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Franz-Josef Streuff, Serenade of Fare-Well for two pianos

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by musicusblau, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    On Wednesday I have visited my former teacher and friend, Franz-Josef Streuff, and we have audio- and video-recorded his "Serenade of Fare-Well" for two pianos. Franz-Josef Streuff is a member of Pianosociety, he uses the nickname francois_streff. He was born in 1931 and he has written this great piece of music in 1991. It´s in late romantic style. I´m glad, that he is able to play again after a severe stroke, he has had last year, and that he has recovered so well after a hard training and practising! The little slips we do here and there do not decrease the very musical playing of Franz. For me it´s an enrichment to work together with him, because both his composition and his manner to play lead us directly to the great tradition of 19th century, the romantic epoch. Franz confesses to this time of a great era of music and me, too, btw.

    Here are the words to his own work, Franz has send by e-mail to me:
    "This is my 'Serenade of Fare-Well'. I wrote it in 1991, fairly long ago. I might as well have called it Sonata for two pianos, but I rejected that title, because it didn't mean anything to me.
    It is written in a late romantic style, I emphasized a particular use of harmony,which to my mind reveals something like saying good-bye,especially in the third part of the first movement yet also in the two other movements. I am 79 now, and it was only now that I found the title of the composition. In 1991 it was just a serenade. I cannot really improve my pianistic qualities any more. So, if I will not record any other pieces in piano society, being aware of the limited
    qualities of my piano playing I might say good bye to piano society with this composition not without saying ThANK YOU for for these wonderful opportunities you offered to me during my membership. 'Serenade of Fare-Well' also has a connection to my life. I recorded this piece together with Andreas who will also do the cutting etc.Thank you, Andreas for your great help. With all good wishes, Francois.- "

    Here are the video-links:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTlOiRf2kWg (1st movement, Poco Allegretto)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gX7Fq6Xw5A (2nd movement, Larghetto)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcVCzbhjOC0 (3rd movement, Allegro)


    Streuff - Serenade of Farewell for two pianos - 1: Poco Allegretto ( 09:13 )
    Streuff - Serenade of Farewell for two pianos - 2: Larghetto ( 04:19 )
    Streuff - Serenade of Farewell for two pianos - 3: Allegro ( 06:02 )
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Good job ! Some minor synchronization issues, but nothing really to worry about. A nice piece too, as we've come to expect from Francois. Maybe a bit anachronistic, composed in 1991, but we're used to that too. These days nothing is wrong with being and oldfashioned romantic :wink:

    Good to see Francois in action, he does not look his age and is still a good player - I think he plays much more assured than in his recordings of the Late Intermezzi. Seems like progress has been made. I sure hope this will not be his farewell to PS.

    This is up on the site. The pianos sound well together. Must be great to have two instruments and to be able to play 2-piano repertoire.
     
  3. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Techneut wrote:
    Thanks for this, Chris. Of course, we are aware of our little slips and some synchronization issues. I´m utterly of your opinion, that some minor slips or little mistakes are nothing to worry about, if the whole performance is musically and properly played in summary.

    You are so right, my friend. :wink:

    It´s very kind you write this and I´m still working on encouraging Franz to do further recordings. And indeed, he has improved since his last recordings of Late Intermezzi. I will work now on the numbers 4-6 of his Late Intermezzi, btw. Will you also continue your recordings of them?

    Thank you for puting this up, Chris. :D Indeed, it´s great to have two instruments and to be able to play 2-piano repertoire. In former times we have played repertoire for two pianos for four hands each piano once. Franz had a friend, who was a consul (of the Netherlands, btw, if I remember correctly), and he had two big Steinways in his living-room.
    Franz has let tune his two pianos for our recordings above, though I think, some tones are not to well tuned together nevertheless, but may be it´s not possible to tune them better in a uniform way.
    However, this also is nothing to worry about.
    I´m also looking forward to our next 4hands-recordings of Slavonic Dances, Chris! This was and wil be also a great pleasure to do as you know.
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Yes if you'll record 4-6 I will re-record 1-3, and we share the set.

    Hm yes, consuls can afford that. They get paid handsomely for doing very little, I think.

    I have not worked on any of them since our meeting. We should try and pick a date if we want to do this again. But I'll be very busy at least till the end of the year.
     
  5. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Techneut wrote:
    Yes, I will work on numbers 4-6 from now on. Next weekend I´ll be on trip of our school-orchestra. Once a year we make a trip to a youth hostel in the Odenwald for two days to practise on the program for our annual christmas-concert. (This time it will be "The Unfinished" by Schubert.)
    So, I will not have too much time for practising piano and for recording. But after our trip of practising I will start to practise and as soon as I feel the pieces to sound well enough, I will record them (also on video as always). In every case we don´t need to put any pressure of time to us, I think.


    With me it´s the same, in every vacations I have to correct as much papers as I had this time (I had to decide between four hands recordings with you or the recordings with Franz and I had promised him to record his Serenade since summer 2008, so it was planed since more than a year, that we will do it in autumn 2009), and in the Christmas-holidays and Easter-holidays in addition to my usual corrections of papers I have to develop and to correct tasks for final secondary-school examinations. It would be nice, if we can find a weekend (may be one with one or two additional bank holidays) between in the beginning of the next year, in which you could visit me in Germany. Otherwise it will be my next summer-holidays. I think, I will go to the same place as this year again.
     
  6. Didier

    Didier Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Fantastic! :D

    Congratulations first to the composer! Positive minding music that I enjoyed a lot. Congratulations to both players of course, as good as usual. And finally congratulations to the sound and image technician: making a so good recording with a grand and an upright at home was not a so easy challenge.
    I could not read the brand of the grand. What is it ? Also what is the upright piano that sounds so good ?
     
  7. Franz Josef Streuff

    Franz Josef Streuff New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Serenade of Fare--Well

    iN REPLY To Didier, The Grand-piano was built in 1910 in Leipzig. It is a FRANCKE, nowadays unknown.I,too like the sound of it after a hundred years. The upright is a BECHSTEIN I bought in the sixties. I prefer this sound to a Steinway piano. If Steinway it should be a grand. Both these instruments are regularly tuned by a very good and reliable tuner. I am really fond of both thse instruments. I could not have a better upright piano. The grand is stronger in sound, of course, quite amazing for a hundred- year-old instrument. Thasnk you for listening and for your appreciation- Francois.
     
  8. Franz Josef Streuff

    Franz Josef Streuff New Member Piano Society Artist

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    To Sabine, Thank you for your encouraging words. It makes me happy to know you listened to it and you like it. I am so grateful to Andreas for all his trouble he took to achieve this recording.
    With all good wishes to you and Julianand of course to Andreas.
     
  9. Franz Josef Streuff

    Franz Josef Streuff New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Serenade of Fare-Well

    Dear Chris, Thank you for listening to my serenade, you seem to like and enjoy it. I do not mind in the least being ananchronistic.. I am just very fond of that sort of harmony. In 1991 this serenade was originally intended to be a sextett for strings. A good violinist told me it was not really suited for
    strings, so I should prefer it to be played by the piano. It was difficult to realize with one piano, that is why I set it for two. Sorry, my technique is only good in parts- The reprise in the last movement is too slow, I am sorry to say. I don't know how this could happen, as I feel the proper tempo inside.
    Andreas was a great help to me. Actually without without his help I could not have achieved it at all.
    Probably I should have lived in the 19th century-With all good wishes Francois. Be happy!
     
  10. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thank you for listening and your appreciation, Didier! :D

    Coming from you this makes me especially happy! :D :D :D Indeed, I have made some effort by postprocessing these recordings. 8)
     
  11. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Re: Serenade of Fare-Well

    francoisstreff wrote:
    It´s very good, that you live in the 20th and 21th century, Franz, otherwise we couldn´t have made our nice recordings above, which would be very sad in my opinion. :cry: :wink:
     

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