Piano Society
Free Classical Keyboard Recordings
It is currently Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:24 am

All times are UTC - 1 hour




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Composer Audition - Three Preludes
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1035
A question which seems irrelevant, stupid and misplaced, but which in the end is not:

If someone were to post a recording of Schubert's Imprompu op 90/3 in G (and not Gb) and in 2/2 (and not 4/2), what would your reaction be?

_________________
Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Composer Audition - Three Preludes
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:50 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8407
richard66 wrote:
A question which seems irrelevant, stupid and misplaced, but which in the end is not:

If someone were to post a recording of Schubert's Imprompu op 90/3 in G (and not Gb) and in 2/2 (and not 4/2), what would your reaction be?


That's interesting....I think if it's a piece I know well and I heard it played in a different key, I would think it sounds weird. But if it's only a half-step off, I'm not sure I would know right away. The key of G is a 'happy' sound, though, and G-flat has a little more edginess so I think it does make a big difference. Would make a fun experiment - are you planning on submitting the Impromptu, Richard?

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

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Composer Audition - Three Preludes
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:14 pm
Posts: 477
Location: Illinois
richard66 wrote:
A question which seems irrelevant, stupid and misplaced, but which in the end is not:

If someone were to post a recording of Schubert's Imprompu op 90/3 in G (and not Gb) and in 2/2 (and not 4/2), what would your reaction be?


I would say that you have been looking through your Liszt collection.

Scott


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Composer Audition - Three Preludes
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:06 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9479
Location: Netherlands
richard66 wrote:
A question which seems irrelevant, stupid and misplaced, but which in the end is not:

If someone were to post a recording of Schubert's Imprompu op 90/3 in G (and not Gb) and in 2/2 (and not 4/2), what would your reaction be?

I would say

1) This is so OT that it should have been posted in a new thread
2) The piece is in Gb, not G
3) Pianists should learn to play the black keys, too

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Composer Audition - Three Preludes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:02 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 1956
Location: U.S.A.
Hi,

When the Schubert's Impromptu 90/3 manuscript went to the publisher, it was in G flat. The publisher, for marketing purposes, prevailed on Schubert to simplify it by changing the key to G. Of course, any serious and capable pianist should read the piece in its original key. This also happened to Schumann's Romance Op. 28, No. 2 in F#, again for the purpose of selling more sheet music. It was changed to the key of F, and this altered-key version is still floating around and can be easily purchased today! :roll:

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Composer Audition - Three Preludes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:32 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1035
Almost on the nail, David, because the change was made without Schubert's knowledge, or so I have read.

I posted the question here and not in a new thread, as Chris very rightly says I should have done, for a simple reason:

We must all be careful when offering criticism (and I mean the word in its original sense) to make sure if the player is not using a non-standard edition and that this non-standard edition is being followed scrupulously.

is the pianist aware there is another edition?

This is the case in hand with the Bartok, this was the case with David's Glazunov (my version having much fewer arpeggi than his) and this was also the case with a Scriabin prelude I submitted some time ago and that sounded too loud to David (my version having a forte while the original he was following has none.)

Is it not the case that when submitting we state not only which piano we use, which microphones and which editing programmes, but also which edition is our source?

I wonder how many Chopin pieces have been accepted with reading errors that have passed as "alternative versions"?

Maybe this ought to be made into a new thread?

As for the Schubert, I have always played it in Gb, but I do remember when I was still taking lessons the teacher called my attention to the mistake I was making; Why was I playing it in Gb? And sure enough, she pulled out of the shelf an edtion where it was in G and in 2/2. And she was a graduate of the Paris Conservatoire at that, not an half-boiled Jill-of-all-Trades.

_________________
Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Composer Audition - Three Preludes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:17 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8407
richard66 wrote:
Is it not the case that when submitting we state not only which piano we use, which microphones and which editing programmes, but also which edition is our source?

I wonder how many Chopin pieces have been accepted with reading errors that have passed as "alternative versions"?

Maybe this ought to be made into a new thread?



It probably should be a new thread. Richard, if you want to start one, I can then move some of these postings into it.

Regarding stating which edition we use when we post something; it's not necessary but yes it would be nice and helpful. As far as Chopin editions; there are so many 'alternative' versions that it would be very helpful to include which edition you are using. Then things like that age-old debate about the E or E-flat in the C-minor prelude would be nipped in the bud!

Here's something I wonder about now...you know how if you learn the composer's piece with his original key signature, then when you hear it in an alternative version you think it sounds weird, right? The reverse would be true too, though. If you accidentally first learned the piece in the 'easy' key, then you hear the piece in its 'original' key, you might think it sounds strange too, right? But that didn't happen to me when I first learned the Etude Op. 10, no. 3. I was young and learned it in one of those condensed/easy/change of key arrangements and liked it a lot because of the beatiful melody. But when I was older and first heard it in its original key of E Major, I was blown away by how much better it sounded.

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

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Composer Audition - Three Preludes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 1956
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Monica,

You sparked a memory when you mentioned the condensed, simplified arrangements. Back in the 50's those were very much in vogue. I recall that Maxwell Eckstein was one of the most prominent editors of the genre. These pieces would often be bound into collections with titles like My Favorite Recital Pieces, or My Favorite Solo Album, etc. Very good teachers at the time were OK using these arrangements occasionally, as it gave intermediate level students a chance to play reductions of pieces they liked such as Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody" No. 2, which would have been too difficult in their real formats. I well recall learning a couple of these arrangements, Rachmaninoff's "Prelude in C#m" and Chopin's "Polonaise Militaire", neither of which suffered much violence in the arrangements--but were, nonetheless, not the real thing. Nowadays, I think fine teachers progressively steer their serious students to the authentic editions of music within their grasp. The arrangements, which still persist today, might perhaps have value for casual students who just want to play a few tunes now and then. For decades those two arrangements I mentioned above have bugged me. I've always intended to relearn the pieces in their original forms, but have never made the time for it. It's funny, but they still haunt me.

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Composer Audition - Three Preludes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:57 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8407
Hi David,
I know what you mean...that's how I feel about the Op. 10, No. 3 Etude. Someday....*sigh*

I also have a few of those 'easy arrangements' books. Of course, I don't look at them at all anymore, but I was teaching piano to a few kids in my neighborhood recently and many of them wanted to learn Für Elise (wasn't my idea, they already knew the piece). They weren't ready for the 'real' version, so I found simpler arrangements that made them happy.

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

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Composer Audition - Three Preludes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1035
pianolady wrote:
richard66 wrote:
Maybe this ought to be made into a new thread?


It probably should be a new thread. Richard, if you want to start one, I can then move some of these postings into it.


I think that might be good idea. It will give food for thought to members. Do I start it and you move the posts? I will refrain from answering further until the job is done.

_________________
Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Composer Audition - Three Preludes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:16 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8407
Yes, probably the Repertoire forum would be the best place. You can start the thread there and then I will move the posts relating to "recordings/editions used" that are here in Riley's thread into the new thread.

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

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: which edition are you playing wrong?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:43 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1035
At times it is a simple matter to know if a submission is played "according to the book", while others... You might get away with a wrong note, saying you are using a very rare print of which you are the only owner. :lol:

The best example is Chopin: the is a fletora of editions kicking around, all different and all equally valid. How do we at the listening end know if the pianist hit a wrong note or muddled an arpeggio or if another edition is being used?

_________________
Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: which edition are you playing wrong?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:21 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 1956
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Richard,

I cannot think of a more complicated case study than the Chopin editions. There are so many dimensions to the issue. First, in Chopin's time the principal music publishers were in France, England and Germany. So considering the Preludes Op. 28, you have, based on the autographed manuscripts (as duplicated by copyists) first editions produced by Catelin in Paris, Breitkopf & Hartel in Leipzig, and Wessel & Co. in London. Yet there are differences starting with those very first printings! One practicality was that those publishers had to interpret and deal with cross-outs and erasures not to mention occasional imprecise or indistinct notations. (Mendelssohn wrote notation impeccably, but not Chopin.) The next problem is that unlike Liszt who combed through every detail of his galley proofs, Chopin was quite casual about it, unknowingly becoming his own worst enemy in the matter. Then there is the case of the additional competing manuscripts. Over time, pianists like von Bulow, Pugno, Mikuli and Klindworth came into possession of manuscripts which in some cases led them to producing their own editions. Oh, and how can we forget the students of Chopin, again Mikuli and Klindworth being good examples, with Chopin penciling in corrections to the notation at their lessons? Were they actual corrections in fact, or were they newly preferred revisions?

Then during the late 19th and early 20th century, enter the editors! Over time there have been some very scholarly editors like Joseffy as well as incompetent and shoddy editors at the other extreme. As the years went by many scores became increasingly cluttered with editing of dubious origin, justification and value. In reaction to this chaos came, predictably, the rise of the urtext editions to clean up the mess once and for all. A very scholarly, but not perfect, prototype of the urtext was the Paderewski Edition of Chopin, still favored by legions of pianists today (myself included). Probably the two more modern and most authoritative volumes available today are the Henle Urtext and the Vienna Urtext. A true urtext must have comprehensive editorial board commentary at the level of details. But as far as the ultimate urtext edition is concerned... well, it has yet to appear to the consternation of pianists.

So how to tell the wrong note versus a correct note based on editions? Unless it's a clear and obvious slip of a finger during execution, I think it's often difficult to impossible to know. So the only recourse would be to query the pianist on the edition. That leads to the next problem. There are some pianists who spend a great deal of money over the years collecting editions. Most of us, I suspect, might have only one or two very good editions on hand which might not be the one chosen by the other performer. Thus, perhaps unable to look it up, one might have to give the performer the benefit of the doubt.

The Chopin editions controversy has yet to go away, although the two urtexts I mentioned have probably helped.

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: which edition are you playing wrong?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1035
I must say I had never even known about the Schubert in G instead of Gb. It sound much better the way Schubert wrote it.

I have one Urtext of Chopin's Etudes, the Henle one, but I have never compared it to others: I just (try) to play, so maybe if I were to record someone out there might say there is a wrong note there. I had the same problem once with one of Satie's Gymnopédies, where my score and the teacher's had a different chord and as for Scarlatti... I have a Longo edition and a Henle Urtext and some of the sonatas are worlds apart.

My Urtext editions of Bach very often differ from older editions. At times I notice the urtext will finish, say, a sinfonia in the minor with a major chord, which does always sound too convincing. Past editors seemed to think so too and in older editions one finds these chords in the minor. I am thinking especially of the Sinfonia IX.

As for the editions you mention, David, I had one myself at one time: my first piano book or something like that amd it had every single "famous" melody you can think of simplified. Chucked out as suggested by the teacher. After all, there are thousands of pieces out there crying to be played. If one cannot play Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody it is best not to try, as the simplified version sounds... simplified.

As for Chopin, I would say that his annotations on the scores of his pupils probably reflected his assessment of the pupils' capability, that each annotation was in its way a "personalisation" of the piece. Let us cast our mind back to the time of Mozart and Rossini, who wrote their music not for the general public, but for specific performers. The arias of the Queen of the night were written that way and not in another, because the singer at hand could perform it with ease. Had he lived longer and another singer came along who could not sing that high f, would he not have changed the note or even revise the aria? Haydn does the same: his barytron music is not written for baryton players, but for Prince Nikolaus, who was a modest baryton player. Were he to publish these, would he not revise them? If he had a virtuoso at hand would he not fiddle with the solo parts?

I have a recording of Beethoven's 4th pf concerto by the Dutch pianist Roland Brautigam, which is a reconstruction of Beethoven's own playing version, which is worlds more difficult than the published, simplified, version we are better acquainted with. Now, without that knowledge, the average listener would wonder why this pianist is making so many errors and taking so many liberties when in reality he is only doing what Beethoven did.

_________________
Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: which edition are you playing wrong?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:38 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 1956
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Richard,

That Schubert example shows the power of not the composer who creates, but the marketeers who sell. Commerce enters the arts!

Yes, after hearing edited editions for decades, I imagine an urtext based performance might raise some eyebrows and quizzical looks leading to a presumption of wrong notes being played. I believe that scholarly urtext editors sift all the known evidence to the best of their abilities. Probably in many cases they discover the unshakable, uncontrovertible and immutable truth. In other cases they might go with the preponderance of the manuscripts' evidence. And it would not surprise me if in some more ambiguous instances they make a judgment call as an editorial board. Goes to show once again that we don't live in a perfect world.

Bach urtext editions have been often criticized by piano teachers. Bach's directional markings were sparse to begin with, leaving most interpretive decisions to the capable pianist. Teachers believe that the old more heavily edited editions were more helpful to intermediate level students who generally need more specific performance directions. Goes to show that you can please some of them some of the time, but not all of them all the time as Abraham Lincoln used to say.

I agree on the simplified collections of pieces. In the end I believe they do more of a disservice to piano students. In my own case as a kid, I came up with my own (and very different) solution to avoid the frustrations of not being able to play "big pieces" for my own satisfaction. Where I have always had an excellent ear, I used to develop my own paraphrases of sections of piano concerti, for example. Some were so good that the unknowing listener could not tell the difference between my paraphrase and the real article. My teacher used to frown on that and call it doddling and a distraction from practicing, but I found it very pleasurable. :lol:

You make a good point on the personalizations made by composers to benefit certain artists. There is an obverse facet of this too, that is so-call "emmendations" made by the artists themselves. I was listening to a notable playing a Liadov prelude that I had recorded. The notes in the coda were different, and I knew it was not a conflict of editions, as it's always played the way I had played it. Clearly it was an emmendation--which sounded far more beautiful than the way Liadov had written it! In fact Liadov might have even preferred it. But playing it that way would be extremely hard to justify in my opinion given the fact that it's simply not authentic.

Many, many angles to "the wrong notes".

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 1 hour


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group