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A new piano reduction of the Sibelius violin concerto with commentary

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Playing an orchestral reduction is not always the most joyous of times for pianists. As pianists, we have to express a reduced idea of all the instruments and orchestral textures that are in the full score. However, in many cases,

Playing an orchestral reduction is not always the most joyous of times for pianists. As pianists, we have to express a reduced idea of all the instruments and orchestral textures that are in the full score. However, in many cases, there are often omissions, errors or discrepancies in the existing published reductions. These reductions are made by a variety of people: editors, conductors, pianists, but rarely by the composer, and often do not reflect the composer's true intentions. While many reductions are technically playable, including the reduction of the Sibelius Violin Concerto that will form the basis of this paper, the arrangement of the orchestration can be obscured or inaccurate to the point where the violin soloist may not be receiving the best representation of the actual orchestration. A piano reduction should as closely as possible represent the original intention of the composer, both for the sake of the audience and the performers. The pianist should be able to provide the proper support and orchestration of any reduction for the instrumentalist or vocalist so that the same performance style and technique can be used while performing with either a piano reduction or a full orchestra. This research document contains a detailed examination of the various orchestral reductions of the Sibelius Violin Concerto, culminating in a new version by the author. In this discussion, the author will present a basic understanding of how to orchestrate at the piano through an in-depth explanation of piano skill and technique, practice techniques such as listening to a recorded version of the full orchestration while playing the piano, and ways to study and revise an existing piano reduction. The current published reductions of the Sibelius Violin Concerto contain many errors and discrepancies and will be contrasted with the author's own reduction, available for comparison and study in the appendix. This new revised reduction will clearly show the orchestral instruments represented throughout the score, demonstrate new techniques for various orchestral textures, and will yield a playable product that more closely represents the composer's original intentions.

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Date Created
2011