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 Post subject: Chopin
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:04 pm 
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That it is better than the previous one I have no doubt, but still I am not so sure of this one, but I cannot make my mind up.


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Last edited by richard66 on Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Chopin
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:40 am 
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Main problem is that your left hand rushes twice when you go into the turns as 1:10 and 1:12, which affects the pulse and makes it a bit too jarring, since the ear has to readjust itself to that changed meter. Other than that this is a musical interpretation which is surely worth hearing.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:17 am 
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I think on the whole this is quite respectable, but (predictably) I do have some niggles.

There is a small obvious, but easily fixable, mistake in bar 7 (at about 0:33). This is where the RH has the dotted figure on the last beat. Here you play 3 chords in the LH instead of two.

While Chopin generally admits, or even requires, a certain amount of flexibility of tempo, I think the liberty you take at the very beginning is just too much. You are playing bar 0 (the upbeat dotted figure) at almost half the speed of bar 1, at least the semiquaver appears to last almost exactly as long as the following quavers. I suppose a slight lingering on the first note may be allowed, but the second note really ought to last much closer to half a quaver than to a full one. What you probably need to do is think ahead to how you are going to play bar 1 before you start, and then imagine the throbbing quaver pulse already present while you are playing bar 0.

Another small thing easily fixable is the ending. There is a rest before the final three chords, and it has a fermata on it which usually implies that it should be made to last longer than without, longer than in strict time. But you are instead shortening it considerably - by almost half. Given that you are playing the following chords slower than main tempo, I think the rest needs to be slower too, and should be almost as long as the chord which follows it, or at least about halfway between the durations of the two chords which flank it. Again, it would help to imagine the throbbing quaver pulse continuing, albeit gently slowing down in keeping with the smorzando instruction, and using this imagined pulse to time the remaining chords and rest.

I do not get the same impression as Affinity of a jarring in the bar with the turn, I find any slight pressing here quite in keeping with the stretto marking.

What worries me more is two bars later, where we have the RH triplet against the LH quavers, and I think the triplets could do with slowing down a bit less, so that the quavers don't need to slow down as much to accommodate them.

However, the other place in the piece where there is a triplet in the RH, in bar 12 (at about 0:55) where the LH accompaniment stops, this triplet is deliciously out of strict time, which here is just the right thing to do. Very nice.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:22 pm 
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Thank you both for your comments.

I agree about bar 0.

rainer wrote:
There is a small obvious, but easily fixable, mistake in bar 7 (at about 0:33). This is where the RH has the dotted figure on the last beat. Here you play 3 chords in the LH instead of two.


This is what I thought had happened, but was unable to make sure of it. I felt it, but was unable to count it, if you get what I mean.

The fermata is easy to explain. The last chord of the piece was sounding when... the clock on the wall started: cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo! So I had to record the chords again after and I suppose I cut too much of the silence when editing.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:38 am 
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I noticed at 0:33 you insert an extra beat. But this was already mentioned.
What I did not see mentioned is the pedal usage which is too much here IMO. The sighing motif is very nicely done, with the diminuendo on the second note. Again, the LH is much too insistent (and don't blame than on the piano please :)
A bit more subtle rubato and dynamic contrast would be nice (the climax could be more desperate) but otherwise this is good.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:22 pm 
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I am recording again in any case. I only posted because I wanted to check to see if I was adding notes or not.

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
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 Post subject: Re: Chopin
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:56 pm 
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Here is a new version (I placed it in the fist post). Very desperate (or at least I hope so: I almost broke my finger playing that forte!) I hope there are no extra notes (and no missing ones either).

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
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 Post subject: Re: Chopin
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:05 am 
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OK, bar 0 is fixed, though it it is still a little slower than bar 1. You're lingering on the very first note of the piece. That's OK, but only if it was intentional. :wink:

The ending is timed better, but is now perhaps over-corrected. I said the rest should be longer and you obligingly made it longer, but it almost seems too long now and has me waiting for a cuckoo to jump out. What's worse, though, is that the rest is also too quiet, it sounds like edited-in artificial silence because I can hear the background hiss disappear, and then reappear just before the chords. If I'm right, this is not good, you should be able to "play" this rest unaided.

Bar 7 isn't fixed, alas. Your LH is still playing three chords on the 4th beat where the RH has the dotted pattern. Something in your subconscious seems to have picked up the wrong idea that this is one of those "difficult" rhythms in which the RH plays a dotted quaver plus semiquaver against a triplet in the LH, but in fact it's an easy rhythm, the LH should just play 2 quavers against the RH dotted pattern. You have no trouble playing the exact same pattern in bar 16, twice (on beats 1 and 4), so I can't understand why it should be a problem in bar 7.

As you know, in general it is usual to emphasize the first beat of every bar relative to the other beats. But in this piece, in bars 1 to 6 and similar bars, where the RH only plays on beats 1 and 4, there is a sighing figure needing to be brought out by adjusting the balance of emphasis between the two beats, by weakening the 1st and strengthening the 4th. And indeed you are doing so, but I feel you are overdoing it, and making the upbeats somewhat too strong now in relation to the downbeats to which they lead.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:56 am 
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Hi Richard,

I had a listen to your performance of this famous piece by Chopin, I think it is a big improvement on the first version. Affinity I think points out something important about this piece- the tempo. To me this piece is not something you can play metronomically, but also not something to play in tempo of rubato-heavy jazz, so I think finding the right balance between the two is the challenge, emphasizing the ends and starts of phrases with more change-ups in dynamics.

Enjoyed your recording,

Riley

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 2:04 pm 
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It's getting better, but the main reason why we cannot accept the recording is because your rhythm is off on bar 7.
Overall, I think your left hand needs to soften up a bit and bring your right hand out more. And I think you held that pause at the end a little too long. Regarding sound quality - the sound peaks on the loud bars near the end - you may want to lower your input volume a little on your recorder.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:23 pm 
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Thank you three for the comments. Funny how that extra note keeps creeping in; I was sure it was no longer there. Oh well...

The recording level can go no lower; It was I who played that passage with too loud (I tell you I hurt my finger doing it!). Doing the left hand softer is a challenge, because I rsk leaving some notes out of the chords, and I am not sure that will do.

As for the pause... This is not, as Rainer seems to think, edited in. If anything I edited out some noise (the pedal being relased, I believe, or was it the horse snorting?)

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"Please do not shoot the pianist
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 Post subject: Re: Chopin
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:21 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
Thank you three for the comments. Funny how that extra note keeps creeping in; I was sure it was no longer there. Oh well...

The recording level can go no lower; It was I who played that passage with too loud (I tell you I hurt my finger doing it!). Doing the left hand softer is a challenge, because I rsk leaving some notes out of the chords, and I am not sure that will do.

As for the pause... This is not, as Rainer seems to think, edited in. If anything I edited out some noise (the pedal being relased, I believe, or was it the horse snorting?)


You have a horse in your living room? :shock: Wow, that's different..... :lol:

I've have had a similar rhythmic glitch in a Chopin mazurka. For some reason, my brain just spazzed out on this one measure and my left hand did a weird thing.

About playing too loudly - remember, Chopin was not one for extremes. You can play loud on that spot, but it shouldn't be crashing-down-loud (or finger-breaking-loud either....).

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:41 am 
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Hi Richard,

l hear much improvement here as compared to your earlier rendition of this prelude. Things that I like in particular include:

Your playing of the sigh motifs.

Balancing of the hands such that the LH is subordinated to the RH.

Your bringing out the harmonic changes (i.e, variable voicing) within the LH chords. Similarly bringing out the low A# harmony at the bottom of the LH chord in measure 23.

Maintaining clarity of the passing/neighboring tones in measures 17 and 18, especially taking separate pedals for each chord as needed.

If you'll permit me, I'd like to share a few other thoughts:

To me the piece is just a bit rushed, where it's a lament. If you were to slow it down just slightly, you'd be amazed at how much more largo it would be--that is, that slow, solemn sound.

It's best to play measure 12 with no pedal at all--using finger legato only.

Finally, I would suggest starting the smorzando, a quick fading away, toward the end of measure 21 where indicated. Right now it seems more morendo, a more gradual dying away.

That's it. Again, very good work in bringing this piece to a higher level of performance.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:08 pm 
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Let me try again... There it is in the first post, new and shining.

Thsnk you for your suggestions, David, though it seems I did not manage to cut down on the speed. Otherwise I hope all is correct.

Do you, Rainer, still hear an extra note? This time I caught it and knew just what to do!

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


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:20 pm 
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Hi Richard,

I think this latest iteration is very much improved. Great!

David

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