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 Post subject: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:24 pm 
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Thank you to Alfonso for directing me to another nice Improvisation; this one is No. 15 in C minor. It's also pretty and sounds to me like something that would be perfect for a soap opera or an ultra-romantic/sad movie like "Love Story". In fact, Poulenc wrote it as an homage to the French singer, Edith Piaf, who led a dramatic, yet short life.

Poulenc - Improvisation No. 15 in C minor

A few years ago, I heard Chris play Poulenc’s Novelette no. 3 and fell instantly hard in love, and just had to play the piece myself. Unfortunately, and much to my chagrin, that was a time when I was experimenting with sound; I did something dumb with my recording setup and got a real weird sound on my recording of the no.3 Novelette. While lately I have been learning new Poulenc pieces, some Improvisations, I remembered how much I enjoyed the Novelette and how I really needed to make a better recording. So here it is. I memorized it and figured I might as well video-record it too. The links are below.

About the Novelette: Poulenc based it on a theme by de Falla, specifically de Falla’s “El amor brujo” and the piece within called, “Pantomime”. It was the no. 11 piece in the ballet version and is also called “Intermedio”. The piece is arranged for solo piano and I am very interested in trying it out on my piano. I’ve only briefly glanced at it so far, but I think I’m going to like it (or love it?...)

video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r3Iz2PGJdM

mp3 (same as video):Poulenc - Novelette No. 3 "Andantino tranquillo"

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:40 am 
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Great playing, sumptuous sound. I'd have wished for a little more flexibility and dynamic contrast especially in the Novellette. The Improvisation is better in that respect but could still use a but more rubato. Pedal usage seems right, I don't perceive these as too dry.

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:42 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Great playing, sumptuous sound. I'd have wished for a little more flexibility and dynamic contrast especially in the Novellette. The Improvisation is better in that respect but could still use a but more rubato. Pedal usage seems right, I don't perceive these as too dry.


Thank you, twice - for listening, and for teaching me about pedaling in Poulenc's music.

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:39 am 
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I very much enjoyed that Improvisation. It reminded me of times when I've heard cocktail piano in hotels.. but you play so much better than the typical cocktail pianist (the piece is also obviously superior to the usual fare). Really lovely. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:23 am 
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Hi Monica,
This Improv was really nice! I love the simple romantic nature of the melody, which you voice very effectively. You play this very well all together but I really especially liked when you have to bring the melody out in the cello's register; that was really very effective. I kept trying to place this in some epic romantic work like Dr. Zhivago or something. Very nice. Regarding the Novelette, I think you do a good job again with the voicing, especially as you have to share it between the two hands/thumbs. For me, the tempo could be a bit faster, but I don't even know what the indicated tempo is.

Thanks for the submissions.
Eddy

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:46 am 
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Hi Monica,

I really enjoyed both the improvisation and novelette. It was obvious you had an affinity for both, as it shows in your playing. Excellent performances!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:48 am 
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Thank you also, Andrew, Eddy, and David. I know...hotel lounges, movies like "Love Story" or "Dr. Zhivago".... I hear this kind of music in those settings too.

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:44 am 
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I suppose I need to go more to cocktails at hotel lounges and watch more Dr. Zhivagos, because listening to this brought me no such memories, which is just as well, because it allowed me to enjoy this piece without preconceived ideas.

This improvisation I really like and pronouce it the best of the set, for all my pronunciation is worth, and am glad Poulenc kept it to the last. I was aware it existed and was aware it was dedicated to Edith Piaf. This had put me off at first, but having forgetten this, I was able to listen with clean ears!

Good work!

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:39 pm 
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Thank you, Richard. And thank you for having clean ears! I would be grossed-out, otherwise.... :)
(we need a 'sick' smily)

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:52 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
enjoy this piece without preconceived ideas.

Not exactly. More a response to.

richard66 wrote:
for all my pronunciation is worth
Richard, are you as good in foreign accents as you are in foreign languages? Do you speak English with a British pronounciation? :?: Can you do English with a French, Russian, Italian accent? That would be fun.

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:45 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
Can you do English with a French, Russian, Italian accent? That would be fun.


At the same time? :lol: Then all Richard needs to do is wear a scarf, speak with a gravelly voice, and wave his hands around.

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:32 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
for all my pronunciation is worth
Richard, are you as good in foreign accents as you are in foreign languages? Do you speak English with a British pronounciation? :?: Can you do English with a French, Russian, Italian accent? That would be fun.[/quote]

Just a little word play, because to pronounce also means to make a statement, but yes, I can do that. In matter of fact, when someone says I do not speak language A with an English accent I immediately do so, just to please!

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:38 am 
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Hi,

From the very first bars I recognized a professional player. The balance of all aspects - vertical line, horizontal line, emotion.
Thank you for posting. Beautifully speaking.

GL
Jaak


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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:29 pm 
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Thank you, Jaak. And welcome to Piano Society. But I'm an amateur player - some of my recordings just come out better than others. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:35 pm 
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I absolutely love this recording! I was literally amazed at how great this sounded playing through my bookshelf speakers! The recording quality is terrific! Can I ask how you went about it? Did you mix it all yourself, or did you hire an engineer? I am just wondering, because I am a mixing engineer myself, and can really appreciate it when I hear a good mix. Thank you very much for sharing this with us!


Last edited by Leena on Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:03 pm 
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Leena wrote:
Sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing :D


Thank you very much, Leena. And welcome to Piano Society! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:31 pm 
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Hi Monica,
these both are very good performances! Very subtle and expressive playing of these lovely two pieces. I have enjoyed them very much and didn´t find anything to nitpick. :( :wink: (The pedaling is a matter of taste IMO. For me it´s o.k.)

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:43 pm 
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Hi Andreas,
Thank you for listening and commenting! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:14 pm 
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I have seen right know, that you have posted that already in septembre, so I must have overseen it. :oops: So, I am glad still to have noticed these real good recordings! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:16 am 
These are very lovely performances and such elegant pieces. When I was giving piano lessons, I think my more advanced students would of loved these pieces, to bad I discover them a bit late. Thanks for sharing!


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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:39 pm 
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Thank you, Guy. Yes, this music would be nice for more advanced students who need to get away from the 'everyday' classics and step into something a little lighter and contemporary.

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:22 pm 
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The improvisation is a lovely piece of music and your playing is wonderful. I liked the novelette too but the improvisation is gorgeous.

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:43 pm 
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Very lovely pieces and nicely played. Its interesting how light the feeling of the Improvisation is throughout, yet it has such a dark cloudy ending. Ah, such is life sometimes.

Your playing is quite true to the score too.


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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:46 am 
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robert wrote:
The improvisation is a lovely piece of music and your playing is wonderful. I liked the novelette too but the improvisation is gorgeous.

Thank you, Robert. The Improvisation is indeed nice, but I still like the Novelette better. There's just something about it that just grabs me!

synergy543 wrote:
Very lovely pieces and nicely played. Its interesting how light the feeling of the Improvisation is throughout, yet it has such a dark cloudy ending. Ah, such is life sometimes.

Your playing is quite true to the score too.


I was a little afraid to read this, Greg, but good - I'm glad we are not arguing! :) Thank you for the nice words. And yes, life can be dark and cloudy. Good thing there is plenty of dark and cloudy music to play. It's more interesting....

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:54 am 
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I'm glad to have discovered these little gems. Thank you for sharing.

Greg


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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:16 pm 
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synergy543 wrote:
I'm glad to have discovered these little gems. Thank you for sharing.

Greg


There are 15 Improvisations. I've only learned/recorded five of them so far, but they are nice too. One of these days I'd like to learn some more.

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:05 am 
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Wonderful recording! Great expression and use of subtle nuances.


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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:56 am 
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In-Flight Piano wrote:
Wonderful recording! Great expression and use of subtle nuances.


Thank you, Samuel!
It's been a while since we've heard from you. What are you up to these days? Hope you're still practicing your piano.... :)

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:00 pm 
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Hi Monica, these pieces are wonderful in scope and breadth. I didn't know that Poulenc wrote an improvisation dedicated to Edith Piaf. She was a sensational spark in the chanson Française. You strive to capture her essence well here. However, one can always go to extremes as that fits her personality. Towards the end, I wished Poulenc doubled the melody more emphatically in octaves. Piaf was no dainty Parisian - her musical life was enigmatic with an emotional ferocity that made her stand out above the rest; her contours are roughened with a serrated edge - when rubbed the wrong way, watch out!; and a no apologies attitude for her origins. Again this is all a part of her unique charm. This was all expressed in her song Non, je ne regrette rien (No, I don't regret a thing). She was also very generous to upstart singers too, like my fellow Armenian, Charles Aznavour. Have you seen the film, La Vie En Rose? I think you would like it. It's an amazing biographical movie that captures Piaf's being. I love the movie, along with your playing here...

The Novelette was charming too, but felt more inspired by the Improvisation, as you can tell.

Your recorded sound gets better every time... You've found a nice sweet spot for your mics or you've changed them. I can hear that the piano has developed its own character with time - it's tone and timbre sound different than recordings made a few years ago.
OK, off to watch the Super Bowl - GO PATRIOTS!

George

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Last edited by 88man on Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:41 am 
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88man wrote:
Have you seen the film, La Vie En Rose? I think you would like it. It's an amazing biographical movie that captures Piaf's being.
A fantastic film with an award-winning performance by Marion Cotillard who starred as Piaf. Highly recommended.

Edited for spelling: thank you Chris!

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Last edited by musical-md on Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:12 am 
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Thank you, George. I do like the Improvisation No. 15, but to me the Novelette is deeper and just so delicious and romantic and seductive and I wish I could rub it onto my whole body and
wear it! 8) :lol:

I'm very glad you think my sound is okay. No, I have not changed anything - I decided to stop fooling around with the settings and placement all the time and just stick to what I had developed. Maybe my piano tone is changing too; I never thought of that before, but I guess that would happen over time.

No, I did not know about that movie. But since you and Eddy both say it's good, I will definitely put it on my 'to watch' list. Thank you for the recommendation! :)

Edit: btw - I'm watching the game too, but really only the commercials and the half-time show. Madonna was pretty good!

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:47 am 
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Hi Monica,

Thanks for sharing and posting the Poulenc Improvisation No. 15.

I do not know the piece, but it sounded as though you played the melody line with a lot of conviction
and in a nice continuous line and flow.

-Kaila

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:34 am 
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musical-md wrote:
A fantastic film with an award-winning performance by Marion Cotillard who stared as Piaf.

Nobody could stare like Piaf :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:51 pm 
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musicrecovery wrote:
Hi Monica,

Thanks for sharing and posting the Poulenc Improvisation No. 15.

I do not know the piece, but it sounded as though you played the melody line with a lot of conviction
and in a nice continuous line and flow.

-Kaila


Thank you, Kaila. And Happy New Year to you! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:58 pm 
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techneut wrote:
musical-md wrote:
A fantastic film with an award-winning performance by Marion Cotillard who stared as Piaf.

Nobody could stare like Piaf :lol:

:evil:
Why don't we have the emoticon with the tongue sticking out?

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:19 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
techneut wrote:
musical-md wrote:
A fantastic film with an award-winning performance by Marion Cotillard who stared as Piaf.

Nobody could stare like Piaf :lol:

:evil:
Why don't we have the emoticon with the tongue sticking out?



You mean like this?

:P

Or this?
Image

Or this?
Image

Or this?
Image

:lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:43 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
musical-md wrote:
techneut wrote:
musical-md wrote:
A fantastic film with an award-winning performance by Marion Cotillard who stared as Piaf.

Nobody could stare like Piaf :lol:

:evil:
Why don't we have the emoticon with the tongue sticking out?



You mean like this?

:P

Or this?
Image

Or this?
Image

Or this?
Image

:lol:

I cannot see your mysmiley imports and can only imagine. But I'm looking for the one that kids do to eachother when they don't like somebody.

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:58 pm 
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I don't understand, Eddy. Why can you not see the smilies? I can see them. Is it like that on all posts here in the forum, or just this one?

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:48 pm 
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Just this one, and just the linked ones, not the ones we have and use all the time.

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:25 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
But I'm looking for the one that kids do to eachother when they don't like somebody.

Now, why would you want to use that one Eddy ? Is there somebody here you don't like ? :P

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:28 pm 
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techneut wrote:
musical-md wrote:
But I'm looking for the one that kids do to eachother when they don't like somebody.

Now, why would you want to use that one Eddy ? Is there somebody here you don't like ? :P
Not at all, I just feel childish! Na, na, ni, na, na.

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:48 am 
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pianolady wrote:
Thank you, George. I do like the Improvisation No. 15, but to me the Novelette is deeper and just so delicious and romantic and seductive and I wish I could rub it onto my whole body and
wear it! 8) :lol:
Should I have the Novelette score monogrammed on a silk bathrobe for you by Valentines Day? :idea: :wink: Monica, I had to listen again, and there's no doubt that you have two sensational winners here!
Perhaps this can be stated of any music that inspires one at the deepest level: If you feel that the music just vividly transported you to another place, then you have not only captured the soul of the music, but have indeed shown the listener a clear picture of how this place looks through the power of one's performance. On most days, we are faced peering down a blank keyboard for answers, but on those rare and special moments when the portal is open for a short time, seize the unique opportunity to be transported to that special place... You must have pressed the "Record" button during one of these moments here... This is also my view toward improvisation.

And the sound is not "okay." It's excellent for living room acoustics! Don't change a thing as you've found the sweet spot.

George

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:42 am 
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pianolady wrote:
to me the Novelette is deeper and just so delicious and romantic and seductive and I wish I could rub it onto my whole body and wear it!
:shock: :shock: :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:32 pm 
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88man wrote:
Should I have the Novelette score monogrammed on a silk bathrobe for you by Valentines Day? :idea: :wink:

Yes, please... 8)


88man wrote:
Monica, I had to listen again, and there's no doubt that you have two sensational winners here!
Perhaps this can be stated of any music that inspires one at the deepest level: If you feel that the music just vividly transported you to another place, then you have not only captured the soul of the music, but have indeed shown the listener a clear picture of how this place looks through the power of one's performance. On most days, we are faced peering down a blank keyboard for answers, but on those rare and special moments when the portal is open for a short time, seize the unique opportunity to be transported to that special place... You must have pressed the "Record" button during one of these moments here... This is also my view toward improvisation.

And the sound is not "okay." It's excellent for living room acoustics! Don't change a thing as you've found the sweet spot.

George

Thank you, George. It's great when we can lose ourselves in music, isn't it? I'm practicing Granados' Goyescas No. 2 again, which I still love dearly, except I love it so much that I get 'lost' in the music all the time. I get to the end but can hardly remember what I played. That's probably not a good thing; I need to stay more focused and work on my technique.

musical-md wrote:
pianolady wrote:
to me the Novelette is deeper and just so delicious and romantic and seductive and I wish I could rub it onto my whole body and wear it!
:shock: :shock: :shock:

What's wrong, Eddy? :lol:

Actually, it seems I'm not the only one who has these kinds of thoughts. In part of a book I'm reading now....

One of the best sources of income for professional musicians was teaching, especially of aristocracy’s daughters. These were fertile grounds—in more ways than one. Private music lessons were not only lucrative; they also offered certain opportunities against which the only defense was parental vigilance. In a satriric report that reveals the pervasiveness of concerns about this danger, a 1754 article in the Connoisseur announced the invention of a “female thermometer” for measuring “the exact temperature of a lady’s passions.” The device, created by Mr. Ayscough of Ludgate Hill, consisted of a glass tube filled with a mixture of distilled extracts of lady’s love, maidenhair, and “wax of virgin bees.” It could supposedly detect the full range of feminine response, from “inviolable modesty” to “abandoned impudence,” and was remarkable accurate, claimed the author, when used at the theater and the opera.

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:50 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Thank you, George. I do like the Improvisation No. 15, but to me the Novelette is deeper and just so delicious and romantic and seductive and I wish I could rub it onto my whole body and
wear it! 8) :lol:

I'm very glad you think my sound is okay. No, I have not changed anything - I decided to stop fooling around with the settings and placement all the time and just stick to what I had developed. Maybe my piano tone is changing too; I never thought of that before, but I guess that would happen over time.

No, I did not know about that movie. But since you and Eddy both say it's good, I will definitely put it on my 'to watch' list. Thank you for the recommendation! :)

Edit: btw - I'm watching the game too, but really only the commercials and the half-time show. Madonna was pretty good!



yes i too find the novelette beautiful and seductive a lot of french music is i also love melancolie by poulenc


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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:22 pm 
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I downloaded these a few weeks ago and loved them. Usually when I save an MP3 to my computer I post a reply to thank the pianist, but hesitated this time because I noticed that the pieces had been uploaded several months ago and I don't know if everyone else minds that this thread never dies.
Also, since I'm totally new to Poulenc's solo pieces, I have nothing intelligent to say except "thank you" to Monica and also to express my surprise at how different this material is from Ravel - only a generation's difference - and even Satie. Hopefully, I'll have time to explore it a little more.

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:59 pm 
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Thank you, Stu. I'm glad to have passed along some music that someone else likes. You should take a look at this set of improvisations; there is a lot of variety among them.

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:37 pm 
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The quality of recordings on this forum is astounding. I'll be hanging out here more often. Poulenc always make me so sad, which is really the greatest emotion that music can evoke, in my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:38 pm 
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OpenGoldberg wrote:
The quality of recordings on this forum is astounding.


I'm so glad to read that! Thank you!! We admins work diligently in selecting new recordings and accepting new members who we feel will enhance our vast collection and also provide some intellectual as well as some social interaction on the forum.

And I agree about Poulenc... :)

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 Post subject: Re: Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:19 pm 
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Hi, Monica!

I only listened to the Improvisation. I didn't know it... but it is really great playing! You have a deep understanding of it, and you seem very comfortable at playing it. Great!

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