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Chopin - 3 Mazurkas Op. 50

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by techneut, Jul 3, 2006.

  1. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I never played in my bathing suit, before. Have to try it sometime, I guess.
    Anyway, as you know, I like this set of mazurkas, and I think all three were played nicely. I even learned from listening to you, that I have been playing a wrong note my whole life. I went to the music to check, and yep, you were right. The only thing is on No. 3 your tempo seems a little too fast. The triplet on measure 11 sounds like a turn because it goes by so quickly. This is just my humble opinion. You and others on this forum know more than I do.
    Thanks for letting us listen!

    p.s. Did you use that reverb thing?
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks pianolady.
    Yes these triplets go too fast sometimes, I have a habit of that. Working on it, but forgot in the heat of excitement. I think the middle section of nr 3 goes too fast, not the rest of it.
    I did add reverb but not as much as previously (light concert hall now). Still trying to make up my mind about which I like best.
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I like the 'light concert hall' reverb. It adds that special sound without smearing up the notes.
     
  5. lol_nl

    lol_nl New Member

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    Can anyone explain to me what exactly reverb is? I couldn't find anything to do with reverb in Audacity, and the site of Audacity comes up with a whole physical analysis of which I understand nothing. They say you have to download a special thing for the reverb, but can't find any.
     
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    reverb is a result of the sound playing in whatever kind of room you are in. this occurs naturally as sound bounces off the walls of a room (or lack of one if you are outside). for example you have different reverb playing
    the same piano in a gymnasium than you would playing it in a small apartment, or say an older house with high ceilings. acoustics vary from
    concert hall to concert hall as well which change the quality of reverb.

    the reverb itself therefore is the amount of echo or reverberation sound
    makes in a physical area after the piano has already played and the dampers have muted the sound... how much of it trails off on its own...

    what people are usually speaking of however, when they discuss "using reverb" is a computer synthesized effect which reproduces an aural sensation of reverb... by taking the recorded sounds and slightly decaying them... using reverb one can take a muffled, rather mute and ordinary studio recording, or a recording plugged directly into a recording device... and theoretically, by using reverb effects give the sound quality
    more bredth and color as you would experience in a live recording.

    because of this reason, studios almost 100% use reverb on singers,
    who in a controlled environment sing into a mic which goes directly
    into a sound board and the recording unit. because the voice's sound
    waves have no chance to travel say, projected outside an amplifier into a room and bounce (reverb) off some walls, the voice sounds
    really dry, like someone singing right into your ear. So what
    studio engineers do is they add reverb to the voice giving it a more
    live feel. This is done so often to singers and in commercial recordings the average listener takes it for granted.
     
  7. lol_nl

    lol_nl New Member

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    Hey thanks! I understand what it is now! :lol: I also understand the function of it. Yes my recordings sound a little dry without it.
    But can you tell me how to add it with Audacity or where to download a program to add it :)?
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I think it's not just for singers. Have read that many piano recordings are made in an acoustically 'dead' room, and all reverb you hear (as well as good lord knows what else) is due to post-processing. Bit of a cheat really....
     
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    oh yeah they do it on everything drums especially too.

    ANYWAY back to the topic at hand!

    I just want to say thank you for sharing this nice little
    set of Mazurkas. I especially like the first and second ones.
    In the first one however, you have chords in the right hand
    which accompany a left hand melodic line, these chords
    are too big and loud. This occurs at about a
    minute in and about 1:50 seconds in the recording.
    Also in the first one, maybe more dynamic range, make
    the pianos more soft especially.

    The second one I like. I think chopin liked the key of A flat
    a lot.

    The third one. For some reason it seems not chohesive.
    It must be the rythm as piano lady said. This Mazurka
    seems to be more grandiose than the others. Which for me
    is fine in a Ballad or etude or something. This Mazurka
    just has identity problems and of course Chopin was
    a mime so oh well.

    Anyway your technique and sound is coming along
    nicely Chris I bet you and your teacher are working well
    together! Sounds good!
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yep I see what you mean, dynamics are not all they should be, especially in the places you mention. It all seems to sound a bit choppier than I had in mind. Ah well, as long as I'm getting better - the lessons definitely do it.
     
  11. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Profound playing, as we are used to get from you in amazingly short intervals.

    Regarding the book of Eigeldinger "Chopin as seen by his pupils" (what can be really, really recommended to everyone who likes to dive into the manner Chopin played Chopin), he treated his Mazurkas something special.
    According to temporaries, he seems to extend his rubato much more and played more freely from rhythm than in any other forms of his piano oevre.

    So this you could take in account (more rubato if you like), and also the already mentioned dynamic playing. In order to let the melodies "sing" maybe you could try to take back the accompaniment more and play softer as default. That way perhaps the melodies shine more. Only minor thing, and maybe not easy to get on your heavy action grand, but always worth the effort!

    Regarding the reverb thing:
    Of course reverb is something what turns a dry sound into something what always sounds pleasing. That is like take lot of salt in the salad - smells good but covers the inherent salad taste . Or like sweet wine, tastes always sugar sweet - but hasn't dry wine normally more character?

    In former times I was strictly again putting additional artificial reverb to any acoustic recording. I have changed my mind slightly, because I agree that if you put e.g. mikes inside the open lid of a grand or directly before the pipes of a church organ, it sounds dryer than a listener experiences it in the room. So it makes sense to me now, to add a bit of reverb. But one can easily do too much. Less is often more if it comes to artifical reverb. Also for voice, what was mentioned. Great singers normally don't use much artificial reverb, because why should they cover their great voice behind the reverb?
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ah, do shut up now about these short intervals :D
    I have played the Mazurkas for at least 30-35 years, and have been polishing these three for several months now. So they don't come out of the blue. But it is an elusive idiom, indeed.

    You are right about the other points. But I find it difficult to create a true pianissimo, or even create sufficient dynamics, on my grand.

    Reverb - I have come back from using 'Large Occupied Hall' as it is indeed too swimmy (especially for organ :wink: ). The 'Light Concert Hall' seems to be just right. A small-room recording (from a room rather stuffed with all kind of things) absolutely must have reverb to sound anywhere near palatable.
     
  13. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    What about letting change the action and/or voicing the hammers? Don't be too stingy to yourself! You have extraordinary talent, and you definetly have earned to improve something on the piano in order to facilitate the dynamic playing! Let your wife go extensively shopping, and for yourself go for a Renner action with new hammers and intonation! :D
     
  14. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Sheesh, let the wife go shopping... Any more Bright Ideas ? Sounds like a Death Wish :lol: I don't expect to have sufficient funds after that...

    Yeah I think a lot about trading in my Gaveau for something more modern and responsive, but when push comes to shove I don't seem to want to part with it. It's sort of a love-hate relationship really. And I just had new hammers installed ....
     
  15. arensky

    arensky New Member

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    NO.

    This is a beautiful instrument. How old is it? I played a Gaveau at a piano store in Los Angeles once, French pianos are very different from other country's pianos, I like them. This piano has character and a real voice; are the soundboard and pinblock ok? If so, put the work into it! DON'T GET RID OF IT, you'll be sorry and always want it back. Olaf is right, it's Renner action time. Heh, I'd like one in my piano too, but I'm not sure if it will fit properly in an American Steinway "A", my technician said there might be a problem with the hammer to string ratios. At any rate that won't happen any time soon, not enough $$$...

    Anyway your playing of these Mazurkas is great, particularly the third one in c# minor, one of the greatest imo. A general comment; you need to delineate the endings and beginings of phrases more clearly, sometimes the material seems to run together. In the c#minoe your LH 8th note passages are beautifully done, they provide velocity and momentum and still sound melodic, beautifully shaped. Quite a feat! Excellent playing.

    Swimming trunks eh? Well, I recorded the 2nd Gnossienne with no shirt on! Who knows where this trend will lead... :lol:
     
  16. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for that Chase ! I did put ample (if perhaps still not sufficient) preparation in these even though I had played these for many years. Yes, phrasing is one of the things I am working on, it's getting better but seems I'm not quite there yet. Thanks for the tip.

    Ah that Gaveau, yes it is beautiful and has lots of character and oompah. If not I would not be so attached to it. I think it dates from 1920 or so. If only it would feel like a Steinway (no need to sound like it) I would be so happy. Renner time ? As I understood I'd have to ship off the complete inner works to Austria and they'd build a new one there. I find that a scary prospect, and I know that measurements are not the same as in modern instruments (there were enough pesky little problems even after only replacing the hammers...).

    It is a real conundrum I can tell you..... Even apart from the amount of money it would involve.
     

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