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Chopin, Chopin, Chopin, and Granados

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianolady, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    In honor of Chopin’s birthday tomorrow, here are a few of his pieces. Also, a friend I have spoken with recently said that birds are singing and heralding spring’s arrival. Not where I live, unfortunately, but I can dream, so that’s why the May Song is here too. Technically, I could have waited until May, but oh well. I really don’t know what tempo to play it, either. It’s marked tranquillo, and I’m not sure what that means other than tranquil, but how fast or slow is that? Also, you may hear a splice or two – two at the most. The other clicks are my clicky thumbs. They are double-jointed and click all the time. (another problem I have)
    Comments appreciated!

    Chopin Prelude No. 11 - B Major
    Prelude Op. 28, No. 21 in B-flat Major
    Chopin Mazurka Op. 30, No. 2
    Granados - May Song Op. 1, No. 3
     
  2. John Robson

    John Robson New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Chopin, Chopin, Chopin, Granados

    A very tasteful selection of pieces to celebrate Fraddy's b'day. I'm sure he appreciates all three. I know I do. I have no constructive criticism. I just relaxed and enjoyed your beautiful playing. Isn't that what it's all about?

    The Granados was very tranquil and serene to me. I've never played it, but would like to. I hope they put it up on the site with the music. I would download it immediately so I could enjoy playing it also. Then again, I could order the music. But sometimes it's more fun being a tight wad.

    Tomorrow's March 1. Maybe there won't be that much cold weather. It's too hot here this week. Supposed to go up to 88 by Friday. I'm using my AC. Eat your heart out! LOL
     
  3. schmonz

    schmonz Amitai Schlair Piano Society Artist

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    The Granados is pleasant and interesting in that I would not have guessed he wrote it. Doesn't have his characteristic sound. Perhaps written while a student, or shortly thereafter?

    The Chopin is lovely. I know you love the guy and it came across especially clearly in these. Very musical!
     
  4. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I enjoyed listening to all 4 pieces. Precise and clear playing as usual from you, and your tone is beautiful too, especially in the Granados. Also tasteful rubato here.

    One little thing maybe, that the melody in the Prelude#11 could stand out a bit more in order to "sing" . No easy task to have 2 separate tone colors in the right hand, especially also that the rh ornaments are in background compared to the rh melody. You do a bit for that, but it could be more (only my opinion).

    Overall, a really worthy birthday present to the master. Thanks for that!
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, guys. John R. and Schmonz - I happened to have the Granados piece in a book with various composers. All I know is that the May Song is part of a group of pieces he wrote called, "Stories of Youth". I would like to get more Granados piano music to play. There seems to be many 'collections', but I'm not sure which one to try first.

    Olaf - Yes, I should try to bring out the top melody more on the #11 Prelude. Thanks for the advice.

    John R - We're having thunderstorms today (which I like) Maybe spring is on its way.
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    These sound really good, but I have not listened to all of it properly. Will comment more tomorrow.

    Granados wrote a great deal of juvenilia which are always charming and tasteful though not characteristic of his mature style. Apart from these, there's a couple of cycles you could think of,
    in order of advanced pianism:

    Valses poeticos (nice, Schubert-like)
    Cartas de Amor (ditto)
    Escenas Poeticas & Libro the Horas (6 gorgeous short pieces)
    6 Pieces on popular Spanish songs (a bit more advanced)
    12 Spanish Dances (ditto)
    Goyescas (if you want the very best Spanish music next to Iberia)
     
  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks, Chris. Now I have somewhere to start. Sort of. It's a lot of music! I just listened to all of your Spanish dances recordings - very nice! (I'm a little late, but I didn't know you then :) )
     
  8. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    That was really good, Monica! You sounded more relaxed than ever playing these pieces, esp the May Song. I loved it; and from the sound of it, you did too!

    PS: I'm still alive and kicking, just very little time for forums as of late.

    Pete
     
  9. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I've been wondering about you, Pete. Glad you are still around.
    Thanks for listening!
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    A class job as usual. You get better all the time ! And not a wrong note to be heard. How do you do it ? The piano sounds great but I think you have your input volume set too high, there is some clipping in the forte passages.

    I much enjoyed the Granados piece, which I did not know :oops: You play it really glowingly and should definitely do more Granados. Perhaps you should consider playing this entire set (Cuentos de juventud) as you don't hear it often and it seems to be better than I thought it would be.

    The preludes are very nicely done. In the No.11 indeed the LH is too prominent but otherwise a strong performance of this ravishing prelude. In the nr.21 I find the phrasing a bit too short-winded, I think the lines should be longer. The LH could be a bit more smooth and flowing. Great passion in the forte middle section, well done.

    The mazurka sounds altogether more relaxed and lyrical than my version. I badly need to re-record that... My ideal tempo lies somewhere in between my fast and your slow tempo. I am relieved you also have some wrong notes in that tricky 4-voice part, though not as obtrusively as mine :lol: And you really need to know the piece to even hear these.

    I'll put all of these up the site asap. The Granados will go in the 'Misc' section as it so far is a one-off. Should you consider the whole set it could move to a separate page. Hurray for the Spaniards !
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    All these are up. Please check for errors.
     
  12. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have it on 14 or 15. I'll check that next time.



    I am definitely going to check out more Granados. Thanks again for all the info.



    Yeah, it just figures - I played this for my teacher yesterday who said basically the same thing. He taught me a new way of playing this, thinking more about the beautiful, gentle RH melody over the LH, which can be smoother but with a hint of tumultuousness . So I have one week to work on it and I may re-record it if I am able to produce the right sound.

    See? I do make mistakes.

    Thank you for your input.
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    [quote="pianolady]See? I do make mistakes.[/quote]
    Yeah but the kind that only I seem to hear. Those don't count :lol:
     
  14. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Maybe you have the right about that fast tempo. Play it fast enough and nobody catches the mistakes.
     
  15. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I usually have my input level at about 12 and that can still clip if you really bang it but one seldom do.

    Ah, Granados makes me wish for May. We have still snow where I live but according to the weather news, it should rain the next coming days and perhaps after that, we can get spring. But where I live, there usually comes snow a couple of times in April and actually, when my daughter was born at the 9:th of May in 1999, it was snowing! But that is rare.

    You play all the Chopin beautifully Monica. I know the preludes well even though there is a couple of years since I played them and these are really well executed. A bit different interpretated "than mainstream recordings" in some passages which it comes to dynamics and accents but I really like it as it seems like you have a clear musical understanding what you want to achieve.

    Chris said, "not a wrong key" but I am pretty sure there I hear a tiny slip in the 21:th prelude at 1:21 but you hide it really well with the pedal ;).

    The end of some of the "sketch alike" preludes are alwats a bit difficult, like Chopin not really had a clear program for it and they tend to fade away. But I do prefer these before overlong endings as he sometimes do in his larger works (nothing comparing to Liszt though who can go on in minutes before finding the correct chord :eek:). On the other hand, it might be the case that it should not feel really finished but rather start of next prelude. I believe they are clearly connected and fits best executed as a chain where all the tension built up is neutralised with the last prelude's deep D, D, D.

    The Mazurka is also really well played and quite exact as I want it to sound.

    Overall, bravo Monica!
     
  16. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I know what you mean about Liszt. I remember the first time I heard his popular sonata (b-minor?)I was in my car on the way to the mall. I found a parking spot and waited before turning the car off for the piece to end. When I thought it did, I began reaching for the radio to turn it off, but then the piece kept going. I did that around four more times before it finally ended. I do like that Sonata, but I laugh remembering how I thought it had four or five endings, and I was never going to get out of my car.

    Anyway, the Preludes. Very interesting thought you have about them. I like the idea of neutralizing the tension at the end of the last one. I never really thought about them being connected as far as the tension goes.
    I am currently in love with them again. You know how you play something a long time ago, and then put it way for a long time, and then look at it again? That's what's happening with me and these Preludes. They tell a special little story and the drama in each one is so prominent in even the ones that don't have the extreme tension.(or don't seem to) My teacher pointed out some things in the No. 21 that I never thought of before, and it's opened my eyes to a new way of listening and playing these. In this no. 21, the RH plays the gentle, singing melody going along peacefully, while the LH is almost like a duet along with it - the upper notes of LH - but with a hint of restlessness, like some turbulence is coming on the horizon. And it does when everything comes crashing down on the long four-part downhill toward the end.
    I once watched a player perform all the Preludes straight through in a recital once, and he was sweating profusely by the end. I'm sure I would collapse if I could ever do it. Oh, isn't Chopin great! I love him. And I'm loving Granados right now too. My husband is getting a little tired of me talking about all these great men all the time - but at least since they are dead, he tolerates it. :wink:

    I caught him on a good day. :p

    Thanks for listening, Robert.
     
  17. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I see, and I saw. Sorry for the late reply, as I just found it.
    From my honest opnion. as for the piano society we are here to share music around as friends,,,,

    I liked your prelude 11 and addicted to the "may song". Its like watching the movie'''''song to remember/song of love " Can you remember that??? Story of chopin....


    Good work and nice piano sound too, this is the best sound.from your recording..why?????Usse less keys? drier room, door opened???
     
  18. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have all the Chopin movies.



    So you think the less keys I play, the better I sound? :evil:

    :) I'm kidding. I recorded this right after I had the piano tuned. Also, I'm coming out of my box!
    That's what my teacher told me - that I play too timidly and with a lot of tension, so we're working on me gettting more tone.

    Thanks, John
     
  19. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    So you think the less keys I play, the better I sound? :evil: this evil icon suits the reply very well and cute. I mean, those keys that we used less are often in tune better.
     

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