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 Post subject: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:06 pm 
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I've got a day off today and thought I'd just stay at my piano all day and maybe make some recordings.
Made this one just a few minutes ago. Again, I can play Chopin much better when I'm NOT recording. It's just so hard to get things perfect! Grrr....
It is my birthday today so if you care to listen to this and think it's bad, maybe you can lie and say it's good. And then tomorrow you can tell me the truth....haha

Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etudes No. 2 in A-flat Major

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:59 pm 
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Happy Birthday Monica!

I enjoyed listening to this etude; I am unfamiliar with it and so will leave the details to those who know it (I'm sure there will be a couple). Your playing sounds good, however ...

In the last week, I've rearranged my home office (where I listen to Society recordings). The sound on this one sounds a little more reverb-like than your usual recordings - not as "sharp" or "clear". (This is through the speakers.) I'm wondering if anyone else will hear this; if not, I may need to rethink my new sound system arrangement.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:24 am 
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Thank you, Stu! :)
I used the same settings that I've been using for a couple months now. But I know how drastically different things sound when using new speakers and/or earphones. One of my sons bought me a new pair of earbuds and they sound sort of weird. His heart was in the right place, but I think I'm going to let him keep them for himself and buy myself something different.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:14 am 
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Nice job Monica.
This etude is a bit unusual in that it's not about any particular pianistic issue, rather a musical one: sesquialtera, or playing precisely the rhythm of 2-versus-3. You did an excellent job of it. (No.1 emphasises sesquitertia, or 3-versus-4, as does his Fantasie-Impromptu, Op.66)

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:46 am 
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Hi Monica,

You play this lyrical etude very well. I enjoyed listening.

For some crazy reason whenever I hear this etude, it brings to mind his 17th prelude, which is also in A flat and 3/4 time. There's something about the figuration which seems just a bit similar.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:24 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
Nice job Monica.
This etude is a bit unusual in that it's not about any particular pianistic issue, rather a musical one: sesquialtera, or playing precisely the rhythm of 2-versus-3. You did an excellent job of it. (No.1 emphasises sesquitertia, or 3-versus-4, as does his Fantasie-Impromptu, Op.66)

Thank you, Eddy. I've never heard/seen those terms before. Interesting. I plan on getting to work on the no. 1 soon.

Rachfan wrote:
Hi Monica,

You play this lyrical etude very well. I enjoyed listening.

For some crazy reason whenever I hear this etude, it brings to mind his 17th prelude, which is also in A flat and 3/4 time. There's something about the figuration which seems just a bit similar.

David

Thank you, David. Yes, no. 17 prelude is similar to this etude. Actually, now that you mention it, the prelude could also be an etude since one has to be careful to bring out the melody note among all those chords.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:22 pm 
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My belated but sincere B-day wish, Monica: May you have a very happy and healthy year with much musical progress till the next birthday! :D
I listened to your recording and at the second listening I opened the score. The first thing I found odd is the pitch of the lowest E flat note on the second bar (LH). Is that key on your piano out of tune?? And I suggest you could pay attention more to the legato. I noticed on the score that this piece consists of just 3 slurs. One must create very, very long line. Your playing is very fine, but sometimes I wish more continuos long lines with subtle pedalings or more complex finger works.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:20 am 
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I didn't notice when I listened the other day, but now that Hye-Jin mentions it, I think she may be right about the low Eb being a bit out of tune, though I can't tell in which direction.

Just some small nitpicks:

Like Eddy, I was taken with how well the duplets against triplets came out. But when listening again VERY carefully, I think some of your duplets are a tiny bit skewed, the first of each pair being ever so slightly longer than the second. The second duplet of each pair should come exactly halfway between the 2nd and 3rd triplet, but yours are often a bit closer to the 3rd, although this is not the case where the duplets carry an important segment of melodic line, such as in bar 9. When the music forces you to concentrate on the duplet line, you automatically make the rhythm as smooth as is should be, yet not so much elsewhere.

This may be an edition thing, but in bar 11 (and the equivalent place later on) perhaps I'm mis-hearing, but it sounds as though you are playing the 3rd and 4th LH notes (Ab and G) in the same octave as the 2nd note (G). My edition has them an octave higher.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:01 am 
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Rainer wrote:
But when listening again VERY carefully, I think some of your duplets are a tiny bit skewed,

Huh? Only because it's Rainer, did I listen a second time (focusing on just the RH) and a third time (focusing on just the LH), and I for one cannot find anything to criticise on Monica's rhythm. My experience with sesquialtera is that either a person can do it well or they can't. Monica clearly can do it well. I don't wish to argue with Rainer, but I do respectfully object. <God help me when I submit again.> :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:46 pm 
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Hi Monica,

I had listened to your Etude no. 2 by Chopin, I think it was fine performance! And to recieve it on your birthday, how nice of you, instead of getting a birthday gift you are giving one :P I haven't heard it before, but I really liked your handling of the sesquialtera figures and the winding modulations at :40 which I imagine where hard to play at tempo!

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:00 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
Only because it's Rainer,
You do me an honour I'm not sure I deserve. :oops:
Quote:
did I listen a second time (focusing on just the RH) and a third time (focusing on just the LH), and I for one cannot find anything to criticise on Monica's rhythm.
The effect is not everywhere, and only very slight where it does occur. It doesn't detract from the performance, and it's not something I'd expect anyone to notice by focusing only on the triplets or only on the duplets. That's because the time distance by which an even-numbered duplet is off the midpoint between odd-numbered duplet neighbours is so very small compared to the size of the inter-duplet interval. To be able to detect the effect, you need to compare it to events which are closer together. The following approach amplifies your sensitivity by a factor of three:
Subdivide each beat (each quarter note) into sextuplet pulses, let's call them ABCDEF. Then the RH triplets fall on A,C, and E, and the LH duplets on A and D. Nothing happens on B or F, and therefore you should hear a sequence like A_CDE_A_CDE_A_CDE_ and so on. Focusing on the CDE groups, D should be exactly midway between C and E, but I thought I could occasionally feel the D drifting a little closer to the E than to the C. I think it's because D is late, but I'm not sure, it could be that C or E or both are early instead. It's only by a teensy weensy bit, I barely even noticed it myself, and now I wish I hadn't said anything. :(
Quote:
My experience with sesquialtera is that either a person can do it well or they can't. Monica clearly can do it well.
Agreed.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:49 pm 
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rainer wrote:
It's only by a teensy weensy bit, I barely even noticed it myself, and now I wish I hadn't said anything. :(

Rubbish. Even the most infinitesimal imperfections should be pointed out for good measure. Just imagine there would be no flaws to expose !
I admit of being guilty of this too at times, but I clearly have found my master. :P

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:31 pm 
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@Hye-Jin - Thank you for the birthday wish and for listening. I don't really hear anything wrong on that low E-flat. My piano was recently tuned, but I'm having some problem stabilizing the humidity levels in my piano room, so maybe some strings are already slipping...I dunno...

@Riley - you are so sweet! Regarding the modulations - actually that spot is very easy to play. The whole piece is not that difficult to play, note-wise. I concentrated on making the melody heard and also applying the hairpin crescendos/diminuendos. I thought they came out okay, but no one has mentioned that, so maybe it doesn't come out as well on the recording as I had hoped.

@Rainer - although I appreciate the careful attention (thank you also, Eddy!), I think your paragraph about all that ABCD....is a little nuts. I never want to discourage someone from commenting on recordings, and most of the time I appreciate what you have to say. Yes, if I play the wrong amount of beats in a measure, or my dotted sixteenth notes aren't sharp enough, then by all means bring that to my attention. But I don't think you needed to pick apart my rhythm here this minutely. Wouldn't everybody sound like robots if we all played music with exactly the same space between the notes? Skewing a note slightly here or there is what makes some music more beautiful and less robotic. I could be wrong since I'm just defending myself - I'll go ask Chopin next time I see him....haha

Regarding the difference in editions - thanks for saying something, I'll check my score tonight. I also noticed that some people play the trill in the LH at the end an octave higher. And in regards to what Eddy said, when will we have chance to critique your playing...??? :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:06 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
But I don't think you needed to pick apart my rhythm here this minutely.
You're right. I shouldn't have. I'm sorry.
Quote:
when will we have chance to critique your playing...??? :wink:
I don't know. For the moment, the prospect is still far too scary. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:19 pm 
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rainer wrote:
Quote:
when will we have chance to critique your playing...??? :wink:
I don't know. For the moment, the prospect is still far too scary. :lol:

:lol:
Yes, you know the Golden Rule, right?

:lol: be afraid....be very afraid..... :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:38 pm 
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Your conscientious feedback is appreciated Rainer, let there be no doubt about that. Just..... don't overdo it.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:25 am 
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pianolady wrote:
rainer wrote:
Quote:
when will we have chance to critique your playing...??? :wink:
I don't know. For the moment, the prospect is still far too scary. :lol:

:lol:
Yes, you know the Golden Rule, right?

:lol: be afraid....be very afraid..... :lol:

I laughed outloud! <Sometimes emoticons just doesn't do it.>

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:25 pm 
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rainer wrote:
pianolady wrote:
But I don't think you needed to pick apart my rhythm here this minutely.
You're right. I shouldn't have. I'm sorry.
Quote:
when will we have chance to critique your playing...??? :wink:
I don't know. For the moment, the prospect is still far too scary. :lol:

:lol: :lol: :lol: But I always believed those who can listen to the music so accurately can also be a good player! So Rainer, be afraid only a little bit :wink: and please give us the chance to listen to your playing :D :D

BTW are there just two - Rainer and I - who think the low E flat of Monica's grand out of tune?

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:41 am 
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hyenal wrote:
BTW are there just two - Rainer and I - who think the low E flat of Monica's grand out of tune?
Monica has said she doesn't think her Eb sounds out of tune, and I therefore believe that it almost certainly isn't.

In fact, if I listen to the recording while mentally trying to block out the RH chords and the LH off-beat E flats, focusing only on the LH low notes, the intervals of fourths and fifths in the sequence of alternating A flats and E flats sounds perfectly OK, including the low Eb. But if instead I focus more on the RH and the chord harmony, there is a slight sense of the low Eb not quite fitting with the remainder of chord in which it appears, even though there is no obvious reason to suspect the intonation of the higher chord notes.

So we have a mystery. The low Eb is both in tune and out of tune at the same time! The solution? Well, I think it could be related to the fact that piano tuners generally apply stretch to compensate for inharmonicity. This means octaves are tuned slightly wide of pure, to make them sound more in tune. But this can cause problems (as it evidently has here) with very big intervals of more than 2 octaves. The chord which is causing the problem here has a 3 octave separation between the low Eb and the Eb in the RH chord. One would expect, at that sort of distance, the intonation discrepancy from cumulative stretch to become noticeable.

Does this make sense?


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:31 am 
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Yes, I think it does make sense! :)
But to my ears that have heard this etude so many times, that note in this piece sounded never so strange before. Well, the tuners in my experiences with this piece must have all taken that low Eb into considerations, not to creat any dissonace in a wide interval , I guess :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:35 pm 
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Just listened to the piece for the first time, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Your playing is very warm and you bring out the counter melodies very well (if I didn't imagine them!). You might as well record the first one as well to make the set.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:53 pm 
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Affinity wrote:
Just listened to the piece for the first time, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Your playing is very warm and you bring out the counter melodies very well (if I didn't imagine them!). You might as well record the first one as well to make the set.

Thank you, Jonathan! Yes, I plan on learning the first one too one of these days.... :)

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:42 am 
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Very nice, Monica. The only thing I felt was missing was a sense of fantasy: it sounds correct, but a bit literal (compare Rubinstein, for example). A matter of taste perhaps; I'd play with more rubato and probably get roundly excoriated for it :) Re the bottom Eb, I think it was a bit "growly" but not actually out of tune: I listened to the opening one four or five times.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:18 pm 
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andrew wrote:
Very nice, Monica. The only thing I felt was missing was a sense of fantasy: it sounds correct, but a bit literal (compare Rubinstein, for example). A matter of taste perhaps; I'd play with more rubato and probably get roundly excoriated for it :) Re the bottom Eb, I think it was a bit "growly" but not actually out of tune: I listened to the opening one four or five times.

Thank you, Andrew! I don't think that bottom E-flat is such a big deal, either. I do LOVE growly low notes! 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:02 am 
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Hi Monica,

Happy belated birthday. Your interpetation of this Chopin etude has a waltz like flair to it, very nice.

Kaila

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:46 pm 
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Hi Kaila, and thank you! These trips around the sun seem to be going faster and faster.... :)

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:39 pm 
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Monica, you were born on February 1st? That's a coincidence! I was also born on this day, actually I was born on January 31st late at night but got registered on February 1st. The sad thing, at least for me, is my birth year which being so long ago constantly reminds me that I can't be considered young anymore.

Anyway, you found a really cool way to celebrate your birthday. I loved the etude. Totally agree with your straight playing on this.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:51 pm 
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Hi and thank you, Pantelis. Always nice to see you! :)
That's cool we have the same birthday! (I'm probably older than you think, but let's not think about that.... :lol: ). I learned recently that the actor Clark Gable also has this same birthday. Do you know of him? His most famous role was in the movie "Gone With the Wind".

p.s. Would be nice if you'd make some new recordings for us. Are you still playing much piano?

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:44 pm 
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Well I have figured an empirical way to determine whether you have become old. Are the photographs from your christening in black and white? Unfortunately mine are. And I would bet yours are in colour (never mind, don't reply to this :D ).
It's always nice to see that you keep playing and recording. By the way, your Schumann on another post was fabulous. Of course I still play but I've been busy with jazz repertoire until fairly recently. I hope soon I'll get some time to record for PS. Anyway, I enjoy listening to your pieces and I keep visiting PS to hear others play even if I don't submit my music or comments.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:50 pm 
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wiser_guy wrote:
Monica, you were born on February 1st? That's a coincidence!

I wish I was born on February 29th. So then I would be 4 times younger. :P

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:12 pm 
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wiser_guy wrote:
Well I have figured an empirical way to determine whether you have become old. Are the photographs from your christening in black and white? Unfortunately mine are. And I would bet yours are in colour (never mind, don't reply to this :D ).
It's always nice to see that you keep playing and recording. By the way, your Schumann on another post was fabulous. Of course I still play but I've been busy with jazz repertoire until fairly recently. I hope soon I'll get some time to record for PS. Anyway, I enjoy listening to your pieces and I keep visiting PS to hear others play even if I don't submit my music or comments.


You're sweet, Pantelis. :) And that's good news about you hoping to get some time to record soon! Do you still have those two fabulous pianos?

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:57 pm 
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The pianos are ok since you ask, but I am extremely frustrated for another reason. I had prepared some demo recordings with different microphones and placements as well as some photos to give an idea of how these things affect the final result. Alas, I relied on a USB stick and saved them there instead of the laptop's drive. The stick died and all the audio is gone! Tragic.
I promise you though I'll redo the whole project and submit it in the resources section. I am left with only the photos, here are two of them as an example.


Attachments:
File comment: Small diaphragm omni
smallD.jpg
smallD.jpg [ 266.18 KiB | Viewed 1547 times ]
File comment: Large diaphragm close
largeD.jpg
largeD.jpg [ 155.08 KiB | Viewed 1547 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:45 am 
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Oh, I'm sorry about what happened! Darn technology sometimes!
But thanks for the photos - I'm glad to see both pianos! May I please come over and play them? Or better yet, may I come over and play some four-hand music with you? :)

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

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:39 pm 
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Location: Athens, Greece
Monica, I'm sure we had this discussion in the past. The invitation is open. If you happen to visit Athens, I would be more than glad to see you.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:15 pm 
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I'm really 90 years old--my memory is slipping. :wink:

And likewise if you ever come to Chicago. :)

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


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