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Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etude no. 3 and Prelude 28-18

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianolady, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello...
    We do not have this etude on the site, so I thought I'd give it a go. It's a cute little piece, but as usual it is deceivingly more difficult than it sounds. I've been trying to record it for two weeks now and still can't get it perfect. The prelude is replacing an earlier recording from several years ago that was really, really awful. I can't believe how dumb I am to have left it up on the site this long! However, this new recording is also not perfect. I don't know what's wrong lately - I'm getting worse. I am very discouraged. But no matter what I do, I can't get these two pieces any better, so here they are - warts and all. Comments appreciated, but please be gentle...

    And here is another stupid photo of me (which I will remove soon) at Chopin's grave. I think I should join him six feet under there...be done with all this damn practicing that's not doing any good.



    Chopin - Trois Nouvelles Etudes No. 3 in D-flat Major

    Chopin - Op.28 no.18, Prelude in F minor
     
  2. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    These are both difficult pieces: don't be disheartened, they sound pretty accurate but the problem is more in the impression left. The Prelude is a bit polite for my tastes: a bigger sound is needed in places. Not sure what to advise you of in the etude. Your sound seems a bit disconnected in places: I think you're having trouble dealing with the simultaneous staccato and legato problem (hardly surprisingly) and that's affecting your thinking regarding pedalling and/or the singing legato melodic line. Sorting that out would, I suspect, leave you with a much nicer end result as the notes seem there and that's not easy by any means.

    It sounds from your comments like you're overpractising. Give yourself a break; all you're achieving is reinforcing negative thoughts. Go and do something music-related by all means, but something that's going to relax you. Go back to practicing in a few weeks, you'll appreciate the time off.
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you for listening, Andrew. I thought I had done alright with the RH in the etude. I followed all the phrase markings carefully and applied the pedal as what came naturally to me. The things I am not thrilled with is that some of my grace notes are not as crystal clear as I would like. There are no dynamic markings in the piece but whenever I tried to play some parts softer, I couldn't get the grace notes to come out at all or else I'd have some 'silent' notes. Seems like my whole playing in general is not to your liking. Also the prelude - I can't get any bigger sound than this but at least I don't screw around with the rhythm at the end like I have heard other people do.

    Take weeks off from practicing? This sounds terrible to me - why and how could I ever do that? I love playing the piano! Maybe I just need to have no audience like the way it used to be. I'm better then...
     
  4. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    I wouldn't be at all discouraged about your recordings here. While these are sounding a bit to me as if they are in the first stages of mastery, they are both damn difficult, as Andrew already noted, and I believe you're making good progress (isn't everything of Chopin's a bitch to play? :) ).

    This nouvelle etude is IMO far and away the most difficult of the three in that set. It's an especially tough one for small hands (if that's your dilemma). I would certainly commend your nice, steady tempo. Also the staccati are generally nice and pointed. What IMHO I think you still need to work on is first getting the tempo up a bit -- it's an allegretto after all but your version is sounding more to me like a largo or adagio. From that point, you could concentrate on making the right-hand line more countoured as well as smoother and more legato. To me, it just seems as though it needs more freedom and a bit more security to enable a greater focus on interpretive aspects.

    In the prelude, I hear what you're saying about wanting to get the rhythm precise, but this is one of the few Chopin pieces on which I would disagree that that's really the point. This piece is in the form of a free recitativo a la Liszt and IMHO a more spontaneous, tempestuous reading is in order. The notes are basically down, despite a few moments of less than ideal hand asynchonicity and unevennesses. It also seemed as if you are hesitating a bit too long at the terminations of measures 1-2 and 5-6. Overall I might suggest experimenting with a bit more fire and flair.

    Just some suggestions for future improvement if you want to experiment. I understand your feeling completely about feeling overwhelmed and wanting to let well enough alone. In any event, again, I think you can feel proud about the progress you have made with these.

    Joe
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    First off.....I'm sorry for all my bemoaning yesterday. Reading back, I sound like such a downer, and that's not me, normally....

    (Sorry, Andrew! )


    I just had it in my mind to get these two pieces recorded by (last week), and then when that didn't happen and instead I recorded these yesterday, I had a feeling that the etude was still not quite there, but I had hope. I practiced these two pieces for three - maybe four weeks. I guess I will keep working on the etude. It does hurt my hands a lot, but I think maybe I could get it to go a bit more smoother. Maybe I'll add more pedal....still not sure....

    Anyway, about the prelude - I'm happy with it and will stick with this recording. Joe, thank you for your comments too. I think we just have different opinions about the rhythm, though. I don't believe it should be played like a 'free recitativo'. If so, Chopin would have wrote in 'ad lib' or whatever the words are meaning to play freely (I'm at work now and don't have time to look it up). I like Kissin's version of this prelude a lot.

    But thank you for the encouragement, Joe. I really appreciate it a lot!! And thank you, Andrew, for the advice.

    And you know, Joe, you sure are right about Chopin being a bitch to play. I'm starting to get a little annoyed at him for that...haha.
    Maybe I will go back to Paris and have a talk with him... :x :)
     
  6. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    Glad to see you're feeling better, hen. It was almost looking like a job for the Samaritans.
    That's right, dig him up and open the coffin. But before you give him a piece of your mind, consider that he may have mended his ways already. Did you know he was buried with some of his manuscripts, and a supply of pencils? Well, you may well find that he has used the pencils to cross out all the music on all the manuscripts, before he was finally at peace with himself, and that the music he crossed out included that about which you were going to have stern words with him. What had he been doing? De-composing, of course!

    Sorry, old joke, but I thought it might cheer you up.
     
  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    hahaha.....yes, I've heard that joke many times, but it's still funny. Thank, Rainer, I like jokes. :)
     
  8. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    For the well-being of your soul I sincerely hope you meant "then" and not what you wrote above.
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Rats... you beat me to it :evil: What a priceless little typo :lol:
     
  10. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Funny how things go: I have the three Etudes, of which this is the third and I remember them being dismissed as being unworthy to share the light of day with the Etudes opp 10 and 25, some of which I play and (belive it or not) actually enjoy). I believe yours is the fisrt rendition I have heard of the latter.

    You say you have been learning it and, to me it sounds just like that: as if you were playing it over to the teacher. All the notes are there and all that, but it lacks that spark you (and I mean you) have added to other recordings of yours.

    When I was learning (with a teacher, that is) the policy was to bring a piece up to the point you have reached and then drop it for a month or so. I would suggest you put it back on the shelf and give it no thought for that time and then dig it out. I can guarantee that when you start playing it again you will hesitate, not because you cannot play it, but because you mind refuses to believe that you actually can.
     
  11. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Once in a while the brain works at above a snail's pace! :D
     
  12. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    It's nice to have amused you two too, but at the risk of irreparable damage to my rotten soul, I should point out that this was no typo.

    It's a peculiarly Scottish term of endearment. It's kind of like saying "dear", but without being too personal, in that it is applied to people across the spectrum from complete strangers to close acquaintances. It is also neither ageist (it is applied to women of all ages) nor sexist (although only applied to women, it is used by speakers of both sexes, though probably more often by women). In short, it carries no hint of an intention to offend or condescend, or anything like that. My soul should be safe.

    I must admit that the first time I heard it I found it a bit strange too.
     
  13. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    At first I thought it was a typo, but then I thought it could be a term of endearment. I am female, after all, and so are hens. I don't have feathers though.... :lol:

    @Richard - thank you for listening. I practiced the etude about 20 times last night, and so I will do a re-record tonight. hahaha I'm kidding. I know....I will give it a few more days and try to give it some spark (sparkle?).
     
  14. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, but bear in mind that in many countries calling a woman a hen is paramout to calling her something else and might result it violence if any male relatives are around.

    It is like going to Greece and ordering five mugs of beer by using a perfectly normaly (to us) gesture.
     
  15. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    At least here in the USA it is not bad to be called a hen. Although nobody ever says that, so for me it's kind of funny.
     
  16. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    My goodness, I never thought of that! :oops: No doubt those countries include Italy and the Netherlands...
     
  17. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Ask Luis about hens and see what he says.
     
  18. Affinity

    Affinity New Member

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    Just listened to these recordings, and they do indeed sound like bitches to play... I do agree with the others that the etude lacks the sort of flow that it sounds like it should have, coming across as laboured, especially the end from (1:40+ to 1:50), though it is technically accurate. I do think you did the section from 1:10-1:30 (roughly) well, however. But they sound like surmountable problems, do try your best over short bursts of time maybe.

    Does the prelude have a nickname ("Hades")? It definitely sounds like it needs more fire and brimstone, especially the octave-apart runs which need to sound bigger.
     
  19. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    I shall tell you one: A Salzburg farmer I know once called a Brazilian girl whom he liked, a cow, saying that in his part of the world it was a compliment. It took a long time for her to get over it.

    There was also the husband who was taken to court because he complained that he was hen-pecked by his wife. And that was in the States. Maybe it it was the NAPH who did it, I do not know.
     
  20. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you for listening, Jonathan. I practiced both pieces again last night and think that I will re-record both pieces over the weekend.

    "Hades" is perfect for today!
    Happy Halloween everybody!!

    [​IMG]
     

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