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 Post subject: Rodolfo Halffter - Dos Sonatas de El Escorial (1928)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:41 pm 
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Recorded on this most dismal, wet and cold of days, two neoclassical Sonatas by Rodolfo Halffter, a composer I've advocated before. I love Halffter's wry sense of humor, and his use of bitonality in old forms in the style of Scarlatti.

R.Halffter - Dos Sonatas de El Escorial (1928) (3:47)

Decided to a create a video also, created with my new Windows Phone. That took me an awful long time, I have great trouble lining up the audio and video, and this old Windows MovieMaker I still use is a sorry piece of crippleware. Must really look for something better.

www.youtube.com/channel/UCYF4dLvVEV9epsi87ZYe9GA

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 Post subject: Re: Rodolfo Halffter - Dos Sonatas de El Escorial (1928)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:33 pm 
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Ha....tell me about videos taking an awful long time. At least you don't have to do your hair!
Anyway, that's a nice video! You're right, there are plenty of 'unusual' tones in there. Sometimes it's almost like they are wrong notes, but you play with confidence, so it's probably correct. Lots of ornaments that sound good and clean. Nice job!

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 Post subject: Re: Rodolfo Halffter - Dos Sonatas de El Escorial (1928)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:17 pm 
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Thanks :) Some fluffs in the 2nd, a pesky little bastard, but nothing much to worry about. Surprised you did not detect hiss. I was all done with these when I discovered input gain was set to 54 instead of the usual 90. Damn. Though I had to start all over again. But saved the day by amplifying 20 Db to get an acceptable volume, any more and I'd start hearing hiss.

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 Post subject: Re: Rodolfo Halffter - Dos Sonatas de El Escorial (1928)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:27 pm 
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I actually did hear quite a lot of hiss and wrote about that. I also compared this recording to another one your recordings to make sure I wasn't hearing things. But then I had second thoughts and deleted what I said about your hiss, because I feel like often times I am the only one who hears it and says something and I don't want to be downer all the time. Oh well, most people will probably not notice it.. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Rodolfo Halffter - Dos Sonatas de El Escorial (1928)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:46 am 
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Yes - very Scarlatti-like! Both the selections and your playing.
I listened to the mp3 just for the sanity check (I figure most people will watch the video) and it was excellent. Through speakers, though, so I'm not good for a hiss check.

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 Post subject: Re: Rodolfo Halffter - Dos Sonatas de El Escorial (1928)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:12 am 
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pianolady wrote:
I actually did hear quite a lot of hiss and wrote about that. I also compared this recording to another one your recordings to make sure I wasn't hearing things. But then I had second thoughts and deleted what I said about your hiss, because I feel like often times I am the only one who hears it and says something and I don't want to be downer all the time. Oh well, most people will probably not notice it.. :)

Haha, you moan about hiss when there is none, and keep quiet when there actually IS :)

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 Post subject: Re: Rodolfo Halffter - Dos Sonatas de El Escorial (1928)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:24 am 
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I like these! I like the precision and the snappy ornaments. Sometimes The hands are not quite together, and sometimes I'm not sure your choice of rubato fits the text, but on the whole a good performance of some very interesting music.

Also it was fun to see you and your practice 'den' :) (I watched the video)


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 Post subject: Re: Rodolfo Halffter - Dos Sonatas de El Escorial (1928)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:34 am 
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StuKautsch wrote:
Yes - very Scarlatti-like! Both the selections and your playing.
I listened to the mp3 just for the sanity check (I figure most people will watch the video) and it was excellent. Through speakers, though, so I'm not good for a hiss check.

Thanks Sto ! Seems the hiss is just about acceptable. What do you mean with "the selections" ? This is a set of only 2 - no selection involved.

hreichgott wrote:
I like these! I like the precision and the snappy ornaments. Sometimes The hands are not quite together, and sometimes I'm not sure your choice of rubato

Thanks Heather ! But this worries me now. I'm not entirely happy with the 2nd because of some little slips, but I'm not aware of desync'ing or improper rubato. Could you do me a favor and tell me exactly these places where you noticed that ? They can hopefully explained by the score.

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 Post subject: Re: Rodolfo Halffter - Dos Sonatas de El Escorial (1928)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:48 am 
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With timings taken from video:

Sounds like not quite together at 0:12 (repeat is fine)
Odd pause/slowdown 0:28
Odd slowdown 1:28 and 1:54 same spot with repeat

Hands not together at few spots between 2:15 and 2:30 but is that actually a cross rhythm?

These are nitpicks, of course. I do very much enjoy the pieces and performance.


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 Post subject: Re: Rodolfo Halffter - Dos Sonatas de El Escorial (1928)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:19 pm 
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Hi Heather,

Thanks for checking, I appreciate it.

Can't make sense of these timings however. I do not hear any issues at these particular moments. 0:12 is the very beginnging !? I am sure all is well there.
I think the off slowdowns are maybe the 4 bars (in no.1) marked Appena rit. and Rall. e pesante. Perhaps I'm making too much of them.

And the hands not together issue perhaps pertains to the cheeky bars like this one (see picture) ? Not sure if that is not a misprint but I am observing what is written.

All in all I am not at all satisfied with no.2. Too many stupid slips.

Cheers,
Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Rodolfo Halffter - Dos Sonatas de El Escorial (1928)
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:01 pm 
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Chris, I am sure you are right, as you have the score and I don't.
The score certainly explains the rhythm for that spot!


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 Post subject: Re: Rodolfo Halffter - Dos Sonatas de El Escorial (1928)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:35 pm 
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Charming in a weird way. Like Scarlatti on some serious drugs. They do sound quite awkward, especially no 2. I actually connected much more with no 1 which you play without showing any effort at all and with great attention to phrasing, it is really cute.. No 2 sounds a bit more laboured and could possibly do with a bit more dynamic variation - but I don't know this music at all. Thanks for bringing this up.

Joachim


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 Post subject: Re: Rodolfo Halffter - Dos Sonatas de El Escorial (1928)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:33 am 
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Very interesting music; one could almost hear the classical structures and forms under all those dry dissonances. Really enjoyed your playing for both, though I wonder if you could slow down the tempo slightly for no. 2.


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 Post subject: Re: Rodolfo Halffter - Dos Sonatas de El Escorial (1928)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:45 pm 
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hreichgott wrote:
Chris, I am sure you are right, as you have the score and I don't.
The score certainly explains the rhythm for that spot!
In any case I have done everything the composer asked for - neither more or less. In the second piece, coordination could be better in one or two places, and there are a couple of small slips.

troglodyte wrote:
Charming in a weird way. Like Scarlatti on some serious drugs. They do sound quite awkward, especially no 2. I actually connected much more with no 1 which you play without showing any effort at all and with great attention to phrasing, it is really cute.. No 2 sounds a bit more laboured and could possibly do with a bit more dynamic variation - but I don't know this music at all. Thanks for bringing this up.
Thanks Joachim. I much like how Halffter combines baroque writing with unusual accents and bitonality. I guess Stravinsky was also an influence. Yes no.2 is very tricky mainly because of the hands being so close together, and I would do well to take it a tad easier, allowing for more precision, dynamics and fluency.

Affinity wrote:
Very interesting music; one could almost hear the classical structures and forms under all those dry dissonances. Really enjoyed your playing for both, though I wonder if you could slow down the tempo slightly for no. 2.p
Thanks Jon ! That would be a good idea. I guess I will have to have another go at this one - groan ....

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