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Chopin: Nocturne op.48 n.1

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by Anonymous, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Dear PS friends,
    here is an audio recording of Chopin Nocturne op.48 n.1.
    This was made with my new piano (Bohemia piano, 1,85) and my new recording system (mics. Rode K2 and Korg mr-1000 digital recorder), and I hope you enjoy the quality of the sound. The recording level is a little high, but not so high to invalidate the results (IMHO), the mics were about 1,3 mt. up the rear end of the piano, with a polarization about cardioid; the resolution of the original conversion was audio SACD-1bit (unuseful if one must compress to wav or mp3, but I like to hear this sound resolution for my own pleasure).
    About my conception of this Nocturne:
    A double aria in "belcanto" style (and really evoked), the initial melody being sung again (da capo) with another orchestral arrangement but obvious at the same time of the beginning.
    Which are the words (I repeat, in the great Bellini&co singers style and phrasing of the period, as Maria Malibran or Giulia Grisi) ? We do not know, but VonLenz in his writings tell us about Chopin speaking of this melody to a pupil : " the first 2 bars are a question. After these there must be a pause, and then a negative answer. Chopin spent many minutes to obtain his exact duration of this pause".
    The middle section sounds as a church meoldy , and then new dramatic words and actions...(an example of Donizetti or first Verdi "Materia di Mezzo"-"in the middle section" between the Aria and its "da capo").
    I hope not to have run too much in some passages, because where there are passion and intensity one doesn't never play slow in a adequate measure ( I feel this tempo slower, but with another sound I do not own....this tempo is probably ok for my technique and my piano and the small room reverb).
    Enjoy it if you will, and all best,
    Sandro.

    Chopin Nocturne Op. 48, No. 1
     
  2. Casper89

    Casper89 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Wow, large and mighty piece, recorded with great quality, but I've to admit that I never played this piece and can't say more than I couldn't hear any wrong notes.
     
  3. pianolady

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

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    Hi Sandro,

    I think your tempo is fine. The way you hang on the Rh notes in the end of the 2nd measure is I think your style. To me, it is a tad over-exaggerated, but that is only my style, so it doesn't matter. And sometimes I do hear a dry spot when you release the pedal. Maybe adding reverb would help that?

    Your tone and phrasing are beautiful and dynamics are great. Really great also on the octave section. That part always kills me. The Doppio movimento part - to me, it sounds like you have a little trouble getting both hands together. I always thought that both hands come down together in triplets. I dunno, maybe I have been forever playing it wrong.

    I think this is a very hard piece - great job, overall.

    p.s. your mics are very sensitive.

    p.s. I'll try to put this up tomorrow.
     
  4. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is a very intense interpretation! I really like the emotive qualities of your playing; at the same time, I'm exhausted from listening. Stylistically, it's highly original.

    Ethereal and moody, your performance shapes the melody into a placid facade desperately yearning to conceal the underlying tumult.

    Nicely done.

    Pete
     
  5. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Indeed a very intense performance. It is also really not just the easiest nocturne, and you mastered it really well - my respect for that.

    Regarding sound, it is very good recording quality. For my taste I could do without that noise coming from the chair and yourself (a la Glenn Gould) and the noise of the page turns at the beginning and in between.

    Also, it sounds so as if you have edited the volume levels of parts afterwards - there are spots at which the volume increases very much, but I don't here much sound changes. I don't know if you did, but it strongly sounds so, and this sounds not good to me, instead superficial or artificial.

    I also agree with Monica about the overall tempo, but I too find some rubato places over-exaggerated. Just personal taste, as always.

    Overall however, great job, considering the difficulties of that piece.
     
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Tons of greetings, Pete. I worked hard on this Nocturne and feedbacks as yours make me happy.
    All best,
    Sandro.
     
  7. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    MindenBlues wrote


    >Indeed a very intense performance.

    Thank you equally for congratulation and criticism.

    >
    Regarding sound, it is very good recording quality. For my taste I could do without that noise coming from the chair and yourself (a la Glenn Gould)

    :)
    Do someone sell silent chairs?

    >
    and the noise of the page turns at the beginning and in between.

    But this last is the demonstration of no-editing... :) mmm, I repeated and cut-paste only one time, at the final bars. :oops:
    You have reason, but my target is a (good, I hope) domestic recording....
    The harmonic colour at low and medium levels seems to me warm and natural; this is not all, but
    I'm satisfied for this.


    > Also, it sounds so as if you have edited the volume levels of parts afterwards - there are spots at which the volume increases very much, but I don't here much sound changes. I don't know if you did, but it strongly sounds so, and this sounds not good to me, instead superficial or artificial.

    Nothing of artificial, but I agree. I love this absolutely natural great dynamic range, but I too dislike
    the sound quality at higher levels. I think this is a problem of the small room reverb, with the sound
    not "running" when exeed 60-70 db.

    Again thank you and all best,
    Sandro
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    >Hi Sandro,

    Hi Monica!

    >I think your tempo is fine. The way you hang on the Rh notes in the end of the 2nd measure is I think your style.

    Ok, but in this precise point....there are the words of a writer (von Lenz) who have seen Chopin
    working with a pupil to this nocturne. At that point Chopin wanted a little pause, telling about
    the space between a question and a negative answer. Many attempt to find the correct duration for this not written pause, ever played too much long or short by the pupil.


    > Maybe adding reverb would help that?

    Maybe, and I'll make some experiments. But my idea was a mics only recording, without equalization, reverb, stereo processing etc...

    > The Doppio movimento part - to me, it sounds like you have a little trouble getting both hands together.

    Thank you also for this feedback. You have reason, I think that here my not good technique of
    chords....but the problem is also to separate the melody notes from all the others part (and also the
    bass, which IMHO must have a THIRD sound respect melody and chords). The delays and the anticipation of the melody notes helps in this (trying of) timbric and dynamic separation.

    > I always thought that both hands come down together in triplets. I dunno, maybe I have been forever playing it wrong.

    :)
    You give me 10 euros if Chopin played all the notes of this chords exactly in "vertical" way.
    I give you 10 dollars if he played with anticipations/delays.
    (But what history is this of euro/dollar rate? )

    Thank you Monica for all your feedbacks, and all best,
    Sandro
     
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Thank you, Casper, very kind.
    Not requested, here there are my favourite versions of this nocturne recordings:
    Samson Francois and Vitaly Margulis.
    At the side of disliking I find Pollini and Baremboim. In the middle, about 10 brave guys and
    girls.
    But if Pogorelich will decide to play this piece, my favourite becomes him.
    He will play this Nocturne as me, only 100 times better......
    But I recorded it before him, and nobody can tell I imitate his version :evil: :)

    All best,
    Sandro
     
  10. Casper89

    Casper89 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Pogorelich....since I've heard his recording of the mozart sonata in A major, I'm not sure what to think about him. IMHO he completely ruins the the maintheme of the first movement by playing it much too slow...reminds me to goulds interpretation, he did almost the same thing with it. I would prefer Schiff but that's all a bit off topic here.........
     
  11. pianolady

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

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    It's not good. So you can just pay me, and I will wait until the rate gets better before I pay you. :lol:

    But still, I just don't hear that section like that. I think the hands should come down together. If I had more time, I would listen to recordings of this piece to see if I can get a better understanding. Maybe after Christmas.

    Regarding Margulis - my current teacher studied with him and just a few nights ago I was listening to Margulis' CD of nocturnes. But I was talking to people and wasn't listening carefully. My teacher says he is the best, too.

    And why am I not surprised to hear that you are a Pogorelich fan.:wink:
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Nope... you just have to sit still :lol:

    I had expected a more sumptuous sound from your new grand and hi-tech recordings setup. The instrument sounds nice and mellow, I can see why you preferred it to a Yamaha or other modern mainstream brand, but it seems a bit feeble in the bass - maybe that is the recording, or my crappy earphones.

    As to your interpretation - yes that is very intense and personal indeed. Not my style but fine if you like the operatic heart-on-sleeve approach. Your rubati are too way out for my taste, and the unsynchronized attack can get rather irritating (I most admit I start listening for that soon as I hear it, and of course one should not do that....). There were some slips, none serious, and I think some read errors - would have to check with the score to be sure. The slow section seems a bit somnambulistic (such nice word.... I just had to throw that in :D ) and then in the climax you rather tumble over yourself. The doppio movimento sounds a bit fragmented and does not have the sheer Rachmaninovian power that I think it should have. I agree with Olaf that some of the sudden dynamic contrasts sound artificial at worst, and mannered at best. But all this is a matter of taste I guess. And mine is reputedly not so good.

    But what on earth happens at 0:27 ? Something is missing, it sounds like a botched edit.

    To end on the upbeat, my points of critique are purely personal, and this is a quality performance by any standard.
     
  13. pianolady

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

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    This is up, Sandro. I didn't know you were replacing this recording.
     
  14. John Robson

    John Robson New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Chopin

    Very well done, Sandro. I always enjoy your creative, unique interpretations. I found it quite effective. Congratulations for playing this difficult Nocturne so beautifully.
     
  15. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Just dropping a hint for a Christmas present. :eek:
     
  16. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    > There were some slips, none serious, and I think some read errors - would have to check with the score to be sure.

    Thank you for possible indications.


    >But what on earth happens at 0:27 ? Something is missing, it sounds like a botched edit.

    This is the only your consideration I do not comprehend. There are a Eb at R.H ,played a little weak and a bass here played very softly, but easily audible. To help the sense of fading of the ending phrase (with a human error of a weak Eb, but to search these extreme dynamic colours has its
    risks...)
    Thank you for precise and sincere (as usual) feedback, and all best,
    Sandro.
     
  17. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Excuse me, Monica, I didn't tell this. Thank you,
    Sandro
     
  18. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Re: Chopin

    > Very well done..

    Thank you John. Very kind as usual.
    All best,
    Sandro
     
  19. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I spotted one, quite conspicuous, at ms. 65 third beat: you play E flat instead of E natural.
     
  20. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    >

    I spotted one, quite conspicuous, at ms. 65 third beat: you play E flat instead of E natural.


    The harmonic steps of the Aria and its "da capo" are exactly the same.
    In the second half of bar 17 (corresponding to 65) does NOT appear this so strange
    (for Chopin, never seen in other his works) augmented 7th with minor triad. So, I found more logic and natural to play Eb.

    All best,
    Sandro
     

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