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Bortkiewicz Op. 17, no. 4 "Consolation"

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianolady, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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  2. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    Sounds good! The only suggestion I would make, is that this consolation needs to sound dreamy, as in a reverie for example, which also would mean playing more softly and dolce. Some of the figuration is tricky to play, yes?

    How did you like learning it? Is this the Bortkiewicz you were searching for? The "Waltz Grotesque" is not really characteristic of his usual style in my opinion. This No. 4 "Consolation" is much closer to the mark I think. There are other really nice consolations and laments in that same volume. I'm delighted that you take an interest in this fine composer.

    David
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi David. Thank you for the feedback. Yes, there are a few tricky spots. And I was not sure how much pedal to use, dynamics, phrasing, etc. I'll re-record this today and try to make it more soft and dreamy. It is a very pretty piece - you're right about this being more like what I had in mind when thinking of Bortkiewicz. Maybe after I finish my mazurka project and one other thing, I'll look through more of his music.

    On a little side note, and something that troubles me a little: playing softly. Not specifically this piece (I think I played some parts softly, but I can do better in other parts), but recording in general. We all have different recording gear and also 'listening' gear. Going from listening to one person's music to another, you are bound to hear a different volume level, right? I just think that because of that, maybe what we think is supposed to sound soft, may sound a little too loud because we had our speakers turned up prior to listening to a particular piece of music and so it came off sounding like it was too loudly played. Not sure any of that makes sense, I'm just pondering some thoughts while I wait for my headache to go away. (I just fell down the stairs, or more like 'slid' down the stairs on my back. Doesn't feel good when the back of your head is bouncing down each stair.... :lol: )
     
  4. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    So sorry to hear of your accident on the stairs! :( I hope you're OK! At least you didn't break anything--that would have been awful. Seems though you have a strong skull!!!

    Yes, the recording output level is key. I find that for input, even though I have the setting quite low on my Korg MR-1000, the output is always loud! The way I like to test it once I have the mp3 file is to place the volume knob on my computer speakers at 12:00 noon position to see how loud it is, as I don't want to blow the headphones right off the listener's head! Usually I have to use an edit program to decrease the volume, and sometimes have to do it a second time as well to get the sound comfortable at 12:00. This might help you.

    David
     
  5. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,
    sorry about your stair-accident! :( But the stair has survived. :D I´m just kidding you, of course, I´m glad, you haven´t broken anything.
    Notewise you play this piece perfectly and there really are some very nice musical moments in it, but I agree to David, that generally it could be played more dreamy, softly and silently, especially the pp dolcissimo parts and the ppp at the end.
    Do you play with left pedal the Andante un poco e moto e cantabile? In my score there is prescribed "una corda". The loudest passages are in mf, so that the whole piece is not the loudest.
    Yes, I think, the recording-settings can have much influence of the sound. You can make your sound softer first by playing softer, of course, and second by puting your mikes a bit farer away from the piano and/or puting the recording level a bit more down. (If you would want to sound your recording really softly, you could hang a towel over your mikes. :lol: I´m only joking here, of course.)
    It´s really a beautiful and meditative piece and I think, you still play it well. It´s just a bit work of expression, sound colour and dynamical nuances you could do here.
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi again! Thanks for the feedback to you too, Andreas! :)

    haha - the stairs survived and so did my head. I'm tougher than I look! But still good thing the stairs are carpeted and I only fell down half of them. And who knows, maybe it knocked some sense into me! :lol: Also, if I saw someone else do what I did, I'd be laughing my head off!! (oh haha - head off - get it? :lol:)

    Anyway, I just re-recorded this piece. I used the soft pedal in my previous version but this time I rode the pedal much more. Also tried to play as softly as I could, which is not easy! I have a suggestion to the world - Don't drink a bunch of coffee, fall down some stairs, and then try to play a quiet piece! :lol: But you know, now I'm a little worried that this version is too soft. I have to put my speakers all the way up to hear it! What do you think? Also, if you feel like it, can you tell me if I'm 'dreamy' enough?
     
  7. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    I just listened. It's absolutely lovely! It's played with more smoothness and fluidity, and it's softer, more mellow and dolce now. I have the sound level on the speakers set at 12:00 and it's just right. With this re-recording, you have a superior rendition here. Nice!

    David
     
  8. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for listening again, David. I'm glad you think the volume level is okay. I think I'm just so used to turning the speakers up when I listen to members' recordings so that I can hear all the tiny little details, and when I turned my own recording up all the way and it didn't blast out my ears, I started to get concerned. Hopefully I'll remember to turn the speakers back down before listening to more music.... :shock: :lol:
     
  9. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    Yes, you got the volume exactly right. Couldn't be any better.

    I hope the other members will listen to your piece, as it's been awhile (other than your waltz) since Bortkiewicz's music has graced this forum. I've been meaning to get back to him myself, but I had the Catoire project, and now I need to do a few pieces by other composers as well. Even though not all of his oeuvre has been recovered since WWII, the Bortkiewicz repertoire is still surprisingly robust. So even with the missing opuses and pieces, there is much to choose from there.

    David
     
  10. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,
    I´m just back from school and relaxing a bit, so I decided to listen to your re-recording. What a wonderful performance, I´m really enthused. You have caught exactly the right mood here: you play it dreamily, softly, with a very nice sound-colour and beautiful nuances in dynamic.
    I also think, that your recording settings are quite ideal now for that piece. Bravo on the whole line!
    I have listened with my good speakers by Myro, so I could get all nuances, and I have to say, it was an absolute enjoyment. Plus: this piece is ideal for relaxing a bit. 8) :wink:
    So, what can we learn from all this: fall down the stairs, get some headaches and let the stairs survive, so you will receive your best recordings! :lol:
     
  11. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you also for listening again, Andreas! And this is really funny!! :lol:

    @ David, I meant to say this earlier but forgot: This piece reminded me of Faure. I've only played a couple Faure pieces but that's what came to mind as I was learning this Consolation. Actually, I'm not even sure who came first? Maybe it's Faure that reminds me of Bortkiewicz? (I guess I should look it up on our site... :) )
     
  12. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    I think Faure probably was an influence on Bortkiewicz. He died in 1952 as I recall, so I'm sure that Faure came first.

    David
     
  13. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Monica,

    That is a beautiful performance. Your tone is both lush and crystal clear at the same time.
    Thank you so much for sharing this unfamiliar repertoire.

    Kaila
     
  14. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks, Kaila. Bortkiewicz was unfamiliar to me too until David started posting his recordings. :)
     
  15. alf

    alf New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I listened to your Bortkiewicz yesterday and it is VERY well played, especially the first half. I found not very consistent the tempo relationships between the different sections (this is just my taste) and a bit labored the RH double note work in the "Andante poco moto". But that's really minor nitpicking, you have totally pinned down the mood of this piece. Btw, to me this set tastes more Lisztian than the usual Bortkiewicz (even in some titles).
     
  16. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks, Alfonso. I don't know ANY of the other pieces in the set, so I can't say what they taste like to me. (But if there is some chocolate in there, then I'll have to look at them....haha)
     
  17. alf

    alf New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Chocolate or not, I suspect that you could like some of them (probably Nos. 5 and 6). Plus, they can be learned rather quickly. To my mind, No.6 would fit wonderfully with the luminous trebles of your Yamaha.
     
  18. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for the suggestion. If I ever get done with my mazurkas and Goyesca, I'll look at that no. 6.
     

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