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Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianolady, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I thought I had never played Bartok before, but turns out that I have. I found some old piano books from when I was taking lessons as a little girl and this book was among them. And you know what? I really like this set!! Hope I played it all right - I tried following the faded pencil markings on the score from my former teacher. Comments appreciated. :)

    Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances, Sz.56
     
  2. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,
    I followed with score and I know these piece quite well. You play them perfectly, notewise and musically. My only suggestion of improvement could be to make more accents here and there. Bartòk is full of temperament and could stand a bit more dynamical contrasts here and there. But on the other side you still do nice dynamics in your interpretation. I didn´t know, that the repeat of the second piece is with the higher octave. Is it in your edition like that?
    In summary a very good recording of this nice and well-known set. Bravo!
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andreas and thank you.
    Believe it or not, I really tried very hard to bring out the accents. Oh well, next time I'll eat more protein. :lol: And you're right about the no. 2 piece. There is no marking for playing octaves on the repeat. I got the idea from someone else. I wonder if you or anyone can guess?????
     
  4. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    What a spirited set! I didn't have a score of this set with me when I listened, so I can't give any specific comments, but I felt like you quite captured the spirit of these folk dances. I could just see the peasants prancing around in their full skirts or coarse linen pants... ;) Like Andreas, I thought the little works could be made even better with accents and more dramatic dynamic contrast. Maybe a little more phrase shaping, too? But those suggestions are small, pedantic things - I fully enjoyed listening to these, and you played them so well! Some more Bartok in your future, maybe? ;) :D
     
  5. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    Oh - one more thing. I loved your recording sound on this one. Just right amount of reverb, not too dry. I don't know how you achieved that, but it's really nice. ;)
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for listening and commenting, Sarah. I'm glad the sound is okay - I fool around with that a lot but think I may finally have things figured out.
     
  7. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Pianolady wrote:
    Yeah, do it like me and go to a fitness-studio and your Bartòk will sound still perfecter than it already sounds. :lol:

    :?: :eek: :?: Wasn´t it your own creative idea? No, sorry, I have absolute no idea. :oops: Such an idea could have come from myself (that´s meant without any self-praise), but we never have spoken about these pieces as far as I remember...
     
  8. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    haha - yes, that was a little inside joke with myself. I actually did go to my gym (fitness-studio) before I recorded this. I worked out on the heavy weights and then went and had a hamburger (protein) and three diet cokes. All that pretty well pumped me up (which I needed to play fast! :lol:).


    No, I've never spoken to anyone about these pieces before. I got the idea from Bartok himself! 8) I heard him play it like that so I copied him.
     
  9. Bruce Siegel

    Bruce Siegel New Member

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    Hi Monica,

    I like your spirit and exuberance with these pieces. Nicely done!

    I agree with Andreas and Sarara that a likely area for improvement would be to make more of the dynamics in some places. In the first piece, for example, the 4th measure from the end, you can get a more dramatic crescendo by remembering to start that measure more softly, than you'll have more room to grow.

    I enjoyed hearing you playing the octaves in the second piece, which makes for a nice contrast the second time around. (Seems to me you and I have talked a bit about varying things on a repeats :wink: ) To confirm what Andreas said, my edition says: "In his Welte recording of ca. 1920, Bartok repeats this piece playing the the right hand (with the exception of the 16th notes) in octaves."

    NIce clear turns on the 3rd piece. I actually like those ornaments, by the way. :)

    (Woops—just submitted this before I finished).

    You nicely captured the excitement of the 4th and 5th pieces. Way to go!
     
  10. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Bruce and thank you. I'll keep working on dynamics, although I did try very hard here. Oh well, there is always plenty of room for improvement (in my case).
    And haha -I like those ornaments in no. 3 as well. Actually I really like that whole piece - sounds exotic and sexy (like belly-dancing music)and a lot like another piece by Espla and also a Granados piece. And it's impossible not to dance around when you play it. That's why I'll never video-record it. :lol: Bartok also changed no. 4 on that recording. He repeated it with octaves in both hands.
     
  11. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Pianolady wrote:
    Very good! Bravo! For me that´s again a proof, that componists mostly have a very open and creative handling with their own compositions. So, why shouldn´t we as interpreters not have the same way to handle their works. I´m quite sure, that in times of baroque it was the same, f.ex. to operate with "registers" like playing the repetition with a higher or deeper octave or change from forte to p (in Germany we call that "Terrassendynamik") and it encourages me again to do similar things in my Bach-interpretations.
     
  12. Bruce Siegel

    Bruce Siegel New Member

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    I'm so glad you said that, Andreas, because it's given me the courage to make a little confession. :twisted:

    When I play the second movement of this Bartok Suite, I take it pretty fast. (And that's partly because I take both the first and third movements relatively slowly.) That makes it too fast for octaves, so for contrast, I just play the RH an octave higher. But I also play the LH an octave higher. I love that effect! (Particularly at the quick tempo I use.)

    In the last few measures, I return to the normal register.

    So glad I got that off my chest. :)
     
  13. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    this is a lovely piano set.

    my piano teacher says a lot about the "bulgarian accent" while playing Bartok... but as I have never understood that, I can't say anything about it. so I think you played them well, regardless of any accent! hehe

    the third piece is very spontaneous in your hands!
     
  14. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Felipe. Although I don't quite understand that last thing, but that's ok....

    @Andreas - Good that you are encouraged to apply some things like this in your music. I remember you telling me about how you like to change the ornaments in your Bach playing and when I was learning the Aria, I 'experimented' with a few ornaments myself. However, I don't feel like I can change other things in music like going up or down an octave unless I've actually heard the composer do it. Or one of the pros. I'm too shy do take the initiative and do things like that on my own.
     
  15. johnlewisgrant

    johnlewisgrant New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I don't know this Bartok, but a cursory listen, particularly the octave-playing and the runs, shows that this is (in my humble opinion) playing at a very high level. I particularly like the tone of this instrument. I also like the "reverb," which is about as perfect as one could wish for: not too much, not too little. Just right.

    JG
     
  16. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, John. And I'm so glad to hear another person say that my sound is okay. Only took me about five years to figure out this stuff... :roll: :lol:
     
  17. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member Piano Society Artist

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    Monica,

    The opening has really great articulation and a lot of spirit
    The second piece is very well stated and
    I would recommend playing the third piece more quietly.

    The fourth has a lot of expression. I love the differentiation of musical ideas.
    The fifth piece is very well articulated. I feel that the tempo will pick up with a little time.
    The sixth piece I feel with a bit more time will have a bit more drive.

    Thank you for sharing a performance full of new twists and turns for me.
    You play this with original and subtle insights, your phrasing is absolutely spot on!

    -Kaila
     
  18. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Pianolady wrote:
    Well, that´s o.k., everyone has to decide that for oneself, of course. But I have studied music (and from this I can be called "professional" in some way, because I have my pianistic "State examination" after having studied for 10 semesters, though my profession is "music-teacher" at a high school and not giving concerts and living as a professional pianist, who has to earn his money with that) and I trust myself to know, where it could be adequate in a stylistic sense or not to do such things. Concerning that I have enough self-confidence and I think, it´s adequate. :D
    I´m glad, by the way, not to have to earn my money as a pianist of profession by giving concerts and so on. It gives me more freedom to fulfill my own creative ideas of interpretation!
     
  19. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, Andreas, everything you play is much more than adequate. I, however, have still so much to learn - I doubt I'll live a long enough time to learn and finish my current projects, though.

    @Kaila - I should properly thank you for listening/commenting here, instead of my other thread. So thank you and if I ever play and record this set again, I will first drink much more coffee!
     
  20. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have exactly the same feeling for myself, Monica! :)
     

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