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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:10 am 
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Thank you pianolady. Yes there is a little slip there and another in the 4:th Invention near the end...or I rather miss a key in the last trill. However, ornaments in Bach are interpreted very differently between pianists and can be done so as little proof exist on how Bach intended them to be played. (Unless if you check this site out:
http://www.iment.com/maida/familytree/h ... tation.htm)
So it is possible that people will believe I intended to play it that way ;).

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:46 am 
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The sound is much nicer now (I found it a bit metallic in the first recordings) and so is the interpretation. Both inventions are much more fluent and dance-like, and especially the nr.4 is considerably faster than before, if I remember well. To me this is a huge improvement :D

It's just the ornaments that I'm still not convinced about. As you say it can't be known how Bach played them, but it seems clear from his famous ornaments table that the trillo should start on the upper note. Isn't that what most performers do, or is there another school of interpretation ?
Actually, you play some the trillos as mordents, others as inverted mordents. What edition are you using ?

Sorry to be such a nitpicker :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:56 am 
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Great that you found time for playing and recording again!

So far I listened only to the Bachs and Rach.

Bach:
Solid playing, 1 and 4 are not too slow for my taste, 8 sounds a bit tenacious, that is my first impression. In invention 8 it is so that the melody switches between right and left hand. The melody comes out well in the right hand, but not so in the left hand. You could try to take the right hand more back in those bars at which the left hand has the melody. It sounds not to me that it is only a matter of your Edirol placement.
In invention 1 I would not play the left hand that staccato here and there, but that is more a matter of taste.

Rach:
To be honest, I do not like much your recording. Since you said that you will rerecord it anyhow, let me tell some things what could be improved without too much effort. In the first A part it would be nice if the melody (right hand pinky) stands better out regarding the pp !! played notes with other right hand and left hand fingers, with a proper melody bow.
The middle part is labeled "agitato". In my opinion this is a high romantic piece, and Rachmaninoff himself let no doubt that he meant it to play accordingly (I have 3 recordings of Rach plays Rach 3/2, if you don't have, pmail me, it sounds interesting). That means, playing with lots of passion. So let it sound more agitato, both from speed and volume (with increasing intensity, so that it explodes before the A-part comes again with force.

The fulminant second a-part - you wrote yourself that you recognized the wrong notes here, you are right, you should work on that.

Somewhere near the end a chord sounds as if beeing played twice as if you would have put the piece together from two takes and forgot to remove the additional chord. But I can be wrong, have listened only once to your recording.

Don't treat this as offend, I played and recorded this piece too, it is on my homepage. I decided for myself too, to not let it get to the PianoSociety recordings in this fashion, because
a) there is a VERY good live recording already there, and I know my take will never be that good and
b) in my take there are flaws too, like the alternating chords coming before the second A-part did not come very well.
So don't throw paper balls on me for that comments on Rach, I have to polish on that piece too.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:22 am 
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MindenBlues wrote:
Great that you found time for playing and recording again!

I hope it is a consistant state :).

So far I listened only to the Bachs and Rach.
MindenBlues wrote:
Bach:
Solid playing, 1 and 4 are not too slow for my taste, 8 sounds a bit tenacious, that is my first impression. In invention 8 it is so that the melody switches between right and left hand. The melody comes out well in the right hand, but not so in the left hand. You could try to take the right hand more back in those bars at which the left hand has the melody. It sounds not to me that it is only a matter of your Edirol placement.
In invention 1 I would not play the left hand that staccato here and there, but that is more a matter of taste.

No it is not only a matter of Edirol ;). Much more of weak playing. I will re-record it soon again but have a better plan for it. I am very aware of the staccato playing in no.1 and it was not unplanned. A matter of taste as you say.

MindenBlues wrote:
Rach:
To be honest, I do not like much your recording. Since you said that you will rerecord it anyhow, let me tell some things what could be improved without too much effort. In the first A part it would be nice if the melody (right hand pinky) stands better out regarding the pp !! played notes with other right hand and left hand fingers, with a proper melody bow.
The middle part is labeled "agitato". In my opinion this is a high romantic piece, and Rachmaninoff himself let no doubt that he meant it to play accordingly (I have 3 recordings of Rach plays Rach 3/2, if you don't have, pmail me, it sounds interesting). That means, playing with lots of passion. So let it sound more agitato, both from speed and volume (with increasing intensity, so that it explodes before the A-part comes again with force.

The fulminant second a-part - you wrote yourself that you recognized the wrong notes here, you are right, you should work on that.

Somewhere near the end a chord sounds as if beeing played twice as if you would have put the piece together from two takes and forgot to remove the additional chord. But I can be wrong, have listened only once to your recording.

Don't treat this as offend, I played and recorded this piece too, it is on my homepage. I decided for myself too, to not let it get to the PianoSociety recordings in this fashion, because
a) there is a VERY good live recording already there, and I know my take will never be that good and
b) in my take there are flaws too, like the alternating chords coming before the second A-part did not come very well.
So don't throw paper balls on me for that comments on Rach, I have to polish on that piece too.

Well, I should be old enough to take an honest answer and I agree more or less to everything you have to say about it. Not very good and there is already a very good competing version up. Also, I prefer an honest answer so really, I did not get upset at all so do not worry about that.

The middle part is what troubles me most with this prelude. Not because it is difficult to play, rather I am not really sure how to play it. I try to accent and legato first key of each triplet while playing short [i]p[/p] staccatos for key 2, 3. But I accent the first key to little and play 2,3 too loud and un-staccato. I have a rather untuned Schimmel at work and by some reason, I play this part better on this. Feels easier but I do not why. Anyway, you suggest a good plan and I will try it out.

The repeating A-part is as I have already said not at all good. I must not have so many wrong notes there. But I do not understand what you mean by that same chord played twice in the end. It is a single take so nothing copied/paste there but I am not really famous for my careful score reading so I will check again.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:34 am 
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techneut wrote:
The sound is much nicer now (I found it a bit metallic in the first recordings) and so is the interpretation. Both inventions are much more fluent and dance-like, and especially the nr.4 is considerably faster than before, if I remember well. To me this is a huge improvement :D

It's just the ornaments that I'm still not convinced about. As you say it can't be known how Bach played them, but it seems clear from his famous ornaments table that the trillo should start on the upper note. Isn't that what most performers do, or is there another school of interpretation ?
Actually, you play some the trillos as mordents, others as inverted mordents. What edition are you using ?

Sorry to be such a nitpicker :wink:

Yepp a lot better actually. Did put some Reverb at it with Audacity. Did that last time as well after running it through a FFT-filter. I think the noice (but from clips) originated from the filter and was amplified with the reverb.

About the ornaments and score versions. Well, for no.1, I use some kind of school collection book with a lot different scores in it. Perhaps not very reliable. For no.4, I use Czerny's. But, not 100% I play like it.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 1:40 pm 
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robert wrote:
Well, I should be old enough to take an honest answer and I agree more or less to everything you have to say about it. Not very good and there is already a very good competing version up. Also, I prefer an honest answer so really, I did not get upset at all so do not worry about that.

The middle part is what troubles me most with this prelude. Not because it is difficult to play, rather I am not really sure how to play it. I try to accent and legato first key of each triplet while playing short staccatos for key 2, 3. But I accent the first key to little and play 2,3 too loud and un-staccato. I have a rather untuned Schimmel at work and by some reason, I play this part better on this. Feels easier but I do not why. Anyway, you suggest a good plan and I will try it out.

The repeating A-part is as I have already said not at all good. I must not have so many wrong notes there. But I do not understand what you mean by that same chord played twice in the end. It is a single take so nothing copied/paste there but I am not really famous for my careful score reading so I will check again.


Robert, I am very glad that you act not angry on me, and treats it as constructive critique. With this prelude we sit in the same boat, so to say - that means I know that I have myself too lots to do to make my thing better...

Sorry with that same chord played twice comment - I should call my ear doctor. After listening again, with score, I heard it not more. So excuse my critique regarding this, I was wrong.
Concerning wrong notes (not slips) I meant the A-part after the B-part, 3rd bar 2nd half (probably only right hand notes), and the simliar place near the end, I think the 10th last bar, second half.

I like your strong volume in the second A-part, but maybe it could be speed-up too (even if it is labeled as primo tempo in my score, but Rach itself plays the second A-part faster than the first one). That sound even more "angry".

You played it from memory after a long time again? I cannot do that! After memorizing a half year ago, I tried to play it lately again, and I not only needed the score again, I had also trouble to find the right notes with score (crazy those coding with 2 systems per hand, 4 systems together, isn't it?).

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 3:22 pm 
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Rachmaninov himself plays it increidble fast and I have one of his recordings too. Many others do not as for example Ashkenazy who's version is the slowest I have heard.

I did not play it entirely from memory but used the score for the B-part as support. I have refreshed this piece a couple of weeks and am not in any way a magic memorizer ;). My brain needs to be refreshed from time to time.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:55 pm 
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Just replaced Invention no.8. Kind of happy with it :D.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:16 pm 
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Yes, definitely better, much more supple, relaxed and coordinated.

The sound is very clear and transparent, compared to my recordings which always sound rather muffled. Do you have the lid open or closed ? Where do you place the Edirol ? I wonder if the R-9 has has better mics than the R1.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:23 pm 
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That one really sounds perfect. Good job!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:28 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Yes, definitely better, much more supple, relaxed and coordinated.

The sound is very clear and transparent, compared to my recordings which always sound rather muffled. Do you have the lid open or closed ? Where do you place the Edirol ? I wonder if the R-9 has has better mics than the R1.

Thanks.

Lid closed. I place mr. Edirol about 5-6 meters behind my back and sample directly to mp in 224 kbps (pretty damped living room). Make sure it does not clip. No idea about the mics. Some tricks with Audacity as below:
- Apply the FFT filter to take away the bass about -6 db, cut at about 12 kHz.
- Gain to have everything - 3db from clip
- Apply GVerb with room size of about 150 meters, reverb time of 3 seconds, damping at about 0.75, Input bandwidth 0.75, Dry signal at 0 db, Early reflection at about -15 db and Tail level at about -19 db.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:43 pm 
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Quote:
Lid closed. I place mr. Edirol about 5-6 meters behind my back and sample directly to mp in 224 kbps (pretty damped living room).

Rats, can't do that. I'm with my back against the music book case. Actually haven't got that much space on any side :(

Hm, taking out bass. Worth a try though in my case I fear it might diminish the character.

Whoa, 224 kbps sampling ! I wonder if that makes it sound clearer too, need to try that out. But did we not lay down a rule that it should be between 128 and 190 ?

But to get back on topic, yes that Invention 8 is well-nigh perfect now.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 10:23 am 
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Have the same opinion on Invention 8 - much better now, relaxed and good tone.

The Inventions can be seen as 2voice fugues, and Bach gives both voices the same importance. So one can do alot if one tries to let the melody flow sound the same way (regarding dynamics AND articulation), regardless in which hand the melody is. I think this is a life long task to get better in that, for everyone, not only for the multivoiced fugues, but too for those 2-voice Inventions.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 3:11 pm 
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Yes and it is a very good exercise to vary the articulation between hands. Rather difficult even in these rather easy Inventions.

I just put up a new version of the Ravel prelude. So now Chris, I think I got everything right. Did I?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:00 pm 
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Quote:
I just put up a new version of the Ravel prelude. So now Chris, I think I got everything right. Did I?

Yessir. After close listening, I think I was mistaken about bar 6.

It sounds far more poised now and this time reminded me much of Ma Mere l'Oye.
You start beautifully with the Ralenti but again the last two chords are too assertive and literal. I think they should sort of dissolve in the air.

Apart from that minor detail, it would be quite perfect.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:28 pm 
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Thanks. It was in my plan to hit them as light as possible but it came out a bit to harsh anyway. Unless I get another idea of interpretation, I leave it like this.

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 Post subject: Edirol Piano Sound
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 5:31 am 
Hello Robert,

You do a fine job of piano playing. Bravo to you!

Let's see if we can do something to help with the sound your Edirol is producing, shall we?


Regardless of how realistic sounding any piano module is, there is a characteristic (un)quality that is an obvious "tip off" to its electronic origin. Do you know what that is? It is the manner in which the lowest notes are panned towards the left channel and the high notes are panned towards the right channel.

Of course, that is the characteristic quality the pianist hears when he/she sits down at the keyboard and begins to play. However, when grand pianos are recorded in a concert venue, their keyboards are turned perpendicular to the audience!

The audience members NEVER hear the high notes of a concert grand piano originating from stage right! (That is to say, not unless they are unfortunately seated in the very first row at the far LEFT of the auditorium!) In fact, the characteristic grand piano's shape of its case forces the shorter strings to speak from the left of center, as perceived by the audience.

In addition, electronic pianos' sounds are panned to the extremes -- hard left to hard right, with the image of the sound varying according to key position. This extreme amount of panning simply does not exist in the concert venue. If you have mixing capabilities, it is better to reverse the panning, and keep the overall level of panning closer to the middle, with the high notes going somewhat to the left, and the lowest notes going somewhat to the right.


The second characteristic that wrecks the sound of a recorded electronic piano/module is the nature of the reverberation pattern. Cheap pianos have cheap reverb add-ons! Now, what do I mean by this? Cheap reverb units allow for zero time to accrue before the reverberation pattern begins to commence. Restated, the recorded sound would have to travel FASTER than the speed of sound to achieve what you are hearing from these units.

A certain amount of time must transpire for the original sound to travel to the walls, ceiling, floor, etc, -- BEFORE their reflections can bounce into the listeners' ears. Rather, cheap reverb units have instantaneous echo -- and plenty of it!! Many cheap reverbs make no corrections for sound absorption versus distance, versus wood/cloth/concrete reflecting surfaces.

If you wish to provide palpable hall or room sound to your recordings, try to see if there is an adjustable time delay from the onset of the sound until the reverb kicks in. The better units have a certain amount of "bloom" to their reverberation tails. Best yet, are the new convolution reverbs that are available as plug-ins to computer programs. They are very CPU intensive, however, but can generate a far more palpable sound to your finished product.

Enough of my rambling on this subject. I hope you found it somewhat enlightening.

Cheers,

Joe <jcfeli>


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 Post subject: My Mistake: Wrongly though Edirol was a piano module
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:14 am 
Hello Robert,

I mistakenly assumed the Edirol unit you used was an electronic piano module rather than a recording device. My apologies to you; pleas pardon my faux pas. The comments I made in my 28th August thread are still valid for electronic/sampled pianos regarding panning and reverberation.

Sincerely,

Joe <jcfeli>


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 4:15 am 
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No problems. I never saw the other post as the stupid double login behvaiour in this forum prevents me from see new posts. I really must look into this problem.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 6:26 pm 
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So, now I have finally re-recorded all recordings. I actually put up a new with Peterson-Berger teh 22:th but forgot to post anything about it :?. Last (couple of minutes ago), I put up a new version of the Rach prelude.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 5:06 pm 
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Wow! I just listened to the Rach. Great job. Much better on the top notes.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:33 pm 
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Yes both are definitely better now.

The P-B sounds more relaxed than the previous. Only thing is the two rirtardandi before the main theme resumes, these seem a bit peculiar the way you distribute the note values. But perhaps it's written like that, I do not know the piece.

The Rach is also more convincing than before. But you know I am a nitpicker. I spotted some reading mistakes and set out to note them all down:

bar 6 LH chord on 2nd beat: d should be d# (same miostake
bar 6 RH chord on 2nd half of 3rd beat d# should be c#
bar 12 last LH chord is wrong

But stopped doing that in the Agitato and afterwards, too many dodgy notes of which I am unsure whether they are slips or reading mistakes. The big climax in bars 37-44 is better than the previous, but still sounds a but underpowered. The chords that connect to the reprise (bars 44-45) are played too fast, I think these should have a rit. leading to the Tempo I. There seem to be many wrong notes in the chords in the final page, it still sounds a bit sloppy.

My overall impression is you need to be more patient with the music - use more flexible tempi, and take your time over important transitions and climaxes. Even from the start, it sounds a bit hurried (more like Andante than Lento).

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:57 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Wow! I just listened to the Rach. Great job. Much better on the top notes.

I tried to accent them better this time. Thanks.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 7:29 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Yes both are definitely better now.

The P-B sounds more relaxed than the previous. Only thing is the two rirtardandi before the main theme resumes, these seem a bit peculiar the way you distribute the note values. But perhaps it's written like that, I do not know the piece.

I re-read the score and yes, it is.
techneut wrote:
The Rach is also more convincing than before. But you know I am a nitpicker. I spotted some reading mistakes and set out to note them all down:

bar 6 LH chord on 2nd beat: d should be d# (same miostake
bar 6 RH chord on 2nd half of 3rd beat d# should be c#
bar 12 last LH chord is wrong

I know you are and that is why you run the Music Board and doing it great as well ;).

And I pretty much was sure this was coming as the bar 6 differes between editions. Just look at the sheetmusicarchive.net and you will probably notice differences between editions. Not only these bars but look at the bass chords at the repeating A-part. In one of the editions, it is played with 4-finger chords on both hands (like I believe it should) while in the other edition, it is straigt octaves with both hands.

But back to bar 6. I tried to listen to what Rachmaninov himself does on this bar and it is not easy to hear. Listen to his version at an mp3 from http://classic.chubrik.ru/Rachmaninov/ (blackest site on the net). I am not sure whether he is flatening the d:s (four of them, two in each hand) or playing them sharp. One of the versions at SMA flatens the d:s and I also consulted my piano teacher who said he always played them flat.

About bar 12 LH. It is a slip, I know it should be D#-F#-B#.

techneut wrote:
But stopped doing that in the Agitato and afterwards, too many dodgy notes of which I am unsure whether they are slips or reading mistakes.

I slip a lot there.
techneut wrote:
The big climax in bars 37-44 is better than the previous, but still sounds a but underpowered. The chords that connect to the reprise (bars 44-45) are played too fast, I think these should have a rit. leading to the Tempo I. There seem to be many wrong notes in the chords in the final page, it still sounds a bit sloppy.

My overall impression is you need to be more patient with the music - use more flexible tempi, and take your time over important transitions and climaxes. Even from the start, it sounds a bit hurried (more like Andante than Lento).

I noticed when I got the time that my version is fast. Only 3:30 (3:13 from first to last chord). Ashkenazy's is 4:30 (too slow in my opinion) but Rachmaninov's himself is 3:38 (3:30 from first to last chord) so we play them a bit alike at least while his Agitato is very fast. The repeating A-part is also a LOT faster than the beginning. Also, he plays the last chord very fast after the second last. Didn't notice that until now.

The last part is rather sloppy but this version was still the best of my takes. Cannot make too many as I get rather tired playing it. I will try to improve as time goes. Could be a nice piece to throw off sometime and I know it more or less by heart already.
Thanks for taking the time!

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 6:28 am 
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Quote:
And I pretty much was sure this was coming as the bar 6 differes between editions. Just look at the sheetmusicarchive.net and you will probably notice differences between editions. Not only these bars but look at the bass chords at the repeating A-part. In one of the editions, it is played with 4-finger chords on both hands (like I believe it should) while in the other edition, it is straigt octaves with both hands.

Ah right. I have an old Augener edition which is probably not very authoritative, it says "Revised, phrased and fingered by O. Thümer". But, I compared with the sheetmusicarchive.net version, and they seem exactly the same, certainly so in bar 6. So if that is what you are using, you still may want to look into that.

Interesting about the bass chords in the reprise. Surely only the first in each bar should be a 4-finger chords and the other two straight octaves ? Or do you refer specifically to bar 52 ?

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