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

Bach (Well-Tempered Clavier) and Chopin (Nocturnes)

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by freakintiger, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. freakintiger

    freakintiger New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Germany
    Hi, this is my first attempt at Piano Society :eek:

    I'd like to present you my recordings of Bach and Chopin:
     
  2. pianolady

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

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,712
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Hi and welcome to Piano Society.

    I have only listened to your Chopin. There are others here more qualified to critique your Bach.

    Over all, your playing sounded nice. There are just a few little things I'd like to point out. Some of them I'm not sure if they are just plain slips, or if they are reading errors.

    72/1 - This was nice all throughout. Maybe just a bit on the fast side, but that's only my opinion.

    9/2 - bar 1 - Two inaudible notes in LH so the harmonies were not quite on. Actually now that I listened further, I think one of those harmonies is a wrong chord. Same chord occurs in bar 5 - the LH sixth 8th note. I show that it is a C-flat, D, A-flat. Not sure, but I think you hit something different.

    bar 12 and 20. Not crazy about the way you played the first set of staccato/slurred notes. Sounded pretty jarring - I first thought there was something wrong with the file, like it had stopped, or my speakers went out. This piece can really have no harshness, I feel.

    bar 19 - LH fifth 8th note - top note is a C.

    bar 32 - not crazy about how much you slowed down on the LH 8th notes. It kind of wrecked your RH phrasing, the C-flat to B-flat. I think you are playing on a digital piano so perhaps that's also adding to the fact that the long notes do not last long enough (?)

    Hope you are not offended by this. Like I said before, your playing is nice - runs clean and accurate, and your tone is good and gentle.
     
  3. freakintiger

    freakintiger New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Germany
    It's true, some notes weren't registrated by my digital piano. However, I've played C-flat, D, A-flat :)

    I read an E-flat. Maybe I have a different source, I don't know...
    I could have a mixed version of several old sources.

    In bar 32 it reads "senza tempo", so I interpret it like that, without tempo :oops:

    I appreciate your criticism, but I think we refer to different sources.
     
  4. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,388
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Obamanation, unfortunately...
    Last Name:
    Grocholski
    First Name:
    Julius
    I can't pick out errors as other people will but I can say is that the Bach Prelude is a little too fast for my liking.
     
  5. freakintiger

    freakintiger New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Germany
    I know, but my teacher wanted me to play it that fast (or as fast as possible). I didn't question it, because the sheet music noted a fast tempo.

    Just a question of interpretation.
     
  6. Mr Duffy

    Mr Duffy New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    torino, italy
    it's the same thing with bar 11... i just had a quick listen to Rubinstein, Rachmaninov, Pachmann, Rosenthal, Horszowski and Brailowski, and they all play C in bar 11 and 19. anyway, this is just my 2 cents; i enjoyed your op.72/1, i wish i was able to play it... :)
    welcome to ps Mr Duffy
     
  7. 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
    Maybe you should find another teacher ! I can't imagine any teacher telling a pupil to play a Bach piece as fast as possible.
    I believe the Bach prelude to be synthetical. Either it is a midi, or else you have artificially applied terraced dynamics. The final fast runs do not sound as if they are humanly played, sorry.

    The fugue sounds more like something that is normally played, but the mannered staccatos and the extreme tempo liberties seem to me not in good taste. But of course that is very personal and some may disagree.
     
  8. freakintiger

    freakintiger New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Germany
    All pieces are 100% played by me, without fastening or something like that.

    The "Russian school" teaches this prelude to be played very fast. So I did it. Well...
     
  9. pianolady

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

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,712
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    I believe you have artificially applied dynamics. It's clearly heard on the Prelude at the 1:04 mark. Your were holding down keys, and they somehow (and magically) got louder. Pianos don't do that! It's an obvious sign of editing with technology.
     
  10. freakintiger

    freakintiger New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Germany
    There's an easy explanation for that: SVM

    This is a software for my soundcard which holds the dynamics in an audible level. At that point, it interpreted it wrongly and rouse the volume.

    You can search for that:

    "Detail clarity improved even more when I enabled X-Fi’s SVM (Smart Volume Management), which uses volume leveling to make quiet sounds more audible."

    (http://www.computerpoweruser.com/editor ... F10c11.asp)

    It's humanly played, seriously!

    On the other hand, this performance has enough mistakes I could have edited, but I didn't, just because it is directly recorded to my computer (through my soundcard).

    If you still don't believe it, you can ignore the prelude. Simple as that.
     
  11. 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
    I would definitely switch off that feature of your software. These sudden, magical, volume changes sound terrible. I'd prefer to have no dynamics at all than this. Actually you hear this kind of thing often in MIDI recordings. I heard traces of it in the Chopin Nocturnes too. Your explanation that SVM wrongly raises the volume seems odd, it was actually dropping the volume drastically in some bars.

    Maybe you can re-record the Bach P+F without that SVM thingy, and normalize the dynamics and tempi to something less eccentric. BTW - We always want preludes and fugues submitted as one trackt.

    The Nocturnes sound a lot more pleasant, if a bit bland and rigid in tempo. I believe the Russian school would have prescribed a bit more rubato and expression here....
     
  12. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Piemonte, Italy
    Last Name:
    Bertazzi
    First Name:
    Alfonso
    I've listened with attention to your Bach and just superficially to the Chopin. I'd have expected an opposite attitude towards these two composers, instead you play a very personal Bach and a rather anonymous and watery Chopin. That said, I must add that it is true that the Prelude is often played fast (sometimes even very fast), but you should:
    1) observe the tempo relationships in the different sections (Bach's indications are: [no tempo indication]-Presto-Adagio-Allegro), while you play the final Allegro like the previous Presto;
    2) keep in mind that music comes first and speed is useful just to serve musical ideas;
    3) consider that speed must not come at expense of evenness, precision of attack and clarity, and this particurarly in Bach.

    Speaking of interpretation, I don't like all the sort of on-beat gouldian accents you do in the Prelude. The melodic lines (that is, there are more voices than parts, as usually happens in a lot of Baroque music) in the soprano and in the bass come out graciously by themselves, no need to highlight them. In the fugue, the same problem with the exaggerated accents on the syncopation. It is a very strong interpretative idea, and I was struck by its quasi-brutality (Pogorelich of today could have conceived it), but you are not able to sustain it and the overall result is rugged and shaggy. Also I don't like the big rallentando at the end of the fugue.

    Speaking of "technology", I don't think you cheated and I believe these recordings are genuine. Still, the sudden volume change in the Adagio section of the Prelude is utterly unnatural and if indeed your software did it, please disable your software during your recording sessions and keep it just for movies and games.
     
  13. 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
    I agree 100% with Alf here. It's what I could have said if I had taken more time for it.
    I also did not think you were cheating here ( too many mistakes for that :wink: ) but don't let software take over from you at any time :!:
    All the suggestions given in this thread are worth following up. There is a lot of Bach and Chopin expertise in this group, we know what we like and also what we don't like 8)
     
  14. Adam

    Adam New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Musician, Student Economics
    I listened to the nocturne. In my opinion it needs a lot more rubato ( but I could be the only who feels that way ). It kind of sounds asif it were a midi made on the computer, because the tempo never changes. I can hear that it was played by a human, due to the tiny imperfections, though.

    Overall, it sounded clean and gentle, but a bit too computer-ish.
     
  15. 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
    Yes, I fully agree with that too :)
     

Share This Page