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Chopin - Mazurkas Op.6 and Op.7

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by techneut, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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  2. MarkieUK

    MarkieUK Member Piano Society Artist

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    I listened to the first, Op. 6 no. 1, as it's one of my favourites.

    I think the sound of your piano really suits Chopin. Thought this was a good rendition at the correct speed and you convey the Mazurka feel well. The things I thought could be improved are: making more of piano/pianissimo, particularly on repeats, and the scherzando section could have been a quicker tempo.
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks Mark, and good to see you still hanging out here. I sometimes get the feeling everybody's left for good.

    Yes, dynamics is an ongoing concern, I find differentiating p / pp very difficult on my non-too subtle action.
    And indeed the scherzando section should be lighter on its feed. I think I've never really honoured that directive properly.
     
  4. MarkieUK

    MarkieUK Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi, I still keep an eye on the forums and listen. You should record some more things like the Czerny as your piano seems to have quite a period sound. You certainly have the skill to get the scherzando section of that mazurka going, so why not give it a bit more zip.

    Am currently working on a couple of Arensky pieces here, so may do some recordings if I feel they're up to scratch.
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    A good idea, I'll have another go at it. This one has never been one of my favourites and probably deserves more than I'm giving it.

    Some Arensky on the site would be good. Amazingly, we don't have any yet.
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Mark,
    I spent some more time with no.1, the scherzando is now a lot more like scherzando, and the dynamics marginally better. Would you agree ?
    And I don't think I have buggered up any of the triplets :)
     
  7. MarkieUK

    MarkieUK Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi, is the new version as above or do you need to post a new link to it?
     
  8. MarkieUK

    MarkieUK Member Piano Society Artist

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    I'm listening to Op. 7 No. 1. I think you could accent the trills more and elongate them slightly for effect. Again, think you could use more dynamics (and rubato) in the contrasting minor sections. This is being critical of course; it's very good and definitely has the mazurka feel to it.
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    It's replaced under the link above. You'll probably need to clear your browser's cache to get the new version.
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks for your feedback, it is much appreciated.

    Interesting about the trills. Indeed I keep them rather short and snappy here. I always used to try and squeeze as many notes as possible into by trills, with often inconsistent results. This time I decided to do them differently, and I like the result. They're now more like ornaments than trills.
    The dynamics are insufficient as always - an ongoing concern. And my rubato is as always very restrained and subtle - I don't know if I will be able to change that much.
     
  11. MarkieUK

    MarkieUK Member Piano Society Artist

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    Use of rubato is a very personal thing and you feel more inclined to use it in certain pieces and not in others. I just think it really adds to the mazurkas and can make them sound more poignant. Also think it can add a bit of interest to repeated sections. Usually I'm not a big fan of too much rubato in general though.

    I just had a random thought that some Chabrier would sound good on your piano.
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Good point. I always remind myself to play more freely but my internal metronome always seems to overrule :)

    Funny you should say that. And yes it would, and it does. I am planning to record his Pieces Pittoresques, which I love more than anything in the the French repertoire (pace Faure). They need a bit more work though, so not anytime soon.
     
  13. verqueue

    verqueue New Member

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    It's my first post on piano society.

    Even these "easy" Mazurkas are quite a challange. I like very much you sound. It's very good performance I think.
    In the first Mazurka F# op. 6 I think you could show more differences in each rendition of the theme, don't be scared of more sharp articulation from time to time. Also in part which starts at 1:04 as listener I couldn't understand your pulse.
    In the second Mazurka C# op. 6 I think you accented first beat too much - you accented almost all first beats in this piece, it's kind of manierism in my opinion.
    The third one was my nightmare once (especially hard when playing the whole opus...). Well articulating these ornaments with maintaing proper mood is hard. I think you can work more on this, because you're not always successful in this.
    The fourth Mazurka Eb minor op. 6 - I understand this piece differently. For me it should be more soft, more focused on harmonies. I think it's this "contemplative" Chopin.
     
  14. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Welcome ! First time, I think, that we have a visitor from Piano Street. Many went the other way. This place is not as lively as it used to be, alas. Some new posters might help.

    Thanks for your feedback. The Mazurkas are Chopin's most 'personal' music, and they are that for the performer too; I guess everybody feels them differently. Having played these for over 40 years, I would not significantly change my view on them, although there are still things to be improved. Aren't there always ?

    I find the accents to be the main challenge in the Mazurkas, especially the early ones. They are sometimes on the first beat, sometimes the second, sometimes the third, or even on all beats. Sometimes the LH must even accent a different beat than the RH. Almost Bartok-like. I try to observe them best I can but I'm sure it is not always succesful. I don't think I accent many of the first beats in no.2, at least I don't hear it. Certainly not so consistently as to be a mannerism.

    No. 4 is marked Presto, ma non troppo, and the mm 76 in the Paderewksi score is even quicker than I play it. It might sound great at a much slower tempo, and it would surely make for a very original interpretation. But I don't feel I can just ignore the written directions.
     
  15. verqueue

    verqueue New Member

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    Yeah, I came from PianoStreet ;). Maybe some advertising of this site would help? I think the idea is great, I'm planning to post some of my recording after I got my piano tuned. The other thing is at the main site the link to the forum is not easy to spot, maybe it should be more visible (it wasn't the first time when I've seen this page, but I didn't notice forum ealier...)?

    I don't like playing Mazurkas because of these accents. I just don't understand them. But I think you get them or almost get them.

    I meant in C# Mazurka that you play it kind of "waltzy", that it's "TA ta ta, TA ta ta", I exaggerated by calling it accents. I don't hear it in this way - I think it's like in Ballade f minor - that you should avoid waltz in this one. But I don't know if I'm right. Or maybe it's that you play the third beat too short? After I listened to Rubinstain I think the secret of this on is hidden in the third beat, not first.

    About the tempo of the fourth Mazurka - it should be fast. The character you can do with very soft articulation - it's very hard to do it in that way. I think Askenazy is playing like this, but too slow. At least I know that I'm not alone in my view of this Mazurka ;).
     
  16. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Yes it's a real danger to play a mazurka like waltz. I sometimes find the distinction not at all clear. Some of Chopin's could as well have been Mazurkas, and vice versa. And it's not given to many persons the get all the mazurkas (hell, even a few) just right. And even if they do someone else might have other ideas. I think I can leave well enough alone for the time being. Chances are I will want to redo them in years to come. Like the WTC these are core pieces for me
    which I will always be improving.
     
  17. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Restricting myself to the ones I've played:

    7/1 I think your tone in the major sections is slightly forced and could do with being a bit more mellow. Also the first beat acciaccatura and dotted rhythm figure sounds slightly incompatible with the two occurrences in the next two bars (not sure if my ears are deceiving me here). The minor section sound is good.

    7/3 At 0.17 the sixth quaver sounds terribly peculiar (as it also does later). I would also prefer the opening to be more shrouded in mystery, and there is some inconsistency of touch in the lh (I am being terribly fussy here, I know.) Your ornaments are good. I would like to hear more dolce at 0.53 (I can't remember if Chopin wrote that specifically or I just think it's a dolce!) Around 0.57 I always used to employ a minimal but still noticeable delay to heighten the effect of the moment of the dominant seventh entry - a personal thing/mannerism I guess. Good marks for the cello line from 1.23! This is my favourite Chopin mazurka (bet you didn't think I had such a thing :) ) so I "have views" on it and am more inclined to be critical.

    7/4 I can't remember all that much about this, but I do now have the definite impression I used to play it too fast! It sounds effective at your chosen tempo.

    7/5 Also good, and I think this is my favourite performance of the four. Nice lilt to it.

    Good overall, but I think the piano tone isn't quite rounded enough where that is called for.
     
  18. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks Andrew. Indeed I'd not expected you to have a favourite Mazurka. I would have thought you loved them all equally :p

    Yes there are inconsistencies here and there, and things others would have done or wished differently. It's clearly impossible to please everyone, and
    equally impossible (at least for me) to attain absolute consistency and perfection. The issues mentioned so far that they do not warrant re-recordings.
    For now I must be satisfied to be able to present a more or less convincing interpretation with all the notes in the right place (which not always the
    case in my previous Mazurka set).
     
  19. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, agreed, one can fiddle almost endlessly with recordings - a line has to be drawn somewhere.
     
  20. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Good show generally, Chris. I'm much more familiar with opus 7 and thought it good. Usually, if the ornamentation is good (and yours is) and the sound is Chopin-y and mazurka-y I'm happy.

    I'm not familiar with opus 6. I thought they were fine but I had one gripe: in the first one, at 2:23, there is a new 'thought' and phrase by Chopin. It seems to be very abrupt and as a listener I could have used a breath there. If it's Chopin's fault, shame on him, and I think one's artistic license allows for giving the audience a break. (Especially with an early opus.)

    BTW: I like your attitude toward the trills. I wish I had enough discipline to take that approach, but I'm still in the "Let's see how many notes I can fit in here" stage.
     

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