Piano Society
Free Classical Keyboard Recordings
It is currently Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:59 am

All times are UTC - 1 hour




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 43 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
Where angels fear to tread... :cry:

I have perpretrated another enormity, though a rather small one this time: a Scarlatti sonata. Now, do not ask me to give it a K, an L or a fig, because is has none. The Henle Urtext edition where it is to be found claims it to be the first time this work has seen the printing press. If this is indeed so, I cannot tell, but I can tell I have never heard it, so I have no yardstrick by which to measure it.

Ave PS, Morituri te salutant and all that. :?

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:46 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8530
**Ave PS, Morituri te salutant and all that

Funny! :lol:

But really, Richard, this sounded nice. :) Your phrasing is good. I'm not sure how we are going to list it though. Are you sure there is no number at all? Can you please show us the score - maybe scan and attach it?

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

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
Oh, thank you, Monica! your words encourage me!

I can scan it tomorrow, that is no problem. What I can give you today are the references of the edition, just in case someone has the score:

D. Scarlatti
Ausgewaehlte Klaviersonaten - Band I
Urtext
Henle Verlag Urtext - Muenchen

No. 23 (page 86)

Sonata in g (minor) - Largo
Erstausgabe (first printing)

Later.

It just occured to me I could take a picture of the score. Here it is.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:57 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9600
Location: Netherlands
Not bad. There's a couple of places where you wait too long, breaking the rhythm, and some of the ornaments are too long and winded so they break the rhythm too. It's ok to take your time for ornaments, not rush them, but don't overdo it. I would suggest to apply more phrasing and (terraced) dynamics, and to make some variations in the repeats. Maybe take it a tad more lively (yes I see it's marked Largo, sod that ;-) ) It's just a bit literal and stilted this way.

I can hardly believe this is a Scarlatti sonata. But if Henle says so... Sounds more like a minuet by a some less gifted pupil of Bach. Shame there are some sourly tunes notes, especially the very first and last ones.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
What do you mean by (terraced) dynamics?

I too wondered if it really was (or is) Scarlatti. This time I am playing no jokes!

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Richard,
I don't think this has the slightest drop of Italian or Spanish in it, and I would never take it for Domenico Scarlatti. Are you sure, it isn't Alessandro (whose music I am not familiar with)? :?

_________________
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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:33 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
richard66 wrote:
What do you mean by (terraced) dynamics?


Think stair steps not ramp.

_________________
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


Last edited by musical-md on Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:40 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8530
Yes, but you know he's going to say there are no dynamic markings in the score....

But, Eddy, you may onto something about this being not Domenico, but maybe Alessandro. There is a lot of Alessandro's music on ISMLP, maybe we could find a match...?

Also, Richard, I'm sorry, but now that I see the score, Chris is right about some of your ornaments going too long and so it disrupts the counting in certain measures.

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

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:50 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2003
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Richard,

I think you have this interesting piece substantially in shape. Chris' point about getting the ornaments to fit better within the meter is a good one. I believe the best way to think of them is that they need to be unobtrusive as they are merely decorative. Thus they must blend seamlessly into the musical line without affecting the meter or rhythms within the meter. Perhaps some metronome drills would help to smooth them out more. (That's what I would do next.) As a last resort you have the option of omitting an ornament that is particularly difficult to execute. Whereas modern piano actions are firmer than Baroque keyboards, the decision sometimes becomes one of practicability depending on the instrument.

In my opinion your playing is considerably improved over your earlier recordings. You've even slain the beast within the Guyer piano.

Keep up the good work!

David

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:52 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
musical-md wrote:
Richard,
I don't think this has the slightest drop of Italian or Spanish in it, and I would never take it for Domenico Scarlatti. Are you sure, it isn't Alessandro (whose music I am not familiar with)? :?



And what was Alessandro Scarlatti then? French? In a way he was not an Italian citizen, as Italy as a political entity was... a non-entity. He was born in Sicily, whereas his son, Domenico, was born in Naples. Remember Domenico was in the service of the Portuguese between 1719 and 1727. Portuguese blood? :?

I am afraid you will need to take this up with Henle in Munich. I bought the score and I played what was between the covers. As there seems some doubt about my claim, I have found this. I hope it helps:

http://www.sheetmusic1.com/a14a.henle.scarlatti.html

Henle Urtext Editions
Scarlatti, Domenico
(Keyboard Works)


Selected (24) Piano Sonatas Volume I HN-395 $31.95
Sonatas -in A K. 268 L. 141; -in A-flat K. 127 L. 186; -in a K. 54 L. 241; -in a K. 149 L. 93; -in B K. 261 L. 148; -in B-flat K. 47 L. 46; -in b K. 197 L. 147; -in C K. 159 L. 104; -in c K. 302 L. 7; -in D K. 415 L. App. 11; -in D K. 430 L. 463; -in d K. 294 L. 67; -in E K. 380 L. 23; -in E-flat K. 307 L. 115; -in e K. 291 L. 61; -in F K. 82 L. 30; -in f K. 386 L. 171; -in G K. 520 L. 86; -in g K. 30 L. 499; -in g K. 88 L. 36; -in C (First Edition); -in G (First Edition); -in g (First Edition); -in C (First Edition)

The one in question is in bold type.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:58 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
pianolady wrote:
Yes, but you know he's going to say there are no dynamic markings in the score....

But, Eddy, you may onto something about this being not Domenico, but maybe Alessandro. There is a lot of Alessandro's music on ISMLP, maybe we could find a match...?

Also, Richard, I'm sorry, but now that I see the score, Chris is right about some of your ornaments going too long and so it disrupts the counting in certain measures.


I did do f and p. I clearly saw that when I was editing the file: Some curves were higher than others. Apart from f and p no, I did not even dream of attempting it, and am not sure it would be in style.

But this goes to prove my point: it is not the playing so much (and I mean playing in general by musicians in general) that determines what is acceptable: it is checking the score, which explains why some musicians go into panic if they notice a member of the audience waving the score.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
musical-md wrote:
richard66 wrote:
What do you mean by (terraced) dynamics?


Think stair steps not ramp.


Is that what is called F and P, without crescendi and decrescendi?

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
techneut wrote:
Not bad. There's a couple of places where you wait too long, breaking the rhythm, and some of the ornaments are too long and winded so they break the rhythm too. It's ok to take your time for ornaments, not rush them, but don't overdo it. I would suggest to apply more phrasing and (terraced) dynamics, and to make some variations in the repeats. Maybe take it a tad more lively (yes I see it's marked Largo, sod that ;-) ) It's just a bit literal and stilted this way.

I can hardly believe this is a Scarlatti sonata. But if Henle says so... Sounds more like a minuet by a some less gifted pupil of Bach. Shame there are some sourly tunes notes, especially the very first and last ones.


Yes, the old groaner needs a tuning but I am afraid it will not be getting one for the nonce: we have to move house by the end of the year. The way things are going, maybe there will not even be a old groaner to camplain about.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:12 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
Rachfan wrote:
Hi Richard,

I think you have this interesting piece substantially in shape. Chris' point about getting the ornaments to fit better within the meter is a good one. I believe the best way to think of them is that they need to be unobtrusive as they are merely decorative. Thus they must blend seamlessly into the musical line without affecting the meter or rhythms within the meter. Perhaps some metronome drills would help to smooth them out more. (That's what I would do next.) As a last resort you have the option of omitting an ornament that is particularly difficult to execute. Whereas modern piano actions are firmer than Baroque keyboards, the decision sometimes becomes one of practicability depending on the instrument.

In my opinion your playing is considerably improved over your earlier recordings. You've even slain the beast within the Guyer piano.

Keep up the good work!

David


Thank you, David. I wish it were so about the ornaments, but here I cannot hide under the "difficulty", as I have no problems executing them. Maybe I need to shorten them.

I do not know how others have leant it, but I was always under the impression that ornaments up to the time of Beethoven were not "decorative" notes, but an integral part of the melody. This is certainly how one finds the ornaments in Bach written out in the Henle editions.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:00 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:18 pm
Posts: 69
I know this piece ... in that I have heard it before, not played it myself. Yevgeny Sudbin plays it on his Scarlatti album (track 11). In the notes he says only that it "lacks a K number since it does not appear in Kirkpatrick's catalogues" and that he hears in it "the bitter wail of a gypsy lament". It is not one of Kirkpatrick's 555; I should hesitate to say that it couldn't be by Scarlatti. His style is very diverse and I don't think this piece in particular is so alien to it as to rule it out.

As for your playing, Richard, I thought it was very good. I agree that it could perhaps be a touch faster and the ornaments a bit less indulgent. I tend to think of "largo" as more a matter of approach than of speed per se, if you see what I mean (much as my wife is fond of saying "allegro is a state of mind" :) ). Re the dynamics, we could argue about this until the cows come home, and probably will. I again tend to the pragmatic side; a piano is not a harpsichord and if you're going to play Baroque music on a piano you might as well make use of some of the advantages (and acknowledge the disadvantages, as David says re ornaments), as long as you don't try to play everybody as if they were Chopin! Terraced dynamics are discrete dynamic levels for a phrase or section ... think pulling out or pushing in a stop, so the transition between them is stepwise. No power in the 'verse can stop a pianist applying a bit of phrasing within a section, of course, but big crescendi and decrescendi to go between sections are out. You could make the contrast between repeated phrases a bit clearer. But I think you should have no reason to be afraid on submitting a recording like this. (Anyway, shouldn't that be "salutamus"?) :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
This sonata has been discussed in this very forum!

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=3183

Thnak you for that link. It is indeed that sonata.

You are right about "largo": it is not like "lento" or "adagio", which are indeed speed indications, but then it cannot be too fast. Largo means wide, broad (think of "Largo al Factotum"), and it would be hard to think of something broad which is too fast. I did listen to a snippet of that recording and yes, it is a shade faster but still within the definition of largo.

I feel that a contrast is be called for between the repeated sections within A and B (that is, from the 4th beat of bar 4 to the 3rd beat of bar six and from the 4th beat of bar six to the 3rd beat of bar 8 and mirror passages in B). It seems that the contrasts I make are never the ones that are expected.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:47 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9600
Location: Netherlands
jim_24601 wrote:
Yevgeny Sudbin plays it on his Scarlatti album (track 11). In the notes he says only that it "lacks a K number since it does not appear in Kirkpatrick's catalogues" and that he hears in it "the bitter wail of a gypsy lament".

Nobody could accuse Sudbin of a lack of imagination :D
Bitter wail of a gypsy lament, hehe.... I for one can't hear any of that in this chaste, demure, and rather clumsy rococo minuet. I do wonder if Sudbin is talking about another Sonata. I also wonder what evidence there is for attributing this to Scarlatti. It could be juvenilia of course.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
A minuet in 4/4?

I have always wondered about this attribution, but I do believe those in the know know better than I, or at least ought to, though I have now and then given visa advice to travel agencies, for example. :D

Do I have bad taste? I rather like this little sonata and have been playing it off and on since last century.

It seems most pieces I choose is branded as unimaginative or derivative. I very often feel this way about some of the pieces I see posted (and here I name no names), but I put that down to personal taste (or lack of it) and never bring that up in discussions. Very often I refrain even from reviewing, but I suppose we are all different: look at our differring opinions on Bortkiewicz!

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:47 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8530
That's interesting that such an obscure piece of music has been discussed twice here. I like this piece too - it's one of those that you can just sit down and play when you're feeling moody and want to drift away somewhere....

And you're right - we should not make disparaging remarks about a certain piece that a member has chosen to record. I've taken issue with that sort of thing before too.

So now, Richard, I guess we'll have to hold up on this one until you can make a new recording with the ornaments timed better, okay?

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

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:56 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9600
Location: Netherlands
richard66 wrote:
A minuet in 4/4?

:oops:
It sounds like a minuet though :lol:

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
it does, in matter of fact.

I practised it today with shorter trills. What I need and what I really struggle to do is to relax completely knowing there is a recorder back there somewhere. It is getting better, though. I only needed six takes for this little piece and the heart did not get caught in my front teeth so often.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:45 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9600
Location: Netherlands
richard66 wrote:
it does, in matter of fact.

I'm glad it's not just me :)
As for appreciation, I did not want imply this is a bad piece. Just that it seems a bit clumsy in places, and light years away from Scarlatti as we know and love him.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2003
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Richard,

Quote:
I was always under the impression that ornaments up to the time of Beethoven were not "decorative" notes, but an integral part of the melody.


In 17th century Italy ornaments were known as effetti, that is a notational device to add expression to the music. But aside from that, here is another concept about ornamentation, although I learned about it so long ago I cannot recall the source. The Baroque harpsichord (in a way not unlike the modern piano--the former depending on quills plucking strings and the latter felt hammers doing likewise) was essentially a percussive instrument. Thus, it could not sustain sound like a violin, french horn, bassoon, etc. The modern day piano has pedals which assist in sustaining somewhat, of course, but the rate of tone decay is still far faster than a violin string being bowed. Thus the theory: Ornaments were meant as a clever device to prolong sound in a musical line. Bach was stubborn and fastidious in often writing out his ornaments rather than using mordent signs, for example, welcomed and accepted by his peers. But still, it could be that he (or Scarlatti in this instance) were not considering those ornaments as being part of melodies, but rather prolonging sound through the elaboration of a trill, turn, etc. Therefore, if a case can be made for that, you could eliminate an ornament too difficult to execute well on the modern piano without doing any violence to the melody at all. Just a thought.

David

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:05 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
Posts: 750
Location: Edinburgh, UK
richard66 wrote:
Do I have bad taste? I rather like this little sonata and have been playing it off and on since last century.

It seems most pieces I choose is branded as unimaginative or derivative. I very often feel this way about some of the pieces I see posted (and here I name no names), but I put that down to personal taste (or lack of it) and never bring that up in discussions. Very often I refrain even from reviewing, but I suppose we are all different: look at our differring opinions on Bortkiewicz!


Actually, I quite like the piece. I think people are perfectly entitled to express negative opinions about whatever music, but if you like the piece, by all means play it. I firmly believe it's far better that people play pieces they believe in than pieces other people believe in.

I think a little more shaping of phrases would benefit the playing considerably; in particular I think more attention to the left hand in the second part would be helpful (especially from beat 3 in bar 12 onwards where the l.h. seems to me to have more musical interest).

Regarding the ornaments, if I were you I would write them out in full and be 100% clear about what you are doing there. The reason I suspect Henle has fully-written out baroque ornaments in Bach is probably because there has been an incredible amount of research into baroque ornamentation, and what is printed there is likely to be the product of considerable scholarly effort. I certainly have Bach scores where the ornaments are not fully written out. This is not exactly my area of expertise however, so I'd defer to others more knowledgable. David's comments on ornamentation as a form of sound sustain on a harpsichord sounds very plausible.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:14 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Rachfan wrote:
Bach was stubborn and fastidious in often writing out his ornaments rather than using mordent signs

David, is this view based upon urtext editions? I have seen music of Bach by lesser publishing houses that wreck havoc on the score, even changing the key (e.g. of the d# minor fugue of the WTC 1), but never really thought that his manuscripts did so. You can inform me in PM if you prefer.
Eddy

_________________
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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:44 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2003
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Eddy,

Not being much of a Bach pianist (an understatement), the editions I have on hand are nearly all edited, although the Edition Wood shows the ornaments fully written out. As for his preferring to fully write out his ornaments, it seems to me that I read that years ago in a book about Bach, maybe Kirkpatrick or possibly an article in the old Piano Quarterly or Clavier.

BUT I did find something tonight in the Harvard Dictionary of Music by Willi Apel, second edition, which always offers scholarly articles, and in this case a passage which supports that notion concerning Bach. Here it is:

"Between 1650 and 1750 the practice of writing ornaments in notes was frowned on as detrimental to the visual clarity of the melodic line. J. S. Bach, for instance, was severely criticized by at least one contemporary musician on the ground that 'He writes down in actual notes the ornaments and embellishments that performers are accustomed to supply instinctively, a habit which not only sacrifices the harmonic beauty of his music but also makes the melody totally indistinct.'" (J. A. Scheibe, in Der Critische Musicus, May 14, 1737.)

As for mordents, Arthur Rubinstein once said that mordent charts in books often conflicted with one another on how to execute them, and when he would discuss them with other artist friends, there would always be disagreements. He found the whole subject frustrating. Perhaps that was the case even in Bach's day, which might have been why he was intent on writing them out in small notes.

I'm also aware that during the Baroque (and I imagine, Rococo) periods, it was often routine for keyboardists to improvise their own ornaments. That is still permissible today, and, in fact, Chris has mentioned improvising some in his own recordings. I seem to recall that Andreas has done so as well.

I hope this helps.

David

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


Last edited by Rachfan on Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:49 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
David is right about the primary function of ornaments being to prolong a note and even later conposers, like Mozart, used them to sustain a melody (or even to fill in the harmony - think of the so-called Alberti bass).

Bach wrote out his ornaments part of the time, when he knew exacly what he wanted and where (the same as with Beethoven: knowing the common practice of ommitting repeats, he writes the repeat out in full when he really wants it). Just look at the slow movement of the Italian Concerto. others he used a whole series of symbols, each one with a different interpretation. If you take Henle's edition of the Inventions and Sinfonias you will find the music with the symbols and in the preface a guide on how each symbol should be interpreted, in this case, 13 different symbols, each with its own name: mordant, double-mordant, etc. The 5th Sinfonia is published twice: once in a copy of Bach's original, without ornaments, and a copy of a copy made by one of the sons, where there are all those symbols being used on the melodies. I remember I used to play that one with all the ornaments!

Scarlatti was not so sophisticated, of course, but since Bach was simply writing-down what was common practice, I would not consider it too amiss to use some of that ornamentation in his music.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2003
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Richard,

You mentioned the Italian Concerto. In that same article mentioned above, it gave an excerpt of the concerto showing the mordant symbols followed by the same passage in full notation. It was both interesting and amusing to behold.

David

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
I must say I usually write the ornaments out to make life easier. I shall do this with the trills in the Scarlatti.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
Here is the Scarlatti redone. I shortened the trills and turned them into... turns!


Tomatoes, anyone?

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:13 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2003
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Richard,

In my opinion this re-recorded Scarlatti is a noticeable improvement. The ornaments are less obtrusive and fit into the musical line so much better. This makes the meter more stable and the rhythmic figures better defined. Good work!

P.S. We're not allowed to throw tomatoes here, only olive pimentos. They're smaller but still symbolic. :)

David

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


Last edited by Rachfan on Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:11 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Watch Out!!!!
BTW, Richard, this in not meant about you!

_________________
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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:08 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
Rachfan wrote:
Hi Richard,

In my opinion this re-recorded Scarlatti is a noticeable improvement. The ornaments are less obtrusive and fit into the musical line so much better. This makes the meter more stable and the rhythmic figures better defined. Good work!

P.S. We're not allowed to throw tomatoes here, only olive pimentos. They're smaller but still symbolic. :)

David


Thank you, David. All I did was to divide the ornaments, that is, over each quaver 4 demisemiquavers. No metronome was necessary.

An interesting thing is that during all these recording sessions the little girl is usually somewhere between the piano and the recorder. Such silence!

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:09 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
musical-md wrote:
Watch Out!!!!
BTW, Richard, this in not meant about you!


:D

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:31 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9600
Location: Netherlands
This has certainly improved. Now that all the notes are in their proper place, you may want to work more on the musical side, so that it becomes more fluent and more interesting to the listener. One small suggestion is to play the second RH note in each bar a little softer than the first. These two-note 'sighing' motifs are always played with a diminuendo. Also, try to provide some contrast in the repeats. Different phrasing or dynamics, different or more ornamentation, or highlighting the LH part, are some of the staple tricks.

Simple pieces like this are so deceptive... it is not at all easy to do them right. And because of their simplicity, they must be
exemplary, and need a lot of TLC to make them stick. See it as an opportunity ;)

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:57 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
I think I shall let it at that. I suppose I am just not musical, that is all. Nothing to do about it. Maybe I should go and sell peanuts.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:31 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9600
Location: Netherlands
I guess we all think like that sometimes. No point in giving in to it, though. Persistence is the key to success....

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:35 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8530
That's right, Richard - don't give up! You've come this far with the piece, now you can have fun in experimenting with the various options that Chris listed. I'm sure you could apply most of them. Yes, it's about being musical, but you could also think of it merely in physical and/or mechanical terms. Adjusting the weight in the arms, moving the fingers on and off the keys in a connected way (legato), making less weight on the finger on the second note of the two-note phrase, that sort of thing. Play around with all that (takes time, don't rush it) and then record yourself and listen back. I bet you'll hear a difference.

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

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:21 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
Die-hard! I must be a die-hard! :evil:

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:34 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9600
Location: Netherlands
richard66 wrote:
Die-hard! I must be a die-hard! :evil:

Or take the other way of looking at it : Don't be a nut about success. If you don't succeed at first, quit :P

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 1:19 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2003
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Richard,

You need not do all the permutations mentioned. To make this more manageable, you might try to accomplish just two things: 1) Why not first try to tame the second notes of the sighs. Once you successfully do it for one, the same technique will apply for all of them. 2) If you achieve that and want to do something with the repeats to differentiate them, look through the LH and see if there are some points of harmonic or counter-melodic interest, and see if you can highlight them more, but not overdoing it. If you can achieve that, I believe those efforts might satisfy everyone here, or at least I hope they would.

David

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:56 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:07 pm
Posts: 700
Location: Carbondale, IL
Richard,

I had a listen to your Scarlatti (if the sheet music research proves true :lol: ) I liked how consistent you were with the ornaments, and your rhythmic separation of the notes. There are so many ornaments in this piece that it sounds baroque without it being a given.

Thanks for sharing,

Riley

_________________
"I don't know what music is, but I know it when I hear it." - Alan Schuyler
Riley Tucker


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:58 pm
Posts: 57
Hello, Richard, I could not comment about your playing
because I am only a beginner,
but I do like the melody very much and I am so glad that you play it
because I find it very inspiring.

I also like the speed you play because that is the speed I like
and it gives one time to savour the tones and melody.

Best wishes from Kristinaolga.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 43 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 1 hour


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] 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:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group