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Godowsky - "Memories"

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianolady, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is Triakontameron no. 25 "Memories". It's the last one that I signed up to record for our PS Triakontameron project.

    "Memories" has what I think are very interesting harmonies. It's not that easy to play, though. I recorded it this morning, and even though I liked it when I first started learning it, I have now become so sick and tired of it that I probably will never play it again. Guess I don't like it as much as I do some of the other Triakontamerons like "Alt Wien" and "The Salon" and some others. Oh well....I'm still glad I got to know this piece and all the rest of the Triakontameron. There is so much variety within the set, and it's so nice to have Godowsky's own fingering written in the scores, as it is very helpful! (especially when I pay attention to it.... :wink: )

    Godowsky - Triakontameron No. 25: Memories
     
  2. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    This is the first time I've heard this piece of Godowsky, and yes, the harmonies are definitely rich, a Godowsky hallmark. I believe you played it very convincingly. A very nice recording indeed! Plus you fulfilled your pledge by completing your part of the project! Many will appreciate that, I'm sure.

    What I've always found is that if we have some favorite composers, inevitably we'll love many of their works, but others... not so much. Taking Godowsky as an example, some of his pieces in the Java Suite are of incredible beauty, but others, despite the cleverness of Godowsky's creativity and depictions, leave me less enthused. I also believe that sometimes becomes a hurdle to doing complete sets, especially when one must learn pieces that don't excite nearly as much as some others therein. It takes self-discipline, objectivity, motivation and perseverance to overcome that hurdle. Clearly you jumped over it with No. 25. :)

    I can certainly relate to that! At the moment I've been preparing a Medtner piece which when played sounds ever so easy. But for numerous reasons the piece is a beast to play! If and once I record it (and hopefully keep my sanity), I know I'll be putting it behind me. But, similar to your perspective, I'll always be glad too that I learned it.

    Again, thanks for presenting No. 25.

    David
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi again, David, and thank you!

    Yes, setting out to do complete sets has its good and bad sides. The good is that you might discover a piece you like and that you may not have known about otherwise. The bad is that you have to practice a piece you don't really like all that much but need to get it into decent shape for recording purposes. That scenario has happened to me often, for example when recording the Chopin Mazurkas. Some of the mazurkas I learned really got on my nerves after practicing them for a while. But you know what? Now that some time has gone by since I was working on the mazurkas, I have recently heard one or two of the ones I was not crazy about, and now I like them again! :D
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Very good. This doesn't look at all easy, so kudos for bringing it off without any flaws. Beautiful touch and phrasing as always.The only niggle I have is with tempo and rhythm. Overall I miss a bit of old-world Viennese lilt, and the various sections (Meno mosso, Poco piu mosso, Ancor on poco piu mosso) are not sufficiently differentiated tempo-wise. In the Meno Mosso you drag out the bars with the quarter notes far too much, losing all the waltz rhyrhm, and the Poco piu mosso sounds a bit labored, as if you do not feel entirely comfortable with it. The whole is nowhere near the metronome mark, it would benefit from a slightly more upbeat tempo. Having said that, Godowsky's metromome marks are often optimistic.

    I absolutely love Godowsky as an original composer, even though some of the Triakontameron are less good than some others. It's not fair that everybody (except here on PS, that is) only plays his devilish paraphrases and transcriptions. I never get tired with practicing his pieces. Numbers 4 and 7 are not
    far away now, though I must take care not to want to record them too soon.
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I didn't really think anyone was going to check me against the score on this, so thank you for checking! Even though the piece is in 3/4 time, I had not thought about keeping to a walzy kind of feel here. That changes everything. But do these pieces all HAVE to sound like a waltz? I can't pin anything down right now, but I seem to recall some Triakontameron don't sound anything like a waltz. I could be wrong. And the meno mossos and piu mossos - I guess I can do a little better with that and also I didn't realize I was holding down those quarter notes so long. :oops: Well....guess what I'm going to be doing today? (re-record...)
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    No they are not all waltzes, and I don't think they all need to sound like one. But many, like this one and the ones I'm working on, have a waltz-y character. That rhythm should IMO be flexible but not be pulled apart too much.
     
  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I don't really think this one is that waltzy either, but I've just finished re-recording it and shaved off 20 seconds. I think it is okay now.
     
  8. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Hi Monica,
    I just had a listen to this work and it sounds more difficult than you admit IMO. I think you do a very fine job with it. I definitely hear the "waltz-y" nature that Chris hears and I feel that to bring it off as a waltz (a sad one at that) makes it even more difficult. If the objective were to subdue all other than the melody to the melody itself (including a tempo determined solely by the melody), one would really have a time of it. I really like this piece, but I'm afraid it would be a bear to master at the tempo that I hear it at - very dance-like.

    Thanks for the post and Happy New Year!

    Edit: Changed "rhythm" to "tempo" [1st]
     
  9. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Eddy, somehow I think we got turned around from each other. I admit that this IS hard to play. Also, it does NOT sound waltzy to me. Oh well..... :lol: Thank you, anyway.

    And Happy New Year to you too! :) I just poured myself a cup of coffee so that I can hopefully stay awake until midnight.
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ay, much better now. Still too slow, but now the Meno Mosso is consistent, and there is some differentiation between the sections.
     
  11. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ok, thanks. But as you already pointed out, Godowsky's metronome markings are on the fast-side, and I think this piece would sound funny played faster. A matter of opinion....
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Of course :D
     
  13. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Godowsky is not really famous for composing easy to play music ;). Well done, this is difficult, both musically and technically.
     
  14. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Robert! :)
     
  15. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    Had a listen to this piece in "Triakontameron" :shock: boy, that's a mouthful. This piece does seem to have a tone that is dark and dull, though the harmonies are lush. Quite a farcry from the lullaby. This might even qualify as the type of soundtrack fitting for a nightmare.. :?

    Anyway, I enjoyed your playing, I really like your rendering of the staccato and the arpeggiated chords really felt in place with the rest of the music.

    And that is a bummer that you have to sometime play pieces that you don't really like in a set, but that is nice that some pieces you like after some time. Another thing is I feel more connected to a piece when I am playing to it then listening to it. I guess I'm OT. At any rate, I liked your interpretation of this piece

    Riley
     
  16. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Riley. I know what you mean about that word. When I'm talking to myself, I just say "Triak".
     
  17. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I love the full title. Probably because it contains the letters "kont" which is Dutch for butt or arse. Ashamed to say this appeals to my simple sense of humor :D
     
  18. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ohhh you....now I won't ever be able to see the word "Triakontameron" without thinking about that...
     
  19. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    If you want keep it above the belt, as it were, the "tria" + "kontam" makes me think of something being thrice contaminated.
     
  20. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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