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  #1  
Old 08-20-2019, 12:34 PM
Trevor B. Trevor B. is offline
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Default John Williams' arrangement of O'Carolan's Farewell to Music

Check out this incredible arrangement of O'Carolan's Farewell to Music by the one and only John Williams (the guitarist, not the Star Wars movie music composer/conductor). The scope of Williams' imagination and compositional talent is a great revelation to me. I've always admired his technical brilliance and open mindedness but this is a whole new deal. Age, it seems, is no impediment to the venerable John Williams.

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Old 08-20-2019, 04:27 PM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Can't say I cared for it. Lots of repetition.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:23 PM
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I thought it was beautifully played. Thanks for posting.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:48 PM
Trevor B. Trevor B. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey View Post
I thought it was beautifully played. Thanks for posting.
You're welcome. Good to see I'm not the only one who finds this version of O'Carolan's Farewell to Music enjoyable. It's very different from the straight ahead version I play and, as usual, Williams' playing is superb!
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:54 PM
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I was impressed by the sensitivity of his playing in this piece, which hasn't always been there in the past, to my ears. And at pushing eighty? Hoo boy.
I myself would prefer a simpler arrangement, but maybe if I had Williams's
chops, I'd want to put them fully to work.
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:04 PM
Trevor B. Trevor B. is offline
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The arrangement I've come up with is based on a continuously descending bass line (octave displacements where required). It's not necessarily idiomatic to O'Carolan's harp style but definitely relates to the counterpoint of the Baroque era and makes a connection between O'Carolan and Bach. Some may say it's a stretch but I'm prepared to make it.
All that aside, Williams expresses a side of his artistic temperament in this arrangement of O'Carolan's Farewell to Music that I really wasn't aware of despite attending numerous John Williams concerts over the years. As you say, "And at pushing eighty? Hoo Boy."
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:03 PM
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Sounds like your arrangement is passacaglia-like, maybe?
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:04 AM
Trevor B. Trevor B. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey View Post
Sounds like your arrangement is passacaglia-like, maybe?
I suppose you could say that, as long as you put the emphasis on "like". When I think of the term Passacaglia (Passacaille) either an Italian Dance in 3/4 (the former) or a pretty strict Theme and Variations over a recurring bass (the latter) come to mind as per the attached video. BTW - This is one of my all time favourite pieces and I got to play it at my widowed Mother-In-Law's 2nd Marriage as the processional.


All that said, if you PM me an email address I'd be happy to forward a pdf of the notation/tab I cooked up for "O'Carolan's Farewell to Music". My general approach was to harmonize the piece in a way that would allow for very coherent descending bass lines, especially in the A section.
Clearly Williams' version is based on a very different approach and I gotta confess: I love it!!!
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Old 08-25-2019, 03:26 PM
ceciltguitar ceciltguitar is offline
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A great performance of a very good arrangement by Maestro Williams!

Thank you for sharing this!
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Old 08-25-2019, 10:17 PM
stringman5 stringman5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor B. View Post
I suppose you could say that, as long as you put the emphasis on "like". When I think of the term Passacaglia (Passacaille) either an Italian Dance in 3/4 (the former) or a pretty strict Theme and Variations over a recurring bass (the latter) come to mind as per the attached video. BTW - This is one of my all time favourite pieces and I got to play it at my widowed Mother-In-Law's 2nd Marriage as the processional.


All that said, if you PM me an email address I'd be happy to forward a pdf of the notation/tab I cooked up for "O'Carolan's Farewell to Music". My general approach was to harmonize the piece in a way that would allow for very coherent descending bass lines, especially in the A section.
Clearly Williams' version is based on a very different approach and I gotta confess: I love it!!!
Nice performance!
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:07 PM
Carey Carey is offline
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A couple more Williams things I like, even if I don't fancy the sound of his instrument-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vs7EbNm_5M
His transition from the unmetered section to the fugal one is quite something here, and he really keeps the intensity going, too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kguea2S7Sk
Same piece linked above- I like the clarity of Williams's meter, and he lets
the music breathe a little more.
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Old 08-26-2019, 10:38 AM
Carey Carey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor B. View Post
I suppose you could say that, as long as you put the emphasis on "like". When I think of the term Passacaglia (Passacaille) either an Italian Dance in 3/4 (the former) or a pretty strict Theme and Variations over a recurring bass (the latter) come to mind as per the attached video. BTW - This is one of my all time favourite pieces and I got to play it at my widowed Mother-In-Law's 2nd Marriage as the processional.


All that said, if you PM me an email address I'd be happy to forward a pdf of the notation/tab I cooked up for "O'Carolan's Farewell to Music". My general approach was to harmonize the piece in a way that would allow for very coherent descending bass lines, especially in the A section.
Clearly Williams' version is based on a very different approach and I gotta confess: I love it!!!
PM sent...
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Old 08-26-2019, 02:56 PM
Trevor B. Trevor B. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey View Post
PM sent...
Got it. PDF has been sent.
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  #14  
Old 08-26-2019, 06:18 PM
Carey Carey is offline
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Thank you!
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