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Chopin, Scherzo no. 3, op. 39, c-sharp-minor

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by musicusblau, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Here is my second version of the third Scherzo by Chopin.
    I put just the video-link here. This video is made in just one take, that means I have played here like in a recital, without doing any cut. So, the video is unedited, besides that I have replaced the sound-track of the camera by the sound-track recorded with my better mikes.

    Please, enjoy, if you like:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXqyFlzn ... annel_page
     
  2. pianolady

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

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    Like I commented on your Youtube channel, this is a great job, Andreas! No way would I ever be able to get this piece down as well as you.

    Regarding your interpretation on this one: I'm not totally sure about this because I cannot listen to your other version right now, but it seems that you play the opening section less intensely than the other version. I like it like your first version - more intense. Obviously, you know the piece so well that you can do whatever interpretation fits your mood at a particular time.

    Also, I noticed that when the little 'raindrops' come in, it sounds like you don't hold the low notes that come in right before them with the pedal. So the raindrops are up there by themselves without any bass notes grounding them. Not sure that makes sense, and I'm not looking at a score now so I can't see how Chopin notated the pedal markings. It sounds nice both ways, though I tend to favor when you do use the pedal to sustain the low notes a little longer. And you do it a little later on around the 7:00 mark.

    And speaking of video production - now I know how hard it is and all that. Your synchronization goes off at around 5:00. I know that's not so important, but thought I'd mention it in case you did not realize that.

    Good luck with your computer. Mine is hanging on by a thread I think.
     
  3. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Andreas, that sounds really beautiful to me, great playing!

    And also your grand piano sounds very balanced - sonorous in the bass part and clear in the treble. I really would like to know where you have placed your mikes and some informations about your grand (brand and size).

    Das hast du wirklich sauber und mit viel Gefühl hinbekommen, Gratulation! :D
     
  4. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thank you so much, Monica and Olaf, I would like to thank you both in this reply, because I don´t know, how much time I have for to write you. My computer always does not run any more very suddenly. The screen becomes yellow stripes and nothing goes any more. So, I´ll answer you both in an extra reply a.s.a.p., if I still have time to write.
     
  5. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    Looks like the mouse and the blue fish have the best seats in the house!

    A very fine musical performance indeed. My favorite musical element in this piece lies in the musical architecture - deep resonant chords in the bass, followed by cascading arpeggios in the treble to highlight the sonorities. There are no rests immediately following the chord, so I agree with Monica to sustain the last chord preceding the descending arpeggios on all passages, since it's a continuation of the same chordal harmony. You have a superb piano, let's hear those sonorous harmonics come through on all registers.

    This is one of my favorite Scherzi. There are a lot of varied musical contrasts in this piece - from gracefully elegant to the tempestuous. I wouldn't be too graceful throughout the entire piece. Tempo is marked Presto con fuoco. You surely have superb technique, go for it and play with a little musical fire - just make sure you have an extinguisher close by.

    Overall, your interpretation is highly musical and your warm rendition to the work offers different outlook from others. I'd be curious how you would play it in a few years from now?...

    George
     
  6. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Pianolady wrote:
    Thank you very much, Monica. I always say, there is nothing, what is not!

    That´s right, I played the Presto-con-fuoco-part a bit faster in my first version, but also a bit too metronomically, so I decided to put more soul and expression into it. May be I should regain a bit more tempo here and there. But at this time it doesn´t fit to my actual mood. May be some day this will change again. (I´m changing sempiternally.)

    Yes, the pedal-markings of Chopin say, that one should hold out each chord before the beginning of the high "raindrop"-arpeggios, but I thought somehow, this is too swimmy and I can´t play the arpeggios clearly (and pianoly respective silently) enough. But on the other hand the sound becomes a bit dry at some places in my actual interpretation. I think, you are right, I´ll change it again and hold the pedal like you suggest.


    Thank you. I have realized it, but I ask me somehow, how this could happen. I think, guilty is either the processing on youtube or the converting of my video-editing-program. The original video is an avi-file of 1, 86 GB and I have converted it to an wmv-file of nearly 100 MB.

    While writing these lines I´m sitting at my old computer. I bought it in 1998 and it has still Windows 1998, but the internet-connections works. That´s the main-thing. (I haven´t believed, that it still works.) But I can´t watch videos on youtube, because there is missing the newest version of flash-player, which doesn´t work with Windows 98. But I can use PS without any reduction, that´s the main-thing. Now I have to see, that I can put my headphones into my old computer, otherwise I can not hear any music.
    I really don´t know, what for a problem has my new computer. I have bought it less than two years ago and it still has warranty. The disadvantage is, that I have bought it in my old home-city, nearly three hours to go with the car. So, I think, I´ll have to send it with mail to the shop, where I have bought it. (It was a special order then, because my new computer has a special sound-card and some more good things and I know, the people there are good.)
    But I don´t want to bother you here with my computer-problems now. :? :roll:
    So, good luck for your computer, too!
     
  7. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thank you very much, Olaf!

    I´m using two Neumann KM 184 mikes and they are in a distance of 2m of the grand (heigth: 1, 50). They have a cardiod characteristic and I direct them on the open lid, not on the mechanique. I do play on a Grotrian-Steinweg grand-piano of a length of 2,26m (it´s the Concert Grand Modell).
    I do edit my recordings with Wave Lab 6.0 and I usually put some reverberation, equalizer and pan-normalization to them.

    Danke, freut mich, dass es dir gefällt! (translation: Thank you, I´m glad you like it.)
     
  8. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks, I think they are happy! :lol:

    Thank you, George. Yes, you are right, but, please, read, what I have writte to Monica above concerning this matter.

    The third Scherzo is also my favorite Scherzo. The problem is, if I play it with too much fire (I mean, so that my extinguisher is happy :lol: ), there is always the danger I get cramps in my wrists. This always for me is the sure sign, that I´m playing too much with my (wild) ego (will) and not from my true being.

    I feel your words to be very encouraging and your tips inspiring. Thank you very much for your detailed comment. I´m also curious how I do play this piece in a few years...I´m sure, it will be another version.

    Cheers and best regards to you
    Andreas
     
  9. pianolady

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

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    Wow, that's very big! Is it because you dubbed in a wav audio file? Or do you dub in an mp3? Sorry, you probably told me this already, but for some reason I am having trouble keeping all of this straight.

    p.s. my computer has fuzzy black lines scrolling down the screen continuously. But it only happens after the computer warms up, like after about 10 minutes. It gets progressively worse as time goes by so I have to turn it off often and let it cool down. Yesterday, I killed the part that burns CDs and DVD's. Very aggravating - I have already replaced the mother board on this computer and now everything else is going bad. I kill vacuum cleaners regularly too (l like vacuuming), so maybe I just work my machines too much.
     
  10. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Pianolady wrote:
    I always forget details, too. I usually do dub in the original wav-file (recorded with 96000 Khz, 32 bit float in studio standard), that´s one of the reason, my original-files are always so big. So, I always reduce them to a size about 100 MB, because this my DSL1000-connection can handle within two hours. I hate too long upload-times, because I can´t do much other things in the internet, if my computer uploads something. (F.ex. I can wait some minutes until a site like PS has loaded, if in the background I upload a video and at the end I get the message, that the upload wasn´t successful. So, I gave up to do use other internet-sites while uploading something.

    May be the problem of my computer has also to do something with heat. May be the blower (areator) is broken. But in a two year old computer? I´m standing in front of a riddle. :shock:
     
  11. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Excellent playing, Andreas. You have worked hard for this and the result was worth it, I guess. Nothing to nitpick, I loved the performance. Oh, and your sound is grand.
     
  12. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thank you, Pantelis, I´m glad you like it. :D
     
  13. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andreas,

    Bravo! I totally admire your artistic playing of this scherzo. Excellent! I cannot decide which of your two versions I like better. They cast different moods, but both are so well played.

    I envy your having enough room for the large Grotrian. That would be about 7 feet 4 inches. In my living room I can fit the 6' 3" Baldwin Model L (about 1.95m), but the 7 foot model, the SF10, would overburden the room. One of the great things about the large grands like yours is that they provide for direct sound transmission from the bass bridge. On virtually all smaller grands, bass sound transmission is more indirect through a wooden member associated with the bass bridge called "the apron". It's a necessary compromise of having a smaller grand. Your Grotrian is very rich in sound. You were lucky to find that particular piano!

    I liked too the contribution from your matched pair of Neumann KM184 cardioid small diaphragm condenser mics. I'm getting ready to retire my trusty (and 25 year-old) Nakamichi M-300 mics. I used to do close-in recordings using cartioid capsules; but now I record in A-B configuration 8' (or 2.438m) in front of the piano's open lid using the omni-directional capsules, which the room's acoustics demand. So I'm considering other matched pair small diaphragm condensers that come with the omni-directional capsules.

    Again, you've made a spendid recording!

    P.S. My wife has 8 or so very similar creatures in the "box seats" overlooking the keyboard of my Baldwin. I practice with them there OK, but when I record I relocate them, as their eyeballs rattle when I play ff. :lol:

    David
     
  14. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thank you very much for your very appreciated comment, David. :D Yes, my two versions cast different moods. That was my intention or I may say also development. The first version has more "presto" in the octave-parts and is more straight or "metronomically", whereas my second version is softer and has more soul also in the octave-parts, which are a (only a little bit) slower. I personally like my second version much better at this moment.

    Thank you for that interesting explanation, David. I didn´t know this so exactly like you have explained it, I have to admit, but I just knew, that longer grand-pianos have more bass-sound or a "richer" bass-sound than smaller ones. Yes, I´m so happy with my Grotrian-Steinweg and that I had the opportunity to purchase it from an old widow three years ago. Her husband had died then five years ago and she wanted to sell the piano and to donate the money to her grand-children. That´s truely touching, isn´t it? First I have feared, that the old lady could miss the grand-piano, on which her husband had played for years and I told her, she can come to visit me and to see her old piano whenever she demands it. But she didn´t want that, somehow this was a kind of farewell for her, I suppose, and she wanted to rule off entirely, because the piano remembered her always of her husband sitting at it. I gave a little recital for her on the grand in her home and she was enthused by my playing. She said, that I do play better as her husband ( :oops: ) and as I have said, that I´m really happy with this piano, she seemed to be happy to sell it to me.

    That´s very interesting to know, how you record. I do also record in A/B-position in front of the piano´s open lid (see my description above, please) and I really have asked me, if I should buy also omni-directional capsules for to get more of the accoustic ambience of the room into my recordings. There are three kind of capsules available for the Neumann mics: cardiod, hyper cardiod and omni-directional (it corresponds to KM 183, 184 and 185). For what reasons do you prefer omni-directional microphones to cardiod ones?

    When I do not record (exceptionally :lol: ), my cats play also in my living-room. I have seen the two toys haphazardly lying around on the floor just before I wanted to make my recording and I thought: "this will enthuse my audience, if my playing will be a complete flop. Yipiee, now I´m saved". And fastly I put them on the border of my piano.:lol:
     
  15. pianolady

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

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    Andreas - yes, that is touching. And it is like something that could have been part of the story in the book we read, "The Piano Shop on the Left Bank".

    :lol: That's funny, David.
     
  16. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andreas,

    In answer to your question:

    I record using A-B configuration with the parallel stereo mics mounted on stands raised to a height of 5 feet (1.5m) and 8 feet (2.4m) in front of the open lid. The parallel mics are separated by 12 inches (30.5cm), with the condenser mic tubes inclined a little toward the top edge of the open piano lid. The objective in recording classical music is to capture finished and blended sound from the piano, not sound still in the making. The better mics will produce virtually no self-noise and will render a neutral, uncolored, not-too-bright, natural sound--the same as the human ear would perceive it. Your Neumann mics, of course, achieve this.

    The distance of the mics from the piano will vary according to the acoustics of the particular room. Every room is different, of course, in dimensions, ceiling height, building material, finishes, carpeting, furniture, etc. So it takes diligent experimentation to find the distance from the piano at which the mics produce the optimum sound. I found in my situation that if I placed the mics only 6 feet (1.8m) away from the piano--a commonly used distance--that they were still too close to the sound source, thus the 8 feet. If I record a bombastic piece, I'll sometimes use the shorter "singer" stick rather than the full lid prop in this room.

    My living room is 12 X 24, or 288 square feet (26.8 sq m); but it is also very open to the dining room, front entrance foyer, and a corridor beyond. The ceiling is a standard 8 feet in height. The room has wall-to-wall carpeting, and upholstered couch, love seat and chair, coffee table etc. So this room is fairly sound-absorbent, or not very "live". But the Baldwin L is also a powerful piano. In this situation I found that if I used the cartioid capsules, the sound was very focused, dry and pinched. Using the omni-directional capsules instead, the sound bloomed--it became immediately more rich and ambient. If one's piano room were to be very "live" acoustically, the cardioid capsules might actually be the better choice to avoid reverberations, echoes, etc.

    Household noises like voices in another room, a sink faucet being turned on, etc., are yet another variable. I only record when I'm alone at home. During summer, I also shut off the central air conditioning, as it can be picked up by the mics as a faint hissing-like noise. If the noises can be eliminated, and if the room is not overly "live", the omni-directional capsules can be wonderful. But if there will be extraneous household noises that are not controllable, and/or noticeably "live" acoustics, then cartioid capsules can be highly useful in focusing solely on the piano as sound source.

    Andreas, only you best know your music room. From what I've described above, you might continue to benefit from cartioid capsules. On the other hand, if you think one or more variables might lean more toward omni-directional capsules and that there might be potential for even better recording sound, then if the omni's are reasonably priced, why not try them? Again, every room is different and demands experimentation to decide what will work best.

    I hope this is helpful. :)

    P.S.: A next day afterthought: When it comes down to it, the artist is the sine qua non of a recorded performance. The piano takes the minor role. And if those two elements come together well, then the recorder, cables and mics constitute the other 1% of the performance.

    David
     
  17. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi David,
    thank you for your detailed thoughts on advantages and disadvantages of omni-directional capsules. They are very interesting, inspiring and useful, I think.
    I really appreciate this kind of exchange of thoughts concerning recording-technique since I´m really not a professional in this area and for me it´s always interesting, how other members of PS think about recording-techniques or special questions concerning recording-technique.
    My living-room is quite longish. I believe it´s nearly 15*5m, so I think, the quite big longish background could give a nice room-panorama for the sound. On the other side, I have also little noises in the background very often (f.ex. playing children on the street outside, singing birds in the garden, lawn-movers of the neighbours (mainly in summer, of course, but also very much on friday and saturday, when I personally have most of the time to record, namely at the weekend). Only on sunday the background-noises are reduced a bit (f.ex. there are no lawn-movers or saws on sunday). With my cartioid microphones I can record without getting these background-noises on my recording (except for the lawn-movers and saws), but playing children, loud cars or aero-planes are not captured by the cartoid microphones. For these reasons I don´t know, if omni-directional microphones would be the best. But if I would get a chance to test them (and I will ask in the shop, where I have bought my "Neumänner"), I shall do it.
    I think, you are right, that the artist is the most important in a recording, but also the quality of the recording-equipment decides very much, if you feel a recording to be enjoyable or not. F.ex. I don´t like to listen to recordings, which have much hiss or which sound tinny or similar. So, I believe, for me the recording-equipment is more than only 1%.
     
  18. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andreas,

    Yes, I agree with your point on recording equipment. I think my 1% was a bit of hyperbole :lol: .

    David
     
  19. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    It's a performance that shows the personality of the performer very intensively! You are really a musician with a originality, as I thought always. A gorgeous playing, great sound!
    And I love the story about your little recital for the widow and your really charming idea about the little guests!!!
    So when does your public performance come? As far as I remember, you were requested by someone to play this piece in public in this summer, weren't you?
     
  20. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Hye-Jin,
    thank you very much for your kind comment. I´m glad you find my interpretation to be original. :D Yes in summer I´ll play this piece in public together with some other Chopin-Nocturnes. I´m really looking forward to it.
    Nice to hear of you again. I hope, you and your new little "cohabitant" are both well!
     

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