Monday, April 18, 2005

Bela Fleck, Keyboard Sonata in C Major (Banjo version)

Ever heard classical music played on a banjo before? Well, if you haven't, you haven't lived yet. This is seriously the coolest thing I have heard since Jethro Tull. Anyway, I don't think Scarlatti had bluegrass finger picking fun on his mind when he was composing. Paired with a Mandolin, Bela Fleck and his banjo create a most unique sound. Aparently, a little research has taught me that many of Scarlatti's sonatas share similar forms. That being said, I think Bela Fleck effectively performed the most unique rendition of this keyboard sonata.
The overall form of this piece appears to be...well, sonata form! The exposition is absolutely beautiful with the mandolin and banjo in thirds, then parroting each other.
The development section is rather repetitive rhythmically, and leads to what sounds to be the relative minor. I love how he slows down into into the recapitulation. It's weird, I feel this piece can better be described as ABABAC.
Anyway, this was a truly unique experience. The banjo and the mandolin created a unique timber, but at the same time were able to keep similar articulation to that of a harpsichord. It was a very well recorded CD, with some big name performers on it, including Joshua Bell. Very cool...I dig.

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