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Richard Danielpour. Piano Concerto No.4, Movement III: The composer and his work

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Video transcript

- That first moment when a composer hears their music played back, for me, particularly in recent years, I'd say in the last decade, is very much like the moment in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy steps out of the house and you go from a black and white film to a color film. Because when I hear color in my own inner ear, in the concert hall inside my head, it's always a slightly faded version of the true three dimensional color that you actually hear in a hall. So it's always a little bit richer. There are moments where you're pleasantly surprised. There are other moments where you say, oh my god, did I do that, I've gotta fix that. And then there are moments where you see the performer bringing something to the work that you yourself never really intended nor imagined, and you think wow that's nice, I'd like to keep that one. And then you might actually ask 'em, what are you doing? And they'll tell you and then you actually redo the score. - Richard Danielpour is great, great person. And he was very also flexible of letting me do some of my own ideas, bringing in combination of the both. - My first experience with Xiayin came as a result of my writing my second book of piano preludes. 17 years after I wrote my first book. A student of mine who was at the Manhattan school came to me and often my students will come with a live performer, showing me a work, because... And I've instilled that in them that you know, what I'm really interested in is hearing your work rather than looking at it and talking about it. So, being one of the students who'd long since gotten that message, he brought in a pianist one day and said, "I've got a piano piece I really want you to hear, and I've got a really great pianist playing it so, can we some over?", and I said sure. So he brought Xiayin, and I heard her play, and I said where the hell did you come from? And she said Shanghai. - The first time I met him, I got the impression already that he is such a true musician composer, because if you're with him, he talks about music all the time. - I then said, I'd like at some point to discuss the possibility of my writing something for you. - We really clicked right away, so then he said, "Would you like to do another piano concerto?". He described as that "It is already all in me, I just have to write it down on the paper." Concerto is called "A Hero's Journey". The third movement is like a celebration of finally the hero's journey's finished and it's a success. - Its almost like a tarantella. A tarantella is an Italian dance in six-eights, so it's (mimics rhythm). I mean you can hear from the very beginning the timpani plays, (piano playing) then violins play, (piano plays) and the piano (mimics rhythm). (orchestra playing) Very exciting, very much fun. And the piano has some very difficult octaves. (piano playing Very tricky. (orchestra playing) - I always had a bit of difficulty in my left hand and I described it to Mr. Danielpour and he said, "Well you didn't know, I'm leftie. So, I'm gonna tend to write everything with left hand a little more challenging." - And then Richard juxtaposes three (three claps) against this pulse of two. (two claps) In other words he's playing (mimics rhythm). (orchestra playing) The excitement of all of this and the octaves, and the brilliant writing, leads us to Tempo II, this slower tempo. And what he does then is he has some quite beautiful coral chords. (orchestra playing) (piano playing) (orchestra playing) And then he brings us back to the angular tarantella. (orchestra playing) After that, he has a little cadenza for the piano. Starts with a bunch of trills. (piano playing) And then, boom, we're back in, three against two, tarantella, and then he once again, brings us, brings us back to this frenzied ending. (orchestra playing) a big flourish on the piano (claps) and it's over.