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 Post subject: Chopin Nocturnes op.48-1 and 55-2.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:26 pm 
Two Chopin Nocturnes: op. 48-1 and 55-2.
The melody-lines must breathe. Don't be in a hurry :)

Sandro "Sarrasani" Bisotti

Chopin - Op.48 no.1, Nocturne in C minor
Chopin - Op.55 no.2, Nocturne in E-flat major


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:38 am 
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Right off the bat, I have to admit that I have never heard or played the Op 55. No. 2 before. :oops:
It sounded very nice, so I trust that you played all correct notes.

I have played the 48-1 so at least I comment on a few things. Everything sounded nice, your technique, dynamics (I wonder what Chopin was thinking about during the octave triplets). The Doppio movimento - To each his/her own interpretation - but I prefer a more forward motion kind of feel to this part - long lines and no rubato. At the 4th measure from the end, the C is tied over.
All in all, a beautiful sound to these. I'm glad I listened to them second so I can go to sleep now.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 8:25 pm 
[quote="pianolady"]Right off the bat, I have to admit that I have never heard or played the Op 55. No. 2 before. :oops:

I too until 4-5 years ago. Now, I think its beginning is the best beginning of all piano music.
It is a sort of duet (often there are 2 voices on the scene)


>[quote="pianolady"]Right off the bat, I have to admit that I have never heard or played the Op 55. No. 2 before. :oops:

I too until 4-5 years ago. Now, I think its beginning is the best beginning of all piano music.
It is a sort of duet (often there are 2 voices on the scene)


> It sounded very nice, so I trust that you played all correct notes.

Maybe. But usually the pianists play it in 4-5 minutes....

> (I wonder what Chopin was thinking about during the octave triplets).

Very interesting. This nocturne seems an "aria doppia" (double aria), a common structure of early
'800 melodramma (Bellini, Donizetti, the first Verdi). Chopin loves musical theatre, and suggests to his pupils to prpose melodies on piano (to sing them) as the opera singers make this. He will (there are letters of his pupils on that) a little pause between 2nd and 3d bar, and generally played with
a grat "rubato" (similar to opera singers of the time).
I told about “aria doppia” : a melody , some “materia di mezzo” (news that occurs and give a new perspective at the dramatic situation), and the “da capo” (as the beginning), varied or not.
There is another similar form, with a new, virtuositic melody instead of the “da capo”, but this is another question.
In 48-1 we have the aria, we have the “da capo” varied ( only in instrumental suit, the tempo can
easily and logically be the same) and a complex , double “material di mezzo”: first a sort of
liturgic, organ music, than that triplets with their dramatic, mysterious message.
The situation is changed after these news of the triplets, and one can imagine and realize the
“da capo” of the aria with another tempo; in my opinion is not necessary (I prefer only to present
with emphasis the richer basses line and the new chords in middle range), but it’s a choice as another…


>At the 4th measure from the end, the C is tied over.

OK. But I liked here to create a smoke-screen, a moment of suspension and confusion.
In this Nocturne, my favourite pianists are Samson Francois (here at one of his many highs
in Chopin) and Vitaly Margulis (a great pianist, also in Chopin).

All best,
Sandro.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:30 am 
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Both Nocturnes are very well performed, however a bit slow and perhaps a bit hesitating like you are dragging out the next note. Not in a disturbing manner but a bit different than mainstream recordings.

I have only played the majestatic C minor Nocturne (and it is incredible that noone recording this famous Nocturne before!) and know the difficulties of movement 3 but once you get the hang of it, it fits the hands pretty well. A bit more distinct dynamic changes and more power in the B section would not hurt and rather than doing an accelerando at the end of the B-section to the C-section, you do the opposite. But no wrong notes from what I can hear and musically, you seem to have a good idea for this nocturne and plays in a consequent manner all the way through. Well done!

The op.55 no.2 (which too is famous and I am a bit suprised that pianolady has not heared this before, especially as it has been on the site since the very beginning ;)) is played a bit too slow for my likings but is nevertheless a very good recording with every note in it place and also consequent interpretated the whole way.

Both recordings are up on the site!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:44 pm 
[quote="robert"]

> and rather than doing an accelerando at the end of the B-section to the C-section, you do the opposite.

Thank you as usual for kind and precise words. Only, abot this "accelerando"....
he came in the same bar (47) after a "ritenuto", to cancel the effect of this "ritenuto", and
not to gave another tempo before the "doppio movimento".
Which "doppio movimento" is simply the continuation of the same tempo (the semiquavers
becoming quavers). Many pianists (funny but correct your definition: mainstream pianists)
play the "da capo" (bar 49) at a faster tempo, and I too did so.
But I've changed this choice because : 1) tha same tempo of the beginning work wery well
2) it seems more respectful of the text.



> you seem to have a good idea for this nocturne and plays in a consequent manner all the way through. Well done!

Again thank you, and again : it's a scene. Aria-materia di mezzo (double, two different facts
or situations occurs- da capo dell'aria. As in melodramma, which was an explicit
Chopin's reference.

> is played a bit too slow for my likings but is nevertheless a very good recording with every note in it place and also consequent interpretated the whole way.

I was dazzled by a recent Pogorelich interpretation (about 9 minutes long), which compelled me
to think again my idea of this piece (I repeat: the best "incipit" of the music I know).
But my playing here is different from Pogorelich, not only for the immensely differnt level
of pianism; Not Pogorelich (a hard, iron sound), but I continue to search for a singing , "as
opera singers in those years, in my fantasy and knowledge" phrasing.

All best,
Sandro


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:49 pm 
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Sandro Bisotti wrote:

> and rather than doing an accelerando at the end of the B-section to the C-section, you do the opposite.

Thank you as usual for kind and precise words. Only, abot this "accelerando"....
he came in the same bar (47) after a "ritenuto", to cancel the effect of this "ritenuto", and
not to gave another tempo before the "doppio movimento".
Which "doppio movimento" is simply the continuation of the same tempo (the semiquavers
becoming quavers). Many pianists (funny but correct your definition: mainstream pianists)
play the "da capo" (bar 49) at a faster tempo, and I too did so.
But I've changed this choice because : 1) tha same tempo of the beginning work wery well
2) it seems more respectful of the text.

I very much like your respectful approach (really!), but I have to say you're wrong.

Let's say the initial tempo is 1. Then the "poco più lento" could be 0.8 and the "doppio movimento" would be 1.6 then. So it's significantly faster because the measuring never changes. Note that the recapitulation is in quarter notes, just like in the beginning. In other words: In the B section, you have six semiquavers per quarter note, but in the last one, it's only three quavers per quarter note, while the semiquavers become quavers. So it is a real "doppio movimento". (This wasn't very clear, right? :) )

That's why I was always stopped at the end of the B section. Just too lazy to learn the last section of this piece... :roll:

Besides that, I find your recordings very good and quite accomplished. Though the 55-2 is really terribly slow... I would just speed it up a bit, it's very well within your technical abilities!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 7:32 pm 
[quote="Chaotica"][quote="Sandro Bisotti"]

> I very much like your respectful approach (really!), but I have to say you're wrong.

You are very clear and I comprehend your logic.
But I think that this is not the only possible (neither the most probable), and then
I remain in my convinction.
One plays the triplets of demi-quavers (bars 38-48) at certain tempo (as that of my recording, a "normal" tempo, average of tempos of other pianists I think). At bar 49 the demiquavers become quavers. "Doppio movimento" means only : now one triplet of quavers is as one triplet
of demiquavers (or, it's the same: one quaver from here is as one demiquaver of the last -48- bar)
Consider also that the tempo at bar 49 in this way will be about the same of the beginning (as it must be in an "Aria con da capo") and permit the ricapitulation of 1st theme at ITS tempo.....
At the end, I see two logic hypotesis: 1) about double velocity of the beginning (or about 1.6 as you
correctly write) 2) about the same beginning tempo.
I consider this 2nd hypotesis a few better by a logical point of view and a lot better by an
expressive and historic (the "Aria con da capo" which is this Nocturne in my opinion) point of
view.


Thank you for your interesting and kind considerations.

About the "slow" tempo of 55/2
Ok, it is very slow comparing them with the average.
But I've heard one version of 9 minutes (Pogorelich, live) that made me to reset my ideas about this nocturne.
But, I repeat what I've written to Robert, this is not an imitation of that interpretation.

All best,
Sandro


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:14 pm 
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As usual, well and ably played, but, even more so than previous recordings, rather too full of unusual things, the way pianists like Pogorelich, Mustonen, or Pletnev tend to do things 'differently'.

The Op.48.1 (which I was planning to record one day too) would benefit from a fuller tone and the sound of an acoustic grand. Thje digital sound does not suit this grand and epic piece. Technically you are well on top of it but very strange things happen with the rhythm, both in the poco piu lento and the doppio movimento sections. The polyrhythms sound a bit random. I would have liked a steadier pulse and weightier tone here (I always like think Rachmainov got his clue here for his famous Op.39 No.5 Etude-Tableau). It's a difficult piece and you did very well.

The Op.55.2, which I think is a terrifically exciting piece, gets plain boring at this pace. One thing that jarred my ear is in bar 29, where, in both hands, you play D flat instead of d. Is that a D flat in your score ? In bar 36, last beat, your RH omits the g in the 7-tuple. The constant de-synchronization of hands (left-before-right) did get rather on my nerves here. The closing chord is not marked arpeggio in my Paderewski score, is it in yours ?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:35 am 
[quote="techneut"] like Pogorelich, Mustonen, or Pletnev
These names are music for mu ears. and Sokolov.


> Technically you are well on top

Thank you. I'll try to play at a decent tecnical level. Not easy, for me.

> of it but very strange things happen with the rhythm, both in the poco piu lento and the doppio movimento sections.

Abut "Doppio Movimento":
One plays the triplets of demi-quavers (bars 38-48 at certain tempo (as that of my recording, a "normal" tempo, average of tempos of other pianists I think). At bar 49 the demiquavers become quavers. "Doppio movimento" means only : now one triplet of quavers is as one triplet of demi-quavers of the last bar. Thi, apart it's logic, permit to play again the initial theme at the same
tempo (as in the "Aria con da capo" , which is this nocturne structure in my analysis)

> The polyrhythms sound a bit random.

There is an "agitato". And I tend to not renonce to "rubato" in this section.

> jarred my ear is in bar 29, where, in both hands, you play D flat instead of d. Is that a D flat in your score ?

Only in my worm-eaten head. Again as for the Db of the mazurka (no-one among musicians-friend
.....).
The mazurka I've recorded again (and I'll send you), this Nocturne no.
I could play it slower in the next version: do you will have the D natural and a slower recording?
About this tempo: now I feel this as "my tempo for this nocturne", I'm synchronized with it and
i don't know if I can feel and sound it at a faster tempo (as I did).
I think that is a normal tempo for this theatral scene (a belcanto-duet) : the singers must
have all the necessary time to breathe and to phrasing as in that time.


>The constant de-synchronization of hands (left-before-right) did get rather on my nerves here.

:) :) I smile because I've recorded again (and the last is the version on the site) this Nocturne
, this time with MUCH LESS left-before-right (but also vice-versa, both are retoric skills to use).
I find curious to play Chopin (and not only) WITHOUT these "phase displacements".
Where is written that Pollini (with is pefect bass-melody aplomb) is more "chopinesque" than Rosenthal or Magaloff or Cherkassky (which have less aplomb not only than Pollini but also
than me) ?


> The closing chord is not marked arpeggio in my Paderewski score, is it in yours ?

No, it is not written. But was usual at Chopin times to play some chords in this way.
In modern times, among "pros", the only Samson Francois played here so.
I cannot tell that Chopin liked so, but one can tell he didn't like?
I played so because it seems to my poor fantasy a pleasurable and efficacious way to conclude.
Is it not "mainstream" piano playing ? I'm not so arrogant to boast of this, but the reality is: it's the only way I know to enjoy myself when I play piano. And : no enjoying (of the player), no party.
Or was it a drink?

But really and sincerely,
Thank you for ALL your considerations .
There are here some other recordings, which sounds a little "foolish" to me too...
But I like them and I'll send.
I'll put the helmet.. You prepare the aspirin for head-ache and/or tooth-ache :D :D

All best,
Sandro


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:23 am 
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Sandro Bisotti wrote:
Only in my worm-eaten head.

Ahaahhhhaaaaahhh ... I love that one :lol: :lol:

But you should not feel that any of my comments necessitate a re-recording. You may be controversial but you do everything for a reason (whether it be a good one or not, is not the point). So it's no use argueing about it, even though it is always fun. The least I can do is point out the
reading mistakes.... It's a dirty job and someone has to do it :D

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:54 am 
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Technically seen you did really well on both nocturnes. Also, your digital piano seems to be captured from a very long grand, that way those deep bass notes come out better as on shorter grands like mine :cry:
I also find, that it is not a "must" to play the poco piu lento section on 48-1 at "0.8" speed and the doppio movimento section at "1.6" speed. Nevertheless, that doppio movimento section could come out bit more lively (I however very much liked your fluid octave passages before that section) according to my taste. That's not just the easiest nocturne, that's for sure, and considering that you played it well.

What bothered me a bit was, that throughout the doppion movimento section most of the left hand notes are not audible. I only do hear the octave notes from the left hand triplets, the other left hand notes are almost unaudible or completely unaudible. Especially in the crossrhythm spots it would give a strong effect to hear them clearly and in proper rhythm.

The 55-2 is pretty well played too, maybe it could sound a bit more fluid - just a matter of taste.

Overall very well!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:19 am 
Hello Olaf ! I read now your bio: another (as Robson and me) of the club of "beginners again"
(I too after 20 years). Thank you for the considerations (all interesting and precise).


>Also, your digital piano seems to be captured from a very long grand, that way those deep bass notes come out better as on shorter grands like mine :cry:

I've seen the photo. Which piano is? Are you actually feel well with it?
If you have to pay 15-20K euro for a grand (used or new) which instrument do you
seek for?

> Nevertheless, that doppio movimento section could come out bit more lively

I played here faster. But I forced myself to the same beginning tempo (reserving to the polirytm
and to the rubato the expression of the "agitato"). An "aria con da capo" do not admit a different
time, and I find this tempo as the (of mine, obvious) correct tempo.

> What bothered me a bit was, that throughout the doppion movimento section most of the left hand notes are not audible.

OK, but it's not (or it's not only) a lack of precision.
My perspective, here:

1) the melody
2) the melody
3) the melody
4) the bass
5) the bass
6) the inner parts, but more as a "humus" , a magmatic soil than as a clear and linear
structure.

> Especially in the crossrhythm spots it would give a strong effect to hear them clearly and in proper rhythm.

You have reason, at 100% in abstract, and in another percentual considering my priorities here.

Thank you Olaf!
All best,
Sandro.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:39 am 
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MindenBlues wrote:
I also find, that it is not a "must" to play the poco piu lento section on 48-1 at "0.8" speed and the doppio movimento section at "1.6" speed.

These figures were only completely random examples and I was just speaking in theory.

Quote:
I played here faster. But I forced myself to the same beginning tempo (reserving to the polirytm
and to the rubato the expression of the "agitato"). An "aria con da capo" do not admit a different
time, and I find this tempo as the (of mine, obvious) correct tempo.

Anyway, in my opinion, it would be even more respectful to the work if you changed half of the notes rather than changing the tempo. :|


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 12:08 pm 
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Sandro Bisotti wrote:
Also, your digital piano seems to be captured from a very long grand, that way those deep bass notes come out better as on shorter grands like mine :cry:

I've seen the photo. Which piano is? Are you actually feel well with it?
If you have to pay 15-20K euro for a grand (used or new) which instrument do you
seek for?


Yes, you are right, I started again with piano playing after a gap of 20 or so years.
Regarding my piano, I feel very well (and am a bit proud about that furniture too). It is only, that with 1.80m length (Model "O") you don't get those deep bass out like on a concert grand. I also have a digital piano Kawai MP9500 (the same you used, I think?). I very much like that bass sound, also the crystal clear treble sound. I hate the action (although it is so much praised in the internet). It is tenacious, hard and makes much noise (by comparision with a "real" action).

After the experiences with a restaured old grand I really can recommend, to search for an old quality instrument. I played on a 100 year old Steinway "B", acoustically restaured. Sounded almost better than a new one to me (because the aged wood adds some warmth new wood don't have in my opinion) And you play on ebony and ivory instead plastic keys :).
So my recommendation: look for such an old high quality instrument, let it cost 5k Euro at max (this seems a realistic amount). A complete acoustic restauration (new strings, new action, new intonation, soundboard restauration) costs about 10k Euro. Then you have an instrument for 15k, what don't look optical new, but sounds wonderful. With a third of the amount a new comparable instrument costs. Try it out in a store, if there are restaured instruments.

Sandro, I don't argue with you about the tempo in the doppio movement section. I have a wonderful recording by Ivan Moravec, he don't play at double speed either (but at least a significant amout faster).

Sandro Bisotti wrote:
> Nevertheless, that doppio movimento section could come out bit more lively

I played here faster. But I forced myself to the same beginning tempo (reserving to the polirytm
and to the rubato the expression of the "agitato"). An "aria con da capo" do not admit a different
time, and I find this tempo as the (of mine, obvious) correct tempo.

> What bothered me a bit was, that throughout the doppion movimento section most of the left hand notes are not audible.

OK, but it's not (or it's not only) a lack of precision.
My perspective, here:

1) the melody
2) the melody
3) the melody
4) the bass
5) the bass
6) the inner parts, but more as a "humus" , a magmatic soil than as a clear and linear
structure.


Ok, so it sounds also - the only thing is however, I hear only points 1) to 5) more or less. It is a matter of taste to give more or less strong accent on the melody and bass. However, those inner parts are almost or completely unaudible. I simply don't know whether you played them at all or not. The point is, they should be at least audible, really. It is however only my own opinion, how your approach sounds to me, maybe other have other opinions.

I have large respect for everyonle who plays that 48-1 nocturne, and I am too just working on that. It will take longer time until it is ready for a posting here.

To Chaotica: I knew, those numbers "0.8" and "1.6" were only examples. Regarding beeing respectful to the work, it goes a bit too far for me to raise the importance of a certain tempo over the correct notes. I did not hear wrong notes, Sandro plays that nocturne respectful in my opinion. It is ok and valid, that everyone has different opinions about this or that. Makes it more interesting to discuss too. And makes it more interesting to listen to the different versions anytime. At least I know that Chris will go for this nocturne too.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:25 pm 
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MindenBlues wrote:
To Chaotica: I knew, those numbers "0.8" and "1.6" were only examples. Regarding beeing respectful to the work, it goes a bit too far for me to raise the importance of a certain tempo over the correct notes. I did not hear wrong notes, Sandro plays that nocturne respectful in my opinion. It is ok and valid, that everyone has different opinions about this or that. Makes it more interesting to discuss too. And makes it more interesting to listen to the different versions anytime. At least I know that Chris will go for this nocturne too.

My statement was only a completely random exaggeration and I was just ranting at people... :wink:

Sandro's playing is very impressive to me (much better than mine, of course) as I stated earlier in this thread, but it would be even better if he followed the indicated tempi, in my opinion.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:12 pm 
[quote="MindenBlues"][quote="Sandro Bisotti"]Also, your digital piano seems to be captured from a

> Regarding my piano, I feel very well .....

Yhank you, very interesting.


> I have a wonderful recording by Ivan Moravec,

I know it. Very good his nocturnes (and other things, IMHO his ballades expecially).
In the nocturnes (but particulary in 48-1) my favourite
are Samson Francois (that LH in the final part! and that tragic and so animated, pianism)
and Vitaly Margulis (that phrasing so noble and concentrated, from the beginning to the end!).


> What bothered me a bit was, that throughout the doppio movimento section most of the left hand notes are not audible.
It is however only my own opinion, how your approach sounds to me, maybe other have other opinions.

Thank you. Correct and interesting your and Chaotica's considerations
about this 48-1. The aspect you put in evidence is real. Each pianist (apart of some
wizards) make certain choices, based on his ideas and his technique.
Something remain out (in this case, the clarity of inner parts).
But I think you know this aspect, as Chaotica. And I repeat, thanks to both.

All best,
Sandro.


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