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Music and Video
Wanderer in Dreamland - Celentano - Proceeds benefit the Thoreau Society.
List Price: $10.00
Andrew Celentano: "Transcendentalism, Impressionistic Music, and Compositions Inspired by Henry Thoreau."
"This music was influenced by my walks in the woods and the re-reading of some of Thoreau's writings, including 'Walden' and "Walking" Largely piano music.
Preview Music: http://www.thoreaucd.com/
CD Inside – Right Side: Transcendentalism, Impressionistic Music, and Compositions Inspired by Henry Thoreau
Although the European impressionist music movement occurred one generation after the New England transcendental movement, their genesis and purpose are similar. Both react to regimentation. Whereas the Transcendentalist literature protests the rigid state of intellectualism, the impressionist compositions react to the dark extravagances and excesses of European Romanticism. Both movements instead appeal to the spiritual, to the playful, and to the spontaneous. One is literary. The other is musical. Through compositions arranged on the piano, Mr. Andrew Celentano celebrates the kinship between Transcendentalism and Impressionism . Mr. Celentano performs regularly at the BSO Cafe at Symphony Hall in Boston. For the Annual Gathering in Concord, Mr. Celentano will perform works by Impressionist composers Debussy and Ravel, as well as works of his own composition. Mr. Celentano's compositions are inspired by his study of Henry Thoreau's Walden and other writings.
“I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks, who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering; which word is beautifully derived "from idle people who roved about the country, in the middle ages, and asked charity, under pretence of going à la sainte terre". Henry David Thoreau
When Michael Frederick, Executive Director of the Thoreau Society, asked me a year ago if I would perform at the 2012 Annual Gathering in Concord, Massachusetts I was both honored and humbled by the opportunity. I spent the next 6 months writing compositions that I felt were Thoreauvian in nature. This is not to say that Thoreau might personally like them, as that we will never know for sure. But they have musical elements within them that are nature-like. By that I mean there are figures that contain a rapid series of notes that vary in speed, similar to bird calls. This music was influenced by walks in the woods and re-reading some of the writings of Thoreau, including “Walden” and “Walking”.
My playing has always been far from metronomic and I gravitate to works by Debussy that have an ethereal quality to them. I would like to think that Thoreau would also like a fluid meter. This may not be true, however, as one of his favorite songs I’m told is “Tom Bowling” by Charles Dibdin, which is very much like a hymn with a steady beat throughout. But I’m hopeful that the organic nature of my writing might still appeal to him. As one might expect, because of this organic musical quality, the notes do not lend themselves easily to musical notation; but in spite of that, I am pleased to say that with Doug Hammer’s help, we did create sheet music for those that might be interested that is quite readable.
In the one hour concert I also play works by Liszt, Chopin, Debussy and Ravel. The latter two were born after Thoreau’s passing, but they are relevant in the context of the Impressionist movement that I believe share common roots with Transcendentalism. I hope you enjoy this CD. Proceeds from the sale will go to the Thoreau Society.
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