Manfred Schmitz (1939–2014) 25 Jazz-Inventionen
[pno] 1997 duration: 17'
For Manfred Schmitz, the term "invention" is to be understood in its Baroque sense. He takes it further, however, by adding some deliberately simple polyphony and seasoning it with a dash of sprightly rhythms and jazz figures.
48 pages | 23 x 30,5 cm | 197 g | ISMN: 979-0-2004-1572-8 | Softcover
For Manfred Schmitz, the term invention" is to be understood in its Baroque sense. He takes it further, however, by adding some deliberately simple polyphony and seasoning it with a dash of sprightly rhythms and jazz figures. The result is a splendid little synthesis of written music and improvisation for teaching purposes and recitals.
The term "invention" comes from the Latin word "inventio", which means "idea". An original musical idea, motif or even a theme is compositionally or improvisationally varied, intertwined with or set against other elements and given a new form. Its elaboration leads to tension and release in the sense of a creation of contrasts from which new possibilities of development ensue. Theterm "invention" has traditionally been linked with the name of Johann Sebastian Bach. His two and three-part "inventiones" (= free compositions) are exercises which are indispensable for the development of a cantabile, polyphonic playing technique. They are also instructive pieces for the learning of original musical invention and its imaginative compositional permutations.
The title "Jazz Inventions" implies that the pieces are in a mixture of styles, something that should interest most pianists. Inspired by Bach's style of music-making, these pieces speak a particularly appealing language permeated with rhythmic elements, different types of phrasing, stylistically idiomatic figures and, above all, the spontaneity of jazz music. Improvisational energy links these styles separated by two centuries. Each of the pieces is the expression of a particular kind of musicmaking that is always individual and marked by a great wealth of ideas. In his "inventiones", Bach himself vividly illustrated his technique of "compositional Improvisation" and "improvisational composition".
We hope the 25 "Jazz Inventions" will be enjoyed to an equal extent by performers and listeners, since they are a delight to play and offer a variety of musical characters. From a pianistic point of view, my "Jazz Inventions" are rewarding to play and practically guaranteed to make an impact. Their polyphonic voice-leading has intentionally been kept simple, and the figures "fit the hands well".
Please note: all the jazz inventions except the 25th are to be played as notated, thus without a triplet motion. However, they will sound well in the familiar triplet style in any slow tempo while practicing. At all events, liveliness and spontaneity should infuse every interpretation of these pieces. All tempo indications are to be understood as guidelines and never as absolute "musts".
And now, as always, have fun!