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 Post subject: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:13 am 
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Here's a little something different. I put this on my Facebook page earlier this evening, and figured I'd submit it here too for review.
I have always loved Granados' Spanish Dance No. 2 the "Oriental". Just recently, I got my flute totally refurbished by a musical instrument technician, and now I'm trying to play it again (not easy...it's been a long time!). So on this recording, I am playing with myself :lol: - I took off some of the RH lines in the piano part, recorded the piano, recorded the flute, and then synced it together. I have not uploaded the file onto the main site yet; I'll wait to see if anyone thinks it's worthy of our site.

Granados - Spanish Dance No. 2 "Oriental"(piano and flute)

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:42 am 
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Hi Monica,

I had a listen to your flute and piano arrangement of the Spanish Dance No. 2. Very cool, one-person duet! First of all, I didn't know that you played the flute. Now you will have to start flutesociety.com :lol: I think your trills sound crisp and the phrasing between the two performances was good. I think the places where you breath make sense, creating a characterful feel to the piece. One criticism is in the mix (levels) between the instruments. To my ears the Piano is at the same level as the flute and should be a little less. In my Piano performance class one meeting we had a collaborative seminar where a pianist played with a singer, and the main critique my teacher had with the performance was the singer was not loud enough, the pianist was playing too loud. But I really enjoyed hearing the unique timbre of the flute to characterize the melody of this piece, it has a way of "singing" that a Piano, however good, cannot achieve. Also you get bonus points because this piece is subtitled, "Oriental" and I can enjoy it all the more because it (presumably?) describes the place I am now living in, the Far East! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:24 pm 
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What a nice idea! Yes, imo this should definitely go on the site. The only place where I questioned the balance was in the piano ostinato sections (e.g. the start) where I'm inclined to agree with Riley; other than that I think it works very well, and the piano interjection just before 3.00 I liked.


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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:35 pm 
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Great idea, surprised how much the combination goes in this particular piece. Was really soothing and enjoyable to listen to. Definitely put this up.


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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:15 pm 
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Hello Monica,
This is a beautiful version, and the flute fits very well with the nostalgic ambiance of this piece. Congratulations for the idea, and for the rendition ! I am a great flute lover, but I only use to play the Irish flute (a wooden, 6-hole one), which is easier than the classical one, but only for folk music...

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:27 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
I got my flute refurbished and now I'm trying to play it again (not easy...it's been a long time!).
Your flute playing sounds amazingly good for having been a long time dormant. I think it will get even better as you get back into it; for now you are still sounding a little bit restrained, and you could do with playing out more. This is not just a question of balance (which has already been mentioned) but also of attitude. The flautist needs to sing out more soloistically and assertively, while the pianist needs to take a more subordinate role and accept that she is only accompanying.
Quote:
So on this recording, I am playing with myself :lol:
So that's where all that heavy breathing is coming from! :shock: It might be nice if it didn't show up on the recording quite as much as it does. Not sure how easy it is to avoid, perhaps more distance between flute and microphone and crank up the sensitivity?

One big advantage of doing something like this is that there is a high degree of rapport between the "two" players, as each "instinctively" knows what the other is about to do next. I think this recording shows the benefit of this. You play well together.


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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:30 pm 
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Thank you for listening, Riley, Andrew, Jonathan, Francois, and Rainer.

This is probably going to sound very odd, but I don't like listening to flute music very much. But I like to play with myself a lot and my guitar playing is not good enough (yet) to play something together with myself. Really, though, it's flute music that is played on very high notes that I don't care for. Middle notes and lower notes on flute are fine. I arranged this piece a little bit in order to avoid going into the very high register notes. But then I also intentionally lowered the overall volume of just the flute part, because I wanted this to sound more like as duet, rather than a piano accompanying a flute. I wanted the flute to be heard but too prominently. Hope that makes sense...?

The breathing....I'm the one who is always commenting that I don't like when people breathe when they're recording. Yet, obviously I couldn't help it here. I didn't think it would sound so loud on the recording...grrr. A couple times I got dizzy and almost passed out too. Oh well, it was a fun little project. And because you think it's okay for our site, I will put it up soon. Thank you again, everybody! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:31 am 
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Time for me to undust the contralto recorder and try a Telemann sonata with the piano! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:30 pm 
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Cute. I'm no great lover of the flute as a solo instrument but this is well done and sounds relatively good, given you have not played for so long. Would it not be better to pick some original repertoire for the combination ?

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:23 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
Time for me to undust the contralto recorder and try a Telemann sonata with the piano! :D


Funny, I was thinking along the same lines yesterday. I have a couple recorders sitting around at home. I thought maybe something like by Couperin. Or else some sea shanty like "what shall we do with a drunken sailor"....haha

techneut wrote:
Cute. I'm no great lover of the flute as a solo instrument but this is well done and sounds relatively good, given you have not played for so long. Would it not be better to pick some original repertoire for the combination ?
Thank you. I just love this piece and it worked out well for trying out this little project. What do you mean by original repertoire? I'm not a composer, so I have to use other people's music.

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:27 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
What do you mean by original repertoire? I'm not a composer, so I have to use other people's music.

I mean pieces that were composed for flute and piano.

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:41 pm 
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techneut wrote:
pianolady wrote:
What do you mean by original repertoire? I'm not a composer, so I have to use other people's music.

I mean pieces that were composed for flute and piano.


Oh. That's a good idea. But when I was in high school and playing in flute competitions, not only was the flute music advanced, but the piano part was equally hard. I had to use the best accompanist in town. It would be too much work for me to do both parts. But maybe I can find something easier....hmmm...I'll look. At first I was going to use one of Satie's Gnossiennes.

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:53 pm 
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Yeah, that will be more work for sure. But just taking an (easy) piano piece and playing one of the voices on flute, hmmm.... You
do it just because you can, which I understand, but I'm not sure it is the way to go. There seems little musical value in it and the result never improves on the original. You hear it a lot with violin also, I hate that kind of arrangements. Of course I'm a bit of a puritan in this respect :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:19 pm 
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I would never dream of improving Granados' music. And to say there is no musical value here is pretty harsh. I love doing this sort of thing! But ok, I guess I will not share any future 'playing with myself' projects again.

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:36 pm 
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Ooh, the H-word :)
I should really have written "added musical value'. At least that was what I meant to convey, FWIW.

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:42 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
But when I was in high school and playing in flute competitions, not only was the flute music advanced, but the piano part was equally hard. I had to use the best accompanist in town. It would be too much work for me to do both parts.
Are you sure it would? You've come a long way on piano since then, and have played some pretty hard stuff. The fact that you've entered piano competitions should speak for itself. What may have seemed fiendishly difficult then, should seem almost sight-readable now. :)

I would recommend Barber's Canzone Op 38a (originally called Elegy, and recycled into the slow movement of his piano concerto). Short and sweet, the piano part is not too difficult, but harder than it looks, and as a flute piece someone told me it's on the grade 7 list.
Quote:
But ok, I guess I will not share any future 'playing with myself' projects again.
:( :( No, no! Don't say that!


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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:41 pm 
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Just before even thinking of this thread a flute and piano duo started taking place in my head. A lovely melancholy piece, even in the fast sections, as only he couid achieve. Then I realised that he is one of your favourite composers too. Have yiu thought of Poulenc's sonata for flute and piano?

Couperin has no music for the recorder and by recorder I do not mean one of those cheap, plastic soprano ones which play microtones and that, when manipulated by a bunch of unmusical five-year olds, makes you long for the old days, when good King Herod held sway, but a good contralto, made of wood and finely tuned. Not many people play that one and those who do play it well. Think of Michala Petri and Hans-Matin Linde. I used to have a lot of scores for duet, but most were photocopies, so I scrapped them. I do, however, have some ones that I bought and these include some for recorder and guitar. I have Handel, Telemann, Veracini (a Florentine composer), Pupusch (Of Beggar's Opera fame), Corelli Loeillet and Fiocco (Flake!). Admittedly the piano repertoire is more exiting!

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:13 pm 
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Good point, Rainer. I never really looked at the piano part when I was learning the flute part. I just remember thinking that the piano part sounded as hard as the flute part and that my father arranged for someone he knew (a very good pianist) to be my accompanist.

Richard - yes, I have played the Poulenc flute sonata. Maybe that's the one I'm thinking about having the hard piano part. Or it could be a Faure flute piece I also played for competition...or a Bach piece....I can't remember which one right now. I've got all the music in a closet or a box at home somewhere....

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:00 pm 
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There is a very lovely Nielsen piece, though for flute and harp.

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:28 am 
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I don't know how to play the harp.... :)

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:42 am 
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pianolady wrote:
I don't know how to play the harp.... :)


It might be possible on the piano, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:52 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
pianolady wrote:
I don't know how to play the harp.... :)


It might be possible on the piano, though.

Oh yes.....maybe I can climb inside my grand and play the strings..I mean harp. That would be another interesting project.

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:10 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
richard66 wrote:
pianolady wrote:
I don't know how to play the harp.... :)


It might be possible on the piano, though.

Oh yes.....maybe I can climb inside my grand and play the strings..I mean harp. That would be another interesting project.


:shock:

Bach wrote for the harpsichord and yet we play him on the piano. Maybe I know little about harps.

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:46 pm 
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I was just kidding....haha
The strings inside a piano, the whole configuration, is really called the harp.
I don't know anything about a real harp, either.

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:50 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
I was just kidding....haha
The strings inside a piano, the whole configuration, is really called the harp.
I don't know anything about a real harp, either.


:evil:

I found the piece arranged for piano, by the way.

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:59 pm 
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That's okay, I would rather play something I know.
I remember when I was young I played a Mozart flute/piano piece that wasn't too hard. It had a nice, pretty melody. However, it went into the high notes, which I don't like anymore. Maybe I should really start playing the tuba! :lol:

Seriously though.... I'll have to keep up my embouchure until Christmas - that's when my family plays music together. But after that I will most likely put my flute away for another year.

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:52 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
That's okay, I would rather play something I know.
I remember when I was young I played a Mozart flute/piano piece that wasn't too hard. It had a nice, pretty melody. However, it went into the high notes, which I don't like anymore. Maybe I should really start playing the tuba! :lol:

Seriously though.... I'll have to keep up my embouchure until Christmas - that's when my family plays music together. But after that I will most likely put my flute away for another year.



Try the alto flute. I believe Ravel has somethinf for it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4Ijg2D4 ... ure=relmfu

Or even better: the bass flute! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1fffxjO ... ature=plcp

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:03 pm 
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Or the Magic Flute :P

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:21 pm 
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That's very neat! I didn't know there were flutes like that!! It sure would be nice play low notes for a change. Except, I can't afford another new instrument now. It cost me $300 to get my flute refurbished and I'm hoping to go on another European trip someday....
Thanks for this information, though. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:14 am 
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Hi Monica,
I always figured you for having dissociative personality disorder (aka split-personality DO)! :lol: This was very fun to listen to, and, I suspect, to make. I have always thought that the ensemble of piano and flute is an excellent one. Did it take much time to get your embouchure back?

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:04 pm 
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Thank you, Eddy! Yes, it was very fun to make. I always love when I first hear both parts together for the first time.
Regarding my embouchure....I played a little flute every night for about two weeks prior this recording but it still was not totally back yet. I may re-record this piece and last night I took out my flute again, but within 10 minutes my lips felt like they were going to fall off. Hurt real bad!

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:45 pm 
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Very interesting recording, Monica, especially since you've recorded it solo and this gave us something to compare it to.

Two things got lost: the use of rubato in the middle (6/8) section, which your solo recording did so well. When you're doing multiple tracks, this must be very nerve-wracking to attempt. Solution? I don't know - perhaps you'd have to listen to the piano track on earphones while playing the flute, which I imagine would be aggravating at least.

The other thing: The una corda passage in the 6/8 section is so effective in the solo because it changes the timbre of the piano. But the flute did not change timbre. However, there may be a workaround: Can you eliminate the vibrato in your sound? If so, doing that during the una corda section could be very nice. I've known singers who used this effect in Debussy (in the vocal Claire de Lune). I know nothing about the flute, so perhaps this is nonsense.

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:30 pm 
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Thank you, Stewart. I know what you mean about making that spot softer. Good idea! I'm just not sure I can do it since my breath control is not what it once was. I'm going to redo this one today and will try, though (and hopefully my lips stay on and I don't pass out :wink: ). Also, last night I was doodling around with my editing program and figured out how to eliminate my annoying gasping breath in-takes, so at least I can get that part better.


*edit about six hours later*.... I tried to re-record this today, but it didn't go well. So I re-edited the original files. Thanks to Rainer for mentioning the possibility of eliminating my breathing noise...that's what I did now. I also left the volume of both tracks alone, so this is the more natural sound (minus breathing, hiss, and adding reverb....)

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:13 am 
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Hi Monica,

You've been holding out on us! Who knew you are also a flautist? (I just looked in your bio where it's mentioned, but over the years I had forgotten that.) And your self-collaboration with the flute and piano parts in this Grenados duet worked so well. Everything is very well synchronized. It's a beautiful melancholy piece beautifully played and recorded. Congratulations!

In my university days I had the opportunity to rehearse the Mozart Sonata in D for flute and piano (similar to the version for violin and piano) with a young lady student preparing for a jury exam. I found that working with her was not unlike accompaning a singer--quite different from collaborating with a violinist or another pianist, as examples.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:28 am 
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techneut wrote:
... You hear it a lot with violin also, I hate that kind of arrangements. Of course I'm a bit of a puritan in this respect :roll:

Hello Chris,
Now I know why you don't like Couperin: he writes in various places that his pieces can be either played by the harpsichord alone or by viols, flutes, oboes etc.. Especially for some pieces which are written on three staffs. Yes you are definitely a kind of austere puritan... But we like you as such: Couperin was advocating that music should be a 'Concert des Nations'. I think he would have wished the same for PS if he had lived in our time...

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 Post subject: Re: Me on piano and flute
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:40 pm 
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Francois de Larrard wrote:
techneut wrote:
... You hear it a lot with violin also, I hate that kind of arrangements. Of course I'm a bit of a puritan in this respect :roll:

Hello Chris,
Now I know why you don't like Couperin: he writes in various places that his pieces can be either played by the harpsichord alone or by viols, flutes, oboes etc.. Especially for some pieces which are written on three staffs.
oh oh oh.... I hope Richard sees this! I was right when I mentioned Couperin!

Francois wrote:
Yes you are definitely a kind of austere puritan... But we like you as such: .
Not "we".... You'll have to speak for yourself on this one, Francois. He didn't say that your collaboration adds no musical value like he said about mine. I don't think that is fair....

David wrote:
Hi Monica,
You've been holding out on us! Who knew you are also a flautist? (I just looked in your bio where it's mentioned, but over the years I had forgotten that.) And your self-collaboration with the flute and piano parts in this Grenados duet worked so well. Everything is very well synchronized. It's a beautiful melancholy piece beautifully played and recorded. Congratulations!
Thank you David! :)

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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