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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:11 am 
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Rachfan wrote:
Quote:
Yes, because it is easier to quantify note accuracy than artistic imagination.


It has oft been said that these days Horowitz at his best could not win a competition. That gives pause for thought.

David


Do I not see that here also, where a wrong note or a note held too long or not long enough are grounds for dismissal or re-recording? Do I not read endlessly here phrases such as, "I could not check with the score..." Are there not recordings submitted to this very forum considered very passable by A until such as time as A actually sees the score and states that the recording "just won't do?"

I must say I am in favour of original editions because I believe Urtext editions are a help to the pianist in that they strip away all annotations by other pianists and editors, allowing any pianist worth his salt to give his own interpretation. When confronted with a heavily.annotated edition of Bach, for example, how is the pianist to know what Bach actually wrote and what he must therefore take to be the ground on which to build? Or take Beethoven, edited by Schnabel. Now take not Beethoven, but Schnabel's view of Beethoven and interpret that. Do we have, for example, John Lewis interpreting Beethoven or do we have John Lewis interpreting Schnabel's interpretation of Beethoven?

And then, what is Urtext? Take someone like Bortkiewicz.Are not his pieces all Urtext, in the sense that he had them published once and those are the only scores in existence?

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:13 am 
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richard66 wrote:
Rachfan wrote:
Quote:
Yes, because it is easier to quantify note accuracy than artistic imagination.


It has oft been said that these days Horowitz at his best could not win a competition. That gives pause for thought.

David


Do I not see that here also, where a wrong note or a note held too long or not long enough are grounds for dismissal or re-recording? Do I not read endlessly here phrases such as, "I could not check with the score..." Are there not recordings submitted to this very forum considered very passable by A until such as time as A actually sees the score and states that the recording "just won't do?"

I must say I am in favour of original editions because I believe Urtext editions are a help to the pianist in that they strip away all annotations by other pianists and editors, allowing any pianist worth his salt to give his own interpretation. When confronted with a heavily.annotated edition of Bach, for example, how is the pianist to know what Bach actually wrote and what he must therefore take to be the ground on which to build? Or take Beethoven, edited by Schnabel. Now take not Beethoven, but Schnabel's view of Beethoven and interpret that. Do we have, for example, John Lewis interpreting Beethoven or do we have John Lewis interpreting Schnabel's interpretation of Beethoven?

And then, what is Urtext? Take someone like Bortkiewicz. Are not his pieces all Urtext, in the sense that he had them published once and those are the only scores in existence?

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:04 am 
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richard66 wrote:
Do I not see that here also, where a wrong note or a note held too long or not long enough are grounds for dismissal or re-recording? Do I not read endlessly here phrases such as, "I could not check with the score..." Are there not recordings submitted to this very forum considered very passable by A until such as time as A actually sees the score and states that the recording "just won't do?"
Indeed, but is that wrong? The question of how far one should be allowed to let one's interpretation stray from what is actually written down is ultimately irresolvable, and the dividing line between a liberty and a mistake can be quite fine at times. It's easy to get carried away and to land in a situation in which, to paraphrase RVW, the listener might say "I think I like it, but it's not what the composer meant.".
Quote:
I must say I am in favour of original editions because I believe Urtext editions are a help to the pianist in that they strip away all annotations by other pianists and editors, allowing any pianist worth his salt to give his own interpretation.
Agreed. On the other hand, what if the pianist is not "worth his salt"? I don't mean that in a derogatory way. Consider that a learning pianist who has a teacher will be guided by the teacher's advice on how various elements should be interpreted (perhaps giving several options for the pupil to choose from). In a similar way, editors give valuable expert advice to learners who don't have a teacher to guide them.
Quote:
And then, what is Urtext?
Good question. It's the "original" text, but what does that mean? It can involve going back further than the first published version, namely to the manuscript. The danger here is that the manuscript can be full of abbreviations, and lacking in detail which the publisher was expected to fill in. It's easy to forget that the first editions are editions too, and thus not completely "original", though one would hope that they would have the composer's approval prior to going into production. But if a letter-day Urtext editor gets hold of an original manuscript, he will often need to use judgement to fill in the missing detail, or resolve ambiguities, or correct "obvious" mistakes, if what is to come out of the project is something that's to be of practical use to play from, and not just suitable for academic study.


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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:56 am 
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richard66 wrote:
Do I not see that here also, where a wrong note or a note held too long or not long enough are grounds for dismissal or re-recording? Do I not read endlessly here phrases such as, "I could not check with the score..." Are there not recordings submitted to this very forum considered very passable by A until such as time as A actually sees the score and states that the recording "just won't do?"

One thing to keep in mind is that the more a piece is

a) very short
b) very easy
c) very popular

the more we insist on (note) perfection. I feel that such pieces have an example function and there is no point in having them up with flaws. Maybe a great pianist can get away with it, in a live recording, if he has something special and unique to say, but most of us here are not in that league.

If you don't see the value of checking something against the score to make sure that everything is correct, then you are probably not sufficiently interested in perfecting your art. Personally I often check the score only to find if it's perhaps me who has been playing it wrong. If there are actual examples of the admins doing a 180 degree turn after checking the score I would like to know.

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:16 pm 
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David,
I feel bad that your post (or my critique) has spawned such discussion about particulars. I do not wish to tell you how to interpret this piece, if I did I would say something like "Be sure to indicate the beginning of the phrase in bar 9 (counting the first incomplete bar as no.1) at the "d#," not the "a" where the slur is indicated." (another example of poor phrase indication by the composer/publisher). Rather, my issue (if I may just claim the most important) is structural regarding rhythm, and I'm afraid in your attempt to correct your first problem with bars 10-13 (too fast, resulting in an abbreviated measure) you have gone too far (now it's too slow/long). You seem not to maintain the triple pulse nature of the bar here. It simply goes from 9/8 to 3/4, nothing more, nothing less, but with the same tempo. Blame Scriabin for camouflaging it so complexly.
Quote:
First, bars 10-13 dispense with the compound nature of the meter and change aurally (and mathematically) to simple meter (3/4). He could and should have just written duplet 8th-notes but chose to indicate it the more difficult way. However you play the dotted 8th duplets so fast that it still sounds like you're playing the triplets, and consequently you go throught the bar too fast (by a beat). These bars should just be counted 1 & 2 & 3 & within the same triple pulse tempo (he's composed a weak hemiola in that it only changes from compound to simple meter).

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:46 pm 
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Posts: 1040
techneut wrote:
richard66 wrote:
Do I not see that here also, where a wrong note or a note held too long or not long enough are grounds for dismissal or re-recording? Do I not read endlessly here phrases such as, "I could not check with the score..." Are there not recordings submitted to this very forum considered very passable by A until such as time as A actually sees the score and states that the recording "just won't do?"

One thing to keep in mind is that the more a piece is

a) very short
b) very easy
c) very popular

the more we insist on (note) perfection. I feel that such pieces have an example function and there is no point in having them up with flaws. Maybe a great pianist can get away with it, in a live recording, if he has something special and unique to say, but most of us here are not in that league.

If you don't see the value of checking something against the score to make sure that everything is correct, then you are probably not sufficiently interested in perfecting your art. Personally I often check the score only to find if it's perhaps me who has been playing it wrong. If there are actual examples of the admins doing a 180 degree turn after checking the score I would like to know.


I agree with somewhat in that insisting on perfection. I do not know about others, but I feel that if there is need to record something 10 times and with these ten takes to "create" a perfect rendition there is something wrong. No matter how simple or short a piece is, there is bound almost always to be a missing note (and I do not mean a note that was left out, but one which might have been inaudible in the recording) or too strong a stress or a missed pause. Then, no matter how good the overall result it, it is the missed note that casts the final vote.

I do not think that not checking with score means not being interested in perfecting one's art. It has more to do with listening to the whole, rather than to the details. I believe that if an error does not distract in a performance, what does it matter? It matters, yes, if one is studying the score and is checking one's own performance.

Can I give you examples? Well, yes: reemember the Scarlatti common time minuet, the one you find unimaginative? Mind you, you were quite right there and you, Chris, did detect the rhythmic errors without the score (see what I mean: the flaw was so obvious to you no score was needed), but do cherck the first discussion on the recording.

The second one I have been wanting to bring up for some time. It is Cervantes' Adios a Cuba. Having enjoyed listening to the recording submitted to PS (http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=2788), I found the score. What was my surprise when I could not find a single edition or recording which conformed with the performance on the site. The piece is binary form (AABB), but that is not what is played: Here it is AABAB!

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


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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:52 pm 
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rainer wrote:
richard66 wrote:
Quote:
I must say I am in favour of original editions because I believe Urtext editions are a help to the pianist in that they strip away all annotations by other pianists and editors, allowing any pianist worth his salt to give his own interpretation.
Agreed. On the other hand, what if the pianist is not "worth his salt"? I don't mean that in a derogatory way. Consider that a learning pianist who has a teacher will be guided by the teacher's advice on how various elements should be interpreted (perhaps giving several options for the pupil to choose from). In a similar way, editors give valuable expert advice to learners who don't have a teacher to guide them.
Quote:
And then, what is Urtext?
Good question. It's the "original" text, but what does that mean? It can involve going back further than the first published version, namely to the manuscript. The danger here is that the manuscript can be full of abbreviations, and lacking in detail which the publisher was expected to fill in. It's easy to forget that the first editions are editions too, and thus not completely "original", though one would hope that they would have the composer's approval prior to going into production. But if a letter-day Urtext editor gets hold of an original manuscript, he will often need to use judgement to fill in the missing detail, or resolve ambiguities, or correct "obvious" mistakes, if what is to come out of the project is something that's to be of practical use to play from, and not just suitable for academic study.


I would call such editions, as Schnabel's (Beethoven) or Cortot's (Chopin) as study editions. By all means let them be used by the learner, with the provviso that a lot in them is not Chopin, but Cortot's idea of Chopin.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:21 pm 
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Hi Eddy,

My level of frustration is too high right now. I brought out the two G#s. I slowed down the dotted 8ths but possibly too much. I speeded up the quadruplets to fit them in better. At this point I'm leaving it in the hands of the Admins. If it's overall a poor performance, then they have two choices: Leave it in Audition Room for people to enjoy there, or delete it. I'm feeling the need to move on to something else now. But please don't misunderstand, I do appreciate your suggestions.

Thanks.

David

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Last edited by Rachfan on Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:27 pm 
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Hi Richard,

Regarding original editions, they're a toss-up. Liszt went over his galley proofs with an eagle's eye before he would give the OK to start the printing presses. Chopin could not have been more careless and cavalier about reviewing his proofs which now leads to the ubiquitous "What Chopin edition are you using?" I would agree that the first edition is always the best starting point, but depending on the composer and publisher, it may turn out to be far from infallible.

David

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


Last edited by Rachfan on Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:22 pm 
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Rachfan wrote:
My level of frustration is too high right now. I brought out the two G#s. I slowed down the dotted 8ths but possibly too much. I speeded up the quadruplets to fit them in better. At this point I'm leaving it in the hands of the Admins. If it's overall a poor performance, then they have two choices: Leave it in Audition Room for people to enjoy there, or delete it.


No, you decide that David - you don't turn in poor performances. Not wanting to shirk my responsibility, but I believe it is for the artist to decide on the better of two eligible versions. Please note that I have never rejected the first version on account of the missing G#s, just pointed
out my personal view on them (which nobody seemed to share anyway so it can't be a big deal).

Pity that you refuse to to edit. You could have simply pasted the last few bars of the second version (with the G#s) onto the first version, to get the best of both worlds. It would save much frustration :)

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:09 pm 
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Hi Chris,

Having fixed the G#s (that was the easier of them all), the quadruplets and the dotted 8ths, I believe that this recording is superior to the earlier one, so if it could be archived that would be fine with me unless further objections.

Thanks.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:52 pm 
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Rachfan wrote:
Having fixed the G#s (that was the easier of them all), the quadruplets and the dotted 8ths, I believe that this recording is superior to the earlier one, so if it could be archived that would be fine with me unless further objections.

Ok, it is done.

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:45 pm 
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Thanks Chris. I appreciate that.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:29 pm 
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Techneut wrote:
Quote:
But if it were my recording they would annoy the hell out of me.


If it would be a Bach-piece, I would have that feeling probably, too. If I would have made such a nice interpretation of a romantic piece like David had done here already in his first version, I don´t know, if I would do a re-recording just because of one missing note. (Only if I would sell my recording, of course, it would have to be note-perfect, that´s evident. But this has its reason also mainly in the high standard of recordings on the market of today.)

To David:
I have enjoyed your re-recording very much. It should be note-perfect now (as far as I have seen by following with score) without having lost its holistic sensation and atmosphere. It´s clearly an improvement in the direction of "perfection". Bravo, great work!

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:20 pm 
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Hi Andreas,

Thanks so much for listening to the re-recording. Yes, preserving the sensuous atmospherics was my main goal, as they define the nature of the piece, but I was also glad to make the modifications to the best of my ability as suggested by the other members. Thank you too for your compliment on my playing!

David

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