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Debussy - La plus que lente

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianolady, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. pianolady

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

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  2. luissarro

    luissarro New Member

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    very nice, Monica!

    and again... the lack of lessons are making you play better and better!
     
  3. pianolady

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

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    Thank you very much, Luis!
     
  4. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    I love this piece and I think you did a great job with the
    pacing of it. It moves so beautifully and the style is spot
    on. The tone is rich and the interpretation is not at all
    sentimental but rather rich. The sections are clearly defined
    and yet very connected.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Kaila
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Nice playing. I'm disappointed with the piano sound though - it sounds muffled, lacklustre, and swimmy. Have you been experimenting again ?
     
  6. pianolady

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

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    Thank you very much, Kaila and Chris!

    @Chris, I am very puzzled. The only thing I did differently was that I had to place my recorder on the floor because of the camera and lighting equipment. But I processed the file the same. I did use the full reverb on this music, though. Sometimes I lessen it on certain pieces. I think having the recorder on the floor might make the sound more boomy though. I dunno.... Did you maybe have on a different pair of headphones or something?
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I used my same headphones as always. I'm surprised I am the only one hearing this. Usually your recordings sound bright and open, but not so here. Your previous Debussy recording I found rather muffled too, and with a definite sound of the dampers/pedal. I don't think it is a great idea to have the recorder underneath. Personally I never change my recording setup.
     
  8. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    I had the same reaction. Overall I enjoyed the performance, but to my ears I remember Monica's recording quality to be brighter and more transparent before. Agree that this one sounds muffled.
     
  9. pianolady

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

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    Ok, thanks for the feedback, Chris and Joe.
    I've talked with another PS member and he agrees with you. My main problem is that I have been using the noise reduction feature on my editing program incorrectly. Adding to that, placing my recorder on the floor for both of my recent Debussy recordings was not good either. I knew the sound would be different, but I didn't expect it to be that different. I'm also thinking that I should buy some decent condenser mics.

    I'm curious....Do either of you use any kind of noise reduction feature on your recordings?
     
  10. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    I don't use any noise reduction in my recordings, no. From what I've heard, noise reduction can cause sound distortion since I believe what one is effectively doing to remove the hiss is to cancel out certain frequencies in the recording. My own belief is that it's best to capture a recording in its original state with as little post-processing as possible. For us who record in a small room, some reverb will be necessary of course, though even there I try to go on the crisp and light side. FWIW, the only features I add are reverb and some EQ adjustment, which I finally started doing with my recent Chopin recordings and I have found makes a significant difference (to turn up the treble a bit and take out some of the boomier mid-range).

    Of course, mic placement could be the most important factor of all, and yes, putting the recorder on the floor doesn't sound like a good idea to me since I don't think that is where the sound is principally traveling and bouncing around in the room, hence the muffling (perhaps you're also picking up some sound board reverberation or echo from this position?).

    Probably more than you wanted to hear, especially from a complete nonexpert and experimenter with recording like me :D
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I tried noise reduction once (on an organ recording where you can hear the wind machine) but the result was a mess.
    While there is some inherent hiss on recordings made with our type of recorder (using built-in mics), I don't find it obtrusive and certainly not worth trying to get rid of. Only those rare people especially susceptible to hiss may be bothered by the hiss in our recordings. A very small minority, I would guess.
     
  12. pianolady

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

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    Actually, no. That is exactly what I want to hear! :)

    I usually have my recorder sitting on a tripod up higher than the piano, facing the open lid, right around the curve of the piano. So I'll stick to that from now on, but in a video I needed to find a place where it wouldn't be seen.

    @Chris, I have never heard any hiss in your recordings, so you are doing something right! And it's strange, because I do hear hiss in other members' recordings who are using more expensive setups. :?

    The main reason I began having this obsession with eliminating hiss from my recordings was when I burned some of my recordings onto a CD and then listened to the CD in my car or on the stereo at home. Boy, did I hear a lot more hiss than you hear from the computer!

    Well, I may have to do a little more experimenting.... :wink:
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    That suprises me. I've heard it before, when the volume is way up. Right now I can't hear any in my recordings either. Either I'm getting deafer by the day, or the Tascam
    is a good little machine. I do take care of avoiding ambient noises best as possible. And never change my setup or procedures.
     
  14. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Wonderful interpretation, Monica.

    I have to agree with Chris et al about the sound. I listened through speakers as always and it came off as too much reverb - like the piano was being played in a large room in another part of the building. "Muffled" was mentioned, and that's also part of the impression (again, as if I was not in the same room as the piano).

    Not to say that it is necessarily from the reverb in your editing; it may very well be the mic placement. Sorry this comment is a little late in being posted.
     
  15. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I have to repeat what has already been said: really very well done, in particular the pacing and the rubatos. I get the feeling you really love this piece! (I also concur that the sound is more muffled than usual, and yes it sounds like an overeager noise reduction clipping the high frequencies. But certainly not bad enough to discard the recording.)

    Joachim
     
  16. pianolady

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

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    Thank you, Stu and Joachim!
    I'm glad that at least my playing came off okay here (and yes, I love this piece!). As far as the sound goes, I now know that the problem stems from the noise-reduction feature I used, coupled with the fact that I placed my recorder on the floor near the piano.
    Always learning.... :)
     
  17. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    I enjoyed hearing your rendition of "La plus que lente". I've recorded the piece too, so know the challenges there. I think you've played this piece very well. You maintain the waltz spirit throughout the piece, keeping the rubato subtle, and you also avoid unnecessary accents that could otherwise distort the musical line. Your dynamics are also according to the score. I believe if nothing else that this is a very romantic and sensuous waltz. In that regard I think your playing is a bit more cautious than I would play it. But that's a matter of interpretation.

    On the third page (in the original edition by United Music Publishers LTD they number this page 4, because they count the front title page as music :lol: ). Beginning at the top, and having been marked Appassionato from the previous page, I think you could play that section with more abandon (and risk) even though it's not specifically marked that way.

    On page 4 (they call it 5), third line down, second measure in, the initial measure there is marked cedez, but I believe you could treat the second measure there allargando to good effect. Also on the bottom line on that page, the first measure in, that can be allargando as well. On this same page those double note passages in the RH are killers! You play them really well. You could consider taking more risk in those passages, but not at the sacrifice of accuracy.

    On the last page approaching the coda, Debussy marks it "De plus en plus lent et pp a la fin", and once into the coda he wants morendo. I think this coda can give and reinforce the impression of "slower than slow" which is la plus que lente. You can take as much liberty with the morendo as you wish within good taste.

    Again, very good work on this wonderful piece!

    P.S. The first time I heard this piece, it was the version for violin and piano--also lovely music.

    David
     
  18. pianolady

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

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    Jeez...I thought I was never going to get logged in! The site is not behaving for me today. Could be my Internet connection, but all my other sites are working fine, so I dunno....


    Anyway, Hi David! :)
    Thank you for listening and commenting. I very much appreciate all your suggestions! I do love this piece, so I hope I can keep it in my fingers for a while.

    My friend who turned me onto this piece also played it with a violinist, and when he told me about it he mentioned that it is also for solo piano. So I immediately found the music online and got it up on my piano.
     

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