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Chopin Nocturne Opus 9, no. 1

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by johnlewisgrant, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. johnlewisgrant

    johnlewisgrant New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hesitate to put up YET ANOTHER version, but since it's up at utube, what the heck. This is the same recording, although the mastering is absent the pops and clicks of the version I put up at the tube. This need not go up at P.S. if it is felt that there are just TOO MANY ver. already.

    https://www.box.com/s/qnksrl41pma0kxls8wzh

    JG
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Not a terribly original repertoire choice :p But a most beautiful rendition. Some of the dynamics seem artificially applied to me, could that be ?
     
  3. johnlewisgrant

    johnlewisgrant New Member Piano Society Artist

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    "artificially applied dynamics"? Nope. I recorded this piece on my new piano, which is a little over 7 ft (212 c.) but in a relatively small room and the lid at full stick. Having used different sampled pianos (via an unweighted keyboard) I was surprised at the dynamic range of the recording myself. I think it may be partly the piano itself, partly the room, and partly the ideosyncracies of Garage Band, connected to 4 external microphones via a preamp. The piano has, in fact, even more dynamics now than it did when I made this test recording. (I adjusted the let-off to within a cat's wisker of the string for all the notes, so that pp is easier.) I also retuned the piano using (myself) using less stretch than the piano had for the Chopin recording. I find some of the intervals a little jarring. Also, I think I take the whole thing a tad too slowly, myself.
     
  4. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    Very nice recording. I didn't find it too slow; I thought the tempo was about right.
     
  5. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    I enjoyed this performance a lot. The dynamic range is surprising. About the tempo, I agree with Andrew. A slower tempo I think is called for most of Chopin's Nocturnes as the page says

    Thanks again for sharing this!
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    To be precise there was one short passage where the dynamic increase sounded a bit like what you sometimes hear in MIDI renderings, i.e. a crescendo within a note. I could be wrong about it, or it could be your software does these tricks automatically. It's not a big deal.
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Haha, that's a statement I dreamt up, IIRC. I would not set too much store by it :D
     
  8. johnlewisgrant

    johnlewisgrant New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Palmer advises that Chopin was quite picky about trills (by the accounts of his students) and they "usually begin on the upper note." Unless that causes a "break in legato." I didn't pay much attention to this detail, I'm afraid. I notice that ornamention is all over the map in pro recordings. I haven't played a lot of Chopin since wrecking my thumb, so I had to get used to the various technical demands imposed by all the Nocturnes, but which are not overwhelming in this particular Nocturne.
     
  9. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Beautiful recording. The tempo is fine. Don't worry about what Chopin thought about ornaments - the reason they're all over the map in pro recordings is that Chopin is dead and can't make a fuss about it any more. As long as you come up with something "reasonable" ... (Full Disclosure: I'm an ornament "libertarian".)

    Through the speakers, there seems to be 5-6 seconds of silence at the end. Although that's fine for the listening experience, it's a little unusual.
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Chopin's penchant for trills starting on the upper note would probably stem from his reverence of Bach and the WTC. But indeed, one does not need to be religious about it (as one would be when playing Bach).
     
  11. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is a very fine performance and recording IMO. You establish a wonderful singing legato line throughout, while allowing the left hand accompaniment to have its moments of interest as well. Very sensitive and atmospheric playing. I might have released the pedal at the end a little sooner.

    As noted by others, there is quite a range of dynamics present in this recording. 7' and 9' grands have longer key levers than shorter grands, making it easier to attain a greater range of dynamics in the playing. On my 6' 3" Baldwin I keep the key dips and let offs finely regulated, but even at that I have to work harder to play shades of P especially. I envy the pianists with their larger pianos.

    David
     
  12. johnlewisgrant

    johnlewisgrant New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Let-off is soooo important, but very tricky to get exactly the right "feel"!!! I set it too close, first time around. I got occasional "bubbling" reminiscent of Gould's recording of the Inventions, where you'll hear it quite a bit on certain notes. He probably liked it. I think it impacts tone (not always positively) where the let-off is just too close to the string, even absent the bubbling (the hammer bouncing against the string).

    JG
     
  13. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi John,

    If the let-off is not quite right, you can also get a subtle double hammer strike like "da-DA". Can be really annoying! It's a very refined, precise, adjustment.

    David
     
  14. johnlewisgrant

    johnlewisgrant New Member Piano Society Artist

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    A total digression I know, but piano tuning/regulation/maintenance has become sexy. Steve Brady is a kind of mega-star piano tuner/et. al. guy who, it is rumoured, says that you do let-off AT the piano. (OK nothing new in that.) You start really close (almost touching the string) and slowly depress the key at various speeds, trying to arrive the point where (incrementally increasing the let-off) no double hitting can possibly happen, no matter what speed (slow or fast) you depress the key. Takes some time, I'll say; and those dowels/capstans aren't always easy to move!
     
  15. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi John,

    Don't laugh, but to turn the capstans I use a lobster pick. Works great!

    David
     
  16. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello John,

    What a beautiful performance. It was so melodic, lyrical , logical, and yes, passionate.

    Thank you,
    Kaila
     
  17. johnlewisgrant

    johnlewisgrant New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Kaila. Thanks also for your wonderful website, and finally, for that wonderful account of the opus 14 Waltz.... perfect.
     
  18. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member Piano Society Artist

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    John,

    Thanks for the the visit to my website and your comment on the the Chopin Waltz.

    Kaila
     

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