Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by jgautreaux, Aug 20, 2012.
I am not sure how this works, but I hope it is this way
Mendelssohn- Fantasy in F sharp minor
the third piece
These files won't play. They don't appear to be in MP3 format.
These are M4A files which will not play because they have been given the .mp3 suffix. Once renamed to .m4a, then they do play. However we only support mp3 format here, so you will have to re-upload. From what I heard so far, not bad playing though not beyond criticism either. Surely someone will get out the scores and point out all the fluffs
They'll play <i>if</i> you have an m4a player.
I don't. However, I found a free downloadable m4a-to-mp3 converter on cnet. (By the catchy name of "Free M4a to MP3 Converter"!). I tried it on the Mozart and got an mp3 file which loads and plays. I cannot vouch for the quality of the conversion, <i>however</i> the resulting MP3 states that it's recorded at 128 kbps.
I downloaded the Mozart score, but I do not want to start the review process until I know what we're reviewing here, since another MP3 at 192 kbps could appear...
No they won't, not if they are named .mp3.
Both iTunes and Windows Media Player are m4a players, and play these files fine provided they are properly named.
Indeed it's easy to convert them to mp3 but it would be better to skip that step and use mp3 from start.
If he re-submits the same recording, the different format and bit rate shouldn't much matter, unless we want to review the quality of the recording technology, which I don't think we do. It's mainly about the quality of the playing.
I'm looking at the Mozart, using my 1963 Henle edition which claims to be about as close to Urtext as is possible.
On the whole this is pretty well played with a good deal of sensitivity where required, but here is a list of my niggles.
Bar 11 (0:17) Missing note (the 2nd beat B RH). You probably played it, but it just didn't sound.
Bar 16 (0:26) Timing glitch near end of bar. Could this be an edit which didn't quite line up?
Bar 21 (0:33) The LH minims (half notes) come out staccato. Just an accident, they're OK everywhere else this thematic pattern occurs.
Bar 33 (0:51) This could be editorial because you do the same in the equivalent place later (bar 128) but the 3 editions on IMSLP agree with mine. Unless the LH is drowning them out, you seem to be playing straight crotchets (quarter notes) in the RH (Bbs alternating with Ebs). Each Eb should be a pair of quavers (eighth notes) like in the 3 previous bars.
Bar 46 (1:11) The beginning of this bar comes a beat too early, you are cutting short the rest in bar 45.
Bar 52 (1:22) Good heavens, what an almighty crash! There is no need to play the LH F octaves triple forte. Let sleeping dogs lie.
Bars 59-60 (1:33) There is a noticeable slow-down here, probably because you've gotten too fast in the excitement of the dogs waking up.
Bars 63-64 (1:38) I have each of the four groups of notes on the 2nd and 4th beats printed as an 8th followed by two 16ths, with a tr above the 8th; you are playing them as 4 straight 16ths (as though they had been printed as quarter notes with turn symbols above them). This interpretation can sometimes be argued for, but here I would argue against it, given that similar identically printed patterns occur elsewhere (such as in bar 2 etc.) where they are played as 5 notes instead of 4. I think therefore these should also be played as 5 notes.
Bar 98 (2:35) This chord is a beat late. You may have deliberately done so for effect, but I think Mozart's writing of the three previous bars provides quite enough suspense so there is no need to add to it. A tiniest bit of rubato may be allowed, but I would change nothing in your impeccable timing of bars 95 and 96, and would stay metronomic (as you do) right up to and including the 3rd beat of bar 97. I would then delay the 4th beat by a hair's breadth and the downbeat of bar 98 by a further hair's breadth. It needs no more than that.
This same chord is unfortunately missing its top note (the Ab you no doubt intended to play failed to sound), so we hear an ascent rather than a descent to the G of bar 99. This spoils the mystery of the suspense somewhat.
Bars 161-162 (4:17) There seems to bit of panic in evidence here. Relax. If it's too fast, look back. There will have been places you rushed. Don't allow yourself to.
Bar 175 (4:39) This trill is sounding untidy and is also so loud that we can't hear how well the LH is keeping the beat.
I changed the format to Mp3 let me know if you are able to open it.
Thanks for the criticism by the way
Let me know if there is any problem.
Hello and welcome to Piano Society. Can you please tell us a little about yourself? I just like to know a little something about with whom I am talking.
I listened to your Ginastera and Mozart but only a little of the Mendelssohn. I think you play nicely. There are a couple 'fluffs' in the Mozart, but they are very small and don't really take away from your playing. The Ginastera sounded fine but maybe a little bit on the slow side? I've never played the piece myself, but I have heard it before. I only had time to listen to a little of the Mendelssohn so I can't say that much. However, I noticed on this recording and also your Mozart that you left way too much silence time at the end of the files. The Mozart has around 20 extra seconds and the Mendelssohn has even more. You should leave only three or four seconds at the end. There is also a fuzzy sound in the background noise which is especially noticeable at the end of the Mendelssohn. I think you are playing on a digital piano, right? Maybe the noise is coming from the post-processing or something....?
I have played the Danzas Argentinas, and I agree with Monica that this first dance seems underspeed and somewhat tame to me, but this is likely a matter of interpretation. However, the end of the first section 39"-45" seems to have some wrong (other) notes in it. I still don't have my music unpacked or my piano in the house yet, so I can't be more precise, other than to say that it sounds different from what I remember playing.
How long have you been away from your piano, Eddy? Seems like a long time. But I know, moving and getting settled takes a while.
We look forward to hearing you play again soon after your piano is in its new home.
Thanks for the good thought, Monica. It's been 3 months and I'm looking at 2-3 more weeks. (I think) It's going to be an estranged reunion. We'll have to go very slow at first, walking carefully where we once ran. I feel like it will be like coming out of amnesia.
I can relate to that Eddy. I just started playing again this week, after some 2 months of moving and working like an idiot. It was very strange and awkward at first, but in a couple of days all seems to have come back. It will help that the Gaveau has just been tuned. And the acoustics in my new room are much better due to the high ceiling, which I find inspiring.
OK, I've also had a look at the Ginastera score, and I think your speed at the beginning, and at each of the a Tempo positions, is not too slow, it's more or less at the metronome speed 138 indicated. But of course you do slow down considerably when it gets difficult, for example in the passage beginning at bar 11.
It all sounds quite impressive, but when looking at the score there are some inaccuracies, mostly of rhythm.
The bar number references I give are based on counting the first complete bar as bar 1, and therefore the first 4 notes of the piece constitute bar 0.
In bar 4, the first note in the LH is one quaver (8th note) late, but the equivalent places in bars 44 and 66 are OK.
Bar 9 is a quasi 3/4 bar, but you are playing it as if it were a 9/8 bar, in other words you are playing this bar at 2/3 speed.
Bar 10: I think you are cutting this bar short by a quaver at the end because it sounds as though the separation between this chord and the first chord in bar 11 is the same as that between the two chords in in bar 11, but observe that there should be 3 rests between the first two and only two between the other two.
Overall in the section from bar 11, you are playing this as though the RH were just in 6/8 but time-shifted by two quavers relative to the actual bar-lines. You are accenting all the isolated short chords, and the first of every group of three identical short chords, and each of the long chords. The effect is to lose the sense of the music being written to be off-beat. Although I'm not familiar with this style, I suspect the intention is that the off-beat nature should be highlighted and become apparent to the listener (otherwise why would he write it like that?), and therefore accents should be placed as follows:
In each of bars 11 to 16, emphasize the first note in the LH, where the RH has a rest, because you need a downbeat reference.
In bars 11, 13, and 15, also emphasize the LH 4th notes where the RH has rests. Keep the RH chords light because they are not on the main beats.
In bars 12, 14, and 16, emphasize the 3rd of the A-B-D chords because it falls on the half bar. This should be stronger than the G-A-C chord.
In bar 17, emphasize the two A-B-D chords more than the other two.
Give similar treatment to bars 19 onwards.
In bars 35 and 37, you are playing the last chord as a crotchet (quarter note) instead of as a quaver (thus technically making these 7/8 bars). You get the rhythm right in bar 33, so copy it to bars 35 and 37. Again, I think emphasizing the basic 2-pulse of the 6/8 would help, e.g. in bar 35 emphasize the chords with the D on top, and then aim for the beginning of the next bar.
Bars 37 and 38 (and the last two chords of bar 36) seem to have E E E E F E D on top of the chords instead of the printed G G G G A G F (as though you were playing this bit in treble clef down an octave), this is probably what Eddy meant.
In bar 77 there is a Poco rit marked, but you seem to be starting the rit 2 bars early. I think the bar 75/76 echo of bars 73/74 should still be in strict tempo.
Finally, having observed the a Tempo marked in bar 79 (which is the 3rd last bar of the piece), should not bar 80 (which is all rest) also be in strict tempo? You seem to be holding this bar for approximately twice its length, before delivering the final note.
Exactly what I was thinking, but couldn't put into words. Thanks Rainer. :wink:
Well, that leaves the Mendelsohn for the rest of us. I'm not acquainted with the piece, but I got the score and followed along. My notes, modest in comparison to rainer, follow. (BTW, the score I was using did not have measure numbers.)
I can't help but think that the opening 32d's would be more convincing if the first of every quad was consistently accented.
In the 13th measure of the first Andante, the top f# does not sound, which appreciably changes the melody (from descending to ascending).
At 1:46 there's a wrong note (an A chord at is repeated at the end of a measure instead of going to the B# augmented).
Just before the second "Con moto agitato" marking (second page in my score), there are several dropped notes.
In the action that follows, the left hand broken octaves totally drown out anything the right hand is trying to do. This part of the recording is not ready for "prime time".
In the second Andante section (page 4 in my score), the sudden increase in tempo about 10 measures in made me uncomfortable. Does not seem to be a good reason for it, and it's very subito.
The third Con moto agitato section starts off better than the first two - lots of consistent but not glaring accents to help the listener, but it does not last to the end of the section, and the listener is aware that the tempo slows down due to the technical difficulty of the passage.
Finally, the composer's markings at the end of the "movement" make it clear that what follows is part and parcel of what we've just heard. I do not think it should be performed separately. Whether it should be recorded separately is up to the moderators, but to me it's all one piece.
I honest feel that this recording could use some more work - particularly the section with the broken octavest in the LH.
My goodness! You people do demolish this poor pianist! No wonder he (or maybe it is a she?) seems to have picked up and gone: there are times I feel like doing the same and I am sure others share my view but cannot be bothered to say so. All I read here is note for note criticism of the recordings but not a single review of the performances that lie behind these recordings. Has anyone actually listened to the music without first cheching wrong or missing notes, pauses not observed or dynamic marks not followed? Is it not possible just to listen without having the score at hand? It is like going up to Botticelli's Birth of Venus and examining every single paintbrush stoke without ever stepping back to see what the picture is actually about.
What I would like to know is: is there any merit in the performances and is it therefore a pity that mistakes were made and is then worth recording again or are these performances devoid of fancy and therefore, no matter how note-perfect, have no merit?
I am convinced that there is a direct relationship between membership and submissions to the Society and the way recordings (and not perfortmances) are reviewed.
I sympathize with this to a degree, even despite I have been guilty of note-picking (but that was usually with people who do the same to me ).
It's s difficult subject though. Lately I feel that getting the notes (or at least most of them) right is only the first step in reaching any level of artisticity.
Having said that, I'm a fine one to talk as most or many of my recordings are not note-perfect, and probably not artistic either. I've never minded people
picking my recordings apart but I can imagine for a newcomer it could be disparaging. But should artistic criteria be judged first, even if there are too many technical flaws ? I really don't know. If a person has something worthwhile to say, maybe.
In hindsight and from own experience, I would say that early praise can be quite damaging, and that blunt critique (as long as it's to the point) is what makes you a better artist. I would not have submitted so many dubious recordings, and be a better pianist now, had people be more specific with me. I believe that anyone who despairs of criticism is not going to progress sufficiently and perhaps does not have the making of a good musician. Then again, everybody needs and deserves some praise and encouragement now and then. So.... I dunno really. The subject remains as elusive as that of using rubato :roll:
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