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Andreas Pfaul: "Sonata in D Minor" for piano

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianoman342, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. pianoman342

    pianoman342 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Here is a piece by PS member Andreas! Last year he played a piece of mine and I told him I'd return the favor. :) It has been a joy learning and playing his piece, that I believe he wrote in 1984. I really like it, it's classical, but it also has a romantic feel and a touch of modernism in it's chromatics. Last year was when I first received the full score (handwritten) and a performance. It got pushed back due to schoolwork but I have had more time now. I have since transcribed it to PDF, asked him questions and made changes and added some things that reinforce the harmony (hopefully Andreas doesn't mind.. :p ). The first draft was annoying hard to read because my program messed up the MIDI transcription (i used two different programs to transcribe it, bad idea. :roll: ) Created an orchestral version out of interest to learn orchestration, and finally reworked the piano version.

    I played this Sonata on a Bergmann Upright today. I think some of how I play it is influenced by the Mp3 of his performance, but I think I also add a more contemplative layer to it in this performance. Unfortunately my quality mic and preamp is back home in USA so I use my phone. I also had trouble uploading the files to the computer. And I imagine my phone, (Windows Phone) is probably not as good a recorder as an iPhone I was afraid I would have to rerecord it because one take was 15 minutes and I found out later there is a file size restriction on uploading big files to SkyDrive. Luckily, Dropbox worked fine and I was able to put this together.

    Not flawless, but I hope it gives a good picture of the piece to those who haven't heard it and that the composer likes it! :)
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Nice to have another PS collaboration! :D

    This is an interesting piece, and pleasing to listen to. I think I would play somethings a little differently, i.e. not as detached in a couple places. But I don't know what the markings are so just ignore that if it's marked that way. The sound quality is a little bad, but we know you are making the best of what you have currently.

    Thanks, guys...a nice little treat!
     
  3. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Riley,
    thank you very much for this nice gift! I find your playing musical and expressive. I have heard some changes you made (mainly in the reprise). But these are only minor and, of course, I don´t mind. This sonata for me was more an "exercise" to write a sonata in classical respective (early) romantic style then. I have done this attempt of an imitation of style at the suggestion of my former and appreciated teacher, Franz-Josef Streuff, who was also a member of this site and has died in septembre 2011. So some of the musical ideas are by him, because he was my composition teacher then.
    The basis idea of the main theme is a play with my name. "Andreas Pfaul" contains the notes a, d, e, a, f, a, which are the material of the main theme. The second theme in this sonata is also lyrical one, but has nothing to do with a name.
    Have my sincere congratulations to this recording, which certainly has caused some work, and many thanks. I think, the transcription of my handwritten score yet is an achievement, because it wasn´t all well to read. (In 1984 I was thirteen years old.) My only (small) critique is, that the tempo of the beginning is much too slow, but after some bars you get into the right tempo and the piece gets a good flow. (Especially at the end the tempo is really good.) The other point is the sound quality (what a pity you hadn´t your good mics).
    I have an old recording of the complete sonata (which has four movements, this here is only the first) from 1987. I played it during a piano solo recital in my old school then. (On this evening I have given a concert with only compositions by myself.) It is on a cassette and has lost some quality, but may be still has some better sound quality than your one. (Could be I´m wrong here, I would have to check that out.)
    But for me personally the tempo differences and the sound quality are minor. For me counts the nice gesture to return the favor and the quality of playing, which is really very good IMHO. I especially have to praise your phrasings, which I find better in your recording than in my own one!

    I´m very curious on your orchestra arrangement! May be I can play it with my school orchestra?! (Depends on if they are in mood to play a piece by me.)

    So I stay with many thanks for the great recording and transcription!
    Andreas
     
  4. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    PIanolady wrote:
    Thank you for your kind comment, Monica! :D


    Yes, that´s a matter of taste. I think, Riley has successfully tried to follow my markings. (There are some staccati and portati in it.) But in this early piece by myself I don´t mind, if interpreters take some liberty, if they would like to do that.
     
  5. pianoman342

    pianoman342 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Andreas,

    I am pleased that you like it, despite the tempo in the beginning and sound quality. I had no idea this piece was a musical cryptogram! Using your name, very neat! Like Liszt's Präludium und Fuge über das Motiv B-A-C-H! That is also great that this was written under the supervision of the late Mr. Streuff. I enjoy his pieces and I think his talent as well as yours comes through in the writing. The hardest part for me were learning the parts where the hands come far apart, as well as the contrary motion in both hands of the main theme. I will email you a score of the orchestra version in a pm.

    Monica,

    Glad you like it. I think in a few parts I could have been more legato, though due to some double notes being placed together and requiring fast finger position changes, I was up against some challenges.
     
  6. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Riley,
    Oh, I´m sorry about that, I thought I had mentioned it.

    That´s great you like the pieces of Franz-Josef Streuff! :D He really has given me a lot as a teacher and as a true friend. Teacher and friend is the best combination I can imagine. And it was given to me to have this great luck. I really miss him. He had a large (wide) horizon (mind), that means he was open for all musical styles and directions, even for those, he personally didn´t favour.

    I have received it. Wow, what a great gift and a great achievement! I´m at a loss for words to see my little piano piece in such a great orchestral score, which must have caused you a lot of time and work. I´m absolutely touched! Thank you so much!

    If you have another piano composition by yourself I could record for you, let me know! It would be a pleasure for me. (And the good thing is, we have easter holidays now. :) )
     
  7. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Congrats to Andreas as composer and Riley as interpreter! For a child only 13 years old at the time, I think this is a very good composition. And going only by the sound, I believe that Riley captured the essence and spirit quite well. A fine collaboration indeed.

    I recall that when I was 8, I composed a little minuet, one page if I'm not mistaken--nowhere near this accomplishment. My piano teacher at the time liked it, but Op. 1 turned out to be my entire oeuvre. :lol:

    Thanks for sharing this sonata!

    David
     
  8. pianoman342

    pianoman342 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    David,
    Thanks for listening and your kind compliment. I think also, for 13 years old, it is a marvelous music-writing. I wish I could write music at 13!

    When you were eight?! Following in the footsteps of the great child prodigies you two are!! Nevermind composing at 13, 8 would be just as fine an age :) But that is a shame, only 1 opus in your entire oeuvre.

    Thanks for listening! I think, if I could have gotten a better piano and rec. equipment (and a quieter environment, do you hear the clock?) the performance could have come across better, but for all of its flaws it paints the piece OK.

    ps. everybody, Happy Easter!
     
  9. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Rachfan wrote:
    Hi David,
    thank you very much for listening and your encouraging words! :D I had a quite creative time in my youth (when I was between 11 and 18 years), living in the neighbourhood of Franz-Josef Streuff, who always has encouraged me to compose music. I have tried out many styles, at the beginning I tried to write in baroque, classical and romantic style, later I turned on to twelve-tone music, but I developed a twelve-tone-style with tonal and traditional elements. So one could say I always stayed in the more conservative direction. And I do stand behind that. At sixteen (in April 1987) I have played a piano solo recital with only compositions by myself in my former school. This was a kind of "final concert", because after that I changed to the music high school of Cologne and became a pupil of Jürg Baur and later of Krysztof Meyer (a polish composer). At 7-11 years I mainly wrote pieces for guitar, btw.
    But when I began to study (at 19, 20 years) I concentrated on piano playing and my school music studies and there was no more time to compose. So from here I stopped composing. (I think it was in 1991/1992.) But who knows, may be one day I will restart writing pieces, one should never say never, isn´t it? But I feel glad now, if I have some time for piano playing and in this moment I don´t feel any inspiration to write new pieces.

    Oh, that´s great you also have composed a piano piece. I really would like to know your op. 1!

    Thanks for listening and commenting, dear friend.
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    A nice little piece, well performed. Pity about the rather obnoxious noise drifting in and out. But it's the idea that counts most, and there are many good things in this recording.
    I once tried to write a Mazurka, in the time I was infatuated with Chopin. It was in 4/4 meter (!) and after stringing together some disjointed episodes with Chopinesque flourishes I had totally no idea how to finish it. Just as well I did not want to become a composer...
     
  11. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for your comment, Chris! Yes, the sound-quality isn´t the best, that´s a pity. But I wonder, if it could being put on the main-site, what do you think? (I was also thinking about eventually to make a recording of my own with a better sound-quality.) It´s interesting to hear that you have also made an attempt of composing.
    And, btw, guess where I will spend three weeks of my summer holidays... :)
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    If someone new came along posting something with hiss and noises like this, we would surely refuse it no matter how well played it was. Now this happens to be a collaboration between yourself and Riley, but that should not really make any difference should it !? I am sure a recording can be produced that is satisfactory sonically.

    Hehe, an attempt it was, though not a serious one. Doodling more than composing. I still remember well the main 'themes'. I don't think anything coherent could have been made from them.

    I was never good at guessing. Somewhere nice to spend quality time with your wife and son ?
     
  13. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    That´s right, it shouldn´t make any difference.

    Seems you are, since you have asked Sabine, if she wouldn´t mind, if we do some recordings. :p
     
  14. pianoman342

    pianoman342 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Chris,

    Thanks for having a listen. Yes, the audio quality is hardly acceptable (though you are a descriminating audiophile are you not? :lol: )

    I remember you said you didn't compose, but didn't know about the mazurka, cool. Common time for a mazurka?! that's unconventional, you are clearly a modern composer, hehe! IF you still have the mazurka maybe I could try to fix it up!?! Not that I really have any experience writing them, I've only written one so far, and it's nothing near excellent.
     
  15. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have practised my piece and the nice piano composition by Riley he has dedicated to me. I will make a recording of both the next days! :D Your piece is really nice and interesting, Riley. In some points it reminds me a little bit of Franz style (mainly because of the middle part in d-sharp-minor).
     
  16. pianoman342

    pianoman342 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Andreas,

    I look forward to hearing your version of your Sonata in D minor. I wonder, will you use your original manuscript, or the rewritten score? Thanks for your kind offer to play my piece. I also look forward to your rendition of it. As with Stalemate, please change whatever you don't like :) And it is a high compliment that you say the section of the piece at m. 29 is in the style of your teacher. Maybe I was subconsciously influenced by some of his pieces I've listened to on this site :!: :eek: :)
     
  17. pianoman342

    pianoman342 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Well, I think it isn't good to play favorites, so I also agree with You and Andreas. Though I'm not self-righteous, don't get that idea..! :lol:

    I just probably wouldn't as you say accept some recording by someone dropping in that had either a bad recorder or a piano that was obnoxiously out of tune.
     
  18. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Pianoman342 wrote:
    Thanks, Riley. I have used my handwritten version, because I´m used to it, and I play it by heart. :wink: (See my new topic, please.)

    That´s really great. I´m sure, Franz would felt honoured! :D See my topic of my recording of your "Giacoso", please. :wink:
     

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