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Albeniz: Asturias (Leyenda), Suite Espagnole, Op. 47, No. 5

Discussion in 'Repertoire' started by 88man, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    It appears that there are several editions of Asturias (leyenda) of Albeniz. Question: Does anyone know if one edition is more authentic than the other?
    1. Union Musical Espagnola. Edited by Juan Salvat (IMSLP download)
    2. Edited by C. B. Roepper (IMSLP download)
    3. International Music Company. Edited by Isidor Philipp (On order)

    I downloaded #1 and #2 editions of Asturias (Leyenda) few days ago, and #3 is on order. It's conceivable that I may end up with 3 editions that will vary considerably. Besides several other minor variations, there is one major difference in measure #25 and onward concerning the leaping ff octave chords.

    Salvat edition: the ff octave chords in R.H. is on the downbeat
    Roepper edition: the ff octave chords in R.H. is on 2nd 1/16th beat.

    Also in measure #71, and measure #3,4 of middle section, etc., the entire piece tries to emulate a guitar, so I think the chords should be rolled as it sounds stylistically more appropriate. I've also heard recordings that roll and don't roll these chords.

    Here is a recording I made following the #1 Salvat edition with the leaping octave chords on the downbeat. What do you all think? I haven't decided how I like it better, but I think it's more difficult to play it this way as that extra 1/16th note might give one just the time to reset the fingers on the right notes. I devoted almost the entire weekend on learning this new piece. I couldn't wait to record it.

    Clearly, it's work in progress as I've been practicing on it for a few days, so it's not perfect, but I could always use criticism. I'll make a better recording after I get all the notes right on the octave chords, and get more feedback on the authenticity of the various editions. Hopefully the piano will be tuned in a few weeks as it was tuned exactly 1 year ago. You might notice a slight decrease in the dynamic range as I changed a few sound panels in the room, no effects other than 11% reverb, and used my tiny MicrotrackII recorder for the quick recording.
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Wow, George! Ok, so some of the chord-jumps missed the mark, but everything else sounded very good. And really, can there be any other piece with such difficult jumps? I don't think so. I'm confident that you will nail this down with just a little more practice. btw - can you video record yourself? I'd surely like to see you play this one!

    As to the discrepancies in the editions: For some reason, I was picturing another book in my head, one that I have on my shelf. But turns out that it is actually a Leyadov book. However, I do have a couple Albeniz' books; the one with "Asturias" is in a Schirmer edition and does not list an editor name, but there is a biography on Albeniz in the beginning of the book written by Douglas Riva. I'm not sure if that means that Riva edited the music or not. I can ask him is you like; I know him a little and have corresponded with him often regarding Granados' music.

    In the book I have, measure 25 shows the leaping RH chord on the downbeat. I think you are right about playing that as such. I don't show rolled chords in the middle section, but it sounds nice both ways. If you like it with the rolled chords, then you should play them that way. We know that composers (and especially composers!) hardly ever played their own compositions the same way twice. I'd bet a million bucks that Isaac sometimes rolled those chords too.

    Another thing - you know how we've been calling this piece, "Asturias" or "Leyenda"? Well, my book calls it simply, "Prelude" - as in the Prelude in the "Cantos de Espana" (Songs of Spain"). Sort of confusing....
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    That certainly shows promise after only some days practising ! Of course this piece would not be hard if it were not for these jumps... But you'll get them sorted out soon enough. The sound from the MicroTrack is so good already that I wonder why you bother with microphones at all. Not that my dirt-cheap earphones would notice a diffference...
    I would think UME is the most authentic of editions. Also, just to add to the confusion, this piece is, with different names, included in two cycles (Cantos d'Espana and Suite Espagnole, from the top of my head).
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I was going to mention the sound thing but forgot.

    George - this file sounds good to me too, and I am using decent earphones!
     
  5. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you Monica and Chris for your great comments, and sharing your wonderful knowledge as usual. I probably should go to the grocery store after this as I may have to eat more Mexican jumping beans or Frogs legs in order to land those leaps.

    You're both right. I just checked the Henle site and found the first 3 pages of this piece. The leaping octave chords are on the downbeat, exactly as written on the UME. I'll also check the IMC/Philipp edition that's on order and share the info on this post. Thank you Monica for offering to inquire about the authenticity from Riva. I think you and Chris have already solved the question in my mind.

    Yes, it's crazy when editors can't even agree on the name of the piece, let alone the right notes. It seems that the Suite Española originally contained Granada, Cataluña, Seville and Cuba. In 1912, the editor Hofmeister republished the Suite Española after Albeniz's death and added these previously published pieces: Cádiz, Asturias, Aragón and Castile. Asturias originally appeared as the Prelude in the Suite Chants d'Espagne. Some pieces, like the Prelude were renamed to Asturias and Leyenda. Moreover, Opus 47 is arbitrary as it has no bearing on the chronological relation of Albeniz's works.

    Dumbo the Elephant could have done better than to name this piece Asturias. It was arbitrarily named by the the editor after the composer died. I've seen Albeniz's grave in Montjuïc, and he's probably still turning over in his grave. It sounds nothing like the northern city that it's named after. The harmonies and rhythms definitely sound more like Andalusian flamenco to me... Hey, why not call it Flamenco de Andalucía?

    I did use my good mics on the portable recorder. I just thought the tone sounded more nasal, and restricted than usual - probably due to the sound panels I put up recently to damp any harshness. Also, Steinways do have a nasal tone in the notes where most of the action is in this piece, around middle C. I am not losing sleep over it, as 2 highly esteemed pair of ears told me that it sounds fine. :wink:

    Monica, don't laugh; I have a decent camera collection, but not one video recorder. I understand video technology, and someday I'd like to get a true Hi-Def recorder to make travel documentaries and record my own soundtracks. HOWEVER, I don't have a clue how to produce those wonderful online videos like you and Andreas?... Besides, you're more attractive than I am on video. But, I have the perfect face for radio! :p

    Thank you Monica and Chris for sharing your great advice. I am going with the octaves on the downbeat. I hope I can master this piece soon, then it's onto El Fandango de Candil, as it seems that I'll be in the Spanish mode for at least a few months....
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Well, I just discovered something yesterday. I recently acquired a new digital camera - a Samsung SL620. It's one of those very easy to use cameras for taking still shots, but it also can take video. I have a 4G card in there right now and so I can take long videos. Anyway, I did a little test to see how the quality of the video is and it turns out that it's better than my actual camcorder! It's clearer, more can fit in the screen, it focuses better and adjusts the lighting automatically. The camera cost about $160, and my camcorder cost about $400. I can't believe it! Maybe because that camcorder is outdated as it's already over three years old (I think).

    I may make a video today or tomorrow with my 'little' camera (the Samsung) and try out some more things. The only thing though is the sound quality is not good. But I now record with my Edirol at the same time as I shoot a video and then swap out the sound from the video camera with the sound from the Edirol. (you do that with movie editing programs). So George, I hope you will change your mind about making a video yourself. Maybe check the cameras you currently have and see if they do video too? If not, go and buy one! :lol: I am no expert when it comes to making videos but I'd be glad to help you in any way.


    one more thing - you said that you used your mics on your portable recorder. Does that recorder have two inputs for two mics?
     
  7. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    Hey George,

    I have enjoyed your performance. It is both lively and sensitive and captures that Spanish spirit. The jumps will come.

    I have heard this most often done on guitar. In fact, years ago when I was trying to learn classical guitar, my book had an arrangement of the first section. The piano version certainly gives that guitar effect.

    Scott
     
  8. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Scott for the nice comments. I've been listening to this piece in guitar recordings since I was a kid. It was about time I learn it on piano. So far it's been fun learning this piece, and I hope it stays that way...

    Thanks Monica for giving me great advice on video. You're really going to make me come out of my shell, aren't you? :) Curiously, I stopped by my parents to see if they had any home videos of me on the piano. Zoinks! I found a VHS tape of me playing the Waldstein, Chopin Nocturne Op. 48/2, Khachaturian Toccata in a concert when I was in high school. The tape has lost most of its tracking. I probably should restore it onto DVD.

    I checked out the Samsung SL620. Let me know how it works out for you? It looks like a point and shoot camera with AVI (MJPEG) video. I overlooked using a P&S camera for online application. For some reason, I thought you were using a dedicated camcorder. I probably can use my current P&S, the Canon SD880IS, but is 640x480 resolution enough?... What software do you use that allows to import external audio and time code it with video accurately, (preferably with manual adjustments)?...

    You bet your bippie it does! Actually, I've been advocating the MicrotrackII to others on PS because it has the necessary 48V phantom power supply to power ANY studio condenser mic ever made. All the other micro recorders either lack phantom power entirely, or have only 30V power, which is not enough to power condenser mics to their potential. The analog to digital converters on the unit are decent as well. For most people, who don't want all that extra gear, a pair of small diaphragm condenser mics and a MicrotrackII recorder can yield excellent results.

    Thank you for the encouragement and advice!
     
  9. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I'll keep trying. And to sweeten the pot - if you make a video, I'll ooh and aah over it big time! :D

    Regarding the cameras - In all my past videos I am using my designated camcorder. As far as my little Samsung, I'm not sure what resolution it uses. There are so many settings; it's a little overwhelming. For now I'm just using the 'auto' function. For the videos/sound I use plain old Windows Movie Maker, although I have a better program on my computer (can't think of the name right now), but I haven't learned how to use it yet. Anyway, in WMM, you can turn off the audio from the video camera and bring in the audio from the recorder instead. You have to manually line up (sync)the two tracks, or in other words make the movements of the hands fit with the audio, which is sometimes a little tricky.
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    You can import the external audio track first. Then line it up with the audio track from the camera, which should be peanuts,
    and only then mute the audio track from the camera.
     
  11. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    You mean you actually 'see' the wavy thing - grrr- what do you call that - you know, the squiggly, spiky thing in the movie editing program? I do not. I can 'see' the video, but can only 'hear' the audio. There is no additional row showing that whatchamacallit track.
     
  12. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    "Waveform." LOL! My dear, don't ever change!

    Thanks again, Chris and Monica. "Peanuts" is what I like to hear. So, there are 2 ways to sync audio: 1) either audio-visually, or 2) superimposing the external audio waveform under the camera audio waveform. Hopefully, it will be intuitive from there on...

    My PC has really slowed down recently, ram can't keep up, and the DVD drive just went out as I tried to load up Nero 9. I don't know about you, but there is nothing more infuriating than having to buy a computer every few years! I have 30 year old audio and camera gear that still work like a charm. Surprisingly, there was no online download for WMM 2.1 or 2.6. I discovered that the Nero 9 has basic video editing (cut/paste), and the ability to add an extra audio track. It might be OK for starters, once I order a new computer.

    The good news is that my tuner is coming earlier than expected. I'll have the piano tuned this Friday. :lol:

    From an accomplished pianist as yourself, I extend my sincere gratitude for the vote of confidence. :D
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    That would be a silly thing to do. Instead, invest in a registry cleaner program and see how that may perk up your PC. The slowing down is usually because of all the gunk it has accumulated over the years. Also helps to go over the list of services and startup programs it runs by default. As a rule, you don't use most of these but they eat up resources. This requires a bit of care to do, though. Make sure to have a restore point and/or backup.
     
  14. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Oh yeah, waveform!!! As you can see, I don't think that much when I'm typing here. :lol:

    I still don't see a 'waveform' from the audio portion of my video track, but oh well....

    Regarding new computers and Windows Movie Maker - I recently had to purchase a new computer too and so I have Windows 7 now. What I didn't know until just yesterday is that WMM does not come standard on Windows 7. You now get Windows Live Movie Maker, which isn't good because it does not have all the editing tools that you need. However, WMM 2.6 (originally for Vista) also works in Windows 7. You can download it HERE. I did this and it works fine.
     
  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is what it looks like. You need to click the '+' next to the video track to see the audio track. Then you drag the external mp3/wav to the 'Audio/Music' frame.
     
  16. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    oh I never noticed that little thing before! But all I get when I open it up is a straight line. No waves and spikes. Is your image shown here from WMM? I'll not be making any videos in the near future, but when I do I may have to ask about this again.
     
  17. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes it's WMM. Maybe your video just doesn't have any sound in it.
     
  18. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    There is sound - I'm listening/watching it now, but still nothing on the waveform. Also, your rows showing the waveforms are a lot fatter than mine. Maybe we're using different versions - I dunno - I'm kind of lost. It's ok though, time to go outside and get some sun.
     
  19. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you Monica for the link. I tried to download it, but it only works with Vista or W7. I have XP.

    Chris thank you for posting the software page. It looks pretty basic. My computer is a 2.66GHz Pentium 4 machine that's about 7yrs old. I don't know if I can run W7 on this machine. I'll also look into ways of cleaning up all the garbage that is running in the background. I may call over my friend who works in IT to do the computer stuff.

    As in audio editing software, the the height and width of the spikes is a matter of view magnification, usually controlled by a magnifying glass icon as you can make them as flat as a line or fatten them up until they cover the entire page. The height and width of the waveform can be viewed under different magnifications, allowing you to "see" the attack of the notes as a spike. The sustain of notes in a passage is seen as a thick band.
    -Height of the spikes refer to the amplitude or volume. If they're too tall and truncated, then you know you have clipping or it's too loud.
    -Width of the spikes refer to the time domain.

    I wish you two a Happy Easter! Don't eat too much Easter chocolate, or else this might happen... :p
     
  20. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi again, George.
    Well, I feel pretty stupid again, because I never knew that I could make those rows fatter. Attachment #1 shows how I've been managing things. See how skinny that audio row is?

    Attachment #2 shows that now I can actually drag that thick line up which then enlarges the rows. Duh to me! However, as you can see, the audio waveform shows up, and I did zoom in here but still there are not clear spikes. All I see are blobs. Also it is so light in color that it's hard to see. It's okay though, please don't waste any time trying to show me what I'm doing wrong. It will be awhile before I make another video. I get too nervous and stressed-out.

    So....Happy Easter to you too! That's a funny image. I wish someone would bite my butt off if I ate too much chocolate. Better than getting a big butt from eating too much chocolate!
     

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