Michael Anton :: Sonata in B flat Major (2016)
This is one of those videos I hardly could wait for the planned date to be released... Imagine this: I receive a very nice email from someone who in the most polite way, present himself as a enthusiastic 'follower' of my channel, and almost in a P.S. asks if I would mind spending some minutes on the sonata he has composed.
Michael hadn't written yet he only was... 15 years old !
I regularly get emails like this, and my response is always the same: a) that I'm far from the best person to judge a work and b) that the only thing I can do is play the music and wait for a connection that either comes or doesn't.
This is a difficult part, because writing music in earlier styles need time to get used to, and it must be really good for it to be played among the great works we cherish from that period.
My working method is always the same in this: I first play the score from my tablet. If some parts of my brain (the few parts that still show some signs of function) are wakened by what my ears send through, I will print the score and try the music again over the coming days. If the score gets behind the other music on the piano behind the clavichord, it is time to write a difficult reply to the composer to say what I think and feel of his/her work. This is difficult, since on whatever level that person is working, it is a piece of his soul you present back to him (I never had the luck to be approached by a female composer up to now...). And if I see any trace of beauty, of potential, of talent, that needs development, I try to pass this in a way that energizes in stead of depresses. I don't know if I succeed in that hard challenge, but often I get nice replies.
Anyway. With this sonata, there was an instant report. I enjoyed playing the music, saw some elements that could be improved, so, in that case, the next step is asking some background of the person in question.
And so I learned Michael Anton is 15 years old, lives in Canada, speaks English and German, and has already quite an impressive path of education behind him. Enjoys composing in Mozart style, and is quite successful already in having his music played, even the chamber music he writes.
Ok... that is another situation ! A 15 year old guy travels to Salzburg to finish a sonata in a style of the great Master Mozart. And... that sonata contains much essential information/beauty of what one would expect in that late 18th c. style.
THAT should be shared with the world. And that is what I'm so excited about today !
I have chosen this Q&A - Your Time episode, to be able to give a small introduction to the music, and some first afterthoughts behind the performance.
Michael has a long life in front of him, is born with a talent and attitude to strive for the bigger goals in life, and all that combined together, gives us almost a statistical certainty that we can expect much more works of beauty from the pen of that Canadian-German guy.
Leave your thoughts below: my guess is that they eagerly will be read :-).
Bonus: On music of our time!
Is it not time to call the so-called "neo-classical" music just music of our time? As we do with the neo-instruments we like to play on?
Haven't we said all there is to be said with the musical language of our Western Society.
Is it not time to allow ourselves to enjoy the fruits of those who dare to look back, over their shoulders and present us works in a style we... actually like?
This video tells you how I stand on this.