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Bortkiewicz - Butterfly

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by richard66, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    This is one of the pieces I originally submitted when auditioning for membership. At the time I let it drop because it was thought to let a lot to be desired amd indeed it did. This version, I hope, is improved (I have had a hard time subduing the right hand when playing those demisemiquavers and drowning the melody).

    Apart from reducing amplitude on the left channel by -2 (to make it as loud as the right one) I have not tinkered with the volume at all.

    Bortkiewicz - Andersen's Tales Op. 30, No. 9 "The Butterfly" (3:01)
     
  2. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    I don't know what it was like before, but on the whole it seems pretty good now.

    Your efforts at subduing the RH seem to have paid off. I don't get the impression that it's drowning out the LH melody. But having said that, both hands could do with being much quieter, the dynamics should match the delicacy of a butterfly. Nowhere in the score does the dynamic ever rise above p.

    In bar 1 you are actually playing 9 groups of demisemis instead of 8.

    As you arrive at the 6/4 section (which begins at bar 13), you are making an unmarked break between it and the previous bar (the same happens later on at the next 6/4 section).

    In this 6/4 section the semiquaver pulse becomes unstable. In particular in the first two bars the dotted pattern on the 3rd beat (prior to the 4th beat where there are four actual semiquavers instead of a dotted pattern) loses its dot, becoming in effect a triplet. Indeed by the 3rd bar of that section, the dotted rhythm permanently disintegrates into triplets.

    In the 6th bar of that section you are naughtily slowing down the 2nd beat considerably. There is nothing in the score to suggest it should not be in time. The semiquavers are slow enough that tripleting one of them shouldn't be an insuperable problem, just think of it as an ornament. This slowdown makes the second half of the bar, where the speed returns to normal, sound hurried and out of character.

    In the 2/4 bar which ends the middle section, you are pausing on the 2nd last note (the C# at the top of the arpeggio) and on the last note (the B). The way the fermatas are marked suggest that you should pause only on the B. The (upside down) fermatas apply only to the other voices (the quavers) and not to the top melody part, and indicate that the quavers should be held for as long as you are holding the RH fermata on the last semiquaver.

    When you get to the next 6/4 section (4 bars before the end), in the bar before it you play only 7 instead of 8 groups of demisemis. Also there is a particularly audible creak here.

    Should the final chord not follow in time from the triplet B to which it is tied? You pause on the B before you play the chord.
     
  3. pianoman342

    pianoman342 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Richard,

    I had a listen to your remake. I think you play this piece by Bortkiewicz well. It sounds somewhat like Lyric Pieces by Grieg to my ear. I haven't ever played this piece, but it seems Rainer was able to give you more specific feedback.

    Enjoyed listening,

    Riley
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I don't know this piece at all, so since Rainer says there are a couple mistakes, then I'll wait for a re-recording.
     
  5. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Monca, you are going to wait for a long, long time, because I am quite definitively not going to re record it ad nauseam without at least anyone else giving a second opinion. Enough is enough.
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Everything can always be improved of course, if only infinitesimally. But personally I don't hear anything here that calls for a re-recording. Admittedly I did not pick all the notes apart with score and microscope in hand. Just listened, and it was quite convincing and enjoyable. On longer term you could try to make the RH less prominent (how is that for a change :p ).
     
  7. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Thank, you Chris.

    Ah, the right hand... If yoi only kew that I must have recorded this 20 times (not submitting, of course) only to hear almost exclusively that right hand and see that it wasl always forte! Exasperating, it was and, as you say, it could still be better.

    I often find that extensive work on one piece might not actually solve all problems on that one, but it seems to help any other piece where the same difficulty is present. Do you notice that too? I remember once how Bach ìs WTC helped Gershwin's second prelude.
     
  8. pianoman342

    pianoman342 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Richard,

    I replaced your attachment with a link, check to see that it plays back ok.

    Riley
     
  9. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    It plays, yes, thank you, though in the Bortkiewicz page there seems to be no link to it. Since you will be at it, maybe you could change it to read The Butterfly?
     
  10. OpenGoldberg

    OpenGoldberg New Member

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    I'm new to this forum; this is the second post I've listened to. And for the second time I've found new repertoire that is beautiful and interesting. Thank you for sharing this.
     
  11. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    You are welcome! There are, however, other recordings of this piece, notably by Stephen Coombs, but he is not a member!
     
  12. luissarro

    luissarro New Member

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    hi, Richard!

    I didn't know this piece, but it sounds nicely played! A naïve interesting piece. Those right hand arpeggios remind me of some minimalist or new age music... but this one is good! =D
    Btw, is the recording cliping a bit, or it's my phone?
     
  13. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Hello, Lus,

    Thank you! I too find this piece not very typical of the time in which it was written.

    It must be your earphones, because in this recording there were no peaks. It might be the poor quiality of my recorder. however.
     
  14. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member

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    Thanks Richard.
    I had never heard of this piece, either. The playing is convincing enough; the RH-LH balance is ok.
    Was the lid up? How far was the mike? Just curious - one of the idiosyncrasies of the piano is that the treble is closer to the mike than the bass (usually), and I don't know if recording technique can affect balance because of this.
     
  15. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Stu!

    The lid was half-open.

    The microfone was behind the piano, but centered, that is, one was not closer to the piano than the other.

    I am waiting till we move house to get both a better piano and better recording equipment.
     

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