Piano Society
Free Classical Keyboard Recordings
It is currently Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:03 pm

All times are UTC - 1 hour




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Manuel de Falla - Quatre Pieces Espagnoles
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:35 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9638
Location: Netherlands
Among my many favorite Spanish composers, Manuel de Falla is perhaps my most favorite. And among his piano oeuvre, the Quatre Pieces Espagnoles, dating from 1908, are my most favorite, second only to the Fantasia Baetica. These works show Falla being under the spell of Albeniz, and they have something of the grandeur and exuberant pianism of Iberia, albeit on a smaller scale. These rather difficult pieces have been taunting me for many years, and I believe I finally got the better of them.

I would like to dedicate these humble amateur recordings to the memory of Alicia de Larrocha, who will forever reign supreme in this repertoire.

Falla - Quatre Pieces Espagnoles - 1: Aragonesa (3:34)
Falla - Quatre Pieces Espagnoles - 2: Cubana (4:35)
Falla - Quatre Pieces Espagnoles - 3: Montanesa (4:31)
Falla - Quatre Pieces Espagnoles - 4: Andaluza (4:05)

I've also created a Youtube video on these same sound tracks : http://youtu.be/i8JojAYf5C8

_________________
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Manuel de Falla - Quatre Pieces Espagnoles
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:30 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2013
Location: U.S.A.
Bravo! This complete set of Falla's "Quatre Pieces Espagnoles" is one of your finest achievements. Excellent playing, Chris!

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Manuel de Falla - Quatre Pieces Espagnoles
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:25 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9638
Location: Netherlands
Rachfan wrote:
Bravo! This complete set of Falla's "Quatre Pieces Espagnoles" is one of your finest achievements. Excellent playing, Chris!
Thanks David ! Yes I think these are my best recordings to date. I intended them to be, as these pieces are very special to me and I worked long and hard on them. Yet again, perfection would not come - when listening back I heard some tiny flaws that did not reach my brain while playing.

_________________
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Manuel de Falla - Quatre Pieces Espagnoles
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
Posts: 767
Location: Edinburgh, UK
This comes across as being played with authority and conviction - it sounds as though you have very clear ideas about what you want to do. It's certainly one of the best recordings I've heard from you.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Manuel de Falla - Quatre Pieces Espagnoles
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:12 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9638
Location: Netherlands
Thanks Andrew ! If I know where to go with these pieces, I have Alicia the Larrocha to thank for it, to whom I've listened very carefully without wanting to emulate her recordings. There's no hope for an amateur (or even a professional) to get anywhere near these interpretations. But I gave it my best shot :)

_________________
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Manuel de Falla - Quatre Pieces Espagnoles
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 9:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:11 am
Posts: 514
Location: Lyon, France
Not a bad one, Chris ! I have listened the four pieces with pleasure (I did not know them). Maybe we could dream about a little more contrasts and dynamics, but the text is carefully reproduced with great honesty and respect. Congrats !

_________________
François
"Je préfère ce qui me touche que ce qui me surprend"
François Couperin (1668-1733)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Manuel de Falla - Quatre Pieces Espagnoles
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:40 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9638
Location: Netherlands
Thanks Francois. Dynamics is an ongoing concern. My grand with its unpredictable action does not help. Pianissimo is exceedingly hard to achieve without dropping notes, or using the u.c. pedal which I don't like to do.

_________________
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Manuel de Falla - Quatre Pieces Espagnoles
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:11 am
Posts: 514
Location: Lyon, France
As a matter of fact, lack of dynamics is the only recurrent problem of your recordings.
- why not using una corda? It is definitely an important tool for pianists. If you find the effect too strong, you can tune it so that only a minor displacement of the keyboard is obtained. You keep all the strings hit by the hammer, but the sound is more mellow;
- talking about the hammers, how old and marked are they? Changing them (or at least picking them to decompress the felt) may radically improve the dynamics;
- the quality of microphones also matters;
- finally, you can also take care of the panist :)

_________________
François
"Je préfère ce qui me touche que ce qui me surprend"
François Couperin (1668-1733)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Manuel de Falla - Quatre Pieces Espagnoles
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:35 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9638
Location: Netherlands
I have reasons for not using the u.c. pedal. It's almost impossible to do without it making noise, and it alters the sound quality so that I don't like it anymore. I only use it in very special cases.

Apart from that it's again mostly the piano action to blame. Although the no-too-sensitive microphone and pianist are also factors.

Ah well, there must always be something to wish for... I pick on your mistakes, you pick on my dynamics :P

_________________
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Manuel de Falla - Quatre Pieces Espagnoles
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:41 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:11 am
Posts: 514
Location: Lyon, France
Well, if we could have children together - this is quite fashionable nowadays - they could have your precision and my dynamics... But the opposite could also happen :P so I won't take the risk !

_________________
François
"Je préfère ce qui me touche que ce qui me surprend"
François Couperin (1668-1733)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Manuel de Falla - Quatre Pieces Espagnoles
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:20 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9638
Location: Netherlands
Lord no... I would not take the risk either ! Just imagine they might be speaking French ! :P

_________________
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Manuel de Falla - Quatre Pieces Espagnoles
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:45 pm
Posts: 387
Location: New Jersey, USA
Bravo. I was so impressed by these that I read all of the other comments before commenting to be sure I was not imagining it.

You might well dedicate these to de Larrocha. You achieve a "crispness" in these that is very 'de falla-like'. One of the traits that I identified with her playing. I got to hear her play when she was in her 70's, and it was still there.

The rhythmic difficulty of these pieces must be a headache, but the recordings never sound belabored at all.

BTW: I listened to the MP3's through speakers. Did not hear any problems caused by the instrument (squeaks, etc.)

_________________
stu kautsch


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Manuel de Falla - Quatre Pieces Espagnoles
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:58 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9638
Location: Netherlands
Thank you Stu. Except for the apparently insufficient dynamics and one or two iffy notes in no.4, I think these recordings don't put me to shame. Yet I keep wondering if it's not slightly preposterous to dedicate them to AdL... But you see, that was mostly a sign of sheer admiration and gratitude - whatever I know and understand about Spanish music I've learned from her.
The difficulty of these pieces is indeed considerable. It took me a long time to get them right.

_________________
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 1 hour


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group