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Brahms - 3 Intermezzi Op.117

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by techneut, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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  2. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,

    I think your Brahms renditions here are very good. You have a fine mastery of the sometimes treacherous passage work, you voice the melodic chords beautifully, achieve a nice flow in playing the long line, and do much with the dynamics too. Your playing is always expressive.

    I've studied No. 2 in this set, and found it not to be an easy piece! Your phrasing there is very careful with smooth, beautiful legato playing. Your articulation during the tricky figuration precludes any interruptive bumps, ensuring an even flow of the music. And your pedaling brings about a fine clarity as well.

    No. 1 always reminds me, for some reason, of one of the quiet Ballades of Op. 10, probably because it casts a similar mood. No. 3 has a most interesting construction, having been written in episodic form: Aa, Ab, Aa, Ab, coda, Bc, Bd, C recapitulation, link, A2, and coda. It seems to tell a story.

    I'm curious, what edition do you prefer for the Brahms Short Works? I have the International Music Co. edition (three volumes, complete works) which is very well regarded, but I use it only for score comparisons. For actual study I like one of the few really good Schirmer editions, Brahms in Two Volumes edited by Emil von Sauer. He was both a wonderful concert artist and a scholarly, conservative, and sensible editor.

    Good work!

    David
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you David ! High praise ideed :D I think I did justice to these wonderful pieces at last. They're not as easy as they seem at first glance.

    I have the Peters Edition, which I believe is the same as your Schirmer as it's also edited by Sauer. Never had any reason to want another one. In other Peters Editions (Liszt), Sauer is not above suggesting some aditions/improvements of his own though !
     
  4. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    these are much better than the previous recording. :D

    I have nothing to say, technically speaking, since these are good performances. all I can say is regarding interpretation. of course yours is acceptable, and my suggestions can't transcend subjectiveness.

    you start no. 1 in a good way, but then you accelerate in the middle, where I'd take it slower. hehe (I hear the bass notes out of tune here, but who am I to complain about it? :roll: haha)

    in my opinion, no. 2 is one of the most difficult pieces to play, regarding interpretation. I'm glad you didn't play it fast, as sometimes I hear. in some passages I'd wish for a softer touch, but I have to say you did a good job at 2'53.

    no. 3 needs to be a little faster. and all of them would sound more convincing at the end if played with more intimacy and slower.


    of course, as said above, it's subjective!
    these are good performances of very demanding pieces, as said Alfonso in the other topic.
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I like these and want to learn them myself one day - especially no. 2. Nice playing.
     
  6. Daniel Hoehr

    Daniel Hoehr New Member

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    Congratulations on those splendid recordings! I definitely like them better than the old ones, particularly no 2.

    I played them myself in a few recitals last year and also recorded them. They are wonderful music and it is not at all easy to get the mood of those complex pieces right. Your approach sounds nicely autumnal, which (I think) is exactly what they are meant to be.

    Nice one!
     
  7. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,

    There are really good Schirmer editions of Liszt (yeah, I realize that "Schirmer and good" sounds like an oxymoron sometimes! :lol:) Rafael Joseffy, in my opinion, was one of the finest editors of all time. He actually worked in close collaboration with Liszt in editing the latter's pieces. Also, most of his fingerings are ingenious. (I wish he were still around to help me with some of the Catoire fingerings!) Joseffy is one of the very few in that series of publications who can be trusted. For Liszt, I believe that Joseffy would trump Sauer.

    David
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks all for the comments ! All of Brahms' 'autumnal' works are nothing short of miraculous and I should be recording more of them.
     
  9. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I see why you're satisfied with these, Chris. They are very touching performances which invite the listener to experience the core of Brahms' music. An excellent job!
    Apart from that, I know you like also the critical comments ;) I'd like to point out really minor things that were noticeable to me, although I don't know these pieces well.
    No.1: The Phrasing. Between the bar 8 and 9 you detached B flat from E flat on the high voice. In my Henle edition they are connected with a slur. And I personally think, in that way it sounds better. On the bar 10 you detached G from B flat on the middle voice. Is there an intended effect by doing so?
    On the bars 49-51 I wish a more clear voicing.
    No.2: In the 32th notes played by RH and LH alternately (for example the beginning section of the piece) the LH sounds continuously a bit weak compared to the RH.
    In no.3 I cound't find anything for nitpicking ;)
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for your feedback Hye-Jin ! It is always useful.

    I know. But it is impossible to play this transition seamlessly. It is for me, anyway. Maybe a better job could have been done with more juducious pedaling.

    Nope, just inconsistent phrasing, which I am prone to. I don't work my pieces to absolute perfection, considering and preparing every tiny detail, like some people would. Too much to do for that :D

    Not sure what exactly your wish is here. But surely, there will be always something to improve.

    That is a conscious decision, as the RH has the melody here.

    You could have tried harder :p
     
  11. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Or you could change something in the fingering. I don't have an instrument now, so I cannot prove the possibility, but I would press the B flat first with 4. finger and then change it into the 3. So you can play seamless at least the high voice.

    Yes, in your case indeed.

    Sorry. I just mean that the repeat of the melody of the high voice in the middle voice was not so successful that the two voices sound mixed in a unclear way.

    :oops: I haven't thought about that. I fully respect your decision, but I'd like to suggest to add a minimal dynamic to the LH, because the LH plays ascending motive here.

    Yes, sir! ;)
     

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