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Bach-Rachmaninov Suite from the Partita in E for Violin

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by hyenal, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Today is my Birthday :) On this day I want to do more than the usual (and not so productive) baby-care, so I'm posting this CS of that old :!: Bach-Rach.
    Even though this set (especially the first two pieces) is the most long time project ever (I've lived with them nearly one and a half year), the result is quite disappointing... It's not so pleasant to post recordings with bunch of slips and still existing technical problems after so much time investment, but I must finish this set at this point. My baby got finally a seat at a day care center, so I have to gradually go back to my unfinished doctoral thesis.
    Anyway these three pieces gave me the most hard time concerning the piano playing... They seem to be not so difficult, but in fact they were the most difficult pieces within my limited piano experience :? Despite the unsuccessful result I learned really a lot from them, so I'm pleased with having recorded all of them, at least for now.

    First movement: Preludio
    It was this one that seduced me to those hard and frustrating times :twisted: I was so excited at this piece, so I started to learn this set. I've just heard the "beta version" from January and think I've certainly made much improvement at the musical view (At this point I'm very grateful to the menbers who gave me precious feedbacks). But the new recording has more slips than the previous one :( I was so sad about them, so frankly speaking I tried to create a slipless version from several takes. I did make one, but the musical flow was really unnatural. So I present a recording without any cut (but with bunch of slips), which gives me back my fondness toward this piece and emotional mood during the playing. If you have an open and kind mind, the slips wouldn't disturb you too much :wink:

    Second movement: Gavotte
    This piece is really enchanting... I just love it. But behind the beauty are many tricky spots. I once read a book about the piano playing ("With Your Own Hands" by S. Bernstein) and often follow one of the advices on that book: To hold one's breath at difficult spots. During the recording sessions of this piece I got nearly a breathing trouble because of successively appearing tricky spots!!! I'm not so satysfied with my recording, since my limited technique and mastery over myself made some really beautiful moments blurred. But overall tolerable, I believe.

    Third movement: Gigue
    I much profited from the advices of our Bach experts on the Bach-thread I started on the Repertoire forum during practicing this piece. But I spent most less time for this piece and you can hear hurriedness and unsolved technical problems here and there. I think I don't have the technique for this kind of style yet at command. Well, hopefully it gets better with times...

    Any comment/critique is much appreciated!!!


    Rachmaninov - Suite from Bach's E major Violin Partita - 1: Preludio (3:13)
    Rachmaninov - Suite from Bach's E major Violin Partita - 2: Gavotte (3:46)
    Rachmaninov - Suite from Bach's E major Violin Partita - 3: Gigue (1:41)
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Wishing you a happy birthday Hye-Jin ! And a great birthday present you've given yourself.
    These are immensely polished recordings. Any slips there are may be are so minor to be insignificant.
    Some passages in the Preludio could be a bit more accurate, and in the Gigue you could make more of
    the terraced dynamics. As you say this piece is so much harder than it seems when you first start it
    and you do an admirable job. Can't say I warm to the digital sound with its tinkly trebles and its
    woolly basses, but what can you do...

    Unfortunately the Preludio is missing the last half page or so. Always listen back after uploading !
    I'll wait for you to re-upload before putting these on the site.
     
  3. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you very much Chris for your professional listening and comments as usual! I did listen to (only) the Preludio after uploading, since it took me strangely long time to upload, and was ok ... :shock: Anyway I'm attaching the Preludio again. Sorry for causing more work than it should be.
    And thanks for your kind Bday wish! :D It was a fine birthday: I posted the recordings here, listened to a recent recital of Berezovsky (and I found there so many beautiful Lyadov pieces which you certainly know! I may start to learn his Barcarolle), bought me and my husband iced chocolate (we had a coupon 2 for 1 :wink:) and cook a fine dinner for us. Still we have an unopened birthday cake in the fridge, but we cannot eat anything more... so tomorrow is my birthday again on which I'm going to cut and taste the cake :lol:
    Yes, I missed the Steinway a lot on which I used to practice. The digital piano seems to have no life. It doesn't change itself. I know also an acoustic piano isn't alive, but you can get an impression you and the instrument adapt themselves to each other, cannot you? I was always feeling as if I was talking to a wall while I struggled with these hard pieces.
     
  4. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    Happy birthday from me, too! :D It sounds like you have had a wonderful and musical birthday.

    Wow, Hye-Jin, these recordings are very much a big accomplishment. :shock: They are extremely impressive, and it's obvious you have spent a lot of time and work on these (and have an excellent talent for interpreting them :wink: ). All three of the pieces were very musically and expressively played... the Preludio has a beautifully coherent, logical flow to it, and the interpretation was vital and healthy. The slips didn't bother me at all. :wink: The articulation in the Gavotte was well done, and I liked the discreet rubato you used. And I thought you coped with the technical - and musical - difficulties of the Gigue very well, even though you said you haven't worked on it very long! It was light and frolicky... very fun to listen to. :D

    Was the Bernstein book a recent read for you? Just a month or two ago I purchased that book, and it now stays under my pillow for me to read often... what a genius teacher he is! I have learned so much from it.
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    No problem, sh** happens :D
    These are up on the site now. Please check if all is ok. If you have some text for the new page, that would be appreciated.
    I've files this under Rachmaninov, not Bach.

    I have contemplated learning this one too, it may well be one of Liadov's finest piano works among a large body of mostly high quality pieces (not that I know them *all*). I'm currently reading Rimsky-Korsakov's book "My musical life" which contains much interesting and amusing first-hand material on Lyadov (the two were very close). Had his huge talent not been hampered by a huge indolence, Liadov could have been one of Russia's best composers. Good that a pianist like Berezovsky makes a case for this neglected music.
     
  6. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Sarah!
    Oh, I'm much flattered to receive such a compliment from you, Sarah :D However, interpreting them required me to do a lot of thinking, indeed. Especially on the Preludio I tried several different approaches and made many experiments. And about the opening I always had your advice (*Let the music breathing!*) on my mind and asked myself continuously how to realize it. Besides, I wanted to give every single moment of this piece a meaning which I could agree with. I had difficulties with some spots, and I even blamed Rachmaninov for his composition :lol:
    That was the very response which I want to get from a listener! Even though this take has a lot ugly slips (I just listened to it to confirm that every link is ok and every slip seems to stab me in the heart :cry: I cannot believe how I could make so many after such a long practice...), I chose this one among uncountable many takes (that Preludio ate up a couple of giga byte on my SD card :lol: ) because like you also I got such an impression of vitality and proper energy from it.
    That proves your open mind and kind heart :wink:
    I'm happy that you have and like the book, too! One of my friends lent it to me a few years ago, saying "You'll play the piano one hundred times better after having read this book!" I didn't read the whole book yet (I bought me an used book afterwards, though), so I cannot say his prediction was correct or not :lol: (At the end of the day he cannot play the piano!!! He is just an amature clarinettist...). Anyway I was very impressed by the enthusiam of the author toward his amature pupils. That was my main motivation to purchase the book for myself.
     
  7. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Every link, every file works fine. But you wrote "E minor" instead "E major" on the title :wink: I'll write a small text about this set within a few days. And thank you for the pretty box on a new page!!! I thought they will go to the "misc." section.
    A correct choice, I think.
    Did Lyadov have "a huge indolence"? Then he and I have at least one thing in common :lol:
    In that recital from May 26th in Louvre, Berezovsky made an excellent job. I think he had the best shape on that day. The hard and even athletic (first) sonata of Rach was very successful, too. But what appealed the most to me was the seven small pieces of Lyadov. Unusually he used the score stand for those pieces, and not a good looking "edition" but the copied A3 paper with thick black lines at that! :lol: :lol: But the performance itself was really beautiful. I always like Berezovsky's a bit detached but sincere interpretation of very lyrical pieces. Chris, if you had any chance (or time) to watch the recital (you can easily select only the Lyadov section), could you let me know the opus numbers of the pieces just titled on medici as "6 Preludes"? I downloaded some scores from IMSLP with the title "Preludes", but could identify only one piece (Op.39-4 the fast one with many octaves in bass).
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hum, yes :) See, always good to check. I've corrected that.
     
  9. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you Chris for correcting it.
    Here is a text written for the new page:

    In 1933 Rachmaninov arranged three pieces from the third violin partita of J. S. Bach (BWV 1006) for the solo piano – Preludio, the third piece Gavotte en Rondeaux and the closing Gigue. However he didn’t just rewrite the violin score for the keyboard, but created a very original work from them – Since the original was written for a solo violin (like in the case of Busoni with the Chaconne from the second partita), he had to add something to them to make a piano version. But when we see the opening Preludio, which was adapted by Bach for use in two of his cantatas (BWV 29 and 120a) and appears in the fourth Lute Suite BWV 1006a again, the result was a much more creative one than the Busoni’s, because unlike the Chaconne the original piece was written on a just single voice (the harmonies on Busoni’s work were mainly determined by Bach in advance) and Rachmaninov’s modifications were seamless contrapuntal parts opposite to the single voice and the thereby arising new harmonies. One can enjoy this colorful creativity of Rachmaninov on the graceful Gavotte and the light and playful Gigue again and find a rather unexpected aspect of Rachmaninov at the same time.

    I borrowed a couple of vocabulary from other texts in internet, but mostly my own writing - it says you had better correct the ackward expressions by me :mrgreen:
     
  10. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Happy Birthday, Hye-Jin! :D

    I loved listening to this Partita in E for Violin. You play it very beautifully with vibrancy and panache. Excellent!

    Right into the early 1980s, I recall that piano transcriptions of Bach were not always well-received, for example, the Bach/Busoni" Chaconne" in D. Even when Rubinstein would use it as one his favorite program openers, purists would ask why he did that, where Bach wrote voluminous keyboard music. Attitudes have since changed, and I believe it's a very positive development that so many now enjoy these piano transcriptions like this Partita in E for Violin. Rachmaninoff did Bach a great and lasting service in creating this transcription. Not only was Bach extremely versatile, but his music is just as versatile, as you demonstrate so very well in your wonderful performance here, Hye-Jin.

    I also admire your long-term practicing of this work until you were satisfied it could meet your standard. We all could learn an important lesson from that, including me. Thanks for posting!

    David
     
  11. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    Well-controlled playing. I'm not especially familiar with these particular pieces, but Rachmaninov's transcriptions are often significantly harder than they sound. Despite your reservations, I particularly liked the Gavotte and thought you put across a sense of its internal logic. I'd like to hear you play these on an actual piano, as I get the impression the keyboard doesn't do you full justice.
     
  12. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    hi, Hye Jin!

    as I don't care for the other movements, I'll comment only the Preludio. hehe
    (just kidding. in fact, I find the preludio much more beautiful than the others, that's why.)

    this new recording has much more nuances than the previous one. the beginning is a delight!
    I'd only wish that the octaves at 2'08 were more marcato. like your previous recording, you don't do a contrast at 2'21, but this time it's because you're already playing very softly, with a beautiful touch.

    I think you play the gavotte too romantically. subtle rubati are allowed, but I'd wish a firmer tempo. regarding tempo fluctuations, the gigue is much better, in my opinion.

    congratulations for completing this set!
     
  13. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    @David
    Thank you very much for your kind words, David! And many thanks also for sharing that very interesting reception-history of Bach transcriptions. I didn't even know that Rubinstein played that Chaconne often!

    @Andrew
    Thank you for the kind comments!
    I used to say the same thing to our members who played a piece successfully on a digital piano, as I could practiced and recorded on a Steinway B over two years. I'm a poor student studying in a foreign country, so that it will take me many years to buy me a decent real grand after going back home. Anyway I have to be satisfied with the recent digital technique which made possible for me to get a reliable wood keyboard for 2000 Euro. I believe this keyboard is at least good enough for practicing.

    @Felipe
    Thanks for listening and commenting, Felipe!
    I agree :wink: I've worked on the opening section really a lot. In comparison with it the middle section needs some improvement, just donno how...
    Really? :shock: You seem to have a completely different notion about these movements than mine! I wanted to play the Gavotte much more romantically :lol: I even thought during recording sessions of this movement often, this would come off if I could play it on a real large grand with inspiring deep sound. On my view this second movement is the most Rachian piece on this set, which is located between the two much more Bachian arrangements. The harmonies and dynamics which Rach intended in Gavotte are not a Bach any more.
    And you know, the tempo fluctuations on the Gigue were just resulted from my lacking self-control... I wanted to play that in more strict tempo :roll:
     
  14. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    no no!
    the Gigue is fine! :D
     
  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I missed this post because of the hiccup with the mail function.
    Thanks for this text, I added it to the page, and indeed changed some wording (but without affecting or altering the text, I believe).
     
  16. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you Chris for uploading and embellishing the text :) The changed version is really good! And also I didn't get some recent notifications of new posts, indeed. But it seems to work again.
     
  17. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I think, that must have been a great fun to study and practise these pieces. And you play them so well and musically and expressively, so that the little mistakes, which are in there, are not bad IMO (I don´t think, there are many of them, btw, but I didn´t listen with score). I have enjoyed listening very much, Hye-Jin. And have my sincere congratulations to your birthday ex post. (I´m sorry, that I haven´t listened earlier, I didn´t see this thread somehow, because it was still quite below. :oops: )
     
  18. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Hey Hye-Jin! I finally got a chance to listen to these recordings. You did a great job; everything sounds really tasteful to me (besides the digital sound which we all hate probably), and I can tell that it is far from easy. I am not familiar enough with the piece to have even noticed any slips. I did notice some things that sounded a little strange to me, but I think that at least some of them were actually written that way. :lol: I am again amazed at how little it sounds like Bach at all, most of the time...

    Congrats on getting all three movements polished enough to record, and have fun working on your dissertation. I might bark up your tree if I have trouble with symbolic logic in the fall, since I don't often have the chance to talk to Ray. :lol: Propositional logic was fun and easy...
     
  19. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you so much for your kind post, Andreas :D Yes, I had much fun from learning this set, but at the same time was much tortured by it, too :lol:
     
  20. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I'm afraid those are the slips... :oops:
    I once read on the web about this set: "[...]Yet the music has a mostly Bachian flavor and some have surmised that Bach himself would have made very similar modifications had he fashioned a keyboard version.[...]" (Robert Cummings, All Music Guide ) :?
    Thank you Theresa! I remember how difficult was the symbolic logic class from my undergraduate periode... But you know, about a week before the final exam of that semester I was bitten by a mosquito in my face very severely (I hate the creature most of all!!! :evil: :evil: ) so that I had to stay at home with the swollen face and nothing else to do than preparing that exam. So I got an A, very unexpectedly! Anyway I'm still weak at those things, so I specilized myself in another direction.
     

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