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 Post subject: Bach P&F + Chopin Waltz & Mazurka
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 9:35 am 
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Here are some recordings I did yesterday on my fresh tuned piano.

Comments and critique as usual very welcome, helps to improve!

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 12:56 pm 
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I am listening to your Bach as I type. I'm not experienced with Bach enough to know what to listen for, but I think this sounds good to me. Very clear and steady.

The Waltz - Very Good! The only tiny thing I caught was a rhythm thing and it could be just a difference in editions. It happens twice - the first on measure 53, the second on the 20th measure from the end. I show the last two RH C and E-flat as a dotted eighth followed by sixteenth. That gives it that little "lilting effect'. I could be thinking more like mazurkas, though, and again, this is in my copy but maybe not yours. This sounds great.

Mazurka - Another nice job. Again, another tiny rhythm thing, and it could be just your style of rubato. It's on measure 8 and the other measures identical to it. I would hold out the half note all the way, but that's just me. This sounds great to me. I'm going to put it on my long list of pieces to want to learn someday. Your piano sounds good too.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 1:49 pm 
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Lovely ! Good quality stuff as usual. I have not really got much to bitch about. The Bach sounds very good, I think you use a little pedal now in the prelude, or is it wishful thinking ? The fugue is very beautiful with clear voicing. You are getting much better at relaxed playing though there are still a couple of bars where you push ahead a bit. Listen back and see if you can spot them.

The Waltz is lovely but I think the waltz rhythm could be just a little more pronounced. There are quite a number of accents (at least in the Paderewski edition) which are not heard as such.

The Mazurka then. Not one of the easiest ! Seems to me that you make a point of playing real pianissimo (perhaps influenced by Roberto Carnevale ?) but sometimes it is barely audible. Also it seems like you do not observe any of the accents and sforzandi. Also, the dotted rhythms are not sharply defined. The trills are mostly executed as triplets, but not consistently so. Because of all this, it sounds rather timid for a Mazurka. IMO there should be far more snap and dash (hey it's a dance, remember ? :P ). Mind you, it is still very good, but I think it needs more conviction.

Well then, here's the list of all the mistakes (or I should raher say, things that a diferent from my score, I have Henle Urtext for Bach, Paderewsky for Waltzes, and Peters for Mazurkas). This took me quite while as there are no bar numbers in the Peters scores :x But I owe this to you I think.

Bach prelude
Bar 10 and 12 in the bass voice you play B flat B flat, should be B flat A flat

Bach fugue
Bar 13, the rh c should not be struck but be tied over from previous bar
Bar 35 E flat should not not struck but tied over from previous
Bar 37 lh a flat should be b flat
Bar 43 last rh alto note should be E flat not D flat
Bar 67 LH eights sdhould play Dflat C not Df;at Eflat
Bar 68 last bass note should be a C
Bar 72 First top RH note should not be a C flat but B flat, tied over from previous

Chopin 70-2
Bar 7 and 27 2nd lh chord is wrong
Bar 57, 109 rh C should not be struck but tied over

Chopin 33-4
Bar 60 last RH note should be F flat not E flat
BAr 63 RH RH is wrong on 2nd beat
(these two mistakes repeated in bars 124 and 126)
Bar 141, 157 trills should be D#-E# not D#-E
Bars 162-166 and 173-175: The first RH chords are a third to high
Bar 184 last note is an eight not a quarter note

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 4:42 pm 
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Chris & Monica, thanks much for listening and your constructive critique! I never have seen such a long list of mistakes here, which I could retrace with score and my recordings (all beside one). They are almost all reading errors, so I better should buy sharper glasses.
Monica, you are right with those dotted eigths, I played the following notes as eighths instead sixteenths.

Must be really terrible recordings according to the mistake list! :oops:

I will try to rerecord all pieces to eliminate above mentioned mistakes, when I have time.

However regarding interpretation on the waltz and mazurka I have to say that I don't think on changing my general approach on that. A mazurka must not at all sound snap and dash, they are all too different. Rather yearning, especially this one, however every describing with words would make those pieces small. You are right Chris, the Roberto Carnevale mazurka interpretations made a very deep impression on me, along with his keytouch and manner to let the piano sing.

No chopin waltz, mazurka or polonaise is indeed something to dance along or intended for that. See Chopin' own opinion on that and comments from contemporaries about Chopin's interpretations in the Eigeldinger book "Chopin as seen by his pupil". They are derived from dances, so far you are however right.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 6:11 pm 
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MindenBlues wrote:
Monica, you are right with those dotted eigths, I played the following notes as eighths instead sixteenths.

Shit on toast... I missed that :x

MindenBlues wrote:
Must be really terrible recordings according to the mistake list! :oops:
I will try to rerecord all pieces to eliminate above mentioned mistakes, when I have time.

Oh rubbish... These are good by any standard. Do you think Joe Public will notice a couple of reading mistakes ? I would not re-record them just for that.

MindenBlues wrote:
However regarding interpretation on the waltz and mazurka I have to say that I don't think on changing my general approach on that. A mazurka must not at all sound snap and dash, they are all too different. Rather yearning, especially this one, however every describing with words would make those pieces small. You are right Chris, the Roberto Carnevale mazurka interpretations made a very deep impression on me, along with his keytouch and manner to let the piano sing.

Fair enough, to each his own ! Just do observe the accents and sforzandos because I'm sure Chopin meant those to be heard. And when it's my turn for this one, do accept that it may be a bit more perky.

MindenBlues wrote:
No chopin waltz, mazurka or polonaise is indeed something to dance along or intended for that. See Chopin' own opinion on that and comments from contemporaries about Chopin's interpretations in the Eigeldinger book "Chopin as seen by his pupil". They are derived from dances, so far you are however right.

Can't argue with that. But I think there is a difference between something being a dance and something being meant to dance to. Most artful adaptations of dances do not lend itself for actually dancing to, as they are too elaborate and complicated, and too rubato'ish. Yet they should not deny their dance origins.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 6:39 am 
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i am in internet cafe right now. I dnt have internet at home....so wI will listen to that at work with h score,


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 4:37 pm 
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No need for study the scores as Mon and Chris already did that. The musical idea of the Bach preulde+fugue is well prepared and played. The Chopin Mazurka is good and I like your interpretation of rubato. Fits my idea on how it should be played but sometimes in the ornaments, all keys do not come out well. The waltz is the recording I like the best. But for the reading mistakes, your interpretation when it comes to tempo and musical understanding fits my ears very well.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:15 pm 
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I had a listen to your waltz last night with my wife when kids all in bed. We enjoyed very much, the artistic part(play with emotions) can be heard all the way. In real life, are you a calm person?
Your artistic interpretation has almost put us to a fully relaxed mode, which is really good. not like some waltze players,,,,make us nervous...


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 1:56 pm 
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Thank you Robert and John, for your kind words. Encourage to spent more time on this, what I will do. Can take some more days or two weeks however.

Yes, the ornaments are not there satisfactorily, need to work on that.

Techneut wrote:

MindenBlues wrote:
No chopin waltz, mazurka or polonaise is indeed something to dance along or intended for that. See Chopin' own opinion on that and comments from contemporaries about Chopin's interpretations in the Eigeldinger book "Chopin as seen by his pupil". They are derived from dances, so far you are however right.


Can't argue with that. But I think there is a difference between something being a dance and something being meant to dance to. Most artful adaptations of dances do not lend itself for actually dancing to, as they are too elaborate and complicated, and too rubato'ish. Yet they should not deny their dance origins.


Can't argue with that either (after thinking some days about that statement). I will give it at least a try how it sounds to me if I put more "groove" into the waltz/mazurka, let's see.

johnmar78 wrote:
In real life, are you a calm person?


Interestingly, from time to time I get comments that my postings sound relaxed and calm. To be honest, sometimes I am calm, but can be a nervous wreck too, maybe a bit introverted, and surely not the self-assured person on earth. Piano playing, but strange to say, even more organ playing, calms me down however (as long as nobody listens, that tends to make me nervous again). At least I make sure to have relaxed hands and wrists while playing, so that I don't suffer from stiff wrists what can be watched on some players.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:04 pm 
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MindenBlues wrote:
Can't argue with that either (after thinking some days about that statement). I will give it at least a try how it sounds to me if I put more "groove" into the waltz/mazurka, let's see.

I never thought I would see the day you would give up argueing about something :lol: :P
Perhaps more important still than the "groove" are the accents, the salt and pepper as it were. You just can't miss them in Mazurkas, and the Waltz has them for a reason too.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:07 pm 
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techneut wrote:
I never thought I would see the day you would give up argueing about something :lol: :P


Only fools don't change their opinion, but for sure, I will never come up with a Johann Strauß - Wiener Waltz approach...

Regarding accents, yes, Chopin did not drop them accidently in the score. But they must come consistently, or otherwise better leave them out. On the waltz e.g. it sounds convincing too without the accents in the beginning phrases, and some professionals don't use them either. On mazurka, I will try my best to incorporate probably, let's see.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:38 am 
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MindenBlues wrote:
Only fools don't change their opinion, but for sure, I will never come up with a Johann Strauß - Wiener Waltz approach...

I wonder if a bit of that would be so bad... Remember Brahms's love and repect for his waltzes. For sure, had old Strauß written any piano works, I'd play them all. I just love that stuff. Guess I have a sweet tooth somewhere...

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:59 am 
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techneut wrote:
For sure, had old Strauß written any piano works, I'd play them all. I just love that stuff. Guess I have a sweet tooth somewhere...


The waltz of old Strauß are available as piano score. The rhythm is always the same: rum- ta - ta, rum- ta - ta... What about if you post some of them here? Hard on the border to kitsch in my opinion however.

But no, I just listened to some Mazurkas played by Ivan Moravec. He plays with such unbelievable keytouch, similar to R. Carnevale, but maybe the origin dance form is pretty hidden in the interpretation. Nevertheless - great, really!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 9:33 am 
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MindenBlues wrote:
The waltz of old Strauß are available as piano score. The rhythm is always the same: rum- ta - ta, rum- ta - ta... What about if you post some of them here? Hard on the border to kitsch in my opinion however.

If they were originals, I sure would. Whether or not you like the style, Strauss wrote magnificently for the orchestra, and I'l love to hear how he would have handled the piano. BTW he wrote a lot more than Waltzes. Polkas, quadrilles, and other kitsch dances. Not your cup of tea, I guess ...

Now, what do we do with your recordings ? I would gladly put them up but it seems you want to re-record them to correct the reading mistakes (even though a number of people say there is no need for that) ?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 10:37 am 
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techneut wrote:
Now, what do we do with your recordings ? I would gladly put them up but it seems you want to re-record them to correct the reading mistakes (even though a number of people say there is no need for that) ?


Yes, give me just this weekend, I will re-record all 3 items and come back with them. One or two organ pieces from the Orgelbüchlein will follow hopefully before Xmas too.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:47 am 
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Ok, I rerecorded all three pieces and eliminated most of the reading mistakes hopefully -none of the recordings are really error free however.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 11:38 am 
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Wow. Very nice. Great way to start my day. I found nothing wrong with anything. (although I never saw the things that Chris did on the first recordings :oops: ). I think you played these beautifully. I'm falling more in love with both Chopin pieces, but especially the mazurka. That is such a neat piece.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:17 pm 
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As beautiful as the previous ones, and then some ! The Waltz sounds livelier to me now, and the Bach is perfect too. The Mazurka is still too subdued to my taste (especially the middle section which seems to rather dream away) , but ok that is your interpretation and you bring it convincingly. The only thing left to nag about is why you did not correct these RH thirds in bars 165-167 and 173-175. You play them a third too high and that sounds rather trite. Of course it it's in your score like that I rest my case... And do not go and rerecord it just for this.

A word on the recording - sometimes one can hear a sort of dull thud, I noticed in it the Bach most. Wonder if it's the keys, pedal, or damper system. Perhaps your mikes are a little too close on the moving parts ? It's not really disturbing though.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 6:43 am 
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Really well played and I enjoyed listening to them every second at the breaskfast table and so did my children. Nothing to complain about at all!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 8:00 am 
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I have put all these up the site. Good work ! If there were any errors, I did not hear them at all.
A shame you'll have to cut down on Bach piano pieces ...

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 8:24 am 
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Monica, Chris, Robert: many thanks for listening again and your comments. Monica: Yes, I like that Mazurka probably the most of them all, and I was wondering a bit that nobody else recorded it here (well, it won't take long and we have another one from Chris, I expect).

techneut wrote:
The Mazurka is still too subdued to my taste (especially the middle section which seems to rather dream away) , but ok that is your interpretation and you bring it convincingly. The only thing left to nag about is why you did not correct these RH thirds in bars 165-167 and 173-175. You play them a third too high and that sounds rather trite. Of course it it's in your score like that I rest my case... And do not go and rerecord it just for this.


Aaaaarrrghhh! During going through your long list of mistakes I thought that there was something wrong in bar 162 and I was wondering a bit because it seemed correct to me. Now I realize that was another spot with RH thirds you are speaking from. Since I will not find enough undisturbed time during the pre-Xmas-period, I let it as it is. :oops: :cry: :roll: So it is up to you to deliver a version with correct notes. I also cannot blame the score, only my eyes and ears.

Someone else said already here, you really have ears like a dog has, he was right, or better, you have ears like a dog's nose! :D

techneut wrote:
A word on the recording - sometimes one can hear a sort of dull thud, I noticed in it the Bach most. Wonder if it's the keys, pedal, or damper system. Perhaps your mikes are a little too close on the moving parts ? It's not really disturbing though.


Yes, I was wondering also after listening to the recording. It is that I pushed the pedal especially in the Bach prelude every quarter note, and the mikes are very close to the dampers. I prefer now to record with only half-opened lid since otherwise it is too loud in the room and I don't feel well while playing. Because of this, the mikes are above the dampers showing inside the lid. So it is the damper noise, have to experiment a bit to find a more appropriate mike location.
That close mike location has the advantage, that surrounding noise outside the piano is surprisingly hidden. E.g. some days ago there was a storm outside what was pretty audible inside too so I doubted to be able to record. One could not hear that in the recording, also if the daughter practises saxophon in a cellar room in parallel. However the damper noise is there...

Thank you for putting it up to the site, Chris!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 6:52 pm 
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Someone else said already here, you really have ears like a dog has, he was right, or better, you have ears like a dog's nose! :D


Nice playing by the way, I missed it out on the weekend.

Any way, I reckon Chris has a bionic ear implant or he got some program that can detect the wrong pitch at slower tempo/// JK :lol:
[


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 6:57 pm 
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Yep, I got ears like a dog's bottom :lol:

It is you peoples' bad luck that I happen to know a lot of repertoire from the inside. Little has been
submitted here so far that I do not play or have played at some stage. That is why I hear immediately when something is not right. Of course for the details and bar numbers I'll need to re-listen with the score.

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