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

Bartok - Suite Op. 14

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by felipesarro, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    916
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    System Analyst, for now
    Location:
    Brazil
    I decided to follow the tempo indication more closely this time (there are one hundred pianists who play this too fast, including Bartok). but the time indication in the score says it must be played in over 9 minutes!! (and Bartok himself plays it in less than 8 minutes!)

    well... I'm satisfied with this version.


    Bartok - Suite Op. 14
     
  2. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    744
    Likes Received:
    3
    Occupation:
    Researcher
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Larrard
    First Name:
    Francois de
    Very nice, Felipe ! I played this suite some 20 years ago I think, and it was a pleasure to rediscover the music under your fingers. As far as the style is concerned, I think you are very bartokian, that is sometimes barbarian, sometimes dreamy and poet... Of course, you are a little stressed in the IV section, with this so fast unisson between both hands (I remember I was never happy of what I did there). But your rendition of the last section is beautiful (by the way, it is my preferred one). My main regret lies in the sound: probably your microphone is quite average, isn't it ?
    Otherwise, Bartok fits very well to you. Congratulations !

    Oups, a last thing: can't you wait some more seconds between the movements ? We need to breath there (at least I do !).
     
  3. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    916
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    System Analyst, for now
    Location:
    Brazil
    thanks, François!
    and how many cuts do you hear here? :oops:

    it's the 3rd section, not the 4th. hehe
    the 4th is the slow movement.

    so you have played this work? this is SO difficult! :roll:
    my teacher asked me what I'd like to play next... I said I never played Bartok... then we discussed... and I chose this work, which is very short. I thought I'd take a rest for some months, because it does not sound that difficult. I was wrong... hehe

    you know... Bartok wrote precisely how much time he wanted between each movement... (there are blank measures at the end of the first 2 movements) so I followed the score strictly. that's one of the reasons I haven't uploaded 4 files (one for each movement).
     
  4. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    916
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    System Analyst, for now
    Location:
    Brazil
    I use Zoom H4's internal mics.
    but I play on an upright piano also.
     
  5. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,152
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Chief Operating Officer, retired
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Last Name:
    April
    First Name:
    David
    Hi Felipe,

    I've never been much of a Bartok fan to be honest, but I must admit that I liked this Op. 14 a lot. It certainly sounds hard to play though! At times this music seems almost impressionistic--unusual for Bartok I think. I was very impressed by your playing. While I don't have the music here, your performances of these pieces sounded highly effective to me. Great job!

    David
     
  6. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    916
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    System Analyst, for now
    Location:
    Brazil
    thanks, David!

    It took me a while to enjoy Bartok. Prokofiev was much easier (to enjoy). hehe

    well... if you are talking about the last 3 minutes... the "sostenuto" movement... it's usual for Bartok. he likes to create these "nocturnal" sounds.
     
  7. mgasilva

    mgasilva New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Physician
    Location:
    Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
    Felipe,

    I'm ever impressed by your growing virtuosity! Bravo! I do not find fault with anything in this recording!

    Marcelo
     
  8. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    916
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    System Analyst, for now
    Location:
    Brazil
    thanks, Marcelo!

    I can help you! :D

    - at 1:16, I miss one note on the left hand (quite uncomfortable this passage to my hands... :roll: )
    - there is a minor slip at 1:55
    - I miss one note at 2:26
    - I hit a wrong chord at 3:35
    - at 5:25, I think I miss some notes (or at least I don't play with equal intensity both hands), or this is due to pedal change
     
  9. pianolady

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

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Felipe - I have this tagged and uploaded but I'm not sure where to put it. Take a look at the categories under Bartok and tell me where you think this would fit best. I can make a new category if that is the better way.
     
  10. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    916
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    System Analyst, for now
    Location:
    Brazil
    hi, Monica!

    this is one of Bartok major works for piano (though it's too short, hehe)
    as Allegro Barbaro and Petite Suite have a category dedicated exclusively to them, I think this is the case here also. you can create a "Suite Op. 14" category.
     
  11. pianolady

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

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Ok, I made the category and this is now up on the site. btw - pretty wild music! Sounds very hard, so good job pulling it off.
     
  12. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    744
    Likes Received:
    3
    Occupation:
    Researcher
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Larrard
    First Name:
    Francois de
    I just had a glance on the score (Universal edition No. 5891). As a matter of fact, there is the mention 'Attacca' between the third and the fourth movement, therefore you are correct not observing a pause at this place. But between No. 1/No.2, and No.2/No.3, I think you may (you should) wait some seconds... Time indications (at least in my edition) only apply to the movements, not to the space between them.
    I don't remember who said that silence is as important as notes in music. The older I get, the more I believe in this principle...
     
  13. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    916
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    System Analyst, for now
    Location:
    Brazil
    I see there is no attaca in 1/2 and 2/3 movements... but for what reason had Bartok written those blank measures??
    if the movement is over, and we can fully take how much time we want to... there would be no need for blank measures.

    it is because I believe that pauses are important that I did that. hehe
    in this cause, I believe it's important to follow those blank measures strictly.
    I had to fight against my "nature". hehe I like to create tension with long pauses, or long notes (I love the beginning of Beethoven's Pathetique)
     
  14. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    744
    Likes Received:
    3
    Occupation:
    Researcher
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Larrard
    First Name:
    Francois de
    Well, a silence during a movement has not the same substance as a silence between movements. You may imagine that as long as the piece is not finished, the pianist remains concentrated on his instrument (hands above the keyboard), while, during the inter-movement pause, he relaxes. The public does the same (and generally coughs, looks around, checks his mobile... or even gets in or out the room).
    Sometimes the piece is structured in a series of sections of equal number of measures. In such a case, if, in the last series, the last measures are not filled with note, the piece may end by one or several silent measures.
    A last argument to try to convince you: if Bartok would have wanted no pause at all between movements, he would have written a single piece (as Liszt did with his sonata e.g.)...
    But your will to stick to the composer's will deserves respect !
     
  15. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    916
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    System Analyst, for now
    Location:
    Brazil
    hahaha

    I do understand what you say. I've always taken this Suite as a continuous. I can't check right now, but I think even Bartok's recording does the same. and then there is that point: blank measures after the end of the movement are pretty bizarre. The first movement has one blank measures, while the second has three!! There must be a reason for that. hehe
    to me, these are linked movements.

    But I understand what you say.
     
  16. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    744
    Likes Received:
    3
    Occupation:
    Researcher
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Larrard
    First Name:
    Francois de
    Well, I did not think about checking on YouTube, and.. yes, there is Bartok's recording !

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0d-ZFSYMFg

    You're right, the four movements are almost linked. But I wonder whether it was for musical reasons, or before he had to place all the suite on a single face of 78 rpm record !

    By the way, beautiful recording... and pretty touching to listen Bela playing for us 80 years ago !
     
  17. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    916
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    System Analyst, for now
    Location:
    Brazil
    yes!

    I checked on YT right after writing (I was at work, so it's difficult to open YT without being "caught" in flagrant. hehe)

    I think it is for musical reasons, because I counted, and he waits 1 blank measure between 1st and 2nd movement, and 3 blank measures between 2nd and 3rd. the only difference is that he waits calmer, while I'm more "precipitato"... :roll:

    it's interesting to see that if you consider the time indication at the end of each movement... it's far from 7 minutes, which is the time he took for playing the complete suite. hehe
    he was a mathematician.
     
  18. Peter Adamson

    Peter Adamson New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2014
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last Name:
    Adamson
    First Name:
    Peter
    I have just found your discussion on Bartok's Suite and his own recording of it. Although you have correctly touched upon an explanation for the somewhat hasty speed of his performance, I'm afraid that you have been completely misled regarding the gaps between movements, as presented in reissues (such as on YouTube).

    A major problem was evidently the time available per disc side in 1929 -- probably indicated at that time as just over 4 minutes maximum in order to accommodate a workable eccentric run-out groove (for the automatic brakes on the players of the time). Even at the speed he takes, III + IV add up to 4:20, which would go too far in for comfort.

    So Bartok recorded the movements in the wrong order: I + III appear on side 1, and II + IV on side 2 -- s.2 now adds up to about 4:08, ending a suitable distance away from the label.

    Therefore, as a result of all this, we have (a) speeds that he might well not have normally used and (b) no indication at all of his desired spacing between movements in their correct order! It shows (once again) that for some types of musicological work you really do need original source material (in this case an actual disc or perhaps a company catalogue) and not a secondary source, however convincing superficially.

    I hope that this is useful information.

    regards, Peter
     
  19. luissarro

    luissarro New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Brazil
    Home Page:
    hi, Peter!

    I totally appreciate your study towards tempo and the gap between the movements.

    Well, actually Bartok himself wrote precise time durations in his score. For example, second movement has 1'50 of duration. that's quite precise. Okay, that doesn't mean we should actually follow them, since he himself never followed them (and no composer ever followed his own tempo markings, according to Clive Brown studies).

    About the gaps, the thing is: Bartok left one measure blank in the last bar of first movement, and he left THREE blank measures in the second. What do these bars mean? I can't understand it otherwise than these are precise indications of the ammount of time for the gaps between movements. So when I actually listened to Bartok himself recording it, and he actually followed these precise indications himself, I guessed every movement of this suite should "atacca" the next one. I don't thing the limited time of the recording would do such difference here. We are talking about few seconds... it would add 10 seconds at all in the full recording. (but again, my decision came BEFORE listening to anything. It came because I have no other explanation for those 3 blank measures of the second movement.)

    I intend to re-record this piece, but that will be only when my new piano stabilize. Sure it will be different, but I still tend to conclude that the gaps between the movements should be as precise as those indicated in the score. :D
     
  20. Peter Adamson

    Peter Adamson New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2014
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last Name:
    Adamson
    First Name:
    Peter
    Well, yes, I was trying to explain why -- in this instance -- Bartok would have felt obliged to play somewhat faster than his (indeed!) very precise timings would suggest.

    And I do agree that his careful specification of those extra bars must mean something, even if only the required 'mental pause' before 'breathing in' to start the next movement. The attacca between III and IV is of course clear enough, and I agree that an implied attacca between the others seems a logical interpretation of those additional silent bars.

    But I think you misunderstand my point about how he made his own recording: as he did not record the movements in the right order, it gives us no information at all about the gaps between the movements. Any agreement between his recording (as re-assembled into the right order for re-issue) and our interpretation of the musical directions is entirely due to the re-issue engineers/editors, and it has no basis at all in the fact of the original recording.

    Overall, I would say that the space between the movements remains as open a question as the strict timing/speed of the movements themselves. Bartok's own recording does give us an indication of possible speeds (with the caveats I have already raised). But it can tell us nothing whatsoever about the intended spaces between movements -- because he simply did not record those spaces!

    best wishes,
    Peter
     

Share This Page