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Franz Schubert, Winterreise, D911, no. 1, 2, 8

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by musicusblau, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    We continue our complete recording of Schuberts Winterreise with a re-recording of no. 1 ("Gute Nacht"), which we feeled had to be improved concerning intepretation. We choosed a tempo more fluent and worked very much on nuances of dynamic, rubato and articulation. No. 2 ("Die Wetterfahne") and no. 8 ("Rückblick") are new ones.
    We still will have to record the following pieces: 6, 7, 9, 10, 16, 18, 19, 22 to complete the cycle.
    The new ones are added to the table on this site, where you will find the complete set one nice day (so it is god´s will ;)).
    We have a lot of fun to work on these lovely pieces. Comments are very appreciated, especially if they will contain some constructive advices. (But of course, we won´t be unhappy just about a praise. ;))
    For those, who don´t know us yet. Me (=Andreas Pfaul) and my colleague (=Michael Schönfelder) we are teachers at the same Secondary School in Germany, teaching the subjects "music" and "german" (me) and Michael "music" and "politics". So, we both have studied music at a conservatory (in germany "Music Highschool" which has the same state as university), but we both have not made a concert career or something like this, but we practise music as far as we need it for our work at school and it´s also our hobby. So, from this it would be probably adequate to call us "semi-professionals". Michael mainly is clarinetist (we already have recorded many pieces for clarinet and piano for this site), but since November 2015 he restarted to practise on singing and from my view made great progresses. Here in Germany we school musicians have all a basic education in singing (4 semestres), and we play two instruments, a main instrument and another one. So I play piano as main instrument and guitar as second instrument, Michael plays clarinet as main instrument and piano as second instrument. Singing for us both is just a minor subject.
    At this moment we have Easter holidays, which will go up to the end of this week.

    As usual we have recorded the Lieder also for my youtube channel. The videos there contain exact the audio tracks of the mp3-files below:
    (Franz Schubert, D911, no. 1, Gute Nacht)
    (Franz Schubert, D911, no. 2, Die Wetterfahne)
    (Franz Schubert, D911, no. 8, Rückblick)

    mp3-files:
     

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    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
  2. Didier

    Didier Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Sehr gut !

    I think that you went a step higher here with respect to your previous recordings regarding both the performance from Michael, much more expressive, (Andreas, your one has always been first class ! :)) and the recording technique. I had good time when listening to this. Thank you !
     
  3. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Didier,
    thank you very much for your encouraging words. Coming from you this means especially much to me! :)
    And that you see a progress also concerning my recording technique makes me especially glad. I feel it to be like this, too, though I haven't (yet!) bought some additional microfones. I'm again working just with WaveLab, not with Reaper, though I have bought that program. But I do all settings of different input concerning singer and piano directly at the mixing console. I think, the main thing was, that I put now closer the mic to the singer, In WaveLab I first create a raw file, then I begin to experiment with different mixtures of the the right and the left audio track. I do a volume editing of both, but with different levels. Then I mix the changed left track to the right track and the changed right track to the left, so that the impression of a stereo image is created. Finally I add my usual presets of revetb and equalization. And I do a pan peak level compensation of both channels.
     
  4. neural

    neural New Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thank you both for enjoyable performances of these deceptively simple songs. I haven't heard your previous recordings, so I will just comment on these for now.

    Gute Nacht: There are some beautiful colours; I especially liked the darkening in the final six bars, and the opening is also very nicely handled. The approach is more 'gehend' than 'maessig', but it works and it gives you space for rubato. In the bar in which the singer comes in, don't you want the drop in dynamic to be on the second quaver rather than the first? Something about the three-note RH figure that first occurs before 'nun ist die Welt so truebe' bothers me - the third note seems to cut off rather abruptly each time. And when the piano takes over at the end of each verse, you mark the 'fp' well, but I don't think the accelerando through the preceding four notes is necessary.

    Die Wetterfahne: A very successful, unsettling performance. Thank you. There were just two places which weren't quite as convincing as the rest: the trills (e.g. in the fourth complete bar) felt laboured, and at each 'Braut' you pulled your punch, so to speak - perhaps to let the voice have maximum impact, but it felt anti-climactic. Minor points though.

    Rueckblick: Again, a convincing performance with plenty of light and shade, and most elegant duetting between the left hand and the voice at 'Wie anders...'. I wonder if by this stage in the cycle the pianist may start to be more overt in the abrupt, wild-eyed changes in mood?

    One could spend a lifetime on these works and there would still be more to say...
     
  5. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Jonthan,
    thank you for your detailed comment! Yes of course, you can spend a lifetime on these pieces and you always would find still more details to work on. I think you have made some useful advices and I will think about one and the other. ;) Though we first will complete the cycle and then eventually think about to rerecord one or the other song.
    But we take all advices we get here with many thanks and make them part of our reflections on further recordings. So they influence the development of our interpretation in every case.
     
  6. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Dear Andreas,
    I am very much of the same opinion as Didier's and Jonathan's. I enjoyed a lot listening these three lieders, for various reasons. First, it's immortal music that I have practiced years ago and that I hadn't heard for a while. Second, because your rendition is of really high quality: excellent piano playing, very expressive singing (great progress compared to what I remember from the previous submissions) and perfect coordination ! A great thing with Schubert is that he talks to our hearts, and, apart in few pieces like the Wanderer fantasy, the technical requirements are not too high so that us amateurs can really go very close to perfection, if this word means anything when applied to art... Congratulations to your beautiful duet !
     
  7. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andreas,

    I think that you solved a major problem--placement of the microphones. It's time consuming and and can cause frustration, as there are so many possibilities. I believe you got a handle on that, thereby enabling a sound solution. The latest three songs you posted sounded very good to me. I hope others will take time to hear them too.

    David
     
  8. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi David,
    thank you very much for listening and commenting! :)
    Yes, the placement of microphones is time consuming, but on the other hand I like to expreriment with recording technique and possibilities. It´s not frustrating for me personally. I´m glad you like my renditions. Actually, I´m working with Michael on the next ones, but since he has a new girl-friend, it´s not so often in the last time. ;) But we have planed to continue in every case. Hope, life will continue soon in normal way ... ;)
     
  9. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andreas,

    Ah yes, I get the drift of that situation. ;) If normalcy returns enabling you to complete the process, it will have been worth it all. :)


    David
     
  10. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thank you, David! :)
     
  11. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Good balance between both of you. It's evident you have a fair amount of mutual musical understanding.
     
  12. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Andrew,
    thanks for your encouraging comment! :)
     
  13. Jan

    Jan Member Piano Society Artist

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    Dear Andreas,

    you can really hear your and Michaels deep understanding of the music and of each other when listening to you making music together.

    Hearing Michaels first note in the "Wetterfahne", I had the impression, that it would be good to sing with more tension (unterspannt, Luft auf der Stimme), but after listening to all three recordings, I got used to it, and I perceive his intentions very well.

    One thing that disturbs me (but that's maybe due to personal taste) is the sound of the reverb, especially for the voice, which I think has to many high frequencies. A high shelf filter (just on the reverb) would do good (in my ears).

    Greetings (from your bavarian colleague)!

    Jan
     
  14. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Jan,
    thank you for your comment and have a warm welcome (it´s also nice to meet a german colleague here!).
    Thank you for your tips, which are useful, I think. Michael is not a professional singer. He studied it as a "Nebenfach" (not main subject) during his studies of school music (like me, btw, but I´m not as far as trained in singing like Michael is ;). So yes, I think there must be possibilities to improve some tones or passages here and there from a more professional view.
    I like to experiment with audio technique. I have WaveLab 6 and it offers quite a lot of possibilities. So I will check out, if there is a "high shelf filter".
    Greetings to you in bavaria (which is not too far from me, since I´m living only one hour with car from Aschaffenburg or Miltenberg f.ex.)
    Andreas
     

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