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Debussy, Scarlatti

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by robert, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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  2. pianolady

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

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    Robert - I don't remember what I said on the last time, but since I happen to love this Debussy piece, I will tell you my impression of your playing it again.

    Bar 6 - I don't hear the top E-flat in the RH chord.

    Bar 12 - the rolled chord seemed a bit awkward.

    Bars 19 - 21 could be little livelier.

    Bars 24 and 25 came off well. So did bars 28 - 34. Nice, singing melody lines.

    Bar 36 - another top note missing in the RH - This one and the other one I mentioned are to me very important notes.

    In general, I could tell you played with feeling and applied good dynamics. However, I feel that there is a little more room to make it even more dreamy. That's just me, though. Please don't take offense. I get the feeling that sometimes you and the others don't like me to say what's on my mind, and perhaps I should take a break from being so critical.
     
  3. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hm...it is perfectly audible, however not accented.
    I play the top note (Eb) and the bottom note (Db) together first as a chord, then roll the remaining 3 middle notes. I should do according to my teacher.
    Perhaps but I don't like to increase the tempo too much.

    Bars 24 and 25 came off well. So did bars 28 - 34. Nice, singing melody lines.
    Same again. It is there for sure but not accented.
    Thanks! :) This as dreamy as I could ever do something without totally loose the rhythm and tempo. I count all the way and "tick" the tempo with left foot when not on the sostenuto pedal as if I don't, I have no idea when to start again with the many pauses and stops. :eek: But perhaps that is how it should be? Very loose connected.

    My wife comment on it as it is just a sample of different notes, chords with nothing that ties it together. Like I just sit and improvise after too much wine ;).

    The sound did not turn out very well this time. Closed lid with the Edirol on it beside the notes. Perhaps a bad idea as it records all donky sounds in the wood and some treble is probably lost because of it.
     
  4. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Dear Robert,
    I have no critical comment, sorry for this, but I have to say, that I enjoyed your playing of the two pieces very much. Especially the sonata of Scarlatti is one of my favorites. though I have not played it myself until now. It´s such a lovely and somehow a bit melancholy piece and IMO you play it beautifully. I have a fascinating record of Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli playing this piece. Do you know this record?
     
  5. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks for your kind words.

    I definitely know Michelangeli's recording inside out but have not the ability to copy it, though I have tried. He is extremely exact (well, as always) and plays it very fast, almost angrily forcing his way through it. I have always wondered about that last chords he plays and why he does it. Usually, he sticks extremely tight to the score but this last chord is his own invention. I guess he just wanted it there to release the tension.
     
  6. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I also think, it is not necessary to play it as fast as Michelangeli does. Your version for example sounds more musical and human for me :D
    Sandro Bisotti has recorded also a very musical and convincing version IMO (you can watch it on youtube). He plays it slower than you (and of course, as Michelangeli), but if you do it in a musical respective expressive way, it sounds also conivincingly for me. I love this sonata and I think, there are different ways to play it and no one of this is the better or the worse one.
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    From what I remember of the previous recording, these are better indeed, showing increased familiarity with, and command of, the music. My overall impression though is that the sound is rather muffled, not as bright as we are used to from you. Lid closed is never a good idea IMO. Have you not found the 'ideal' setup with the Edirol yet ?

    I also hardly heard many of the top notes even though of course you do play them. Might have been better with the lid open, I am sure. Some parts of the Scarlatti sound a bit swimmy. Are you using pedal here ? Otherwise it's the reverb or the recording making it sound like that.
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    You play here better, with more control and relaxed. Very good work, congratulations.

    >I definitely know Michelangeli's recording....

    I find this version not more than curious. Nevrotic and without colours and soul, and with that
    ridicoulous chord at the end (that particular italian decadentism, so interesting but also so
    humoristic).
    The Gilels' versions of his last years are IMHO much better.

    S.
     
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    (about Debussy)Very pleasurable playing, congratulations.
    Free and happy. Here I see the "sans rigoeur" indication more literally than you, but these are
    subtile and subjective questions....
    I too hear some "strange notes" here but I think more probable the mistakes are in my version
    and in my ears and brain, so...silence


    >
    The sound did not turn out very well this time.

    I think this is the better you can obtain with the poor mics of edirol. The problem is there, not
    in the lid (if not in a very large hall, better closed or near-closed).
    The problem is the noise ( s/n ratio is in that kind recorders is very low...), not terrible in
    itself, but sufficient to squeeze the dynamics.


    >Closed lid with the Edirol on it
    When (I hope for you) you'll buy two good large capsule condenser mics, please DON'T put them directly on the lid. :)


    All best,
    Sandro
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    > Usually, he sticks extremely tight to the score

    In the Brahms-Paganini (maybe his masterwork, in the first recording and in live versions)
    he made many cuts and re-arrangement. Other years, it was normal for an interpreter
    "to adjust" a piece to his tastes...

    All best,
    Sandro
     
  11. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Oh my, MA! I can't imagine any sort of critical censorship being of use, here. IMHO, of course! :lol:

    Gee, it's been a long time since I've participated in the discourse, so here I go!

    Robert, closed-lid definitely creates a strange effect with the Edirol; I've noticed this "swimmyness" with my own closed-lid recordings; . Open lid is certainly more sonorous and far more preferable, IMO (as is high-gain on a very low input).

    I'm not sure about the Scarlatti; it is well intentioned a little short-winded. I kept wanting more in the way of large-scale dynamic structure. The fine phrasing is mostly there; there just needs to be more of a relationship between the smaller details and the piece as a whole.
    You know what I mean?
     
  12. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I THOROUGHLY enjoyed the Scarlatti ... in fact, I saved it to my Ipod to for nighttime snuggling. :)

    The Debussy was nice as well. My only quibble is that I felt almost as if I could hear you counting in your head through the whole piece ... those interminable rests in this one are tough. Anyway, I thought the last restatement of the MT was stunning ... the upper register shimmered beautifully over the chords.
     
  13. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thank you very much for your encouraging words Nathan!
     
  14. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Sandro Bisotti wrotes:
    Yes, you are right, the only fascinating is the record-like tempo of Michelangelis record. Fascinating like a sensational circus-happening.
     
  15. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Yes it is fascinating fast! I checked and it is 2:28 which of course cannot compare with my own recording on the site for which I had a totally different purpose. I played it really the fastest I could and clocked it at 2:55 and that goes with much trouble and wrong notes and it probably sounded tensed. The sensation with Michelangeli's recording is that it is executed, seemingly, with ease and without tense or stress. That is about irreproducible by any pianist...but for perhaps Cziffra or Hamelin.
     
  16. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    >
    Yes it is fascinating fast!

    And the indication is "Allegro". If it is "Presto" which will be the tempo!?
    But correctness of tempo indication, internal phrasing, modulation of dynamics here are an
    optional. The only modulation is the FF on that incredible final chord, which is a masterwork
    of bad taste.....


    >That is about irreproducible by any pianist...but for perhaps Cziffra or Hamelin.

    I think many "virtuosos" could be play so at the same or major velocity, without errors
    or visible tense. In ABM (I'm a fan of him, be clear) the tension was concealed, and it's possible to
    see the action of concealing (and the stress that this was for him, then his bad relation with public
    playing).

    All best,
    Sandro
     
  17. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Sandro Bisotti wrote:
    I think, you are right with this. ABM (besides "Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli" german=Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnahme, engl.=measures for employment :lol: ) has done also more nice records, for example the ballad g minor, op. 23, from Chopin, isn´t it? But he always has a bit this "neurotic" manner, I think.
     

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