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Beethoven-Liszt, Symphony No.5, 1st &2nd mvts

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by Francois de Larrard, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Dear All,
    Please find attached the two first movements of this famous transcription. I have discovered some years ago the whole set of transcriptions by an athletic russian pianist (Konstantin Tcherbakov), who is in addition a great musician, and this gave me the (foolish) idea to try a symphony. I am not too satisfied of what I could reach with my limited technique, and I gave up in recording decent versions of the two last movements. As for the two first ones, I hope it gives a vague idea of how it could sound when properly played... For me it is really near the top of what can be written for our instrument, as well in terms of beauty as of orchestral writing. Not for us poor amateurs, unfortunately...
    Merry Christmas, though !


    Beethoven - Symphony no.5 - 1: Allegro con brio (7:44)
    Beethoven - Symphony no.5 - 2: Andante con moto (10:15)
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Well, wow... 3 times. Very convincing despite the little roadside accidents. I believe Beethoven would not have minded them too much. The spirit is very much there. The only real criticism I have is that you rather slop the triplets in bar 2, and from 6:08 to 6:13 you seem to play triplets where none are
    written. These things should maybe have been corrected, all other mistakes are quite forgivable. For a Frenchman, not bad :p

    I can imagine you giving up on the 3rd and 4th movements. The middle section of the 3rd mvt, and the entire 4th mvt, look like pure hell. Even Scherbakov leaves out a few notes here and there, and takes none of the even more devilish ossia's. I wonder what Alkan would have created had he decided to transcribe Ludwig's symphonies.

    Congrats to your hard work and adventurous repertoire ! I think these could well go up on the site despite the fluffs. Anybody disagrees, please step forward.
     
  3. Didier

    Didier Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi François,

    While I am admiring your performance, especially your large dynamics, I am much sceptical about the musical interest of such piano transcriptions, even played by great pianists, at our time when everybody can listen to orchestral performances. The piano sounds so small when compared to this.

    However congratulations for your effort and have a joyeux Noël !

    Didier
     
  4. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    A very respectable effort, considering the difficulties. As Chris says, the spirit is definitely there, and some of it is really quite exciting.

    Katsaris is well worth hearing in these transcriptions, as is Giovanni Bellucci (live video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dASvRbn5Zwk)

    Take a look at the transcription of the first movement, third piano concerto (I'm especially reminded of it becase the cadenza quotes from the last movement of this symphony).
     
  5. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you Chris ! I am not at home, so I cannot check the triplet issue. Regarding the two last movements, I almost succeeded in playing the third one (in spite of the two pages you mention), but it is really linked with the fourth, which contains some unattainable peaks (for me at least). I guess they are hardly playable on Liszt's time Erard grands, who had a very light keys with a small depth, not like my Yamaha ! Also, you probably need to practice 6 hours per day including 2 of pure technique to be really at ease in such acrobatic pieces...

    Your point is interesting. Actually, I purchased the scores 25 years ago during a trip in Poland (at this time the music scores was very cheap for us). When I came back home, I tried to read some parts, and I found the transcriptions overloaded with octaves, thirds; quite a decadent music, so I put them in a cabinet and forgot them during decades. But when I heard Tcherbakov at the radio, I was just caught: how such a wounded music like Beethoven 5th could be rejuvenated by a single man with our instrument that could evoke as well strings as horns, woods, timpanis... Then I have bought his integral (published by Naxos), and I played it many times - especially during long car trips - with always the same fascination.
    Actually, the matter of piano vs. orchestra is like black & white vs. color for photos. Do you prefer Mussorgski's Pictures at an exhibition in the piano version or in Ravel's orchestral one ? For me it depends on the moments, but I am sure Liszt added to the world music heritage writing these incredible transcriptions. The only thing is that very few pianists have the ability of playing them...

    @ Andrew: thanks for your compliments ! When I am back home, I will listen the other versions, and I'll tell you how I find them as compared to Techerbakov.
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Now here comes the conundrum. File this under Beethoven or Liszt ?
     
  7. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I thought there was a general policy at PS, which tended to favor the composer (not the transcriber). Then I vote for LvB !
     
  8. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Chris, Andrew,
    Being back home, I am responding to some details of your posts:

    Actually there are no triplet in bar 2, but rather three eighth notes followed by a whole note. As for the section around 6:08, there are several series of four eighth notes (in octaves), but the jump is so large that I decided not to play the first ones. Hence I think it is more important to keep the tempo than to play four times the same note, wich does not add anything in terms of melody or harmony.

    Katsaris is brillant, but I find more 'grandeur' and nobility in Tcherbakov's rendition. As for Bellucci, I admire the pianism and the courage of playing such a piece in public, but I strongly dislike his rubatos, which seem to me over sentimental, bad taste and unbeethovenian...

    Happy new year!
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Sure, triplet was not the correct term here. OTOH it is a group of 3 notes, so.... Anyway I believe one of the 3 was missing, and this happening right at the beginning of the piece, I personally would have started over. The beginning and end of a piece are always the most vulnerable and important.

    Probably a wise concession here. I did feel it alters the rhythm a bit though.
     
  10. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Oh Boy! Had a listen to your performance of this famous Beethoven piece (known more in its orchestral arrangement ofc) This is quite a farcry from the lushness of Griffes and the Bell music of Mompou! (Not to mention Bach) :lol: You put a lot of fire into your performance, and though I think there are limits to what the piano can express, I truly enjoyed your playing. And 6 hours of practice a day :shock: I believe it. But the result is all the more worth hearing :D
     
  11. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Sorry Chris, there may be one note more piano than the others, but I play the whole series of three (my wife agrees, and be sure that she is the first to criticize when it is justified !

    This is not my practice, unfortunately (I have also a job !). But it would be necessary to be able to play correctly the 4th movement....
    Thanks for your kind compliments, otherwise !
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    As long as your wife agrees, you have nothing to worry about :lol:
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Be that as it may, they are filed under Liszt, as are all of Liszt's transcriptions. They are now on the site, please check if all is ok.
     
  14. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Chris. However, it appears that there is a special section, classified in the Beethoven's section, dealing with symphony transcriptions:
    http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=2016
    while in the one you have put my 5th, there was no Beethoven before. Therefore, it seems to me that there are only two consistent solutions: either to migrate all the Liszt transcriptions under Liszt, or to group the Beethoven-Liszt ones under Beethoven, including mine. Also, the link with my page is missing.
     
  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Indeed, I forgot to link these recordings under your page. That is fixed. The rest I will leave as it is. All the Liszt transcriptions are under Liszt, but some Beethoven transcriptions by others are under Beethoven. So be it, I have long since given up on trying to reach consistency about transcriptions. In hindsight, the whole PS idea of trying to categorize pieces sucks, really.
     
  16. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    That's OK, Chris. I remembered the 7th symphony transcription played by Felipe Sarro, but hence it is not the Liszt one. By the way, I noticed two minor defects on my page:
    - the Bach's choral I have recently submitted (http://server3.pianosociety.com/cms/ind ... section=73) is not referred to (I think Monica did upload it);
    - strangely, the 'Improvisation' item is not at the correct place (in terms of alphabetical order).
    When you are in a good mood, could you please fix that :) ?
    Thanks in advance, and have a good WE.
    As for me, I am reading Debussy's Estampes. What a nice music !
     
  17. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Those defects are fixed too.
     
  18. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks a lot, Chris ! Have a good sunday,
     

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