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Chopin Prelude Opus 45 (in c# minor)

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by StuKautsch, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is "comfort food" for me, since I've played the piece on and off for 40 years. Whether or not this gets posted, I'll next be exploring some not-very-well-known Tchaikovsky pieces for a while.

    This recording is on a 5'10" (I think) Petroff piano from the early 90's. Lid down (after a lot of experimentation) and a muffle on the mike. Recorded using a Zoom H2, at 192 kbps.
    Reverb from "gverb", using a preset from the Audacity Wiki (http://wiki.audacityteam.org/index.php?title=GVerb) called "Bright, Small Hall" (except that I changed the setting for "Input Bandwidth" from 0.75 to 0.50). No other editing other than trimming my caustic remarks to myself at the beginning and end.

    Sorry about the "Composer" tag. My version of Audacity does not offer this, and neither does Windows Explorer (in XP). I tried to compensate by making the "Comment" read "Composer: Chopin".

    Chopin - Prelude in C Sharp Minor, Op. 45 (4:19)
     
  2. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Stu,

    I had a listen to your "comfort food." :lol: I haven't heard this piece, but you play it well. I suppose if you have been playing it on an off for 40 years you must have an intimate relationship with it :wink:

    There are a few places like 3:18 where I think you could have made the descending line more energetic, but that is my personal taste, what is actually on the score I haven't seen and is another matter entirely :p

    The tags are good, though for the title (not the filename) this is how it should read. Monica and Chris, correct me if I am wrong:

    Chopin - Prelude in C Sharp Minor, Op. 45

    Enjoyed listening to your performance of this Chopin Prelude,

    Riley
     
  3. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks pianoman.
    As for the 40 years, it's possible that I got the right interpretation 20 years ago and lost it. The "3:18" mark is the cadenza; there are no marks until the end, when the pianist is instructed to ritard and dim; I was trying to achieve a "<>" overall effect.
    This is a very mysterious piece, and I've never felt, in 40 years, that I had an interpretation "nailed".
    Good catch: The tags - arghh - I'll see what the moderators say, and will apologize to them in advance. It may very well be a case of seeing one thing and doing another.
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is indeed an elusive piece. You sound comfortable, authoritative and flowing. Yet, I find it a little literal and 'notey', the running eights (or are they 16ths ?) a bit too insistent and prominent. There could be some more rubato and yearning. Great job on the cadenza which is not at all easy. We can put this on the site if you want. Personally I'd want to get it a bit more Chopinesque, whatever that is.

    No problem with the tags. Riley's suggestion is more in line with the current practice but nothing wrong with how you did it.
    Strange you can't add the 'Composer' tag. Not a big deal though, as long as the 'Name' is correct.
     
  5. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Chris.
    Yes, I would like it put up. I did 25-30 takes on this one and I think I would like to not play it again for a few years.
    That you would mention the LH passages made me laugh and scream, because they were the reason for the 25 takes - I would always drop notes in obvious spots and then try to compensate by putting them in, even though it would add a half beat to a measure. When I listened to takes like that I'd have to ask myself if I really knew this piece after all.
    So I guess the focus on playing all those notes comes through the recording.
    In a few years I may try it again.
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    It's been awhile since I've listened to this prelude so that was a nice change. I think you played it very well, and yes it is fine for the site. If Chris or Riley upload it, I can put it on the site today. Otherwise, one of us will do it another time.

    Regarding the sound - it's quite soft, I had to turn my speakers up almost all the way. But it's not too bad.

    One more thing - that cadenza sounds so much like Chopin's etude op. 10 no. 3, doesn't it? You ought to try that etude someday....
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes very wise. Sometimes one needs a break and leave well enough alone.


    That occurred to me too while listening. Maybe op.45 is an early work and the cadenza a pre-study for the 10.3 ? The one from the etude is a fair bit harder though.
     
  8. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    That's exactly what I was thinking; until about 10 seconds ago when I looked it up. The etude was composed in 1833 and the prelude in 1841, so it's the other way around. Chopin borrowed some from the etude and used it in the prelude. Guess he got a little more mileage out that passage.
     
  9. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Stu,

    I replaced an your attachment in your original post with a link. Click it to test that it plays back o.k.
     
  10. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    pianoman: attachments vs links - thanks, I'll try to keep that straight next time

    pianolady: You shook something loose - I think I heard the resemblance decades ago and had forgotten all about it since I don't play the Etudes very much - no time for that kind of practicing. But I might try 10#3 now that you've mentioned it, since there can't be much difference. The chords are all diminished sevenths, which would be the same in any key. (And E and c# minor are the same anyway.)

    The **Volume**. I think there's something about the volume of the Zoom that I forgot and I'll have to go back and learn. When I was listening to it, the volume sounded fine. Just before I put this up, I decided to use headphones at the computer, and realized it was much softer than I thought it was. But after all that work ...

    I will reread the Zoom manual and play with volume again before I offer any more recordings.
     
  11. luissarro

    luissarro New Member

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    Hi, Stu!

    This is a fine performance. I love this prelude, though I always felt lazy for studying that cadence at the end. :lol:
    You play it in a more straightforward way, I prefer a more nuanced and intimate way in this prelude, but yours is very fine. Nice job.
     
  12. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Luis - I only just now noticed that you'd posted.
    When I pull this out of the music pile, it's slower than this recording, but as the practice sessions wear on, it tends to speed up! I have to put this away for 4 or 5 years now or I'll chop another minute off.
     
  13. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Stu,

    Nice to hear this wonderfully lugubrious prelude and not only the two dozen from Opus 28.

    This generally seems very well played to me. I might personally want to hear a bit more rubato and slinky phrasing, but on the other hand it's nice to hear your honest, musicianly performance that never indulges in mawkishness or over-emotes.

    I had just a couple of more specific comments/suggestions:

    1. The pedaling seems a bit lush at times. Actually, this could be more the effects of your instrument's tuning rather than your playing. Some of the errant frequencies sound like they may be blending together a bit.

    2. You observe the ritenuto three bars before the cadenza, but it seems a bit abrupt to me as if you immediately apply the brakes as soon as the measure begins. I might recommend a more gradually slackening, smorzando lead-in to the cadenza here.

    3. Great solidity on the cadenza! As Chris noted, those double notes are tricky. They could be more leggiero and elfin perhaps but that's easier said than done.

    All in all, very nice work. You certainly know it cold, and many of your modulations are quite tastefully executed. Pleasure to hear your performance of this work of the Polish master that isn't played nearly as frequently as it should be.

    Joe
     
  14. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Joe.
    If I live to be 100 I will not figure out the pedaling of this piece. I'm afraid it changes every time I play it.
     
  15. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Stu,

    Very nice playing. Perhaps a bit more legato in the left hand would create more of a mood. I think this will bring the piece to a new level.
    My only other suggestion is that in the cadenza section, perhpas a bit more of a feeling of "tumbling" and lightness.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Kaila Rochelle
     

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