Thank you to those who donated to Piano Society in 2017.

Felix Blumenfeld

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by John Robson, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. John Robson

    John Robson New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Miami, Florida, USA
    Last Name:
    Robson
    First Name:
    John
    I recently stumbled across the first page of this piece and thought perhaps I could play it with my sore RH. When I got the entire piece, I realized that it has some places that strain my poor RH :lol: . But my RH has had a lot of rest so I gave it a try. It's not perfect, but it's the best I can do at this time. Perhaps I'll re-record it later. Do as you wish as far as posting it on the site.

    I had never heard this piece before and found it interesting especially after I realized that Blumenfeld was the piano teacher of Horowitz. Blumenfeld also studied composition with Rimsky-Korsakov. This is definitely Romantic Russian music. It reminds somewhat of Rachmaninoff.

    F. Blumenfeld: Moment de desespoir, Op. 21 No. 1 (F#Minor)

    Blumenfeld - Moment de desespoir, Op. 21, no. 1 in F-sharp minor
     
  2. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    Last Name:
    Coleman
    First Name:
    Nathan
    Hiya John, I've been missing you! hope the hand is holding up well.

    Thanks for new composer (for me) ... and it sounded fine IMHO. This is yet another composer whose works I shall now have to explore. Good for me, I'm on my death-bed and have plenty of time to devote to it. Too bad I can't play, but hopefully surgery for me within the month! Yay! Then watch out PS ... the flood of spam from the Coleman household will be awe-inspiring to behold!

    Anyway, good job, John. Sorry for straying from the topic. Not like I ever do that! :lol: :oops:
     
  3. pianolady

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

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Full of despair, indeed! Gorgeous piece. So much passion in your playing this, John. Really great - can't tell you have any hand problem.

    Playing unknown Russian romantic music must be contagious, because I just started a new piece by someone I never heard of before, either.

    I have put this up in the 'various composer' list.
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    Yes this is definitely reminiscent of Rachmaninov. Very well played though in the beginning a bit too much pedal I think. A great and gorgeous climax, convincingly done. Such a shame your piano does not have a deeper sonority for these moments.

    Does something strange happen at 0:57 ? The chord at 1:24 sounds strange, is that intended ?
    There is a curious dead spot at 3:09. Is that a pause ? IMO it would sound better to keep some pedal instead of the sudden silence. Similar thing occurs two times near the end.

    Much kudos though for sailing through this piece with flying colors. Nobody would guess you had a RH problem. Well done !
     
  5. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,387
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Obamanation, unfortunately...
    Last Name:
    Grocholski
    First Name:
    Julius
    Bravo! Hope the hand heals well.
     
  6. John Robson

    John Robson New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Miami, Florida, USA
    Last Name:
    Robson
    First Name:
    John
    Blumenfeld

    Thanks for listening and for being so kind. I didn't really feel this piece was ready to share, but I can't practice very much so it'll have to do for the time being. I'm seeing the orthopedic surgeon on Sept. 10. That means they may do something to help my hand before too many more months.

    Chris, I don't know which chord you are referring to. There are some dissonant chords in this piece. Blumenfeld was a fan of Scriabin, so perhaps some of his dissonances influenced Blumey. I believe the
    silent spots you refer to are when one pianissimo note is tied a couple of times towards the end. I could hear it when I was sitting at the piano, but the recorder didn't pick up the very soft tied notes. Funny how the Edirol often records things you wish it wouldn't such as clicking fingernails, while at other times this happens. :roll:
     
  7. pianolady

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

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    I can hear those soft tied notes at the end.
     
  8. mgasilva

    mgasilva New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Physician
    Location:
    Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
    Congrats!

    Excellent!

    This is a gem, a pearl, and exquisitely played!

    May I ask what recording equipment you used?

    Thanks,

    Marcelo
     
  9. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,152
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Chief Operating Officer, retired
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Last Name:
    April
    First Name:
    David
    Hi John,

    I had never heard this Moment before, so am really glad you posted it. I greatly enjoyed listening. Despite your RH problem, which was not apparent, you did a good job with it. I don't have the score, but it sounds as though the accidentals can be quite treacherous, and that you have to be quite vigilant in that regard. I found that Rachmanioff's Prelude, Op. 23, No. 1 in F#m shares that same attribute. Anyway, I liked this Blumenfeld piece so much I might look into playing it myself. I hope your surgery goes well and that you have a speedy recovery. Good luck on that!

    David
     
  10. John Robson

    John Robson New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Miami, Florida, USA
    Last Name:
    Robson
    First Name:
    John
    Blumenfeld

    Thanks for the comments. I realize the performance sounds quite "laboured" in parts---partly because it needs more practice and partly because the ol' RH hurts a tad when I play big chords.

    Monica, I'm glad you could hear the tied notes at the end. I can just barely hear them when I wear a headset; otherwise, not at all. Perhaps I only hear them because I know they are there. I guess I should have played them a little louder or just kept the pedal down and said " the hell with 'em."

    Marcelo, I used the Edirol-09 to record.

    David, there may have been a couple of spots where my thumb or 5th finger accidentally played an extra note in the RH. Sorry. However, there are some rather surprising dissonances in the piece which sound especially dissonant in the louder sections.
     
  11. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    3,028
    Likes Received:
    3
    Occupation:
    High-school-teacher with subjects music and german
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Pfaul
    First Name:
    Andreas
    Hi John,
    wow, this is a great achievement! So profoundly and expressively played, full of differenciation and variety of colours and nuances. You prove a very good sensation for this profound romantic piece IMO. I didn´t know this composer and I have no score of it. So, thank you very much for sharing this wonderful piece with us. I wish you from heart, that your hand-problem will become better and I agree to the others, that one can´t hear, that you have one. Really very good!
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    Re: Blumenfeld

    Having followed with the score, I know what it is I heard. At 1:24 you play a B natural which should be B sharp. The arpeggio at 0:57 I at first took for an edit... my mistake :oops:

    Your leisurely tempo of circa mm=60 suits the piece pretty well (making it more like a nocturne than an Agitato) but it's probably not what the composer had in mind at mm=96.

    Not sure why you play the 5-voice chords on the last two lines like you do. They all have equal value in the Belaieff score, you play them dotted. And in the closing bars, you should really keep the F sharp down. I still think the rest at 3:09 is a bit too long and arid.

    Despite these minor niggles, this is a convincing performance John. Your RH sounds pretty powerful, to the point that I wonder what exactly the problem is with it :!: But I hope you have not taxed it too much by recording this. Looks not at all easy with all these chords and octaves.
     
  13. John Robson

    John Robson New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Miami, Florida, USA
    Last Name:
    Robson
    First Name:
    John
    Blumenfeld

    Chris, I'll try to respond to some of your comments. At 57" there is a "double" grace note chord (four note chord and an octave preceding the main chord). Perhaps I didn't play it clearly. Damn! Your're right about the B-sharp. My bad---carelessnessI sort of agree with you about the pedal at the end, but the truth is I should have played the tied note loudly enough to be sustained clearly, and there would be no silence.

    Over all I tried playing it faster, but I didn't want even more wrong notes. Besides I lthink it sounds more despairing played more slowly. Soddy! :cry:

    I hope that made a little bit of sense.
     
  14. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    I think it probably sounds just as good at this slower speed, if not better. I find mm marks often ridiculously fast. Nothing to worry about here !
     
  15. kojiattwood

    kojiattwood New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Glad someone else has discovered this gorgeous piece! Played it at my nyc "debut" last year, and at the Husum festival last week--people always seem to respond positively to it.
     

Share This Page