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Beethoven-Thalberg: Adelaide

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by Tobias, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. Tobias

    Tobias New Member Piano Society Artist

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5exxakK49c&fmt=18
    Any kind of comments and criticism would be most welcome!

    Dear Hye-Jin, I also love this song very much! I got to know it in school (almost 15 years ago, sigh...) in a great recording by Fritz Wunderlich and immediately feel in love with it. I actually recorded it yesterday; I hope you'll enjoy it! :)

    The Thalberg transcription is not difficult like the operatic fantasies of Thalberg or Liszt, but I find it quite difficult to bring off well, because the melody is buried like a sandwich within thick chords. Also, the piece is quite long and if played by piano alone the risk of making it sound monotonous is bigger than for a singer who still has the text. Btw, there are also three transcriptions of this song by Liszt - but I don't know them well enough to comment.

    P.S. I don't submit an audio file yet. I plan to do a re-recording of several piece in autumn and would like to wait until then with submitting.
     
  2. mgasilva

    mgasilva New Member

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    Nice Job!

    Hello, Tobias!

    This was very nice, and I think you should submit an audiophile like you should submit an audio file soon!!!

    I'm starting to like this transcription business!

    :)
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    A very solid and musical performance. Great job ! The couple of tiny slips don't distract at all. I don't know the piece so cannot offer any detaild comment. Seems like you did well in bringing out the melody.

    The audio track of this video would be more than adequate for PS, but if you want to wait, fine.
     
  4. Tobias

    Tobias New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Chris and mgasilva!

    Ok Chris, I'll upload it when I get home tonight. I hope it can get replaced when I re-recorded it later this year.
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Sure, no problem, if that one will be better.
     
  6. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I enjoyed your recording very muchm thanks! I got to know the song through the recording of Wunderlich, too :D. It was from a cd, in which Schmann's Dichterliebe and other songs of Schubert were included.

    I see the difficulties, but you brought off the vocal part very well. The other difficulty about the possible monotony could be, I believe, completely overcome with more time and practicing which will allow you more enjoying the music!

    As a listener to the original song I find always the two things in this song very enjoyable: (1) there are spots where you can find a dynamic contrast between f and p. For example between "im Gefilde der Sterne" and "strahlt dein Bildnis...", when they are repeated. I feel this like the calm wispering coming after overflowing emotions. I'll be very happy, if I could expect that also from a solo piano ;) (2) I think the Allegro molto part is the most attractive one in this song! There is fullness of youth, love, life... If you could run a little bit more and give your touch a little bit more lightness, we could enjoy that feelings also in your recording.

    Anyway this is a good job which promises an excellent recording :D
     
  7. Tobias

    Tobias New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for listening and for the nice feedback!
    I have the exactly same Fritz Wunderlich CD, with Dichterliebe and Schubert (his "An die Musik" (du holde Kunst) is also wonderful).

    I also love the Allegro part a lot, especially because of the combination of serene music with the text which expresses that his love will even last beyond his death, even though there is no single sign of a reaction from her throughout the whole poem.... this is the going back to the medieval idea of "amor purus", the unfulfilled love as the highest form of love.

    In English translation:
    Some day, o miracle! a flower will blossom,
    Upon my grave from the ashes of my heart;
    And clearly on every violet petal will shine:
    Adelaide!

    I fully agree with your suggestion to strive for more lightness and also a bit more tempo in the second part! Thanks a lot!
     
  8. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, I love the song, too! The art of Wunderlich is also eine "holde Kunst" :)

    Thanks for sharing this! BTW I've been always curious about the text "purpur Blättchen" (violet petal). I guess the color means something special... then what does it mean (maybe in European tradition)? or is the choice of the color just coincidence?
     
  9. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Tobias, it is an accomplished performance already. I totally second what Hye-Jin suggested. Underlining dynamic contrasts is a good way to make things a bit more interesting and to overcome the fact that the piano has to do the singer's job. The singer's part is well in evidence and all the 2 against 3 rhythms nicely flow. Perhpas you are still unconvincing in the "agitato" and "stringendo" spots. Personally, I find very useful to figure out all the agogic nuances of what I play by mentally singing the passage while walking around. Maybe it may work for you too.

    I studied Adelaide years ago along with many other pieces for a liederabend with a singer friend of mine, but then we dropped it when it came the time to decide the program for the evening.

    You know, the only piece (among those I know of course - not many) I really like of Thalberg is the Fantasy on Donizetti's Don Pasquale.
     
  10. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Walking around... Do you mean that you try to sing it mentally away from the piano, Alfonso? I do that, too. But not walking around, but sitting at the desk :)

    Wow, to accompany a liederabend would be very exciting!!! I love the German Lieder... although I don't know many of them. What kinds of songs did you play on that liederabend?

    BTW do you mentally sing also the Schubert's Fantasie nowadays? :wink:
     
  11. Tobias

    Tobias New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Dear Alf, thanks very much for listening and for sharing your thoughts! I agree with your comments and moreover there are many spots in which the melody is dictated by the accompaniment rather than vice versa (for example in the opening bars this is very obvious). In addition to the mental singing (good suggestion!) I'm playing the melody just by itself or with a very simple chord accompaniment on the piano to get a thorough conception of how I'd like it to sound, undisturbed by the (sometimes a bit difficult & distracting) accompaniment.

    What a pity you dropped Adelaide from the Liederabend! Do you remember what was the program at that time?

    Do you know Casta Diva, from the same selection (op. 70) as the two Thalberg pieces I'm playing? It's a very beautiful arrangement. Or, much more virtuosic, I also like the Moses Fantasy (never played it though, just listened to it a number of times).
     
  12. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, it is what I do. I'm fundamentally a walker. :lol:
    Seriously, my brain works better when I walk. And this is sad, because most of what I do is done indoor. :cry:

    Speaking of walkers... Love it.

    Beethoven: Mailied from Op.52
    Schumann: Die Rose... from Dichterliebe
    Brahms: Sonntag from Op.47 and Die Meere from Op.20
    Schubert: Gefrorne Tränen from Winterreise and Ständchen from Schwanengesang
    Tchaikovsky: Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt from Op.6
    Strauss: Heimliche Aufforderung from Op.27

    HA, no, neither mentally nor physically. Yet!
     
  13. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is a very good habit. I too reduce complex passages to their very basic elements to solve technical problems.

    See above, I replied to Hye-Jin's very same question.

    I didn't know Thalberg's Art du Chant until you posted here your recordings. Since I am always curious about strange repertoire, then I looked at the score to get an idea. I think that most of them are more useful than artistically valuable (IMVHO). Sure is that if you like "Bel canto" then they are great fun to play. Of course if someone plays them that way, I become much less sceptical (I'd steal her singing tone)!
     
  14. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I still commented this piece on YouTube and all the other new recordings you have also posted here. I would like to say also here, that enjoyed them very much! Keep up the good work!
     
  15. Tobias

    Tobias New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks very much, dear Andreas, and also for the Youtube comments!!
     
  16. Horowitzian

    Horowitzian New Member

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    What a lovely piece. I'd never heard it before. And your playing is excellent as usual. :wink:

    Thanks for sharing!
     
  17. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I understand this methode would be helpful for finding an appropriate interpretation, but when you reduce the complexity, what does it have to do with "technical problems", Alfonso? Maybe I coundn't catch the meaning of "technical problems" here.

    She can sing on the piano very well indeed! That talent is surely one of the important abilities at playing the piano, but can displayed well only with a good instrument, IMHO.
    Looking forward to hear that piece from Tobias' hands!!! :D
     
  18. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I know only three of them :oops: But I would like to become aquainted with the other songs :)

    No problem. Take your time! :D
     
  19. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    First of all, a premise: technical problems are mechanical problems applied to a given musical context. In that sense, technique always involves intepretatation. According to Horowitz (if I remember well who said that) technique is the description of a pianist's artistry. Said that, now I'll try to explain what I mean by examples. In Chopin's Etude Op.10/2, it's nonsense to try and learn the RH part all together. It's much more convenient, once you've chosen your fingering, to work on the chromatic scale alone, then adding the lower note of the "filler" chords (thumb) and finally all the chords. Even better, before adding the RH chord part, to learn the whole Etude hands together without it, just the chromatic scale, that is. Deconstruction can also be done horizontally, for instance in a series of fast chord passage, by playing just one chord out of 4 (then 3, then 2). Deconstructing and then progressively rebuilding up a piece is also a fabulous method of memorization.

    Fair and quite true.

    Me too, I hope he will post the videos of his October recital.
     

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