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Franz Schubert: An den Mond & Gretchen am Spinnrade

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by musicusblau, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I have made two recordings of songs by Franz Schubert with a colleague. Tatjana Steinke has a nice alto voice and sings for pleasure. She is not a professional, but I think, she has done a pretty good job here.

    The first song ("An den Mond") reminds me a bit of Beethovens "Moonshine Sonata", just because of the eights triplets. May be Schubert thought of it, when he wrote this song? Anyway, moon is a romantic motif with a great tradition in literature and music.
    The second song ("Gretchen am Spinnrade") is from Goethes "Faust". I think, Schubert has caught the inner restlessness respective concern of Gretchen (caused by the conflict of desire of love and social sin) in a congenial way.

    Here are the links to the mp3-files (only audio this time):
     

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  2. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hello Andreas,
    Quite a long time I haven't see you at PS (but I have been also intermitent at this place). Thank you for providing us with Schubert's lieder, a repertoire I am particularly fond of. Your accompaniement is very fine and perfectly suits to the singer. As for Tatjana, I like very much her voice. It is just too bad that she is slightly off tune at few places. Maybe her hearing of the piano was not enough during recording ?
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    My perception was that she was almost consistently singing flat. Could well be a hearing issue for all I know.
     
  4. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Francois,
    thank you for your comment and praise. I also like Tatjanas voice very much as it's strong and clear. And she produces a very nice vibrato. For her it's the first time she sings Kunstlieder (sorry, I couldn't find an english translation for this term). For this it's a very good achievement, I think. Yes, it's right, she is slightly (but just very slightly!) out of tune at some few places. We don't acclaim to offer a professional recording here and she is working on these things with a teacher. So I think, we should encourage and motivate her here to continue with that. When we performed the two songs in our school we only have got positive feedbacks.
    Yes, I practised for my own in the last time and had not too much time for recordings. But there are some new on my YouTube channel.
     
  5. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Chris,
    I don't think, she is singing "consistently flat" here. On the other hand I found so many different translations for the word "flat",that it would be necessary to explain it a bit more precise.
     
  6. Didier

    Didier Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Andreas,
    Very nice voice! Its darkness is well suited to these lieds. I like especially Gretschen am Spinnrade, (It is a tough work for the pianist also and you did it well ! :wink: )
    Congratulations to Tajana and yourself !
    You used one microphone for the piano and one for the voice. It is enough although not ideal. But you should have mixed both tracks differently to get a credible stereo image.
    Here attached a fast try.


    NB Beethoven never thought to the moon when he wrote the first movement of its sonata in ut sharp minor. It is a funeral march. According to some reports, Beethoven playing this movement was evocative of ghosts dragging their chains (because of the senza sordina indication ?). The Mondshein name was given by the poet Ludwig Rellstab in 1832, 5 years after the death of Beethoven.
     

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  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    In the context of singing, "flat" means being just a fraction below the note. I heard that quite often, if perhaps not consistently. It is a pity because she does have a nice voice.
     
  8. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Didier,
    it´s really nice to "see" you again! :D And thank you very much for your encouraging words and the mixing of the two channels! As always you are right concerning the recording technique. I have recorded with my two Neumann KM 184 mics, one for the singer and one for the piano. Your mixture is really very nice and gives a true stereo image! How have you done this? I would be very glad, if I would be able to do this myself, too, with my editing program (WaveLab 6.0), but I don´t know how.

    Concerning the title "Mondschein-Sonate" I knew all that, of course. But may be Schubert was influenced by the - in truth wrong - image Rellstab and the publisher of Beethovens work had given to this sonata? But on the other side it could not well be, because Beethoven died in 1827 und Schubert just one year later. In every case the parallelism of triplet motif is obvious and interesting IMO.
     
  9. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Chris,
    thanks for the more detailed explanation and critical hearing. From my view there is not any disturbing "flatness" in the sense you have mentioned it above in the recording. Just from the bars 17-25 ("Die ganze Welt ist mir vergällt" a.s.o.) I can also hear a little bit of this being "just a fraction below the notes". And may be a very very little bit at the end ("und küssen ihn so wie ich wollt"). For my feeling these very small lownesses are not disturbing in any way. So I´m not sure, if this really is worth to be mentioned. On the other hand we will have an eye on this, when we do further recordings in future. May be the impression of lowness is also caused by the timbre of her voice, which goes a bit in direction of darkness. I like this little dark timbre of her voice, which also Didier has mentioned above, very much.
    In every case the recording is correct and has no mistakes. So it should be put up to the mainsite IMHO.
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Yes. Please provide correct ID3 tags.
     
  11. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Ups, sorry, but I thought to have put them in. I did it like always in the windows music library. I have set album pianosiety.com, year 2015 title and interpreters like it is prescribed for this site. So could you tell me, what is not correct with my ID3 tags, please?
     
  12. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    @ Didier: could you remix also my other file ( op. 2), please? Or tell me how I have to do this? That really would be great!
    @Chris: please wait with the upload for both remixed versions, because this sounds better. I will add correct ID tags to the remixed files as soon as I have them both.
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    viewtopic.php?f=20&t=5114
     
  14. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    @Didier: I have found out how to mix the two channels. It took a while, but then I think, I have exactly done, what you did. First I have changed both channels and then I mixed in the original, so that both channels were together. After this I have set the volume to a suitable level. I think, both songs sound better. I will do this in future again like this. What do you think?
    @Chris: I have corrected the tags in the new files. I think, I know, what was wrong. I have took the numbers of Deutschverzeichnis now as it is said for Schubert in the topic.
    So it can be put up now, please.

    Franz Schubert - Gretchen am Spinnrade, D118 (3:11)
    Franz Schubert - An den Mond, D193 (2:43)
     
  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I have uploaded them. The current arrangement is that I do the tagging, uploading and forum links and Monica updates the site pages.
     
  16. Didier

    Didier Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Andreas,

    Yes I think it is better because it is mono (left and right signals are the same). Good mono is better than wrong stereo. :wink:

    When you have several tracks from microphones steered at different instruments, here piano and voice, you need a software dedicated to multitrack recording. It allows for mixing the tracks by setting for each one its gain (more or less loud) and its pan (between hard left and hard right). I have used Reaper for doing that: its a very complete, so rather complex, tool although being rather cheap (60 $ for non commercial use). You can emulate what is doing Reaper in Wavelab (copy each mono track as a stereo track and set independent gains on the left and right channels, then add both stereo tracks to get a single stereo tracks) but unlike Reaper you will not be able to listening instantaneously to the the result of a change of setting.)
    I have also boosted a bit the lows of the piano and add reverb with different settings for the voice and the piano. ideally you would have used a stereo pair on the piano which will have made it sound less distant. A single microphone for the voice is enough but often in professionnal recordings there are two ones like here : 2 microphones for Thomas Quasthoff (and 3 for the piano of Daniel Barenboim, 2000 € each one: they are German (Schoeps), hence expensive. :p ).

    I will mix your Ann den Mond also.
     
  17. Didier

    Didier Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    My mix of Ann den Mond. I prefer it without any extra reverberation.
     

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  18. pianolady

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

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    Ok, Andreas, these are on the site now. I think you both did a nice job!
     
  19. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Yes, you are right, we have produced something like a mono recording now. I always have thought, that the sense of stereo is to produce an areal (stereoscopic) impression of the sound. So it should be o.k., if the singer f.ex. can be heared more on the right site and the piano on the left (or reverse), isn´t it?

    You mean, I should f.ex. record the piano with one mic and the singer with the other (as I have done) and than put different levels on it and then overlap them, f.ex. so that on the rigth track the piano is in the foreground and on the left the singer. Like this I would have a right track with piano in the foreground, but one could hear still the singer in the background, too. On the left side one would hear the singer in the foreground with the piano in the background.
    So my mistake was, that I have produced a recording with mostly ONLY piano on the right and mostly ONLY singer on the left side.
    Have I understood all this correctly?

    That´s a nice idea to boost the lows and do different settings on the piano and singer. Though I think, in reality there is only one room with a certain condition of reverberation. Does it not falsify the impression of reality?
    Don´t understand me wrongly. It sounds very well in your mix. :)

    Well, good quality has its price. :wink: Yes, that also would be very nice to have more microphones. In my next life, when I surely will have more money, I will buy me some mics additionally to my Neumann KM 184. :wink:


    Thank you very much for your remix of "An den Mond". It sounds first-class to me!
    And thanks for all your valuable tips and ideas, which always inspire me to think about my recording methods and editings. :D When will you record your next Schubert? Would be interesting to "check out" your progresses. :wink:
     
  20. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks for uploading and the praise!
     

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