Lately, there are only a very few of us posting recordings. I wonder why that is? I hope anyone reading this who has not posted in awhile does not feel intimidated by all the high-level and professional recordings. It's much more fun to listen to amateur postings which benefits both parties greatly. It's a two-way street.
In my case it is also months back that I posted something. Yes, a bit I feel intimidated by the quality of some of the professional recordings, in the knowledge to not be able to reach that professional stadium. It is not so that this would hold me back to record and post something, but I simply take my time to polish it more than I was used to in former times. The general quality of recordings has raised, what is a very good thing. At the end one enjoys more if one delivers something one can be a bit proud about. If it takes lot of time, why not. Beside some minor pieces, I am working on that Chopin g minor ballade since 15 months. Although having it completely memorized and played from heart on different family occasions, there are still certains parts which need to be improved much. So why should I make additional pressure to post a recording very soon, instead spending still some more months?
Another thing is that I try to change my way to comment a recording. Let me take a real example:
I listen to an 85 year old man who records pieces which are really good. Then I recognize that there is some slight uneveness here and there, or minor slips in a Bach/Liszt transcription. Does it make sense to comment that? Is this helpful for that man? Is the purpose to show what for a glamour boy I am that I recognized that? I don't think so, instead it contaminates the overall achievement, so I believe.
There is another point regarding critique on posted recordings. Should I niggle something I could not make better? I tend to say, no. If I find an unevenenss (to take that above example again) in passages, but cannot honesty say that I could play it better - where is the point to start critique? Especially if I may assume that the interpret has realized the same what I heard. In this case it is not helpful to comment about that. Maybe it is sometimes a better way more to say about the things one likes, maybe also if there are different opinions about the interpretation (which is always subjective, so not what tends to hurt). And if there are slips, no need to comment that annoying things, only if it is really distracting.
The following will be for sure controversial:
What do you appreciate more? A piece apparently played with much heart and passion, but there are some wrong notes and slips. Or a piece, perfectly played, but colder and bloodless?
I enjoy more listening to the first alternative. Of course, the combination of both is what is the goal. Nevertheless, I don't think that note perfect playing is the goal number 1 and a sensitive musical interpretation is the goal number 2, and goal number 1 is what needs to be reached unconditional, and goal number 2 in optional.
Sometimes it seems to me that nowadays, not only in this forum, the goal number 1 is what counts more. I wonder if Alfred Cortot could place a Chopin prelude, with all the slips and wrong notes in this forum. That shows the dilemma clearly I think ...
To Pete (PJF):
In both your 9/2 and 10/7 take you show very musical feeling to me. Especially your RH and LH are very well balanced - there are strong RH melody parts but also important LH bass notes come to their right.
If you say that the etude is not nearly where you want it to be, I only can say that musically speaking you are already very good here, technical wise too. After a look in the score I also can follow that the RH part must be much difficultier as the already very difficult 10/1 etude.
Regarding nocturne I can imagine that with a slightly faster tempo the melody line is more connected. If the parts with the RH fast runs need a stronger slow down that way, that would be ok too. Just my subjective opinion. You are a very sensitive player, with very good technique. I appreciate it that you never put that technical part in the foreground, also and especially if it is a Chopin etude.