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BWV 721 - electronic performance in three parts

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianoman342, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have spent this weekend recording a piece that I first came to know here, when Chris posted it earlier. It is a really beautiful piece for organ, "Erbarm' dich, o Herre Gott," a chorale prelude. This may come as a shock as most of you know me here as a pianist. Not sure that this recording makes me an organist :roll: , but, whatever the case, I decided to use my keyboard (that has an organ voice) to record it in three parts.

    This piece is written in three staffs. From what I understand the original text is written in the c clef. I found a newer edition, which I used called "les editions outremontaises." It preserves the piece but varies from the original by converting the c clef to bass clef. This made it a lot easier for me to read :) The way I performed this piece in three parts is this:

    I started by practicing the middle staff. It moves the most, averages mostly three note chords and it was the hardest for me to learn. It took me about 30 takes to get it how I wanted it, and there still are mistakes :evil: I record the part to my pianos hard drive ( in the beginning of the video you will see me arming the piano recorder) I used a metronome for this project to have the parts line up. The timing is 94 bpm, a fast andante. After the part is done, I play back the part to my audio recorder (it's only recording the audio not the ambient sound-this is why you don't hear the metronome-), and send the file to my computer. I then added the same reverb setting to all the parts. I then edited the videos to the soundtracks. The result I hope you can enjoy :).

    I know there was a debate not too long ago about tampering playing by digital means. I can assure you these recordings were not tampered with (in terms of notes) by a computer. They are live recordings (though digital). I admit this recording sounds a little stilted. Playing and recording with a metronome, I have found, is quite a challenging exercise! It helps me appreciate the pianists who submit recordings that were made by the unchanging pulse of a metronome more! Any criticism is welcome and appreciated.

    Here is the video on youtube (see video description for info):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAkhYyScMLg

    Here is the audio (which is the exact audio from the video, with either more or less silence at the end and beginning:



    Riley
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Dammit, now he tells me :roll: For some reason I could only find an original edition featuring the C clef. Ah well, it was character building...

    For a 3-part recording this sounds pretty coordinated. But yes, it is a bit stilted, and the unflexibly pounding chords give it a dogged quality. At least you should have made the chords softer so that the chorale melody can properly soar above them.

    But it's an interesting project. Don't you just love these harmonies, how implacably and regularly the choral phrases pitch against all the wildly
    modulating accompaniment. Only Bach could do this - way ahead of his time even when looking back.
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Riley,

    That's a very interesting video! I like the three-in-one. A real neat idea!
    As far as playing music with three staffs (staves): just play it for a couple hours and then go back to playing something with only two staffs. Whenever I have to do that, the two-staff music suddenly seems much easier. :)
     
  4. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    @ Chris and Monica,

    Thanks for the watching/listening and the feedback!

    Well at least now if you find a piece you want to play in the c clef it should be easier! Character building must have a payoff :lol:

    Glad you like it. It was a new experience for me editing three videos as I usually only have one video in a video! As for reading three staffs I agree I feel like reading two, if only for a short time after rehearsing the parts, was not so hard. Maybe I will try my hand at more 3 part arrangements.. :)

    Riley
     
  5. musical-md

    musical-md New Member

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    Have you tried the Bach Sinfonias (3-part inventions)?
     
  6. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Riley,
    that´s a nice performance and I have enjoyed it throughout! I´m sure this experiment of video-montag was a fun. I like such things. :wink: Keep up the good work!
     

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