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Chopin: Souvenir de Paganini

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by Tobias, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. Tobias

    Tobias New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Dear all,
    after quite some absence it is nice to see how active and lively this forum is!! With now (at last) much more time for the important (piano) things in life, I look forward to listening to a lot of other people's playing here as well! As my first new contribution, here is this little gem by Chopin, recorded on October 4. All criticism welcome!!
    Enjoy,
    Tobias


    Chopin - Souvenir de Paganini
     
  2. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    How come i never heard this before? Hmm... Anyways, to me, this sounded like a solid performance. But those with better ears will make the final judgement.
     
  3. pianolady

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

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    Hello Tobias, and welcome back. I think I remember you - and that smiling llama, right?

    This is up on the site. Well played, too! I think it's going to be stuck in my head all night, now. Only I can't help but sing: "Mein Hut, der hat drei Ecken, drei Ecken hat mein Hut..." :lol:
     
  4. Tobias

    Tobias New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello pianolady, thanks for the welcome-back! Yes it was a cute smiling llama which didn't want to let us pass!!

    Thanks for listening to both of you. Juufa: It is a little played early variation by Chopin. Here is some info:

    Like many musicians of his generation, Chopin was dazzled by the wizardry of Paganini, whom he first heard in Warsaw in 1829. At this concert, Paganini also played his variations on "O mamma, mamma cara" from "Carnival of Venice", Op.10.

    Paganini's playing inspired the 19-year old Chopin to write an own set of variations on this folk song -- a charming little homage to Paganini. The variations run continuously over an unchanging LH tonic-dominant accompaniment in gently rocking barcarolle-like rhythm. Eleanor Bailie, in her guide to Chopin's works, calls this "a poor man's version of the Berceuse"... :(
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Welcome back Tobias. You are forgiven your absence, but don't let it happen again ! :p

    A nice rendition of this charming salon piece, and good to have it on the site. Appropriate belcanto feeling, hardly a slip that I could hear, and good job on the double-notes which must be tricker than they sound.
     
  6. Tobias

    Tobias New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for the welcome, Chris!
    I promise!! :D

    Thanks! There are some things I'm not happy with (especially the short trills right at the beginning of the 1st variation, a prominent missing note at the end of a downward phrase, and a shaky rhythm later on, but in each try I messed up something differently, so I had to give up for now...).
    Initially, I found the double-note scales quite tricky. But the key (for me) was not to be frightened and staying relaxed...
     
  7. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Hi,
    This is the first time I'm hearing this delightful piece. Your interpretation is quite beautiful despite your several misgivings. The fine musical presentation of the piece was so dominant that I wasn't at all aware of the minor issues you described. (We all feel we could do things better each time we perform a piece.) The sound was quite good as well.
     
  8. Tobias

    Tobias New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Ed, thanks for your nice comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the beautiful little piece as I did! Except for the little "hickups" I was also happy how it came out overall -- in the end I think it should just sound plain and simple, like a little improvisation. In fact, my grandmother thought I was improvising when she first heard me with this - alas I was too honest :lol:...
     
  9. s_winitsky

    s_winitsky Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hey this is nice; I didn't know Chopin made something like this. Reminds me a bit of some of liszt’s stuff no? Although I don't have a score with me, some of those what sound like greater then octave leaps seem tricky? Do you use any special technique to play them?

    b.t.w. It sounds like you are playing a new piano with new recording equipment. Is this true?
     
  10. Tobias

    Tobias New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for listening! I also came across this piece only by accident on Youtube, but had to give it a try immediately (you can find the sheet music freely on the vkgfx site [google for "horowitz scores"]).

    Yes I have new equipment (glad that you noticed it!): a Yamaha C3 (at last!), Zoom H4 and two external AKG Perception 100 mics (certainly at the low-end of the market, but also at the cheap end :) and better than the built-in Zoom mics in my opinion).

    Regarding the 'greater than octave leaps', in case you refer to bar 70: Eleanor Bailie (Chopin: A graded practical guide) writes (a bit exaggerated IMO) "The descending semiquavers at intervals of elvenths through bar 70 are horribly difficult." And, typical for Chopin, he writes "dolcissimo" on top of that passage. :D But when I had it "in the fingers" and tried to be relaxed, I found it quite ok. No special technique, only close to the keys, fingers well prepared and "awake". Also, some rubato makes musical sense there, so on doesn't have to keep strict pulse.

    Edit: Btw, I also recorded this on Video -> here.
     
  11. pianolady

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

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    Ok - it's stuck in my head again!! :lol:

    Just had to watch your video to see your new piano. Are you liking your C3? I have a C2. (I guess the man should have the longer instrument :wink: :lol: )

    I like that you have a picture of our Man above your piano. All day I thought today was the anniversary of his death, but now I don't think that's right. Have to go look it up.
     
  12. Tobias

    Tobias New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Oh you know, the instrument is never long enough... :wink:
    But seriously, I'm very happy with the C3 and can't imagine how I practiced for a long time either on a not-so-good upright or even on a digital. To be honest, I still dream about a big upgrade at one time in my life. On the other hand, I also dream about cutting down my worktime, so I'm not sure if I can fulfill both dreams... :cry:

    Yes, the picture of our hero. My girlfriend gave it to me as a present (just before she left me...). It motivates me a lot. Whenever I mess something up, he seems to look quite strict and earnest. Btw, Wikipedia says it's Oct 17. I'll try to find some Kahlua coffee to commemorate. :)

    P.S. Sorry - What am I doing wrong with the "quote" feature? It doesn't seem to work for me.
     
  13. pianolady

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

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    It should work now. I changed one of those little 'bubbles' in your profile from yes to no. Try it here.
     
  14. Tobias

    Tobias New Member Piano Society Artist

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    It works! Oh, what a beautiful double quote... :D
    Thanks, Monica!
     
  15. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Oh, that was just lovely! And nice to meet you Tobias!

    You know, I think I have this in a book somewhere ... I'm just too lazy to go find it right now! :wink: In any case ... that was very, very prettily done.

    I also checked out your youtube page ... Don't forget to post the Standchen here ... one of schubert/liszt's best!! and you do a really, really beautiful job on that too!

    Anyway, welcome back and look forward to more from you!
     
  16. Tobias

    Tobias New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Nathan, many thanks for your kind comments (and also for watching the videos)! Nice to meet you, too! Wonderful signature line, one of my favorite quotes ever. In German: "Mein Klavier ist für mich, was dem Seemann seine Fregatte, dem Araber sein Pferd -- mehr noch, es war ja bis jetzt mein Ich, meine Sprache, mein Leben...".
     

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