Classic FM features Viner’s ‘white-keyed wizardy in a 200 year pianistic journey, all in the same key’

Classic FM has featured UYMP composer Frederick Viner playing through a ‘perfectly executed’ potted chronology of piano music in C major on YouTube! - https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/instruments/piano/history-of-music-in-c-major/. Viner whizzes through the C major extracts with absolute precision, starting in 1722 with Bach’s Prelude No.1 in C major

He moves speedily on to Rameau, Scarlatti, CPE Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, then through the Romantics, hurtling into the 20th century with smatterings of Scott Joplin’s ‘The Entertainer’, Lyapunov, Moszkowski and Blumenfeld , then to Janáček, Debussy, Ravel, Chopin, Prokofiev, Stravinsky , Villa-Lobos and Poulenc, to name a few, finishing off with the concluding bars of the Bach!

Classic FM writes: ‘C major is the beginner’s key, right? No key signature to occupy the mind, or sharps or flats to confound your fingers on the piano.

‘Chances are, our first piano lessons all started with tunes in this key, before we went on to learn our F major preludes, our B flat allegros, and (heaven help us) D sharp minor toccatas.

‘Pianist and YouTuber Frederick Viner has taken a whopping selection of 46 great pieces written for keyboard, all penned in C major tonality. And it’s a fascinating look at the development of composition, technique and style.

‘The pianist says: “Watch out for the ever-increasing complexity of figurations, the gradual widening of the music’s registral span, as well as the very breakdown of C major itself in the early 20th-century examples. Note also how some figurations never went out of fashion, like the hopping right-hand chords in the Clementi, Moscheles, Heller and Stravinsky, or the famous alberti bass which underpins both the Mozart and Prokofiev.”

Classic FM observes: ‘Expect a few black notes with the natural modulations and chromaticism of these pieces. But rest assured, all is in the same tonality and it’s quite wonderful.

'What a great idea, and perfectly executed too. As a thank you, why not go subscribe to his channel here.’

(15 Oct 2020)

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