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 Post subject: Chopin Nocturne Op. 37, No.1
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 3:18 pm 
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Sure has been busy around the audition room, lately. Here is one more piece.

p.s. What do you think of my new signature at the bottom. Is it too corny? I don't know...but I love it, anyway. I think we all feel this way when we're at our pianos, right? Or maybe it's just me.

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

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 5:23 pm 
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Location: damwoude
I think this is a really good recording. I didn't know the piece but it sounds very good and you can here that it is chopin I like that.

I think you could at some more rubato in the beginning

keep up the good work!

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 7:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:44 pm
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Location: San Jose, CA
First of all, pianolady, this is quite possibly the best recording I've ever heard of yours. As it stands now, you've played this piece beautifully, almost perfectly.

As I've mentioned before, you're a very energetic player, but I can tell you've settled down quite a lot to play this piece! You're coming along really well with that. You might want to work on just a slightly softer touch with the left hand to calm it down even more, but I don't think the way that you've played it now ruins it at all. You're getting there! Just be gentle. Chopin was a very effeminate man, and his music reflects this a lot.

Here are some specific thoughts I had on this:
  • Hold the half-note trills, as in measure 8, all the way until the end of the measure and the beginning of the grace notes that lead into the next note (there's a quarter-note that's played underneath the trill, but that shouldn't stop it). They sounded "cut off" and out of place to me, but I think it might just be a reading error.
  • Go a little bit slower with arpeggios leading into chords, as in measure 21. Use that rubato!
  • A little quieter on the ornamental notes in measure 36 (and in similar measures).
  • In the middle section, I'd say go just a little bit slower. I think your use of rubato here was spot on, I wouldn't change it. Also, make sure to bring out the top note of each chord. That melody should sing to you, not strive for a voice among the rest of the notes! :)
  • The version I have doesn't have a fermata on the last beat of measure 61, but does on the next three measures. Even if your sheet music has a fermata written there, I think it would sound better if you played measure 61 normally, then held the last beat of measure 62, 63 and 64. See how you like that.
  • Measure 65 sounded beautiful! Just thought I'd point that out.
  • Measure 71: as before, just a little bit slower and more rubato on the arpeggiated chords.
  • 4th measure from the end: I heard a slight mistake here, but I think it might have just been a finger fumble.
  • 2nd to last: I would say use the ritenuto to your advantage and draw the piece to a nice, slow close. Put the brakes on at the end, but don't slam 'em.


Really, all this is very minor stuff, so take it all with a grain of salt. I think you played this very, very well, and wouldn't change anything about your phrasing and singing voice in the right hand. I'm really impressed.

-t


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:03 pm 
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Thanks Rach and Toki.

Quote:
As I've mentioned before, you're a very energetic player, but I can tell you've settled down quite a lot to play this piece!


It's all that wine I've been drinking. :wink:

--I see your point about the trills. I'll mark that in my score.

Quote:
Go a little bit slower with arpeggios leading into chords, as in measure 21. Use that rubato!

A little quieter on the ornamental notes in measure 36 (and in similar measures).

I can't. I don't have the control necessary, yet. Something I have to work on.


Quote:
The version I have doesn't have a fermata on the last beat of measure 61, but does on the next three measures.

I have four fermatas. I'm used to it this way.

Thank you for the encouraging remarks. These nocturnes take a lot of hard, hard work. (for me)

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

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:36 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:03 pm
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
toki wrote:
Chopin was a very effeminate man, and his music reflects this a lot.


His Scherzos, Sonatas, and Etudes counter that idea. Just a thought.


I agree with Toki. Beautiful. I never asked what kind of piano you play on. I wish you and all the other submit-ers would play something I am familiar with so I could comment constructively. (Or maybe, some of you will respond to this with: "why dont you play the stuff we play?" ....me:"I'm just not at that level.")


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:18 pm 
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Location: Netherlands
I can only agree with everybody. Very well played, hardly a note out of place. You are a rock steady player and also a very good reader (this is no fun, I can never spot any reading mistakes with you :evil: ). I have no time to sit with the score but you already have Toki's detailed analysis.

Indeed you can be a bit lighter with the left hand chords, a bit more volatile in the arpeggios and ornaments, and in general just a little freer in tempo (but not too much). The only thing else left to wish for is a bit more dreamy wonder - your performance, while very fine, is just a touch 'no nonsense'. Not a bad thing per se (I am not sure I agree with the image of Chopin the effeminate composer) but there could just be that little extra to make it really shine. This is a difficult Nocturne though, interpretatively speaking.

Your piano seems to sound better with each recording, and so does your playing. Keep them coming ! I'll be happy to put this up, unless you have other plans with it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:46 pm 
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It's funny, I know you should bring out the hand with the melody above the other, but I always thought my right hand was too heavy. I think I purposely played my left a little more to balance it better, but I guess it didn't work.
I wish I could play more dreamy-like. Maybe if I add more reverb? (kidding)
Chris, don't put this up, yet. I'm going to make one more attempt in the morning. If it flops, we'll use this one and I'll let you know.

Juufa - Yamaha grand.

Thanks, guys.

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

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 3:15 am 
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I love you. :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:15 am 
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Location: Sweden
Indeed very good and I do not see any reason for making a new recording. Unless you feel like doing that of course. I do not find the balance between the hand (in terms of volume) disturbing at all. Many pianists play as soft with left hand on Chopin's nocturnes that the notes are hardly audible. Also, there are often a lot of reverb added which drowns the notes even more and compared to that, I prefer your way of playing.
Again, this is a really good recording so unless you feel uncomfortable with in in some way, keep this.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:47 am 
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PJF, you're cracking me up. :)
Thank you and to Robert, also. As soon as my kids wake up and get off to school, I'm going to the piano to try one more recording. It it doesn't go well, it's nice to know you all think this first one is okay.

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

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:08 am 
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pianolady wrote:
PJF, you're cracking me up. :)

Hey, don't hurt the kid's feelings like that ! He may be serious for all you know :lol:

pianolady wrote:
Thank you and to Robert, also. As soon as my kids wake up and get off to school, I'm going to the piano to try one more recording. It it doesn't go well, it's nice to know you all think this first one is okay.

Yes, I find that once you have one good track available, it gets easier to provide additional, better ones, as the tension and fear of mistakes seem to fade away then.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:30 pm 
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Location: Germany
This recording sounds beautiful to me. You put good expression in it, as your signature promises. That is of course a field one never can have enough. I appreciate that you play with a keytouch where you never loose notes on the border to the unaudible. You play clearly and precise.

Nevertheless if you like to do even more regarding expression on a nocturne, I can imagine a softer touch especially on left hand and a more dynamic playing for the phrases on right hand. E.g. in the E flat section, maybe you could voice the upper note of the right hand chords so that this note stands out a bit what eases to phrase the melody line. Better maybe, to reduce the strength of the other notes instead. Your ending of the nocturne is beautiful soft! Your tone on the piano sounds better and better to me, because you play on average softer and more relaxed than the first recordings.

To your signature: It is not at all too corny to me. However in my case it is so that if people listen or the recorder is switched on, I never let myself fall so deep into emotion that I can forget everything around me while playing. Some percent are left. It is only in some rare ideal cases that I am totally lost in the music so that the feelings can be transported unaltered to the keys to let out all what I feel. I am sure that is when it sounds the best.

The technical precondition to let the emotions transform unaltered into music seems to be able to play the piece from memory and to have a technique to play equally evenly through all shades of dynamics, from true pianissiomo to true fortissimo. Still a long way to go for most of us all here, including me of course, regarding expression improvements, I think.

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