Evans, Satie & Chopin

This is not a music blog. Yet my recent posts seem to revolve around music. Maybe because I have been listening to music more often. Listening to familiar favourites can evoke past epiphanies. Sometimes new insight comes along. It’s like rediscovering a place that you thought you knew so well.

Here are 3 musicians who did not cross paths physically. And yet there is a common thread in all three works listed here:

  • They have a simple recurring bass line, where the same notes recur throughout the entire work. This is sometimes known as ostinato, or persistent repeats. Or basso ostinato, literally meaning obstinate bass.
  • The melody is carried out in the treble line. This sometimes blossoms into something great.
  • Piano! Piano! Piano!

In reverse chronology:

1. Peace Piece by Bill Evans (1929 – 1980)

A chance discovery on the radio in my teens, Peace Piece left a deep imprint. That also got me started on Bill Evans.

2. Avantdernières Pensées by Erik Satie (1866 – 1925)

Music of the master of minimalism.

3. Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57 by Frédéric Chopin (1810 – 1849)

Chopin fully utilised the treble line to show off his composer chops, and for a pianist to show off his or her dexterity.

A berceuse is a lullaby. There are moments where it feels like butterflies fluttering over calm waters.

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