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Field Nocturnes

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by mnodine, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. pianolady

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

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    You're too kind, but thank you! :)



    It certainly can't hurt, and may improve the dynamics.

    I just mean that to me these pieces should be liquid and sparkling...like little gems with sharp points trickling down onto a warm, soft, fuzzy fur blanket. I'm not explaining this very well....

    Ok, waiting until your piano is restrung and settled is a reasonable request. I just know that in the early days, I was impatient and uploaded recordings that were not that great, and now I am sorry I did so. And embarrassed! I've had to do a lot of re-recording myself, and still doing so today. Another thing, just be aware that recordings you have on the main site might end up on other sites as well, which is another reason why we insist on high-quality recordings.

    Looks like I'm the one who started the system on the site. I'll do a little checking around....we want to use whatever system is most common. Meantime, can you please send me your photo and then I can at least start making your artist page. My colleague will be happy to add your recordings to the site once you've submitted the new batch.
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Sure, but please also correct the ID3 tags in accordance with this post viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5115

    The file names are already compliant, that is good.
     
  3. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hate to criticize and run, but I have a big evening. I'll try to get back to any replies I need to make over the weekend.

    I'll post the 3 I listened to today to assure the administrators that someone covered these:

    #10 (#9 in the Liszt) - what a strange piece. Very lovely, and you play it nicely. In measures 15 and 16, the ends of the little turns get lost.

    #11 - fine job, and generally good dynamics in the interior of phrases which helps move the piece along. IMO, the dynamics and tempi on the last page could have been stretched more (the Liszt edition has a 'ppp' at one point).

    #12 (#14 in the Liszt); very nice. There are obviously differences in editions here, so I don't want to make detailed comments.
     
  4. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Had time this morning for three more movements:

    #13 (#15 in the Liszt); fine. The ornaments are generally better here than elsewhere.

    #14 (#16 in the Liszt); This is the least nocturne-like of them so far, and about twice as long as it should have been. (Field's fault, not yours.) That said, the performance is generally good, and the articulation in this is better than many of the other recordings. It's not likely that many artists are going to rush to record this one, so it should stand as is.

    15 (#17 in the Liszt); this needs to have a second of silence at the beginning - there is almost no pause. Is your software equal to patching a second of "nothing" to the beginning? The Liszt edition has an A-natural at measure 15; you play an A-Flat. When the hands play 16th's together, it sounds very uneven. And the 16th note passages in the RH that include ornaments sound very uncomfortable. The rest of the piece is fine; if you concentrated a little practice on the 2 or 3 problem spots you could get a good recording. This is a candidate for a do-over: a little work would go a long way.

    I'll try to get the last 3 by the end of the weekend. Whether this goes up now or in a few months, this is an important offering and deserves attention.
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    It randomly tried the 2nd and 5th. They do have their moments, but there's just too much note spinning, endlessly milking a couple of ideas and formulas.
    I guess this music is just not for me. I generally dislike Mendelssohn's piano music too, with a couple of exceptions.
     
  6. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have had a listen to a few more of them. I'm listening without score, and Stu has already provided copious notes, so I'll stick to general impressions.

    4. Again the upper treble sounds a touch harsh. The filigree ornamentation is mostly clear and convincing; a couple of rough spots (3.15?) but nothing too bad. In a perfect world I think it would me slightly lighter. What was it someone said about Liszt's playing of such ornamentation? "a string of gossamer pearls in the morning dew"? I'm somewhat paraphrasing the quote, I think. 2.50 - slip? Some nice poetic moments.

    5. The downward intervals in the rh opening were put across rather nicely. My favourite of the pieces so far, and some good dynamic control. Bravo for the shaping of the ending.

    6. Tuning issues on the high F# and elsewhere, but I've already mentioned this earlier. 1.25 the ornamental notes sound rough (and overall they are too "foreground"). I'd suggest your tempo is maybe a touch too fast, but I think that gives the wrong temperamental idea - I'd prefer to say it should be more relaxed. I don't know how the score is printed, but again Liszt was very astute in how he often notated such things - with the ornamentation in a smaller, grace note font - gives a visual and psychological cue to interpretation.

    7. In the opening, I assume the melody lies in the tenor - if so it's a rather uninteresting melody! It's a bit lost with the other things going on. I'm not sure I understand the musical point of this piece.

    8. Nice phrasing around 1.00. Around 2.10 it sounds like you are pushed for time getting all the ornamental notes in; I completely agree with Stu's advice. Nice observation of the rests (no messy over-pedal!), complementing the delicate little notes around them.

    In general I haven't changed my overall impressions. The upper treble is a little harsh/brittle, yes there are a few little imperfections but I don't see that they are sufficiently damaging to prevent the recordings being put up. I'm not sure I see the need for re-recording of individual pieces: my hunch is that that's just tinkering with a project that has already been satisfactorily completed.
     
  7. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    I can complete my notes on individual pieces today. Tomorrow I'll read the entire stream and make appropriate replies.

    #16 (#18 in the Liszt); not a terribly inspiring piece of music but played all right. There are differences in the editions but I was able to follow along just fine.

    #17 (#10 in the Liszt); First, one of the editors was taking a lot of liberty! I was able to get along, but just. Second, this one needs to be redone. There's a lot of good playing here, but too many of the fast passages lose too many notes and are too uneven. A piece like this requires many 'takes'; it will also require more practice. Unfortunately, it does not look like the piece affords the pianist any way of cutting and pasting from various takes. By the way, the last page is very nice.

    #18 (#12 in the Liszt); as others have noted, there are problems with this recording and it should be redone. Actually, I think most of it is in better shape than #3 or #17.
     
  8. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    A general observation:

    Keeping 18 pieces under your hands is a huge undertaking for an amateur. I know - I'm in the middle of an 18-piece set myself. The only way I could conceivably handle it is by giving up all other music for a year or two, and I cannot do that. So I work on one or two of them at a time. There are many in this set that you could record pretty well with minimal rework, then you'd have them 'out of the way' and tackle the others that require more work. If you do not intend on performing the entire set, there's nothing wrong with this strategy.

    That said, I understand the hardware issues and would understand any approach that the administrators want to take. I do believe that 3 or 4 re-workings are called for; whether they want to wait 2 or 3 months and then have to pool all of Mark's recordings into a 'complete set' box, or just put it up that way now probably involves technical issues with which I'm not acquainted.

    It would be nice to have the complete Field Nocturnes, though...
     
  9. pianolady

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

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    Thank you, Stu and Andrew, for taking the time to check all these out.:D The other administrator and I would never have time to do it all AND put it on the site. Now, I wonder where Mark is?
    Mark, I hope you understand that we are not always so nitpicky with submissions. But you are new, so therefore we don't know your playing very well yet. :)
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Actually we ARE that nitpicky by default here, whether someone is new here or not. It's character building :)

    Mark, if you provide the 192Kbs versions with correct ID3 tags I'll put this set on the site and leave it to you whether you want to re-record some.
    I guess the value of a complete collection (somewhat) outweighs the flaws in some of the individual items. I'll need to re-listen to no.3 and
    specifically state what bones I had to pick with it (though I had far more trouble with no.18).
     
  11. jontyl

    jontyl New Member

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  12. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Field, on the other hand, was apparently not! My friend Piotrek helped me translate this letter from Edward Wolff to Józef Nowakowski (both were Polish pianists and acquaintances of Chopin). Only this excerpt survived:

    Of course, that was in August 1835, not exactly the pinnacle of Liszt's career, though it was fairly close to the pinnacle of his career as a performer; he had already dissociated himself from the likes of Herz in Paris, but perhaps not yet in Vienna (or in Field's and Wolff's estimations). Field died less than two years later.

    This letter is really most interesting because it gives a glimpse of what the second tier of Romantic virtuosi thought of themselves.
     
  13. mnodine

    mnodine New Member

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    Sorry; I've been busy the past couple of nights.

    Thanks for the offer to post my recordings as long as I resubmit them at 192kbps and fix the ID3 tags. I know how to do the former, but I don't seem to be able to control (or even see) what's in the ID3 tags. Could someone please tell me which tags are not set properly?

    In light of what Monica said about the recordings developing a life of their own once they're posted, I'm inclined to wait until my piano gets back from being restrung and trying to rerecord most if not all of them before going public. In addition to the obvious blunders, Stu and Andrew have given me some great ideas for reworking parts of the pieces. H/T to them.

    Waiting will also give me a chance to return the favor by commenting on the auditions of others.

    I'm still stumped by one thing, though. Both Stu and Chris have said that #3 is high on the list of items to be re-recorded, but I've listened to it with my most critical hat, and I'm still overall very pleased with it. Granted I lost concentration for a moment during the E major section, but other than that, I don't hear very much objectionable in my recording. Chris called the playing "clunky", but I'm wondering if that's not just the nature of the piece. If I'm going to re-record, Id like to know what to focus on doing differently! (As for the silence at the beginning, I'm pretty sure I can add that without re-recording.)
     
  14. pianolady

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

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    Ok Mark, we will wait until you re-submit the set.
     
  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Please refer to this post viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5115
    In the section ID3 TAGGING it explains how the various important tags must be set. The Name/Title, Album, and Composer tags do not comply here.

    I listened to it again and there is nothing really objectionable about it. Just a little laboured and uneven, it does not have the elegance that it could have. I could mention many specific points but I'm sure you hear it yourself, and if
    you love these pieces you'll undoubtedly want to have another go at them later. Or so I hope :)
     
  16. pianolady

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

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    Wow, this is so weird....I just turned on my internet radio station and Field's 1st nocturne is playing! :shock:
     
  17. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    My apologies to all for being absent for a few days. Glad to see that things are moving along.

    Mark, I don't know what software you're using, but on Audacity, the opportunity to control the bit rate is upon exporting; when the filename dialog box appears click the "options". For editing tags, either hit 'OK' on the filename dialog box (after choosing a name), and the Metadata dialog box will appear, or choose "Edit Metadata ..." under the "File" menu.

    If you're using a different editor, my first try would be exploring "Properties", the "File" menu, or maybe the online Help.

    To all: Perhaps the "box" that Mark's set is put in could include the name of the edition? This would clue the user about numbering and the other differences with the Liszt.

    My main problem with #3 is that it does not sound confident, particularly the passage around 1 minute in (the brief voyage into E Major before returning to A-flat. In the Liszt, this portion is marked "Piu Moderato" with a ritard into it and then shortly after the return to A-flat. So the composer is giving the performer plenty of leeway (tempo-wise) to make this otherwise-awkward passage sing a little. The other members do not feel that warrants a re-recording, and I'll go along with that. (The other objection I had was the difference in the apparent melody, which is a phenomenon of editions.)
     
  18. MarkieUK

    MarkieUK Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi, I listened to nocturnes 1, 4 and 5. Completing the whole set is quite an achievement, so very well done.

    I liked nocturne 1, you have quite a nice, solid sound, which suits the piece. You played accurately, though there could be a bit more sensitivity and rubato. Nocturne 4 is one of my favourites (and also probably the hardest to play well). You have some of the rhythm slightly wrong in the A section, giving it an almost jaunty feel sometimes. It was also a little quick for me, and again could do with some more rubato. A good effort, though. Nocturne 5 could do with more phrasing and rubato.

    My piano teacher at university used to tell me do try to go for a "dreamy" feel when executing the ornaments in the Field nocturnes.

    I really hope you polish these nocturnes and re-record some of them, as it would be good to have the whole set on the site.

    Mark
     

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