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Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 2 in A-flat Major

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianolady, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I've got a day off today and thought I'd just stay at my piano all day and maybe make some recordings.
    Made this one just a few minutes ago. Again, I can play Chopin much better when I'm NOT recording. It's just so hard to get things perfect! Grrr....
    It is my birthday today so if you care to listen to this and think it's bad, maybe you can lie and say it's good. And then tomorrow you can tell me the truth....haha

    Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etudes No. 2 in A-flat Major
     
  2. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member

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    Happy Birthday Monica!

    I enjoyed listening to this etude; I am unfamiliar with it and so will leave the details to those who know it (I'm sure there will be a couple). Your playing sounds good, however ...

    In the last week, I've rearranged my home office (where I listen to Society recordings). The sound on this one sounds a little more reverb-like than your usual recordings - not as "sharp" or "clear". (This is through the speakers.) I'm wondering if anyone else will hear this; if not, I may need to rethink my new sound system arrangement.
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Stu! :)
    I used the same settings that I've been using for a couple months now. But I know how drastically different things sound when using new speakers and/or earphones. One of my sons bought me a new pair of earbuds and they sound sort of weird. His heart was in the right place, but I think I'm going to let him keep them for himself and buy myself something different.
     
  4. musical-md

    musical-md New Member

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    Nice job Monica.
    This etude is a bit unusual in that it's not about any particular pianistic issue, rather a musical one: sesquialtera, or playing precisely the rhythm of 2-versus-3. You did an excellent job of it. (No.1 emphasises sesquitertia, or 3-versus-4, as does his Fantasie-Impromptu, Op.66)
     
  5. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    You play this lyrical etude very well. I enjoyed listening.

    For some crazy reason whenever I hear this etude, it brings to mind his 17th prelude, which is also in A flat and 3/4 time. There's something about the figuration which seems just a bit similar.

    David
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Eddy. I've never heard/seen those terms before. Interesting. I plan on getting to work on the no. 1 soon.

    Thank you, David. Yes, no. 17 prelude is similar to this etude. Actually, now that you mention it, the prelude could also be an etude since one has to be careful to bring out the melody note among all those chords.
     
  7. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    My belated but sincere B-day wish, Monica: May you have a very happy and healthy year with much musical progress till the next birthday! :D
    I listened to your recording and at the second listening I opened the score. The first thing I found odd is the pitch of the lowest E flat note on the second bar (LH). Is that key on your piano out of tune?? And I suggest you could pay attention more to the legato. I noticed on the score that this piece consists of just 3 slurs. One must create very, very long line. Your playing is very fine, but sometimes I wish more continuos long lines with subtle pedalings or more complex finger works.
     
  8. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    I didn't notice when I listened the other day, but now that Hye-Jin mentions it, I think she may be right about the low Eb being a bit out of tune, though I can't tell in which direction.

    Just some small nitpicks:

    Like Eddy, I was taken with how well the duplets against triplets came out. But when listening again VERY carefully, I think some of your duplets are a tiny bit skewed, the first of each pair being ever so slightly longer than the second. The second duplet of each pair should come exactly halfway between the 2nd and 3rd triplet, but yours are often a bit closer to the 3rd, although this is not the case where the duplets carry an important segment of melodic line, such as in bar 9. When the music forces you to concentrate on the duplet line, you automatically make the rhythm as smooth as is should be, yet not so much elsewhere.

    This may be an edition thing, but in bar 11 (and the equivalent place later on) perhaps I'm mis-hearing, but it sounds as though you are playing the 3rd and 4th LH notes (Ab and G) in the same octave as the 2nd note (G). My edition has them an octave higher.
     
  9. musical-md

    musical-md New Member

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    Huh? Only because it's Rainer, did I listen a second time (focusing on just the RH) and a third time (focusing on just the LH), and I for one cannot find anything to criticise on Monica's rhythm. My experience with sesquialtera is that either a person can do it well or they can't. Monica clearly can do it well. I don't wish to argue with Rainer, but I do respectfully object. <God help me when I submit again.> :shock:
     
  10. pianoman342

    pianoman342 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    I had listened to your Etude no. 2 by Chopin, I think it was fine performance! And to recieve it on your birthday, how nice of you, instead of getting a birthday gift you are giving one :p I haven't heard it before, but I really liked your handling of the sesquialtera figures and the winding modulations at :40 which I imagine where hard to play at tempo!
     
  11. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    You do me an honour I'm not sure I deserve. :oops:
    The effect is not everywhere, and only very slight where it does occur. It doesn't detract from the performance, and it's not something I'd expect anyone to notice by focusing only on the triplets or only on the duplets. That's because the time distance by which an even-numbered duplet is off the midpoint between odd-numbered duplet neighbours is so very small compared to the size of the inter-duplet interval. To be able to detect the effect, you need to compare it to events which are closer together. The following approach amplifies your sensitivity by a factor of three:
    Subdivide each beat (each quarter note) into sextuplet pulses, let's call them ABCDEF. Then the RH triplets fall on A,C, and E, and the LH duplets on A and D. Nothing happens on B or F, and therefore you should hear a sequence like A_CDE_A_CDE_A_CDE_ and so on. Focusing on the CDE groups, D should be exactly midway between C and E, but I thought I could occasionally feel the D drifting a little closer to the E than to the C. I think it's because D is late, but I'm not sure, it could be that C or E or both are early instead. It's only by a teensy weensy bit, I barely even noticed it myself, and now I wish I hadn't said anything. :(
    Agreed.
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Rubbish. Even the most infinitesimal imperfections should be pointed out for good measure. Just imagine there would be no flaws to expose !
    I admit of being guilty of this too at times, but I clearly have found my master. :p
     
  13. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    @Hye-Jin - Thank you for the birthday wish and for listening. I don't really hear anything wrong on that low E-flat. My piano was recently tuned, but I'm having some problem stabilizing the humidity levels in my piano room, so maybe some strings are already slipping...I dunno...

    @Riley - you are so sweet! Regarding the modulations - actually that spot is very easy to play. The whole piece is not that difficult to play, note-wise. I concentrated on making the melody heard and also applying the hairpin crescendos/diminuendos. I thought they came out okay, but no one has mentioned that, so maybe it doesn't come out as well on the recording as I had hoped.

    @Rainer - although I appreciate the careful attention (thank you also, Eddy!), I think your paragraph about all that ABCD....is a little nuts. I never want to discourage someone from commenting on recordings, and most of the time I appreciate what you have to say. Yes, if I play the wrong amount of beats in a measure, or my dotted sixteenth notes aren't sharp enough, then by all means bring that to my attention. But I don't think you needed to pick apart my rhythm here this minutely. Wouldn't everybody sound like robots if we all played music with exactly the same space between the notes? Skewing a note slightly here or there is what makes some music more beautiful and less robotic. I could be wrong since I'm just defending myself - I'll go ask Chopin next time I see him....haha

    Regarding the difference in editions - thanks for saying something, I'll check my score tonight. I also noticed that some people play the trill in the LH at the end an octave higher. And in regards to what Eddy said, when will we have chance to critique your playing...??? :wink:
     
  14. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    You're right. I shouldn't have. I'm sorry.
    I don't know. For the moment, the prospect is still far too scary. :lol:
     
  15. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    :lol:
    Yes, you know the Golden Rule, right?

    :lol: be afraid....be very afraid..... :lol:
     
  16. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Your conscientious feedback is appreciated Rainer, let there be no doubt about that. Just..... don't overdo it.
     
  17. musical-md

    musical-md New Member

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    I laughed outloud! <Sometimes emoticons just doesn't do it.>
     
  18. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    :lol: :lol: :lol: But I always believed those who can listen to the music so accurately can also be a good player! So Rainer, be afraid only a little bit :wink: and please give us the chance to listen to your playing :D :D

    BTW are there just two - Rainer and I - who think the low E flat of Monica's grand out of tune?
     
  19. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    Monica has said she doesn't think her Eb sounds out of tune, and I therefore believe that it almost certainly isn't.

    In fact, if I listen to the recording while mentally trying to block out the RH chords and the LH off-beat E flats, focusing only on the LH low notes, the intervals of fourths and fifths in the sequence of alternating A flats and E flats sounds perfectly OK, including the low Eb. But if instead I focus more on the RH and the chord harmony, there is a slight sense of the low Eb not quite fitting with the remainder of chord in which it appears, even though there is no obvious reason to suspect the intonation of the higher chord notes.

    So we have a mystery. The low Eb is both in tune and out of tune at the same time! The solution? Well, I think it could be related to the fact that piano tuners generally apply stretch to compensate for inharmonicity. This means octaves are tuned slightly wide of pure, to make them sound more in tune. But this can cause problems (as it evidently has here) with very big intervals of more than 2 octaves. The chord which is causing the problem here has a 3 octave separation between the low Eb and the Eb in the RH chord. One would expect, at that sort of distance, the intonation discrepancy from cumulative stretch to become noticeable.

    Does this make sense?
     
  20. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, I think it does make sense! :)
    But to my ears that have heard this etude so many times, that note in this piece sounded never so strange before. Well, the tuners in my experiences with this piece must have all taken that low Eb into considerations, not to creat any dissonace in a wide interval , I guess :roll:
     

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