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 Post subject: Debussy, three pieces, and Franck, Choral
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 2:05 pm
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Hi, My name is Gilberto Pollina, I'm italian. I'm not a professionist, I', an autodidact and I play the piano for may own pleasure. However, I send here some little pieces, because I would like to give my little contribute to this site, which is grat and is for me a wonderful source of inspiration. I'M CONSCIOUS OF MY LIMITS, however I hope You will accept my recordings. Thanks for listening. :-)




Here my information:
Gilberto Pollina (ITA), 24 sept 1983, Venice.
I studied piano from 4 to 8 years of age and than I stopped playing during the 7 following years. Than, I restarted to play a little as autodidact. I'm a veterinarian for small animals and horses and now I play piano for my owu amusement. I played these recordings on a small vertical Steinway&Sons. I like Debussy very much.

Sorry for my poor knowledg of English language :-)

Gilberto Pollina


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 Post subject: Re: Debussy, three pieces, and Franck, Choral
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 8:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9572
Location: Netherlands
Hi Gilberto,
Welcome to PS. It's great that you came back to piano playing after quite a long absence, and that PS is an inspiration to you.
But if you have looked around here for a while, you'll know that the standards are high and criticism can be fierce. So I hope you can take whatever will be thrown at you :)

You play for your own enjoyment, and I can well hear that. Your commitment and musicality are not in doubt, but I fear there are too many things wrong here for others to enjoy your playing it as much as you do. In a recording, you can not have a long pause with a noisy page turn, sudden hesitations, and fumbled passages. Page turns and slips are quite unavoidable for the amateur, but you'll need to do something
about them because nobody wants to hear these things ! Cut them out in your editor, but of course that must be dome smoothly and inaudibly (there is one particularly bad cut about halfway in one of the Debussy pieces, the Reflets I think it was).

I'd say your biggest problem is one of rhythm. In particular, observing correct note values. The Bergamasque Prelude is really bad in that respect. It sounded almost random in places. I would recommend that you go over that piece with the metronome and score at hand, making sure all notes and rests are exactly as they should be, all in strict tempo. Forget expression and rubato, treat it as an etude. It is my belief that you should not allow yourself rubato and freedom until you can play strictly in time. Probably this will not feel like fun at first. But the rewards are great, and you might actually start enjoying practising like this, and feel how things slot into place. Do you play Bach ? If not, start now :D Once you have the discipline, freedom will follow. The other way around is more difficult.

Some things to watch out for, except those already mentioned :
- Pedal usage. Debussy can have a wash of pedal, it should never be dry, but it should not become a blur. Listen back to yourself and note where you should have changed the pedal.
- Listen for notes that you play but that do not sound (because being played too soft). There are quite a while. It is a difficult thing to get rid of but you must play clearly and firmly at all times.
- Do not want to record things above your level. The Debussy Images are difficult pieces, and though you cope reasonably well in places,
you're not quite ready for it. At least not to record it.
- If you make a mistake while recording, or need to turn the page, start again a bar earlier or so, at a convenient place, and cut out the wrong/noisy bit afterwards in your editor.
- Consider tuning some of the high notes of your piano. Some are not very nice to listen to.
- Listen back to your own recordings very critically, and do not make excuses for the things that go wrong. If it's too difficult, you just need to practice more - or pick easier pieces.

I think that's it from me for now. Others may want to add. I hope it helps some !

_________________
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer


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 Post subject: Re: Debussy, three pieces, and Franck, Choral
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 1:15 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Benvenuti Berto,
I must echo much of what Chris has said to you. I listened to the most challenging work, the Reflects dans l'eau. I would say to you that you have obviously learned much piano and music, but this piece is too much for you. Though I hear the Debussy that I know and love, I also hear struggle and work in your performance. That is, your playing is in the way of (obstructing) the music. You are playing the piece, but simultaneously the piece is playing you! This work is very difficult to bring to performance because one's mastery of it has to be so great that, instead of playing the piece, you must be able to play with it. I would suggest that you follow Chris' recommendations.

Eddy

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Debussy, three pieces, and Franck, Choral
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 8:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:07 pm
Posts: 47
Hi Gilberto, hi everybody.

I read Chris and Eddy's comments before listening to your recordings, so I must confess that I expected much worse !
Of course I can hear there are flaws in your interpretations (especially some strange rhythm patterns, as Chris tells you), but I enjoyed them all the same.

I especially appreciated your interpretation of Debussy's Arabesque which I think would deserve to be uploaded. (but perhaps Piano Society does already have enough recordings of this piece ?).

Keep up practising !

Henri

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"La musique est une révélation plus haute que toute sagesse et toute philosophie." L. Van Beethoven


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 Post subject: Re: Debussy, three pieces, and Franck, Choral
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 8:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9572
Location: Netherlands
supitalp wrote:
I especially appreciated your interpretation of Debussy's Arabesque which I think would deserve to be uploaded. (but perhaps Piano Society does already have enough recordings of this piece ?).
We do not put a maximum on the number of recordings of one piece. But the more there are already, the more critical a new one will be scrutinized. That is only logical, I think. Also, the more popular a piece is (and this one is very popular, every amateur pianist plays it), the better a recording must be.

supitalp wrote:
Keep up practising !

I second that :D

_________________
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer


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 Post subject: Re: Debussy, three pieces, and Franck, Choral
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:53 am
Posts: 45
musical-md wrote:
Benvenuti Berto,
I must echo much of what Chris has said to you. I listened to the most challenging work, the Reflects dans l'eau. I would say to you that you have obviously learned much piano and music, but this piece is too much for you. Though I hear the Debussy that I know and love, I also hear struggle and work in your performance. That is, how to play piano is in the way of (obstructing) the music. You are playing the piece, but simultaneously the piece is playing you! This work is very difficult to bring to performance because one's mastery of it has to be so great that, instead of playing the piece, you must be able to play with it. I would suggest that you follow Chris' recommendations.

Eddy

I am not that great in figuring out, in detail, how a piece is played or sounds but I think you played it fine. But for your own good, follow Chris and Eddy's helpful advices. Keep it up.


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