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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven - Op. 110: III. Adagio, ma non troppo
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:53 pm 
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Thank you Andrew for this nice comment.

About the sound: I intended to mix two stereo tracks one from a pair of microphones in AB set up (parallel axes, ~20 cm far apart) and one from a stereo microphone operating in XY (the axes of both capsules, which close one upon the other, are orthogonal. It is what I did in my two first attempts. But I did set mistakingly both tracks in my recording software (Reaper, a very sophisticated tool although rather cheap, 50$ license for amateur use) to the same input from the XY stereo microphone. Hence what you hear is only the sound from this stereo microphone. It is a fancy one manufactured in California (where any object has to be gold-plated :wink: ): I am a bit crazy about microphones :oops: ... But I have got also cheaper microphones, especially a pair of Rode NT5 like the ones that you used for your excellent Traviata recording. You might be interested in listening what result I can get with these microphones. It is here attached, with a photo of my set up. I processed the recording in the same way like I did for my previous recording. The microphone are connected directly (no external preamp) to a RME Fireface audio interface for recording to a computer. It is professional grade hardware but I have used previously an Edirol FA-66 that achieved similar sound quality. You may find that that there is not a so large difference of sound quality difference between this recording and my previous one, which proves that my sound quality relies mostly on my piano and that your intent to get a pair of Rode NT5 is not a bad idea. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven - Op. 110: III. Adagio, ma non troppo
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:50 am 
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Hi Didier,

I just listened to your Beethoven. I thought it was beautifully played. Very nice.

Regarding pedaling, in the first long measure of the Recitative, there is that original pedaling indication of Beethoven calling for a very long pedal there. While it's true that the texture is relatively thin and that many notes are in the treble, still, there are passing and neighboring tones present. As a result the pedal creates quite a blur. The modern piano, as compared to Beethoven's, is far more powerful--a point needing consideration. It would be within your discretion to ignore his pedal indication and pedal it to best advantage in order to maintain clarity.

On the matter of the recitative and rhythm: I just looked at the Harvard Dictionary of Music, and found this: "The free character of the recitative has repeatedly been imitated in instrumental music." and it cites Beethoven's Op. 110 slow movement as an example. From this I believe the operating word is "free" which implies that the form is a "free recitative" (secco), not the "measured recitative" (misurato or stomentato). Because the "free" refers to a declamatory vocal style imitating and emphasizing the natural inflections of speech, this dictionary points out: "In the recitative, the purely musical principles of vocal melody, phrase, and rhythm are largely disregarded being replaced by speechlike reiteration of the same note, slight inflections, irregular rhythms, purely syllabic treatment of the text...." Given that, it would seem that you would have much leeway to take liberties with the rhythms in this Beethoven movement. But where the Admins have accepted your submission now, the point is probably moot. :)

David

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven - Op. 110: III. Adagio, ma non troppo
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:00 pm 
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Didier wrote:
But I have got also cheaper microphones, especially a pair of Rode NT5 like the ones that you used for your excellent Traviata recording. You might be interested in listening what result I can get with these microphones. It is here attached, with a photo of my set up. I processed the recording in the same way like I did for my previous recording. The microphone are connected directly (no external preamp) to a RME Fireface audio interface for recording to a computer. It is professional grade hardware but I have used previously an Edirol FA-66 that achieved similar sound quality. You may find that that there is not a so large difference of sound quality difference between this recording and my previous one, which proves that my sound quality relies mostly on my piano and that your intent to get a pair of Rode NT5 is not a bad idea. :)


Thanks for uploading that; very interesting. I prefer the original recording but the Rodes seem ok. I'd have to listen on a computer with better speakers to get a definitive opinion. I found out last month that a pair of Rode NT5s were used on my Thalberg Casta diva and Martucci La forza transcription recordings (I didn't have anything to do with recording them, other than providing my Edirol recorder) - I am very happy with the sound quality on these, though it helps when you have a well-maintained Steinway Model D to play on!


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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven - Op. 110: III. Adagio, ma non troppo
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:13 pm 
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Hi David,



thank you for your listening and your comment. I know that some pedal indications given at the time when the piano was what we call today a piano forte may not be valid for the modern piano, for instance the one for the first movement of the Moonlight sonata, but I like this one played as indicated.
Indeed, I could have take more rhythmical liberties in the recitavo ; I took too many ones elsewhere in my first attempt, which may have led me to restrain myself everywhere in this one. :)

Didier


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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven - Op. 110: III. Adagio, ma non troppo
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:58 am 
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Hi Didier,

I think you achieved a good balance there with the freedoms of rhythms. This also informs us that Beethoven was very well familiar with musical forms before his own era, as some recitatives came from early Gregorian Chants before finding their way into oratorios and operas.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven - Op. 110: III. Adagio, ma non troppo
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:57 am 
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Hi Didier,
I wanted to write you something to your recording, (which I only see know, btw), but I couldn´t find the link to it. Could you help me, Chris?

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven - Op. 110: III. Adagio, ma non troppo
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:02 am 
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Location: France
Hi Andreas,

The link is in my post above on September 18th.

I copy it here: http://server3.pianosociety.com/protected/beethoven-110-3-brest.mp3.

Cheers,

Didier


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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven - Op. 110: III. Adagio, ma non troppo
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:47 am 
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Hi Didier,
thanks for the link. I couldn´t find somehow another thread than this one, but doesn´t matter, since I have your recording now.
First, all the positive things I´m used from you: very subtle and expressive playing. You have a good empathy for this piece and the sound-quality like always is first class. I especially like the "room" you give to the discant, the high notes can entirely swing out and one can breath them in metaphorically spoken.
There are some minor aspects respective suggestions of improvement I have for you:
1) the double dotted rhythm at the beginning is correct, but the third eigth comes too late, so that is doesn´t sound completely correct.
2) the "Sextole" in bar 4 should be played rhythmically correcter, so that one can hear clearly the difference to the "Quintole" before
3) Some chords you play not entirely (there are missing singular notes), so in bar 13, 16, 18, 20.
4) in bar 23 the fifth chord is a-flat-major, you play minor.

Hope you are well and I could help you a bit.

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven - Op. 110: III. Adagio, ma non troppo
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:57 pm 
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1) I agree.
2) The duration of my quintole (is it English ?) is 1.44 s, the one of my sextole (same question) 1.45 s. But I play the third three notes in 0.52 s and the last three ones 0.93 s. Indeed I could play this sextole more even. But it is a recitativo and slowing down at the end of the sextole is rather welcome, is'nt it ? In 1975 Pollini's version (DG), the corresponding time duration values are respectively 1.49s, 1.64s, 0.63s and 1.01s. I shall still tkink to your advice. :)
3) I am waiting for my piano technician on this afternoon. I intend to ask him for checking the piano action... :P
4) Oh my God! :evil:

Quote:
Hope you are well and I could help you a bit.


I hope that you are well too Andreas! Be sure that you help me a lot! Thank you much!


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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven - Op. 110: III. Adagio, ma non troppo
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:06 pm 
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Didier wrote:
Quote:
2) The duration of my quintole (is it English ?) is 1.44 s, the one of my sextole (same question) 1.45 s. But I play the third three notes in 0.52 s and the last three ones 0.93 s. Indeed I could play this sextole more even. But it is a recitativo and slowing down at the end of the sextole is rather welcome, is'nt it ? In 1975 Pollini's version (DG), the corresponding time duration values are respectively 1.49s, 1.64s, 0.63s and 1.01s. I shall still tkink to your advice. :)


No, in English it´s "quintuplet" and "sextuplet", at least so I could find it in "Leo Forum", I just haven´t had the time this morning to look up these two words, so I simply used the german terms. I think the rhythmically correct playing of the quintuplet and sextuplet is not the tempo respective duration you use for them, but it´s a question of making the right accents. Everyone will understand a sextuplet for example also with a rubato, if you accent the right notes. But the accents in your quintuplet and sextuplet are not clear enough. That´s the main-problem in your version.
But nevertheless I find your duration-indications very interesting. That´s the advantage of our modern audio programs like WaveLabe f.ex., that we can measure such things exactly, isn´t it? I just don´t understand on what refers 1.49, 1.64 and 0.63, 1.01 exactly?

Quote:
3) I am waiting for my piano technician on this afternoon. I intend to ask him for checking the piano action... :P


Oh, that´s fine. But are you really sure, that the reason is just the mechanique of your piano, it should be in a very bad state if so. I think, one can play these chords also with every tone and even, if one has a not so good mechanique. (Sorry, I don´t want to insult you, it´s just my experience, during my studies I have also played on many real bad pianos.)

Quote:
I hope that you are well too Andreas! Be sure that you help me a lot! Thank you much!


Thank you, fortunately the autumn holidays have started now. I´m glad to be able to help you, my good long-standing PS-friend. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven - Op. 110: III. Adagio, ma non troppo
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:44 am 
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Quote:
No, in English it´s "quintuplet" and "sextuplet"

Quintolet and sextolet in French. Quintuplet and sextuplet are French but used in mathematics.
Quote:

I just don´t understand on what refers 1.49, 1.64 and 0.63, 1.01 exactly?


1.49s is the duration of the quintuplet, 1.64s is the duration of the sextuplet, 0.63s is the duration of the first three notes of the sextuplet and 0.63s the duration of the last three notes of the sextuplet (1.64 = 0.63 + 1.01).

I think that my two last notes in the sextolet are too loud. After editing (it's just for illustration :wink: ), it sounds better, although not as good as Pollini of course:


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Pollini.mp3 [132.66 KiB]
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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven - Op. 110: III. Adagio, ma non troppo
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:56 am 
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Oh, thanks for that interesting illustration. I like such studies. I think, the main difference between your version and Pollinis is, that Pollini plays the notes of the quintuplet and the sextuplet rhythmically just more even than you do. I mean the duration between the notes within the quintuplet respective the sextuplet is all the same, whereas in your version the duration between the notes is not even. And the accent has to be clearly on the first note of each figure. That normally includes also, that in the sextuplet you have to play the notes faster than in the quintuplet, but not, if you want to make a ritenuto respective rubato within the sextuplet, of course.
It also was very interesting, how you have edited the volume of the last notes. If I try to do such things one always hears my editing, so I have given it up.

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven - Op. 110: III. Adagio, ma non troppo
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:16 pm 
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I just finally had a chance to listen to this version (I missed #2). This is a very enjoyable performance. As has been noted, it is rhythmically much tighter. I personally did not find the amount of pedal to be terribly intrusive. It creates a somewhat cathedral-like atmosphere around the music.

Good job.

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven - Op. 110: III. Adagio, ma non troppo
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:39 pm 
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Thank you Scott ! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven - Op. 110: III. Adagio, ma non troppo
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:14 am 
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Hi Didier,

I had the chance to listen to your Beethoven piece and you play quite well IMO. I have a penchant for pieces that are downtempo so this was a treat. For criticism I thought you could have altered the dynamics a bit more, but overall not bad performance at all.

Nice to hear your interpretation,

~Riley

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