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Faure - Nocturne in F-sharp Minor Op. 104

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by Affinity, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. Affinity

    Affinity New Member

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    Faure's late-period music has always had a special place in my heart, and this particular nocturne, with its uncompromising and yet elegiac nature, is a favourite of mine (especially that sly but passionate turn of phrase at the end). This is my first recording with my new piano as well (a Yamaha C2X), so comments on the sound quality as well as the playing would be welcome. Hope you'll enjoy this nocturne despite its heavy nature.

    Faure - Nocturne in F-sharp minor, Op. 104, No. 1 (3:55)
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    That was lovely playing, Jonathan! And your piano sounds fine too! But there is some noise in the background that I couldn't get passed - loud ticks and/or knocks...something. I was listening with my speakers turned up and the first knocking/clicking sound made me jump a foot! It's a shame, really, because the piece is so nice. I heard it a lot of that noise throughout the first half. Can you record again? We don't want our listeners to be distracted like I was. But if other members don't think it's a big deal, then I'll put it up.
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Good post ! I'm totally with you on Faure's late music. It is dark, powerful, bleak, introspective, and forward-looking.
    Very good performance too, little to nag about except for maybe one or two weak notes and some strange noises (the one at the start should really have been cut out). In some places there could have been a bit more subtlety, a bit more rubato and ebb-and-flow. Have you worked on this one for long ?

    I have already put it on the site. Great job !
     
  4. Affinity

    Affinity New Member

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    The sounds were, interestingly, my piano seat creaking as I moved around. >_> It was adjustable and free. I suppose I could use the boring default one next, but it's slightly too low for me. Really should have kept my old bench!

    Thanks for the kind words! I think you're right about there being more room for rubato and feeling, especially in the B section, where I might have went a bit too quickly. I intended to record this on my old piano a month ago as sort of a 'farewell', but alas, it was not to be (due to inaccuracies and lacking flow). After a few more tries on-and-off on the new piano I did eventually get a good recording in. This is one of those 'rich' pieces that seem to grant you new insights and possibilities of interpretation with every few plays (in fact, the ones I've heard e.g yours and Jean Martin's are rather different in terms of tempo and nuance!), so I think it was a month well spent, despite the missed opportunity.
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Well whatever you do, get rid of these noises. You play beautifully, on a good piano, there is really no excuse for creaking noises from a crummy bench.
    Yeah that's funny. While I was listening to your recording I was thinking (even though it sounded sort of familiar) why the heck I wasn't playing this piece. And then when I put up your recording I discovered one of mine that I had all but forgotten about. Listening back to that it's not bad either, but there are one or two hesitations and perhaps some read errors, making me wish I'd spend more time on it back then. I think I recorded that after only a couple of days or so :oops: Anyway it will be, as you say, a great piece to get back to and do it all differently.
     
  6. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    It's nicely expressive and the nuances come across. I do think there are points where the sound is a little "swimmy" (typically in the treble, around the octave from C5 upwards). I'm not sure if it's specific notes or not. The dynamic range is good. The creaks could do with being removed but aren't especially detrimental to the overall positive effect.
     
  7. musical-md

    musical-md New Member

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    Hi Jonathan,
    I don't have/know much Faure. I enjoyed listening to your recording. I listen over my laptop's speakers, so I don't hear some of the noises others have mentioned. Thanks for the post.
     
  8. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Jonathan,

    I had a listen to your recording of this Faure Nocture. I think you give a very good account of this piece. I think your new piano sounds nice and the phrasing and dynamics seemed to create a atmospheric, searching type mood. I like the ending, it seems to wrap the piece up with no remaining lose ends.

    Enjoyed hearing this,

    Riley
     
  9. Affinity

    Affinity New Member

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    Yeah, there seemed to be parts where the sound seemed sort of over-resonant and vibrate-y; hopefully it's due to my recording mics rather than the piano. Thanks for the compliments on the range and the expressiveness though.

    Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it.

    Hm, your view of the piece seems similar to mine. I'm glad you picked up the 'atmospheric, searching type mood' as well from the interpretation. I'm also with you with the ending, that revelatory rise and fall is quite the memorable inspiration that seems to encompass both the tender and despairing parts of the piece. Thanks for the comments; glad you liked it.
     
  10. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Jonathan,

    The first time I have heard this piece. You express very abstract and yet inctricate feelings.
    Your new piano is nice. Enjoy it!

    Kaila Rochelle
     
  11. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Jonathan,

    I enjoyed hearing your nocturne. Where this is one of Faure's late works, it does have a darker tone to it overall. I've not played it myself (the only nocturne I've studied is the 6th, Op. 63 in D flat). There are so many gems in that collection. One of the things I most enjoy about Faure's writing in general is that his tonal centers are tentative--often like shifting sands. It poses a challenge to the pianist, but it's his hallmark. I don't believe that any other composer accomplished that effect as deftly and effectively as Faure could. I believe your rendition of this nocturne is very expressive and brings out its dark beauty very well. Thanks for posting it!

    The new piano sounds good. I hope it brings you much pleasure.

    P.S. Until you get a sturdy bench, I think if you have a regular straight-back chair there, you might find it works satisfactorily in the meantime.

    David
     
  12. Affinity

    Affinity New Member

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    Thank you! Hope this spurs you on to try listening to Faure's other late works sometime.

    I agree with you; Faure makes the tonal shifts sound so natural as a part of the melodic development in his pieces, often without much adornment and matter-of-factly as part of some ceaseless flow. Maybe it's this discipline that makes them so effective and penetrating, and yet subdued in a sense.

    As for the 6th Nocturne, it must have been a real treat to be able to play that! I've always wanted to try it, but the middle section seems fairly imposing for me in the meantime.

    Again, thanks a lot for your comments.
     
  13. luissarro

    luissarro New Member

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    hi, Jonathan!

    my favorite Fauré nocturne is the 13th, and this one is quite similar (with no middle section, though). it even sounds harmonically quite equivalent to that 13th.

    nice piece and nice playing!
     

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