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G. Catoire, Prelude, Op. 17, No. 3 in Cm

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by Rachfan, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I'm pleased to post the "Prelude, Op. 17, No. 3" in Cm of the late romantic Russian composer Georgy Catoire (1861-1926). The Four Preludes, Op. 17 were published c. 1903. The main influences on Catoire were Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Scriabin and Faure. I hope you'll enjoy this music. (Previously I posted the other three here, Preludes No. 1 in G#m, No. 2 in G, and No. 4 in B flat--so this entry completes the set!)

    Piano: Baldwin Model L Artist Grand (6'3") just tuned

    Recording: Digital, Korg MR-1000 DSD

    Comments welcome

    David

    Catoire - Prelude, Op. 17, No. 3 in C minor
     
  2. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    this is a Catoire prelude I don't know (or didn't remember... hehehe)

    I thought it was just a so-so piece...
    then it suddenly becomes arrestingly drammatic! I like it!
    good job!

    PS: there is a page turn at 2'38, but I can't say anything, since I do the same. :lol:
     
  3. pianolady

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

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    This is up, David. I liked everything except the page turn noises, but I know....
    Congratulations on completing the set. :)
     
  4. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Felipe,

    Thanks for the compliment! I have to say that this piece tested me. It's not an easy one to play. I agree with you--when I first started playing it, I didn't quite know what to make of that dark, brooding opening. Then there are those two sudden rays of sunshine, but are no more. Playing that (what I call "dream sequence" makes the pianist feel in free float--it's easy to get off track there unless you're careful. The bombastic extended climate toward the end is very dramatic, followed by the coda that is much like a whisper. It's not my favorite Catoire piece, but still a fine composition.

    David
     
  5. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    Thanks for putting the prelude up for me! Yeah, I know--the page turns. It's one of those pieces too long to spread the pages along the music desk. So I had to suffer it out. (Wish I could still memorize like when I was young. :( )

    It does feel good to have recorded a complete set. This one is my first actually. My philosophy had always been to draw from any composer's opus only those pieces that truly appealed to me. I never wanted the drudgery of having to study pieces that I didn't love, just for the sake of doing a complete set. But where Catoire has so few champions now, I decided to do the whole set. I'm still planning to return to Bortkiewicz to do more of those preludes. Having done so many though, I needed a break, which is why I turned to Catoire. This Prelude No. 3 thought didn't turn out to be a respite though!!!

    David
     
  6. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Dare I ask if you will be the Leslie Howard of Catoire's music :wink: ?
     
  7. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi juufa,

    I don't know if I'll succeed in that endeavor, as the title already seems to be claimed by Mark-Andre Hamelin. But your question is very flattering. I greatly appreciate it!

    Next I'll either do some more Catoire, or shift back to Bortkiewicz, as there is much repertoire of great interest to me left undone there too. Just these two composers could continue to keep me busy for awhile, that's for sure! Luckily I really love their music. So it's always a joy, never a chore. :)

    Thanks for listening!

    David
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Very good performance David, of this strange and searching piece. IMO it's a bit too long for its content, but it has its moments of grandeur which come out very well in your hands. The Baldwin bass is very warm and sonorous but pity that the treble seems a bit out of tune.

    Yeah the page turns.... a bit in-yer-face aren't they ! I'd consider violating the no-edit policy and cut them out. Play into the next bar of the next page, stop, turn the page at your leasure, resume from somewhere in the last bar of the previous, and cut out the muck afterwards. Usually you have several choices to make the splice, and with a bit of practice you can make it inaudible. But even if not, it will be better than the noisy page turn plus delay. This is how I always do it, except when I think I can get away with playing on (which is most always detected by one of the elephant-ears around here :lol: )

    But nice if you can avoid this. I spent some time creating a custom music stand that comfortably holds up to 6 pages, or more if you print'em smaller. See photos. Not exactly pretty but very convenient.
     
  9. pianolady

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

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    Can you make me one of those? :wink:
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    It'll cost you to send it over.
     
  11. pianolady

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

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    Ok.
     
  12. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    :shock:
     
  13. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for your compliment on my performance. I appreciate that! This piece is somewhat enigmatic, so it takes more time to decipher Catoire's vision, and to bring that into the performance. Catoire is sometimes very deep in this thoughts. It's also a difficult piece to play well.

    One of the page turns in particular is the most distracting. I'll fool around with the file here to see if I can remove it without causing a worse problem.

    On the tuning, the piano was tuned two days before the recording session, and was not touched in between. (My intent was to avoid complaints about the piano being out of tune. :lol:) I have both C and A tuning forks, but can't use them to check pitch now, as the piano was intentionally tuned sharp. By June we should have more springlike weather here allowing us to get back to A440 again. But when I get a moment I can at least check octaves, thirds and fifths in the treble to see if I can detect a problem up there. If so, I'm sure the tuner can return to adjust it.

    That's quite a sheet music desk you devised!!

    Thanks for listening!

    David
     
  14. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Right here, attached to my message. But you must be logged in to see them. This always gets me too, thinkin 'where the heck did the attachments go...' :lol:
     
  15. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,

    Yeah, I discovered that I was logged out just before you replied about logging in. That feature can play tricks on you. :lol:
     
  16. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Restless harmonies angrily circling above the tonal centre. At least that's what I gathered listening to this prelude.
    I guess you must either give in or not play the piece at all. You totally got the mood, David. Deep sound and touch, quite cinematic. You have worked this piece in your mind a lot apparently.
    I was hoping for a more unexpected ending though, but maybe that's too much to ask for, bearing in mind the time this was written.
     
  17. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Pantelis,

    I'm glad you enjoyed this prelude so much. It's a tough piece to play! Regarding the mood, I have to say that for awhile when I was first practicing this dark, brooding piece, I was having difficulty characterizing it. In particular, Catoire's vision was successfully eluding me. One thing I've learned about this composer is that he's not the least bit superficial. His thinking within his music runs very deep. It makes for extraordinary moments in his compositions for piano. I agree that the coda here is a signature Catoire ending, which makes it predictable. I think that he wanted to be sure that it trailed off into a whisper to bring the listener down from the extended and bombastic climax just preceding it. None of these Catoire preludes have been similar to one another, except perhaps for style of the codas. Each has its own story to tell. Thanks for listening, and I'm glad you like my approach to this prelude!

    David
     
  18. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Techneut wrote:
    How? Are here members with elephant-ears? :lol: Well, better to have elephantlike ears as such ears, which are similar to those other animals with proboscis, isn´t it? (I mean those grunting proboscis-animals.) :wink: :lol:

    I really would like to have such a note-stand, too. Is there a possibility to purchase somewhere and somehow such a stand?
     
  19. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Bravo, David, this is really a very expressive and deep performance. I feel it to be very ripe and subtle, so I have nothing to say than this is masterfully played IMO! Have my sincere congratulations to your CS! It´s very valuable, that we have it from you!
     
  20. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andreas,

    Thanks so much for your flattering comments on my playing. I give credit to Catoire. There is a very deep train of thought on his part running through this prelude, which invites thoughtful playing in turn. Wonderful music! I haven't previously been in the business of doing complete sets. But I did this one because I loved all of the preludes so much. I still intend to Bortkiewicz to do more of his works, which might eventually result in a couple more complete sets there as well. Again, I'm glad you enjoyed my rendition here. It means a lot to me coming from you, an accomplished pianist.

    David
     

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