My first two solos for harpsichord were written over 20 years ago. So finally, number three! This piece is very much in the spirit of the earlier works.
Below is a computer realization of the entire work (in three movements). Yes, it will have considerably more expression when you non-robots give it a try. But as I did in a previous blog about Sonata No. 2 for Two Harpsichords, the realization features the Ruckers 1628 app—the most realistic harpsichord fakery on the planet.
A PDF of the piece is available for a nominal fee in the Buy Sheet Music section of this website.
Maybe you’ve heard about the Ruckers 1628 app for harpsichord for iPhone and iPad. I had it for a while because it’s an amazingly detailed sample of a great historic instrument. Problem was, I’m pretty ignorant about technology. My friend Randall Prentice helped me to figure out how to get it to play a MIDI file using Cubasis. Basically, export the MIDI file to Cubasis, then open the Ruckers app and do an inter-app handshake. The result is a great computer-generated performance.
Below is a performance of Sonata No. 2 for Two Harpsichords, the third movement. Mind you, the performance is right out of Finale, so there’s no rubato. Still, it’s an exciting way to present harpsichord music in lieu of real performers!
Edwin McLean’s Sonata No. 2 for Two Harpsichords (2014), an Alienor commissioned work, received its premiere performance at McGill University (Montréal, Canada) on May 23, 2015. The performers were Elaine Funaro and Beverly Biggs. The occasion of the premiere was the Ninth Alienor competition final concert featuring juried works and another commissioned duo by Mark Janello.
Elaine and Beverly then went on to Stonington CT and performed the new duo at the La Grua Center on June 6, 2015. They were joined by Rebecca Pechefsky for a performance of McLean’s Sonata for Three Harpsichords on the same program.
From left to right: Rebecca Pechefsky, Elaine Funaro, Beverly Biggs
Thank you for three marvelous performances!
The last week of 2014 was an exciting one, filled with rehearsals and recording sessions of my sonatas for one, two, and three harpsichords. The recordings took place at Duke University Chapel, one of the largest Gothic-style cathedrals in the United States.
This album is being produced by the indefatigable harpsichordist Elaine Funaro; rounding out the rest of the team is Rebecca Pechefsky and Beverly Biggs — all superb musicians.
Also on hand for the session was the master of on-site recording, Christopher Greenleaf. Here’s what he had to say about recording in situations such as the left transept of the cathedral:
“Performing and recording in a generous, all-stone room appoaches the sonically and æsthetically ideal as closely as one comes in this life. Gentle, subtly shaded reverberance is an organic part of a top-quality recording.”
I’ll keep you informed as this project progresses.