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 Post subject: Bach–Busoni Chaconne
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:52 am
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Location: Bard College (NY)
Hi guys,

I'm sorry if I seemed to have disappeared for so long . . . I've been really busy with schoolwork and everything!

Here are two recordings of me playing the Bach–Busoni Chaconne. The first is from my lunchtime recital in October, and the second is from a masterclass with Martin Kasik about a week later.

Ming.

Admin edit; Replaced attachments with live link : Bach-Busoni Chaconne

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 10:04 am 
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Schoolwork .... what a feeble excuse :lol:

I must confess to having no great liking for this piece - but I understand it is sort of mandatory repertoire for all the great virtuosos. Both your versions are excellent and extremely well played, though I longed for a bit more sonic weight in places. I like the recital recording better than the other one. Sounds better too, I think. Did you have a grand with extra bass keys in the master class ? Seems like in the recital you did not have that lowest key available.

So if I have a choice in putting this up the site, it would be the first one. The applause sounds rather lukewarm after such a monumental achievement ! They should have thunderd it out.Any chance you'd go for the Godowsky Passacaglia now ? Seems like the kind of thing you would enjoy, it is a similar kind of grandiose work but a better one I think.

Now of course the problem here is : do we file this under Bach or under Busoni ? It's always called the Bach-Busoni chaconne but my vote would be to file it as Busoni (unlike most of his transcriptions which stay very close to the original).

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:03 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
I say file it under Busoni, this is his work.

Nice playing. Again this is too grand for me to pick out any mistakes or "weak spots" I tried my best but there is too much going on.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:35 pm 
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Location: Bard College (NY)
I played a Steinway model D in the masterclass. No extra bass notes, but perhaps the increased resonance from the longer strings and the added resonance from the hall gave it the illusion of "lower" notes?

You can put whichever version you think is best. I think there are good and bad things about each recording, so I don't really have a preference. I was less prepared for the masterclass; I had been asked to play in it at really short notice and didn't have time to practice it, so I basically played it cold after having not played it in a week (since the recital). But there were a couple embarrassing memory slips in the recital version that I managed to avoid in the masterclass.

I don't think it's mandatory repertoire at all for pianists. But I like this piece a lot, both the original and the Busoni version. I've never heard the Raff piano version, but by looking at the score, some parts of it look really interesting. I might try that in the near future.

By the way, great news, I recently won the Bard Conservatory Concerto Competition playing Brahms' D minor concerto, and will be performing with the American Symphony Orchestra next season! (I'll have to play a different piece, though, because the orchestra already played the Brahms recently.)

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:40 pm 
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Welcome back! While you been away, we seem to finally have solved the technical and performance problems of the site. Now downloads and page loads should be faster than ever.

Very good recordings as always and I cannot really choose between them. I think we should add it as a Busoni composition.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:45 pm 
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wmgan wrote:
I played a Steinway model D in the masterclass. No extra bass notes, but perhaps the increased resonance from the longer strings and the added resonance from the hall gave it the illusion of "lower" notes?

I seem to remember that there a bass note in this piece which needs an extended piano. In the recital version I heard you going down and then an octave up, as it the lowerst note was not there. In the masterclass version I though you kept going down, as if that was note was there. I could have been mistaken as it sounded a bit raw down there.

wmgan wrote:
You can put whichever version you think is best. I think there are good and bad things about each recording, so I don't really have a preference. I was less prepared for the masterclass; I had been asked to play in it at really short notice and didn't have time to practice it, so I basically played it cold after having not played it in a week (since the recital). But there were a couple embarrassing memory slips in the recital version that I managed to avoid in the masterclass.

I sure did not hear them. Bet if many people would.

wmgan wrote:
I don't think it's mandatory repertoire at all for pianists. But I like this piece a lot, both the original and the Busoni version. I've never heard the Raff piano version, but by looking at the score, some parts of it look really interesting. I might try that in the near future.

No not mandatory, wrong word. Just one of these pieces that all the great virtuosos (especially the Russians, it seems) have on their menu.


wmgan wrote:
By the way, great news, I recently won the Bard Conservatory Concerto Competition playing Brahms' D minor concerto, and will be performing with the American Symphony Orchestra next season! (I'll have to play a different piece, though, because the orchestra already played the Brahms recently.)

Congratulations ! So they let you practise something else just because they just did that concerto ! :x Probably one of these idiotic union rulez....

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:13 pm 
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Yes, I had to play that note up the octave. But in the score that I had (the Dover edition, which I think is a reprint of the original edition), the note was written up the octave, so I don't think it's true that Busoni wrote the low note that couldn't be played. I'm sure some pianists played it an octave down if they had such a piano, though, because it sounds more natural that way. But I couldn't. =)

And I don't think has anything to do with union rules, just the simple rule of not wanting to perform the same concerto between two consecutive seasons. That's perfectly reasonable. I just wish I had more choice in the matter; it seems like Leon Botstein (the conductor) will be discussing it with my teacher (who is also the associate director of the conservatory). My teacher and I did discuss a list of concertos I would enjoy learning and performing, though, so hopefully they'll pick something I like.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 7:34 pm 
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Yo, this one is up ! Great addition to our site, thanks. Now we have a Busoni page as well :D Though I still need to finish it ... did't have much inspiration tonight.

Wui-Ming, if you have any text on Busoni or the Chaconne (perhaps an image for the Chaconne as well) I would be greaty obliged.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 3:12 pm 
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Location: Bard College (NY)
Excerpted from Wikipedia:

Ferruccio Busoni (April 1, 1866 – July 27, 1924) was an Italian composer, pianist, music teacher and conductor. He arranged several of Bach's works for the piano, including the famous Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (originally for organ) and the chaconne from the D minor violin partita. To create a viable work for Romantic piano from an original solo violin piece required a person of Busoni's boldness, inexorable feeling for musical geometry (which requires an in-depth knowledge of integrating chord structures together by parts), and distinctive sonority.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 3:18 pm 
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Thanks, but that is a crap text if ever I saw one....
Don't worry, I will think of something. Just thought you might have something handy.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 3:18 pm 
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Since you only put my recital version up on the main site, can you please leave the other version in the audition room?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 4:28 pm 
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wmgan wrote:
Since you only put my recital version up on the main site, can you please leave the other version in the audition room?

No, because I've deleted it...
To conserve disk space and cut down on backup time, we clean up the Audition Room once recordings have been put up the site. These recordings were both very good, and not so different that we need both.

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