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Chopin

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by richard66, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. pianolady

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

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    It's sounding better, although I wouldn't mind a little bit slower. And I know it's very hard, but if only your LH could be even slightly softer it would make a big difference. Rhythmically, the only thing that bothers me is the triplet in the RH that leads back to the main theme. You're almost there, Richard! :)

    p.s. please private message me the name of the pianist with the terrible recording. We're trying to weed out old recordings that may have been acceptable in the early days, but are no longer because of our higher standards.
     
  2. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    What bothers you about that triplet?
     
  3. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    Oh, I missed this because I was concentrating on the triplet in bar 18 and on the ending. Presumably Monica means the one in bar 12.

    There is a rhythmic unevenness which, by the way, was not present in your previous 3 versions, and will therefore probably fix itself in the next version without your having to think too much about it.

    What is wrong with these three triplets is that they are sounding almost exactly like a quaver followed by two semiquavers. While this does of course have the effect of making the bar last the "correct" amount of time (exactly 8 quavers), in this particular place (unlike bar 18) that level of precision is not needed (and probably not even desired). This is one place where you should just feel instead of count. For example, it would be fine to play the second half of the bar like a quintuplet with rubato, starting under speed and accelerating a little. It's OK to be quite flexible here, but within limits so that the rhythm retains smoothness. Making it into an 8th plus two 16ths breaks the smoothness.
     
  4. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Richard,
    I still had an earlier copy and could compare. There has been a lot of improvement, although your tempo is getting a little fast. I've heard others play it this fast, so it's still a matter of taste.
    The triplets.... Most pianists have problems with the triplets in this piece. Why? I'm sure I don't know, but I do know that a couple of practice runs in which the triplets are the only things that exist might be good.
    Some of my teachers would have made me sing those passages, in order to remove the mechanical distraction of the hands.
    (Singing this piece also helps one understand just how long the phrases are! Whew - I'm glad I quit smoking.)
     
  5. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Yes, it is getting too fast. I had Monica say that and what do I do? I play it even faster... Hopefully oe day I will get it right.

    So many things get in the way of playing: hands, reading the score and so on. Yours is a good idea.
     
  6. luissarro

    luissarro New Member

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    why so much concern about the levare on the "0" bar? you can linger these notes *at will* and play A TEMPO only in bar 1 (you can even linger the first LH chord of bar 1, and play A TEMPO only later. =D ). no problem on it! Personally, I would linger them more than Richard did in this last recording. with no guilty conscience. :lol:

    what I'd highly recommend (but it's also very difficult, and it takes time to play it "naturally") is to add a lot o tempo fluctuation. in this piece with repeated chords on LH you could linger the first chord of each beat more than the others, and rush the others a little. there are other passages where you can drag, like the crescendo in measure 9, for example (harmonically, there are sevenths, and dragging this passage is my suggestion to convey the listener of this harmonic effect).
    you can also play it more rushed after bar 13, and then calm down at bar 19, antecipating or "preparing" the "smorzando" that appears later.

    it must be clear that each one has a view of this piece, and it's really a simple one with lots of nuances, really difficult to play, so if you pay attention to what everyone says (including me), you'll never end preparing this piece. =D
     
  7. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thank you Luis.

    I agree with you about the first bar, as it is an "introduction" to the prelude and, as the figure does not repeat itself (not as would have been the case with Bach), the lenghth one takes does not really distract. The same applies to the last three chords. Where I do not agree is with rubato in between those two milestones, let us call them. I feel the left hand must be precise and would only apply a little rubato in the last bar (or two, I cannot remember) before the "recapitulation", where the right hand plays alone. I feel it as a mini cadenza and adds effect to what follows. At the smorzando, I prefer to mark it with a subtle change of dynamics rather than tempo and add a long pause, before the last three chords. I feel that makes the closing bars welcome relief from the drama that has been acted before.

    I feel, however, it is good to try most suggestions (excepting when the suggestion is to do something I have tried before without liking it). Many a time they offer a better solution than the one that I had reached. at times I discard the change, but at others I retain it, because I find it valid.
     
  8. luissarro

    luissarro New Member

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    according to my studies, in Bach's case it would be quite the opposite: the upbeat should be played shorter than its rhythmic writing. and the first note of the of the first bar should be lingered a bit. :D
     
  9. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I really meant that the equivalent figure in Bach is always played n the same manner whenever it reappears.
     
  10. luissarro

    luissarro New Member

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    I think it varies a lot. There is a common Baroque practice which is overdotting, sometimes double dotting. There is also underdotting (when you have triplets in your other hand... so you play the 16th together with the "third" 8th of the tuplet).
     
  11. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Let us say it is so the way I play it, but then I have not studied baroque practice as you have.
     
  12. mwyman1

    mwyman1 Member

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    Hello Richard - sorry I'm late to the party on this one; been traveling last month or so. I'm very happy to see you taking on a Chopin Prelude! :)

    Mostly I like the balance between your LH and RH, and you played all the LH notes evenly from what I could hear. Nice job.

    Adding to some earlier comments, for me I found the tempo a bit too fast. It is a matter of preference of course, and I could learn to like a faster version as long as it doesn't feel "rushed" - a subjective line I know!

    Early in the piece, when the melody repeats itself in several adjacent measures, I always try to give each measure its own character. To me, and it was probably an teacher of mine from a long time ago that said this, Chopin wouldn't idly just repeat the same measure. Something to think about as you shape the phrases.

    One of the downsides to [perceived] rushing is that it takes away from the intensity of the climax of the song. Another thing to think about is to build that phrase a bit more dramatically, and then die off into the end of the piece more decisively.

    Nice job overall!

    Matt
     
  13. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thank you, Matt! This recording was not up to standards (mine also, come to think of it) so your comments are welcome and pertinent. Too fast it is, but being to fast, slowing down should boost my confidence which will, of course, improve the quality of playing. About making each measure different I do not know. Would it not be like varying the recurring verse of a rondeau just so that it is not the same, even if it is saying the same thing? Indeed Chopin does vary his phrases, but normally he notates these. Of course you might say that each bar is different (and the left hand is) so the character of the melody must change in accordance to what the left hand plays. I shall look into this. Hopefully I will be able to make a good recording in the near future, and, to compete with other Chopin on the site, it will need to be very good!
     
  14. mwyman1

    mwyman1 Member

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    Good point and sorry if I added any confusion with this comment. My suggestion about differing the measures poorly worded I think. Really I'm talking about shaping the phrases. From beginning through 3rd beat of measure 3 is one phrase that, without some shaping - despite the changing LH, it could be at risk of sounding repetitive. Ditto for 4th beat of measure 3 through measure 7 or so (depending on your execution).

    It was just a suggestion for your consideration - you pulled these sections off quite well.

    Well I can tell you put some time into it. This prelude in particular may be played a lot, but it's harder than most people realize to pull off well. Great job!

    Matt
     
  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I haven't really followed all the developments here. Should some version of this go live on the site now ?
     
  16. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I have the impression that the green light was not given, though I might be mistaken. Maybe it is you who must cast the deciding vote. I shall neither say please do nor please do not.
     

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