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

Bortkiewicz: Nocturne

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by John Robson, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. John Robson

    John Robson New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Miami, Florida, USA
    Last Name:
    Robson
    First Name:
    John
    Oh, no! Not another nocturne! Sorry. I think this one has a sweet, perhaps sappy, little melody and decided to record it even though it is quite repetitious and long like this sentence. I took the liberty of posting this even with a few slips. I hope it's not too bad. I also took the liberty of adding some rubato. Hopefully it's not over the top.

    Bortkiewicz - Nocturne ("Diana"), Op.24 No.1 ( 6:31 )
     
  2. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Messages:
    439
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Software Developer
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    Last Name:
    Kautsch
    First Name:
    Stewart
    bravo

    I don't think it's sappy, myself. And if this piece doesn't cry out for rubato, nothing does. The slips are hardly noticeable and the work is too long to keep re-recording it (IMHO).

    I'd never even heard of this composer until just now and I want to thank you for posting this.
    Do you use a lot of reverb? Whatever I was hearing fit the second half of the piece very well, since it's kind of dreamy anyway.

    I'll try to check out your other recordings of this composer.
     
  3. 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 John,

    I think you did a fine job recording this Nocturne. You play with much sensitivity and produce some really beautiful nuances too. The rubato is not at all excessive in my opinion. Late Romantic music makes ample room for use of rubato, as is the case here.

    From a compositional standpoint, this piece is a bit diffuse and too drawn out, with too much repetition being made of too little material. Had Bortkiewicz tightened things up, and compressed it a bit, I think it could have been a stronger work. As it stands, the Nocturne is definitely not one of his finer pieces. But all of that is just my opinion. Regardless, it's a good prospect having this piece added to the archive. The more of Bortkiewicz's music we can include here the better, both for the website's many listeners as well as this neglected composer. Thanks for posting it!

    David
     
  4. John Robson

    John Robson New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Miami, Florida, USA
    Last Name:
    Robson
    First Name:
    John
    Borty

    Thanks for listening. I used no reverb, and I never do. I don't know why it sounds like I did. This piece is very "chromatic" and perhaps I didn't change the pedal often enough.

    I agree with your analysis, David. This is rather drawn out with very little material for more variety. I was attracted to the little melodic motif though I wish he had done more with it. I didn't want to play the entire piece over and over to get a note-perfect recording, and I'm not any good at editing. Sorry. I guess I'm a tad lazy. :oops:
     
  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 John,

    I think you did fine. I'm trying to think of a more frustrating experience for me than recording... nope, can't think of any! I usually make eliminations from several "takes" to determine the best one--which sometimes is the least of the evils it seems, although I'm probably my worst critic in making those judgments. :lol: Sometimes we tend to magnify the smallest flaws. And yes, the longer the piece, more difficult to produce the "perfect" rendition (if there is such a thing, which I doubt, for if it were to be possible, we'd be gods, not merely mortal pianists). The professionals have recording engineers at studios to mix and match to attain the illusion of "perfection" on their CDs; however, the amateur pianist has access to far less sophisticated editing tools. Like you, it seems too daunting, so I never bother with it, unless I can eliminate a simple page turn noise here or there. In my own case, my expressiveness is superior to my technique, and I'm very, very glad of that, rather than having it the other way around.

    David
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    Good playing John, the odd skip does not bother much. As David says, we tend to blow them up ourselves, while a listener will often not even notice. I think you keep the pedal down a bit too long in places, like in the beginning.

    No, not a sappy piece, but not a very strong one either. He's really aping Scriabin here with his main theme. Borrowing a style is not a bad thing provided you do something a bit original with it, but he does not quite pull this off here (in his better moments, he could).

    There is only one thing more frustrating than recording, and that is listening back to it... At first, the goal is to get all the notes right. Then once you attain that, you find you'll get peeved about every note that sounds a bit uneven.
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    And, it is on the site !
     
  8. 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
    Sorry to be late here, John - I'm so behind on everything. Your playing on this sounded very nice to me and just right as far as style goes. The piece reminds me of something but I can't think of what it is right now.
     

Share This Page