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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 7:46 pm 
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Location: Bard College (NY)
Well, at some point during the spring semester, I decided to do a recital at the end of the semester — I knew I wanted the Rachmaninoff sonata to be on the program, as I'd been playing it on and off for a couple years but never performed it.

(I actually started by learning the revised version but quickly decided that I could never play that version, which is in my opinion very inferior to the original. My teacher discouraged me from playing a combined version, and though that wouldn't have stopped me if I really wanted to do that, I knew I be too strongly influenced by Horowitz's recordings to do something that was truly my own, so I decided to stick with the original version. In the end, as you can hear in my recording, I did borrow two measures of the revised version in the first movement, and cut several measures in two sections of the third movement.)

Other pieces I was working on (the four Chopin ballades, Schumann's Symphonic Etudes) would probably not have worked together with the Rachmaninoff (yes, my repertoire is very Romantically biased — which I really need to fix). I had learned the Mozart B-flat major sonata the previous semester, and I thought "hey, why don't I do an all B-flat recital!", and Melvin (my teacher) thought it was a good idea. I immediately thought of Bach's B-flat partita (though I procrastinated learning that piece till less than a month before the recital), and Melvin suggested Prokofiev's seventh sonata, which I started learning soon (it might have been more than two months, I don't remember exactly).

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:27 pm
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Very nice to have you here and I hope that you also wish to be added as a pianist on the main site. At any point, just tell me or Chris and we put you up along with your recordings on the site.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 8:14 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
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Location: Netherlands
Just listened to the rest of the recital.

The Mozart is very good but sounds a bit breathless and impatient. Could be
more a matter of interpretation than of speed. Some of the ritenuti are bit
too exaggerated for my taste. There are some slips but nothing distracting.
Your dynamics are excellent, passagework and ornaments could be cleaner.
Take this a bit more relaxed and it will be great.

But there's something I do not understand. This is a live performance, right ?
But apart from the polite applause at the end, I could detect no sound of
the audience at all. Not even one single rustle or cough ... Can any audience
be THAT quiet for about half an hour ? Were they muzzled ? It baffles me.

Prokofiev then. A bit cautious perhaps, compared to the likes of Argerich,
but certainly not shaky. I found the 1st mvt quite convincing in its cool
understatement. The Andante is a bit too impatient and matter-of-fact -
where's the "caloroso" ? I wish you'd taken the finale a bit slower, and
invested more in power than speed. I have seen this movement described as
depicting Russian tanks rolling towards the battle-front. If there are any
here, they seem to get rather tangled up in the end... Very impressive how
you can keep up the tempo right up to the end, and there is a point in doing
so. But you'd be forgiven for taking a little broader tempo for these
horrifically difficult final pages, in order to keep things on track better.

The Bach Partita - learned and memorized in only a couple of weeks ? That
is insane ! It may look simple on paper but it is actually one of the
hardest Bach works to bring off, in my experience. Very well done thoughout.
You play considerably more ornamentation than is written in the Urtext, but
it's all very tastefully done and cleanly executed, no quibbles about it.
The Courante and (especially) the Menuets are too fast and relentless, which
is not helped by the detached playing. Your ritenuti at the end of movements
are too pronounced and start way too early (that could be a matter of taste
but I was told off by my teacher for doing the same). The Gigue is perfect
I think.

Again, so sign of the audience until the applause at the end. How do they
do it ?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:30 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:52 am
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Location: Bard College (NY)
I would be honored if you would add me and my recordings to your site! Let me know what information you need.

I'll also upload some of my older recordings here soon.

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"Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. . . . Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time."
— Jean Cocteau


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 12:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 4:18 pm
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Location: damwoude
woww your rachmaninoff is so impressive!

I love your beginning! its better than the version of horowitz and sultanov

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while composing I've got always an picture in my head 'beethoven'


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:02 pm 
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Thank you! What an honor it is to receive such praise from the composer himself! :lol:

I haven't heard Sultanov's playing. Did he play the original or revised version?

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"Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. . . . Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time."
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 5:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 4:18 pm
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Location: damwoude
don't know. all his recordings are free at: http://recitals.alexeisultanov.ru

(check his etude 2.5/12 of chopin at the cliburn competition map. the rach sonata is in the live at warshaw 1996 map. Also listen to his tchaikovsky performance of the pianoconcerto 1 in the map poland warsah 9-11-1995 so extremely fast!)

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music is enough for lifetime but lifetime isn't enough for music 'rachmaninoff'

while composing I've got always an picture in my head 'beethoven'


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:38 pm 
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Location: Bard College (NY)
Quote:
Again, so sign of the audience until the applause at the end. How do they do it ?


Perhaps then we should applaud the audience. :D

Do you doubt that this is a live and unedited recording? I have no way of proving it, but you'll have to take my word for it that the only "editing" I did on this recording was splitting it up into tracks.

Quote:
I wish you'd taken the finale a bit slower, and invested more in power than speed.


Absolutely. This is a problem with my playing in general — I tend to play much faster than I intend to (and much faster than I think I'm playing!) when I play for an audience. Soon after starting the third movement of the Prokofiev during this recital, I remember thinking to myself "this is too slow". And of course it wasn't! I've got to learn how to temper my adrenaline.

Quote:
Your ritenuti at the end of movements are too pronounced and start way too early

Again, this is an unfortunate tendency of mine that I am often chastised for and that I need to avoid.

On the subject of performing pieces too soon after learning them — I know that as I get more experience performing a particular piece, I'll play it better — all the more reason to start performing it early, to "get it into my system", as it were — especially if my first few performances of a piece are for a small and relatively familiar audience, for example the Bard community (and perhaps a few other people from the neighborhood). That way, when I eventually play it at an important concert or competition, I'll have performed it enough that the setting and/or audience shouldn't unfaze me.

Speaking of which, next Tuesday I'm going to be performing the Liszt sonata, having started learning it less than three months ago, and the Bach—Busoni Chaconne much less. Wish me luck! :D After working on the Liszt for a couple weeks with my teacher and then playing it from memory for him, he said "now what you need is to perform it, and then you'll play it better." That might sound paradoxical, but I think it's very true.

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"Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. . . . Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time."
— Jean Cocteau


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:45 am 
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Quote:
Do you doubt that this is a live and unedited recording? I have no way of proving it, but you'll have to take my word for it that the only "editing" I did on this recording was splitting it up into tracks.

No, please do not read ny question as doubt. I was just dumbstruck that there was not even one with a persistent cold, like there always seems to be. But even if you had edited out audience noises, that would only be a good thing. We are not that puritan about editing here.

Quote:
On the subject of performing pieces too soon after learning them — I know that as I get more experience performing a particular piece, I'll play it better — all the more reason to start performing it early, to "get it into my system", as it were — especially if my first few performances of a piece are for a small and relatively familiar audience, for example the Bard community (and perhaps a few other people from the neighborhood). That way, when I eventually play it at an important concert or competition, I'll have performed it enough that the setting and/or audience shouldn't unfaze me.


I would not say it was too soon perse. It has a certain thrill to perform something which is still a bit tender, and adds to the excitement, and is a character-building experience . Also, some people, especially the younger ones, work and learn best under time pressure - like my kids who, if they have an exam, do sod all about it until the last two days or so. I've given up trying to understand it - whatever works is good enough !

Quote:
Speaking of which, next Tuesday I'm going to be performing the Liszt sonata, having started learning it less than three months ago, and the Bach—Busoni Chaconne much less. Wish me luck! :D After working on the Liszt for a couple weeks with my teacher and then playing it from memory for him, he said "now what you need is to perform it, and then you'll play it better." That might sound paradoxical, but I think it's very true.

Yes he has a good point there. We which you luck then - it will be fine, you can do it.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 7:10 am 
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Location: Bard College (NY)
Quote:
But even if you had edited out audience noises, that would only be a good thing. We are not that puritan about editing here.


Actually I was thinking more along the lines of taking an edited studio recording and tacking on applause at the end to make it seem like a live performance. :twisted: That would certainly be unethical. No, I wouldn't do that. Not that I'm accusing you of thinking that I would do that. :)

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"Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. . . . Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time."
— Jean Cocteau


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 7:33 am 
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Quote:
Actually I was thinking more along the lines of taking an edited studio recording and tacking on applause at the end to make it seem like a live performance. :twisted: That would certainly be unethical. No, I wouldn't do that. Not that I'm accusing you of thinking that I would do that. :)

Yeah, like they do on TV all the time, just press the 'Applause' and/or 'Laughter' button. That would be big-time cheating indeed - or unethical, as you tactfully put it :) Indeed the thought of you doing that did not enter my mind, you are too good an artist to want to resort to tricks like that.

So then, sincere kudos to your audience ! If only all audiences could be that good.... Must be a healthy bunch of people.

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