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 Post subject: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:42 pm 
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I hope I am not posting too much too fast, but I also redid Grieg's Arietta (Lyric Pieces) op.12/1.

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Last edited by richard66 on Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:31 am 
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Sorry, Richard, but this one cannot go up on the site. There are some real nice places where you play very nice and lyrical (haha - it's a Lyric piece), but your rhythm is off in a couple places. Specifically:

Bar 10 - you didn't hold the second quarter note long enough, so there is not the required two beats in the measure.

3rd bar from the end - same thing as above.

Also, I feel there is too long a pause between bars 4 and 5.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:34 am 
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Back to square one!

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:25 am 
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Try again...


Attachments:
grieg-12-1-willmer.mp3 [1.98 MiB]
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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:14 pm 
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In some ways your previous version was better. :(

It's almost as if you had misread Monica's comment about the gap between bars 4 and 5, and you thought she meant you should increase it. But she said it was too big, and I agree (which is saying something, because we don't always agree about gaps!). As it happens, I didn't really notice it at first, but listening more carefully, there was a slight gap, and there should be none.

But in your newer recording you have increased this gap, and also inserted similar gaps between bars 6 and 7, 8 and 9, and 16 and 17. This could be a result of your playing the whole thing a bit faster now, which is otherwise a good thing, it helps the piece flow more. But it's more important for the gaps to disappear than to have this flow. Ideally I'd like both, but if I can only have one, then give me gap-free.

In bar 10, where Monica pointed out the second note was not long enough, this is a little better but still not quite in time. Where it comes again 4 bars before the end, this is OK now.

There is also something wrong with bar 12. The second note comes a little early (that is to say before the 4th beat if we think of the piece as being in 4/8 rather than 2/4), and you also seem to be creating a 5th beat in which to play those two grace notes which lead to the next bar. This should not happen, they should be tucked in somehow without disturbing the rhythm. Same problem in the second last bar of the piece. Your inner clock is letting you down, perhaps you should reconsider your ban on metronomes. :wink:

Also in bar 12, the two grace notes should flow smoothly to their target, but the effect is marred by the second grace note (the lower G) being closer in time to the first grace note (E) than it is to the target high G. This is much better into the last bar of the piece, perhaps because you relax more when you see the rit coming.


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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:17 pm 
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I think this is much more flowing than previous versions. I did not hear anything really wrong but I have to agree your timings are a bit funny.
I'm all for leaving some breathing space between phrases, but you overdo them making them into pauses/hesitations. Apart from that I think it is a big improvement.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:03 am 
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Again, I think practicing with a metronome would help you, Richard. You say you don't like to do that, but tell me how you are able to keep a pulse here? It's impossible. In many bars you hold out the last note far too long. Please, try using your metronome for a few times before you poo-poo the idea. You know the notes, and most of your rhythm is okay, but your pulse is off. This can be easily corrected via your metronome. It's helped me many times! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:21 pm 
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techneut wrote:
I think this is much more flowing than previous versions. I did not hear anything really wrong but I have to agree your timings are a bit funny.
I'm all for leaving some breathing space between phrases, but you overdo them making them into pauses/hesitations. Apart from that I think it is a big improvement.


While agreeing with Monica and Rainer, I do feel it to flow better now. I shall have to digest Rainer's suggestions and work on them.

I think part of the problem might be that for so many years I was my sole public and critic and this was part of my repertoire, in a way Chenov, Camilleri and Bortkiewicz were not. Not having a discerning public meant I became sloppy.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:31 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
techneut wrote:
I think this is much more flowing than previous versions. I did not hear anything really wrong but I have to agree your timings are a bit funny.
I'm all for leaving some breathing space between phrases, but you overdo them making them into pauses/hesitations. Apart from that I think it is a big improvement.


While agreeing with Monica and Rainer, I do feel it to flow better now. I shall have to digest Rainer's suggestions and work on them.

I think part of the problem might be that for so many years I was my sole public and critic and this was part of my repertoire, in a way Chenov, Camilleri and Bortkiewicz were not. Not having a discerning public meant I became sloppy.

Richard, this is precisely why I praised my metronome in my post at viewtopic.php?f=18&t=4690 :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:44 pm 
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I do not get you, Eddy. Are you saying it flows better because of a metronome I do not have or are you saying I became sloppy because I have no metronome?

I has another go at it yesterday. I am not sure I like it all that much, but anyway, I seem to be winning the battle against recorder fright: I hear no knees knocking against each other! :D

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Last edited by richard66 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:25 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
I do not get you, Eddy. Are you saying it flows better because of a metronome I do not have or are you saying I became sloppy because I have no metronome?

Hi Richard,
I was just responding to your having stated that you've gone so long without critical ears listening to you, and was making the point that the metronome is intolerable to tempo fluctuations, and therefore has served me well while maturing a work for presentation. It would serve you in the same way.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:00 pm 
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You will be saying the metronome helps your musicality next.

Well, we shall not quarrel over that; you just go on keeping time with your metronome and I go on keeping time with my heart!

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:15 pm 
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This is much better in terms of getting rid of the inter-phrase gaps.

Bar 12 is still broken (and the same comments apply to bar 22). I think you manage to make it roughly the right length overall, so that you arrive at the beginning of bar 13 at the correct moment in time, but you are playing the second chord (G and Bb) much too early. It should come on the 4th beat but you've shifted it forward to almost the 3rd beat, presumably to make room for the two grace notes. You almost seem to be trying to play the grace notes as timed semiquavers, but that would be wrong. Play them independently of the other notes. Make them as fast or slow as feels right to you, subject to the constraints that all the non-grace notes should be played without (or with only the merest hint of) rubato, that the E grace note should come after the 4th beat chord, and that the G grace note should come as far as possible halfway between the E and the G main note. It's perhaps too mathematical, but a starting point might be to play the grace notes as the 2nd and 3rd notes of a triplet which starts with the 4th beat chord.

Towards this end it may help to play both notes of the 4th beat chord with the left hand, leaving the right hand free to concentrate on the grace notes, and to play them in whichever way is most comfortable. I would suggest playing the E with 2nd finger and the G with the 1st, so that you have 1-5 for the G-G octave. But before you decide how to play the grace notes, make sure the 4th beat chord really does come on the 4th beat, by playing bars 11-13 a few times while omitting the grace notes.

You took our encouragement of the previous recording "flowing better" too much to heart, I think, because it is now (for my taste at least) too fast, losing much of the lyric quality this piece should have. If that is what you meant when you said "I am not sure I like it all that much", that's wonderful. But increasing the speed to this extent was not wasted effort. It proves that you are capable of it at well above target speed without making those ugly gaps; you have built up a "reserve" of technical ability and now no longer have any need to worry about notes. Now you can drop the speed back a bit again, and relax enjoy it more, and think a little bit more about general musicality and phrasing.

In that department I found that there is too much focus on each bar, too much accenting the 1st and 3rd beats. This is particularly evident in bars 1 and 3, slightly less so in 2 and 4. Think in longer phrases. During all of bar 1 you want to build towards the beginning of bar 2, then slope away again, and so on.

Do you think of bars 7 and 8 as being an echo of bars 5 and 6? You have made a big reduction in volume here, which seems too much.


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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:27 am 
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richard66 wrote:
You will be saying the metronome helps your musicality next.

Well, we shall not quarrel over that; you just go on keeping time with your metronome and I go on keeping time with my heart!

But every time I play, I play only with my heart. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:54 am 
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musical-md wrote:
richard66 wrote:
You will be saying the metronome helps your musicality next.

Well, we shall not quarrel over that; you just go on keeping time with your metronome and I go on keeping time with my heart!

But every time I play, I play only with my heart. 8)


Ah, but do you ever play?

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:09 pm 
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Continue like this and any future biography of mine will read: "He is best remembered for his exquisite interpretation of Grieg's Arietta." :D

rainer wrote:
This is much better in terms of getting rid of the inter-phrase gaps.

Bar 12 is still broken (and the same comments apply to bar 22). I think you manage to make it roughly the right length overall, so that you arrive at the beginning of bar 13 at the correct moment in time, but you are playing the second chord (G and Bb) much too early. It should come on the 4th beat but you've shifted it forward to almost the 3rd beat, presumably to make room for the two grace notes. You almost seem to be trying to play the grace notes as timed semiquavers, but that would be wrong. Play them independently of the other notes. Make them as fast or slow as feels right to you, subject to the constraints that all the non-grace notes should be played without (or with only the merest hint of) rubato, that the E grace note should come after the 4th beat chord, and that the G grace note should come as far as possible halfway between the E and the G main note. It's perhaps too mathematical, but a starting point might be to play the grace notes as the 2nd and 3rd notes of a triplet which starts with the 4th beat chord.

Towards this end it may help to play both notes of the 4th beat chord with the left hand, leaving the right hand free to concentrate on the grace notes, and to play them in whichever way is most comfortable. I would suggest playing the E with 2nd finger and the G with the 1st, so that you have 1-5 for the G-G octave. But before you decide how to play the grace notes, make sure the 4th beat chord really does come on the 4th beat, by playing bars 11-13 a few times while omitting the grace notes.


I shall look into that, though my hand is free when the appgiature come along.

rainer wrote:
You took our encouragement of the previous recording "flowing better" too much to heart, I think, because it is now (for my taste at least) too fast, losing much of the lyric quality this piece should have. If that is what you meant when you said "I am not sure I like it all that much", that's wonderful. But increasing the speed to this extent was not wasted effort. It proves that you are capable of it at well above target speed without making those ugly gaps; you have built up a "reserve" of technical ability and now no longer have any need to worry about notes. Now you can drop the speed back a bit again, and relax enjoy it more, and think a little bit more about general musicality and phrasing.


Indeed, too fast. I have lately been practising just that: playing above speed. In the end it easier and I am more confident at this higher speed. Now it needs to slow down and it should solve the creeps problems.

rainer wrote:
In that department I found that there is too much focus on each bar, too much accenting the 1st and 3rd beats. This is particularly evident in bars 1 and 3, slightly less so in 2 and 4. Think in longer phrases. During all of bar 1 you want to build towards the beginning of bar 2, then slope away again, and so on.

Do you think of bars 7 and 8 as being an echo of bars 5 and 6? You have made a big reduction in volume here, which seems too much.


On those bars I used the soft pedal. To me they are an echo, yes.

Thank you for this exhaustive analysis.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:51 pm 
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So now we have two newer version of the Arietta. I'm starting to lose track... Does either one need to replace the one on the site ?

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:47 pm 
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Neither of the attached files are going up. Perhaps you can clear all the attachments in the Audition Room via the admin control panel? I'm losing track too. Or I will do it.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:00 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Neither of the attached files are going up. Perhaps you can clear all the attachments in the Audition Room via the admin control panel? I'm losing track too. Or I will do it.

I think there is such a function. But I'm always afraid to delete something that should have been kept.
Need to check if there is an expiry date for attachments :!:
Makes me wonder how PianoStreet does this. They gets lots of stuff attached and it never goes anywhere.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:30 pm 
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None of them is good enough. If you want me to, I can delete them.

Done.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:38 pm 
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Ahem... :oops:

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Last edited by richard66 on Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:57 pm 
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The rhythmic continuity in bars 12 and 22 is very much improved in this version, especially the way you handle the grace notes at the end of those bars; well done. Still not 100% there, though, and the same is true of bars 10 and 20. In all 4 bars you are holding the first chord on a tiny bit too long, so that the 3rd beat in bars 10/20 and the 4th beat in 12/22 is a touch late. Not by an awful lot, but by enough for someone who is listening out for it to notice. :)

You have had, in bars 9 and 11, a continuous semiquaver pulse going (except that nothing happens on the 7th pulse), and you should be able to keep that pulse going in your head while your hands play the slower notes of bars 10 and 12. Pretend that in these bars you also had to play a bunch of silent semiquavers in addition to what is actually there, and take care to play those silent notes in exactly the right place in time. Then the slower notes will look after themselves.

I'm still bothered by the thumpy accents (I'm exaggerating a little) on the 1st and 3rd beats of the opening bars. This is not a military march. Heed the hairpins, shape the phrases.


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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:42 pm 
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This is pretty good now, Richard. Except two bars, nos. 12 and 22, where your rhythm is off. Your pulse is going along fine until you get to these bars - you are holding the half note too long. If you feed two beats in your head while you are playing, then these bars are just the same thing. You play the E-flat, hold it down for two counts and then on the last upbeat you stick in the 16th notes. Hope that makes sense.... :)

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:48 pm 
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You both agree and this is obviously brought about by the new fingering for the accacciature. Too much attention diverted to that caused a bit of anticipation. Understandable, if you consider I only practised once before with the new fingering!

I seem to have lost the fear of the recorder, which is perhaps the best thing, and I have gained the capacity to retain the performance, that is, that playing the piece well is no longer a question of luck, but design. Thi, of course, increases confidence.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:11 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
You both agree and this is obviously brought about by the new fingering for the accacciature. Too much attention diverted to that caused a bit of anticipation. Understandable, if you consider I only practised once before with the new fingering!

I seem to have lost the fear of the recorder, which is perhaps the best thing, and I have gained the capacity to retain the performance, that is, that playing the piece well is no longer a question of luck, but design. Thi, of course, increases confidence.


"fear of the recorder"...see? Piano Society is good for many reasons! :D Now try VIDEO recording! :lol:

But please Richard, practice your new fingering more than once before recording.... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:36 pm 
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I have practised the new fingering. I hope this one is better.

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Last edited by richard66 on Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:45 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
I have practised the new fingering. I hope this one is better.
It is better. The timing in bars 10 and 20 is pretty well perfect now (10 more so than 20).
There is new problem, though, or an old one come back: An inter-phrase hesitation has crept in, in the form of a gap between bars 16 and 17 of about a 16th note duration.

In bars 12 and 22 the 4th beat is a little bit late, and the next beat (the 1st of the next bar) is still quite a bit late. You are making too much time into which to fit the two grace notes.

I notice you making the effort to bring out the hairpins centred on the beginnings of bars 2 and 4, but you could make still more of them. But that doesn't mean you should get louder at their peaks, you should start quieter instead. In fact, although the hairpin is only marked to begin in the middle of the bar, I feel you should begin bar 1 quieter too, and with less accent (or better no accent) on beat 1. The volume you play from bar 5 is lovely and gentle. By comparison bar sounds harsh, and I think the piece would work better if you started bar 1 at a similar volume as you have in bar 5.


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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:55 am 
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Well....sorry, but I don't agree with Rainer. I still think bars 10 and 20 are off the mark. Like you are holding the A in the RH and the F# LH too long. Also you should make the next notes, the RH B and LH G softer. Right now, you tend to accent these notes, whereas they should be the softer of the two-note phrase. One more thing...it sounds like your recorded is closer to your LH than to your RH; your RH sounds a little underneath the LH. Either that, or your LH is playing too loudly. You're almost there, Richard. Don't give up... :)

edit: very weird...I just went to the home page and "today's Composer" is Grieg!

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:51 am 
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pianolady wrote:
Well....sorry, but I don't agree with Rainer.
You don't? I think you do. 8)
Quote:
I still think bars 10 and 20 are off the mark. Like you are holding the A in the RH and the F# LH too long.
But bars 10 and 20 don't have an A in RH or an F# in LH, so I think you must mean bars 12 and 22, about which we are in agreement: You said he holds on to the (dotted quarter) A F# too long, I said the (8ths) B G are late; same thing.

However, this timing business can be pretty subjective, and things can play tricks on our internal clocks. Clearly we both felt that Richard's 4th beat is late enough to remark on it, so I tried to get some impartial corroboration. I managed to synchronise my metronome to Richard's playing, by loading the file into Audacity and preparing it up to start playback at the beginning of bar 11. I set the metronome to 144, which is the 16th note speed here, and started it ticking, then started the playback on a tick. I was stunned :shock: to find Richard's 4th beat in bar 12 come in the right place after all.

Maybe it is the syncopation in the 2nd half of bar 11 that throws our internal clocks off track. Maybe it's also Grieg's fault, because we kind of expect something to happen on the 3rd beat, and when nothing does, our clocks get in a bit of a panic and speed up, making us think the 4th beat, when it comes, is later than it really is. Another possibility is that when the 4th beat finally comes, there is something inside us that wants to interpret it as a very late 3rd beat.

Still, there can be no doubt that Richard's 1st beat of bar 13 is significantly late.


Last edited by rainer on Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:18 pm 
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Most of the time I was counting but, as you say, tempo is subjective and might need correction. It is something like Greek columns, that bulge outwards half-way through, to compensate the fact that the eye actually sees a straight column as bulging inwards if it is straight.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:40 pm 
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rainer wrote:
pianolady wrote:
Well....sorry, but I don't agree with Rainer.
You don't? I think you do. 8)
Quote:
I still think bars 10 and 20 are off the mark. Like you are holding the A in the RH and the F# LH too long.
But bars 10 and 20 don't have an A in RH or an F# in LH, so I think you must mean bars 12 and 22, about which we are in agreement: You said he holds on to the (dotted quarter) A F# too long, I said the (8ths) B G are late; same thing.
.

Oh yes, I did mean bars 12 and 22. :oops: Sorry, I'm off my game....
And sorry to you too, Richard. I must be driving you nuts with all this nit-picking.

Best wishes, :)
Monica

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:13 pm 
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Let us see this one. Excuse the hiss: I tried, but this is the best I could do (about the hiss, that is).

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Last edited by richard66 on Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:24 am 
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Hello Richard,

I think this is a big improvement over your first attempt! However, there are still a few problem spots that need a little tweaking.

Measure 10-11: You play the first 8th note on measure 11 too soon. You didn't sustain the quarter note for quite long enough, it was more like a dotted eight note.
Measures 5-8: This piece is supposed to sing! The melody sounds a bit muddled to me in these measures. It sings everywhere else.
Also, in measures 12 and 22 I didn't like the way you handled the grace notes. They sounded a little rushed and not fluid enough. However, you do maintain the rhythm, so I'm not sure if the grace notes matter too much in light of that.

Thanks for sharing!
David


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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:09 am 
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I was really hoping that this was going to be the keeper. But now there is another rhythm glitch - as what Dave said, it's in bar 10-11. He says that you come in too soon on bar 11; I go the other way and say that you don't hold out the second quarter note in bar 10 long enough. Either way means basically the same thing. Maybe it would help you to listen to this recording:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b99h0VBM5cI

I think it's really about perfect and demonstrates how gentle the phrasing is and those grace notes too.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:43 am 
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Hm... Have you listened to the Gilels recording you suggest with the metronome?

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:00 am 
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This must be the most recorded piece ever by now :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:41 am 
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techneut wrote:
This must be the most recorded piece ever by now :lol:


Do I not know, but I doubt no matter how much these are better than my recording on the site, they will never never do. :cry:

Oh well: it is short and it only takes 5 minutes to record three takes!

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:09 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
Hm... Have you listened to the Gilels recording you suggest with the metronome?

No, I have not. Why do you ask? He is holding out those two quarter notes in bar 10 just fine, and you did too on one your takes, but just not on your most recent one. But do you hear how gentle he plays the piece? You are close and I can hear some nice phrasing in your playing. Just maybe you could soften your LH a little and I dunno...think about something soft and gentle when you play. Like sitting in a meadow under a blue sky, warm sunshine, flowers blooming all around and a doe and her cute fawn grazing nearby. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:32 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
Hm... Have you listened to the Gilels recording you suggest with the metronome?


Yes. He's doesn't follow a perfectly even rhythm and has various ritards throughout his performance. However, all of his decisions in regards to rhythm and tempo are obviously deliberate and don't distract from the piece (I would even say they enhance it). In your latest recording, I think that your one rhythmic slip was just a mistake, not a deliberate decision. In fact, I would say that shortening note values in a slower lyrical piece like this one is much more glaring than lengthening them.


pianolady wrote:
Just maybe you could soften your LH a little and I dunno...think about something soft and gentle when you play. Like sitting in a meadow under a blue sky, warm sunshine, flowers blooming all around and a doe and her cute fawn grazing nearby. :)


This is exactly what I was thinking when I commented on the "muddled" melody in measures 5-8. In softer, singing pieces, maintaining an appropriate balance of both hands can be tricky, but it is essential. I play Arietta from time to time, and I've never managed to perfect it because I'm still too brutish with my left hand :oops:

Don't be too hard on yourself, Richard, I think you're extremely close and just need to do some delicate fine tuning :)

David


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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:29 am 
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Hello Richard. I joined late and just listened to your last posting. What beautiful music! It's one of those deceiving pieces that are technically accessible, but musically requires more than a lot of people realize. I agree with the others that you clearly have a very good recording here. The slight timing problems don't bother me that much personally.

Here's my two cents and you may already do these things, but thought I'd mention just in case you find it helpful. Listening closely I can hear the wonderful long phrasing you're employing. I do find myself wishing I didn't have to listen so closely, however. This ties into another suggestion someone gave about having a lighter left hand.

Please don't laugh if this sounds ridiculous, but what I often do for these sorts of delicate, lyrical pieces is to step back and play the melody alone - in this case the RH mostly I believe. This lets me focus on the "singing" and shaping of the melody without the distraction of the left hand. Depending on the music, I picture a symphony in my mind with perhaps a solo violin, or maybe a soprano, whose notes rise above the orchestra to deliver the story to the audience. I will play right hand only until I feel I have worked out (or reminded myself of) all the phrasing, dynamics, and sound quality I feel is needed to give the melody its best opportunity to make an impact. In your song it would be "da da Da Da DA Da da" (didn't you like my singing??!!) :mrgreen:

For me I always have to pay careful attention to getting the right sound. Am I attacking the notes a bit too hard? This happens to me ALL the time when I play my recordings back... ugg. For legato phrases, I focus in particular on the transition between notes imagining that I'm NOT playing a percussive instrument and instead am carrying the melody under a steady breath as a woodwind player may do. These images help me get closer to that magical, light, pulsing touch that you hear on the youtube link Monica posted. This would close the gaps in your phrase ... perhaps "da.da.Da.Da.DA.Da.da" now - closer but slightly connected. Yet sung under one breath ... so to speak. :)

In the same manner, I consciously decide how soft I will play the RH melody (at the beginning of a phrase for example), which tells me in most cases that my left hand will need to play even SOFTER than that. Easier said than done for sure, and I know I'm generalizing a bit but I think you get the idea.

My old [Russian] piano teacher from a few years back, Dr. Anna Arshavsky, kept my mind full of metaphors - I think she had a new one for every piece we played! :? I was thinking about her recently as I was re-learning a Chopin prelude (No 21). You are probably aware, but this slow waltz begins very lyrically in the right hand, but has a "restless undercurrent" of legato double notes in the left. For this prelude, a very light and legato left hand is critical or it becomes VERY distracting to the melody. Anyway, my teacher really had to work with me because I would start to revert back from my delicate LH. She would grab my fingers and shake them gently, tell me to "relax and forget about using any muscles." She told me (in broken English) to "think of stream; water trickling down; takes no effort; very gentle; don't use your finger muscles" (Lot's of interesting things there to say the least!)

Again, I'm no expert but just thought I'd share my approach in case you can apply anything to your Grieg Arietta. I really think it sounds very nice as it is, but if you enjoyed Gilel's performance you could certainly make some adjustments in that direction. Very light left hand would let the phrasing you've worked out breath. Focusing on the melody may present you with opportunities to make it more connected, more lyrical. I very much look forward to see how this ends up - I really like the piece.

Best Regards.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:29 pm 
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Very good advice Matthew, especially your 3rd paragraph. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:00 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
richard66 wrote:
Hm... Have you listened to the Gilels recording you suggest with the metronome?
No, I have not. Why do you ask? He is holding out those two quarter notes in bar 10 just fine, and you did too on one your takes, but just not on your most recent one.
Yes, but Gilels, in addition to the subtle rubati he makes in various places, takes a lot of liberty with bars 12 and 22; see how much time he makes for the grace notes. In the light of this, Richard will understandably be wondering whether he should really take heed of what we've been telling him about those bars. Perhaps an answer is that the "right" to take liberties must be "earned" by first playing the piece in a way which is rhythmically exactly correct at a constant speed. That done, liberties can be taken, but in a well-controlled and deliberate way. By this I mean that instead of taking arbitrary liberties with the odd few notes here and there, one should still continue to play exactly in "time", but now in a "bent" time, or at a speed which one is allowed to vary continuously, and these speed variations should be gentle, smooth, and sweeping, with no sudden jerky changes.
Quote:
But do you hear how gentle he plays the piece? You are close and I can hear some nice phrasing in your playing. Just maybe you could soften your LH a little
I think the RH could do with softening too. In think Matthew's way of explaining the phrasing as "da da Da Da DA Da da" is very good, and we need this to come out more, the first "da" needs to be lot gentler. Although I can hear Richard making something of the hairpins towards he beginnings of bars 2 and 4, my feeling is that the underlying dynamic profile onto which he superimposes these hairpins still has too much of a "DA da Da da DA da Da" to it.
Quote:
and I dunno...think about something soft and gentle when you play. Like sitting in a meadow under a blue sky, warm sunshine, flowers blooming all around and a doe and her cute fawn grazing nearby.
Ahh, what a lovely picture you paint. Disney should have used this piece in "Bambi"! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:29 pm 
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mwyman1 wrote:
This would close the gaps in your phrase ... perhaps "da.da.Da.Da.DA.Da.da" now - closer but slightly connected. Yet sung under one breath ... so to speak. :)


In fact, I would recommend actually singing the melody when you're working on phrasing and dynamics. My teacher got me to do that and it's helped me immensely.


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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:37 pm 
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Quote:
In fact, I would recommend actually singing the melody when you're working on phrasing and dynamics. My teacher got me to do that and it's helped me immensely.

Yes, even better! Of course, in my case if I were to do this I'd likely attract (or scare away) all the cats in the neighborhood. :shock: Someone may actually call the paramedics upon hearing me, convinced someone in the house is in urgent need of care.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:01 pm 
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rainer wrote:
pianolady wrote:
richard66 wrote:
Hm... Have you listened to the Gilels recording you suggest with the metronome?
No, I have not. Why do you ask? He is holding out those two quarter notes in bar 10 just fine, and you did too on one your takes, but just not on your most recent one.
Yes, but Gilels, in addition to the subtle rubati he makes in various places, takes a lot of liberty with bars 12 and 22; see how much time he makes for the grace notes. In the light of this, Richard will understandably be wondering whether he should really take heed of what we've been telling him about those bars. Perhaps an answer is that the "right" to take liberties must be "earned" by first playing the piece in a way which is rhythmically exactly correct at a constant speed. That done, liberties can be taken, but in a well-controlled and deliberate way. By this I mean that instead of taking arbitrary liberties with the odd few notes here and there, one should still continue to play exactly in "time", but now in a "bent" time, or at a speed which one is allowed to vary continuously, and these speed variations should be gentle, smooth, and sweeping, with no sudden jerky changes.


About the length of the dotted crotchets it may be that I always got them wrong, but they used to be too long, instead of too short. Let that be and I will not discuss pros and cons. What I do contest however, is that the appoggiature I used to play just as leisurely as Gilels does and I was talked out of that by several members.Now I play them in a way I do not like, as they seem hurried and out of character, but which seemed to be what the public wanted. This was one piece I learned while I still took lessons and I remember perfectly well that those were relaxed, just as they are in Gilels recording.

While I am not sneezing at any of the very helpful comments by Monica, Rainer and the rest of you, it cannot but remind me of Aesop's tale of the old man, the boy and the ass.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:10 pm 
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:|

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:31 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
:|
Well, this is not without improvement. The way the top voice is more gently phrased, and is sounding less military than before, in the first 8 bars, is good. You're on the right path, now you just need to go even further along it. Also, where the same material comes again starting at bar 13, you are less gentle here than at the beginning.

The middle voice should benefit as much, if not more so, from whatever efforts you go to to make the upper voice gentler and to phrase the dynamics. At present these continuous 16th notes do tend to overwhelm the upper voice a bit, they're a bit stompy and samey, DA DA DA DA instead of Da da da da, and this aspect seems more pronounced now that you've chosen (I don't know why) to play the piece more slowly again. Although these middle voice notes are the fastest feature of the piece, they are certainly not the most important, they're background murmur to the melodic line, and need to be kept more quiet than the melody.

Alas, the old timing problems of bars 10/20 and 12/22 are still with us. Do you listen to your recordings critically before approving them for posting? If so, and if you can't hear these timing errors, then your inner ("heart") metronome is just broken and needs to be repaired, or trained with the aid of a real metronome. You've said you'd hate it, I know, but I fear it's getting to the stage at which such action is becoming unavoidable. Just maybe, there is another thing you can try first:

In bar 10 your second chord is about 25% too short. Perhaps what you could try in that bar is to change what the left hand does. Play eight 16th notes: Eb A Eb A Eb G Eb G. That should force you to hold the second right hand chord on for the right amount of time. Once you've done that a few times, allow the LH to play what's written again, while imagining you were playing those 16ths. Record it. Listen to the recording, and while doing so imagine the LH playing those 16ths, and see whether your recording arrives at bar 11 in time with your imagined 16ths.

In bar 12 the F# A is too short so the G Bb comes too soon, by about the duration of a 16th note. Perhaps it would help to play the F# A not as dotted 4ths but as six 16ths F# A F# A F# A, to train yourself, in the same way as in bar 10, to keep the 16th rhythm going in your head.

Make time for the grace notes if you must, but not by pushing the G Bb chord out of the way, but rather by lengthening the bar. If you listen to Gilels's bar 12 while imagining continuous 16ths being played, you should find that his G Bb arrives right on time, but that he has edited in a fermata onto them, stretching the bar by about the duration of an 8th note in order to let the grace notes in such that they don't sound rushed.


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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:49 pm 
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Yes, you reverted to a slower tempo again here. But that doesn't bother me as much as missing the rhythm on the aforementioned bars.

And Richard, I hate to tell you this, but I just listened to your recording on the main site and really it should not have been put up in the first place - one of the other admins did it. It's those long quarter notes at bar 10 and then when it repeats later on. This is a major rhythm glitch and since people listen to our recordings to hear how they go, then we can't by right host the recording. I'm sorry, I feel bad about this, I really do, but I think it should come down.

Probably by now you can play this piece blindfolded and so you don't have to worry about the notes. Your technique can improve in that your LH should still play much softer. Also, I don't remember if you ever answered me about where you place your recorder, but it sounds like it is too close to the low notes..? Then there is the rhythm stuff....Rainer and Eddy have provided much information on that already. Please listen to that Gilels version a bunch of times. Maybe play along with it if you can hear the recording while sitting at your piano...
Also, you can listen to one of our own member's recording of it, Alfonso Bertazzi, which is very good. I'm not suggesting that you copy another member's style, but his rhythm is correct and so maybe it could help you...just some more ideas... :idea: :)

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:09 pm 
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I think I put up that earlier version mainly to give Richard a chance to move on without getting too disillusioned. IIRC there had been posted several re-recordings of the piece too.

Richard, maybe now would be a good time to start taking some lessons again. All this re-recording and re-assessing seems a bit laborious and counterproductive. Nothing beats someone sitting next to you and friendly nudging you the right way. Just an idea :!:

As for keeping rhythm, I find that counting the bars helps, especially when you have longer notes or rests and the temptation to come in too early is overwhelming. I learned that the hard way since starting to accompany church services. Counting now becomes a habit, and I'm glad for it. When listening back, I find it helps tapping the table, to quickly pick up where you slow down or speed up.

Never record something without listening to at least a couple of pro recordings (if you can find them) and never submit something before critically listening back to yourself a number of times (I had to learn that the hard way too). It would not be the first time that I though I had something nailed, and upon listening back had to concede it wasn't ready.

HTH

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:25 pm 
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Maybe the time has come to say goodbye. It seems to me I am an embarassment for the Society.

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