with celeste 8' in the manuals and flutes 16' and 8' in the pedals]) but I added a clarinet 8' stop to provide a little reediness to the sound. The original thought was to use the vox humana 8', but it had some pitches that were out of tune that could not be used. I may try to rerecord this on an instrument with the vox humana in tune because I absolutely love that sound.

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That's quite a challenge, playing all 24 of them. Vierne is magnificent, but o so difficult to play (for me at least, with my ridiculously small hands)

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