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

Bortkiewicz, Prelude, Op. 33, No. 10 in B flat minor

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by Rachfan, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    Last Name:
    Coleman
    First Name:
    Nathan
    I DL'd a lot of Bort, David. I just haven't printed anything out yet and started playing ... I have a too much on my piano for me to do right now anyway. I need to start weeding out ... *sigh*

    Anyway, just wanted to say ... I think this is my favorite so far, David. Lush ... romantic ... very beautiful. Kudos.
     
  2. 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 Nathan,

    I'm delighted that you enjoyed this piece so much. Another pianist in another forum emailed me saying how much he liked it. He heard it as a grotesque waltz, whereby a ghost revisits a ballroom from his youth to recapture the nostalgia of cherished moments, but instead finds cavorting skeletons and spiders in the corners. (I hadn't thought of that imagery, but as I consider it now, it does seem to fit the music!) Evidently, Bortkiewicz had a very fertile and active imagination. Whenever you pick up one of his scores, you don't quite know what you'll find there. Never a dull moment with him!

    Thanks for the compliment!

    David
     
  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 Chris,

    I don't know if you'll see this, but I thought I'd add to our discussion above where I referred to Medtner being "stingy with his melodies". I came across this tonight while listening to his piano concerti. The program notes for the Chandos CD were written by the soloist, Geoffrey Tozer. Referring to Sergey Taneyev's assimilation of the methods of Palestrina and Fux, and Taneyev also being an influence on Medtner, Tozer says:

    "Here is surely the beginning of Medtner's belief in the supremacy of melody, not quite in the sense of a tune on top of an accompaniment, but in a streaming flow of harmonious and consonant music, often made of several melodic strands and without the slightest discord."

    I think that is the concept I've been hearing, but I was not as adept as Tozer in articulating that quality of a Mednter melody. Your better description of his melodies being long-limbed and embedded in details, I think, is closer to how Tozer views the nature of this music.

    David
     
  4. Dimiter

    Dimiter New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    piano teacher, performer and dealer
    Location:
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
    some thoughts

    Thank you for posting this rather unknown work. I laso like the late-romantic expression, but I must admit that I was not very moved by this work. I can not quite articulate why, but it felt like a cliche to me. Of course, every experience is personal, and it is great that some people felt emotional about the piece. As Jorge Borges has said " For most German-speaking people Goethe's Faust is a great work while for rest it is one of the most peculiar forms of boredom".

    Please don't get me wrong, I mean no offence, just that there is no sound logical reason to like or dislike certain pieces of art. I don't know if you have heard my recordings of Vladigerov. For me they are really moving, but many people will probably see many cliche there too.
     
  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 Dimiter,

    Thank you for listening to this music of Bortkiewicz. The very good news concerning this Late Romantic composer is that there is much variety in his output. On pages 1 through 3 of this forum I've posted my recordings of several of the Preludes and the Impromptu--each considerably different from the rest. If you have a moment, and the willingness, please listen to some of the others. I can almost guarantee that you'll find one or two that you'll fully enjoy. If not, I'll keep posting these works until you do find one that moves you! I'm very taken by these pieces and am having some success in interesting other pianists in playing this music.

    Again, I greatly appreciate your curiosity and open-mindedness in listening to this music that has been in obscurity for many decades.

    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
    Yes I'd go along with Tozer here. A simple tune-with-accompaniment is hardly Medtner's style. The tunes are there though, and gorgeous they are. My problem with Bortkiewicz is that I find most of his tunes unmemorable, and his treatment of them often unconvincing. That can't be said of Medtner, only that he can be so prolix, diffuse and effusive at the same time as to actually get boring - which in turn is something Bortkiwicz can not be accused of :D
     

Share This Page