Thank you to those who donated to Piano Society in 2017.

A newbie, and some Scarlatti

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by jim_24601, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. jim_24601

    jim_24601 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's me that's the newbie, not Scarlatti.

    Attached, if I have this thing working correctly, is a stab at Scarlatti's sonata K103 (L233) in G. It's something of a work in progress. I should like to make a little more of the dynamics in places, and it's a little uneven in others. Plus some of the trills are a bit dodgy. But I should like to see what anybody thinks.
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Hello Jim and welcome to Piano Society.

    I've never played this piece, but to me it sounds like you have a pretty good handle on it. Your descending runs are nice and clean. Regarding sound quality - this is very soft; I had to turn my speakers all the way up, but in doing so I now hear a high-frequency background noise. Also your piano is out of tune - mostly in the lower ranges.
     
  3. sejra

    sejra New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Stockholm
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Stehlik
    First Name:
    Bohumir
    Hello.
    Good performance. I think you can't give everything to the playing because the piano (it's upright, isn't it?). Good technics.
    I have tried to do something with your recording (stereo expand, reverb, maximize volume and noise reduction). But it's still almost the same. The noise in background is very loud.
     
  4. jim_24601

    jim_24601 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you! It isn't one of the best-known sonatas, but Scarlatti was so prolific and his quality was so consistently high that you could play wonderful music for years without ever hitting, say, a K380 or K27.

    Unfortunately, I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to recording as well. The background noise is some artefact of my recording setup which I've not yet found a good way to get rid of--Audacity's noise removal feature takes it out, but also introduces some distortion to the piano, even on the lowest setting. I'll have a play with it and see if I can make it less obtrusive.

    I believe the piano in question was last tuned in February, so it may be time for the tuner to pay us another visit soon. It's been extremely hot lately, which probably hasn't helped.

    Thanks again for listening and commenting.
     
  5. jim_24601

    jim_24601 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you! Yes, you got me ... it is a Barrett and Robinson upright. Not a bad instrument as they go (it's my wife's piano, so I can't be too rude about it!) but not like, for example, the Steinway I sometimes got to play at school, where you could just wave your hands vaguely in the direction of the keyboard and beautiful music would come out--this one you have to work with. I think I could probably do a bit more with it, though.

    Thank you for your editing job. As I said, I'm new at this recording and editing business. I'll have to see if I can find a way to get that background noise out, or keep it from getting in in the first place...
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    Good style and technique, and that piano sounds quite nice despite a couple of sour notes. You could work on a bit firmer and snappier attack, and as said the input level seems too low and the noise too much. I think this is played a bit on the slow side, though I realize these very fast notes could make it hard to speed up the tempo. So maybe the tempo choice is wise.
     
  7. jim_24601

    jim_24601 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you Chris. The tempo for this particular piece is a bit problematic, it seems to me. It's marked "allegrissimo", which would seem to imply a faster tempo than I've recorded it; now I could probably pick up the pace a bit, but as you said, much faster and I'd have trouble fitting all the notes in, particularly on an upright piano with the slower action that implies.

    However, its companion sonata K102 (G minor) is marked "allegro" and is in 3/8, while K103 is in 12/8. If you took this literally and tried to play K103 with its dotted crotchet pulse at a faster tempo than K102's quavers, you would not, I think, produce a very good effect. I'm more inclined to take the two tempo markings as indicating that both pieces fit within the range of "allegro" but that K103 is the livelier of the two. As my wife is fond of saying, allegro is a state of mind...
     
  8. Jennifer

    Jennifer New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New York, U.S.A
    Last Name:
    Castanello
    First Name:
    Jennifer
    Hi Jim!

    I am partially deaf I didn't have any problems hearing your recording and I don't have a headset on :D I like this sonata. This is my first time hearing and I just fell in love with it. Don't you just love Scarlatti? He is one of my favorite composers.

    I also like the way your piano sounds and I think the recording quality is quite good. I am not a professional when it comes to recording either but I purchased an H2 Zoom Recorder and I find the quality pretty nice.
     
  9. jim_24601

    jim_24601 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you Jennifer. Unfortunately the whine is a good deal more obtrusive and annoying with headphones on--listening through speakers, noise in the recording tends to get mixed in with all the other extraneous noise your brain is filtering out anyway.

    And yes, although some Scarlatti sonatas are better than others, I have yet to encounter one I actually dislike. Usually it's "quality or quantity; pick one" but Scarlatti very thoroughly smashes that rule.

    I've been playing with recording setup and noise reduction, and I think I've managed an acceptable recording quality. I'll put that up momentarily.
     

Share This Page