This must be the first time I hear you play, after all those years on PS.
No, you listened to my recordings of the E minor partita and Chopin 25/7! You just forgot.
I could go dig up the threads where I posted them, but I'm lazy. You complimented my Bach-playing then, and did not have any major complaints aside from the general 'it's a little too romantic' if I recall. (They were also live recordings, and I didn't feel they were good enough for the site.)
You should be a little more proud of what you achieve Terez, instead of moaning it's all so awful. Think of all us poor sods who can't even begin to think about playing Chopin 25.11. And you're playing it live in a recital !
Haha, I just got the same reaction from some other folks. You could play 25/11 if you liked it enough to work on it half as much as I did. Hell, you probably wouldn't need even half as much practice as I did! But you always like to move on to new stuff! Really, it's not quite
as hard as it seems - though I do like to use the analogy that it's like pole-dancing with a greasy pole - and more importantly, working on it has made everything else easier.
This is the one I listened to so far and I did not think it was awful.
It's funny - seems like everyone listens to this one first. I don't guess that's surprising, but it still makes me laugh.
If you had not lost your nerve in the middle, and have an annoying habit of restarting for no good reason, it would be quite a convincing performance, even of much of the RH can't really be heard. I wonder if that is due to the acoustics/recording or your LH being too forceful ? Or maybe you are semi-consciously masking the slips in the RH ? Not that there are so many as to be worrying.
It's a combination of a few things:
1. I didn't put any effort into sound quality because I knew the recital would suck. I can make better recordings later in more relaxed circumstances - I just wanted to document the recital. A friend of mine was holding the recorder in the audience. When the mic is closer to the piano, the notes are more distinct, but since I use so much pedal (I hate this piece when it's dry), they're never incredibly distinct. I don't like them to be too distinct; I think it makes the piece sound stiff.
2. My RH is weak, but I don't think I'm unconsciously masking errors - most of the time I actually play the right notes! However, I might be unconsciously masking unevenness - you can hear some of that unevenness come out in this recording.
3. Our piano technician for some reason thought it was a brilliant idea to um...what's the word? He made the entire treble register softer. I HATE it. Like, really really hate it. I have to play 25/1 with the soft pedal or no amount of skill will keep the bass - a proper Steinway bass - from drowning out the melody. At those two-hand thingies in the middle of 25/11 (the 16ths going toward the middle of the keyboard before the retransition), I like to accent the treble notes, especially at the beginning of the run, and I can't do it on that piano (or any Steinway on campus) without injuring my hand. HATE, HATE, HATE. But of course, there's still nothing better around than the Steinways.
Anyway kudos for mastering such an awful hard piece. Especially the downward LH run makes me green with envy
I'll listen to the rest later.
Thank you so much for listening, Chris. Now we can be envious of each other.
But seriously, since I still have access to the Steinway(s), I think I can make some good recordings in a month or so - can't wait to be a real member! I hope you know that's a large reason why I don't comment on others' recordings - I feel I have done too much of that already, for someone with no recordings of her own.
Oh! And the key to that downward LH thing is pretty easy:
1. First, practice it with 1-2 only. In other words, use 1-2 to play the scalar melody on top while ignoring the filler notes played with other fingers (though you have to keep the hand in the right position to be able to play them - stretching out the other fingers above the keys, curved, is a good way to do that).
2. Relax. Tension will throw a wrench in your spokes, but if you are accustomed to the scalar prominence (see 1) and you relax, it's really not that hard, despite being in the LH. (My LH sucks too, I promise.)
3. Don't move the wrist back and forth. That's good for some types of technique in this piece, but not this bit, and I bet this hangs a lot of people up. My teacher advised me (based on the advice of another past teacher of mine) on that point, and that was the point at which it became easy for me. The same advice applies to scales.
I used to think those measures were the hardest in the piece when I first started working on it, but within a month or two I knew better. The hardest bits are the second phrase of the theme, each time it occurs, and the third time is the worst (the climax). The next hardest bit is in the middle section after the second iteration of the theme, but it gets easier as it goes on through that section (the hardest bit being with the bass octaves beginning in E major going to A-flat major or G-sharp major or whatever it was - I don't remember the last time I looked at the score - and the circle of fifths afterward. After the circle of fifths, the RH is surprisingly difficult - this might be the most difficult RH bit in the piece, after maybe the RH over the LH octaves part just before the circle of fifths. Valentina Lisitsa slows down the RH there (after the circle of fifths), and it probably seems to the casual observer that it's an interpretation thing because that part doesn't sound very difficult compared to the rest of the piece, but it really is one of the most difficult passages in the piece. It's very awkward because you have to aim your fingers between black keys in strange ways. So I think she slowed it down there because it was difficult, and she did the same with the endings of the first phrase of each theme, where the RH has to jump a few octaves (I honestly don't know how far - I tried thinking of it and I realized I don't know - isn't that sad?) and the LH is going in the other direction so you can't look at both (and the LH is honestly more difficult, but I can't help looking at the RH and I noticed most people do too).
I think the hardest LH bit is the ascending one at the climax of the piece, and the bit after where both hands are descending in octaves w/each other. But those LH octaves in the middle section are hard too - harder than the descending line you mentioned - because you can't look at both hands, and the RH is much more pressing there. I can just see Chopin rolling his eyes because we have to look at our hands at all...but then, you don't hear many stories of him playing this piece. I wonder if he could really play it without looking at his hands at all.
(I added a lot to that last bit on edit - was lazy earlier.)