Thank you to those who donated to Piano Society in 2017.

Grieg Arietta anew

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by richard66, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,084
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Amateur musician
    Home Page:
    Ahem... :oops:
     
  2. rainer

    rainer New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    The rhythmic continuity in bars 12 and 22 is very much improved in this version, especially the way you handle the grace notes at the end of those bars; well done. Still not 100% there, though, and the same is true of bars 10 and 20. In all 4 bars you are holding the first chord on a tiny bit too long, so that the 3rd beat in bars 10/20 and the 4th beat in 12/22 is a touch late. Not by an awful lot, but by enough for someone who is listening out for it to notice. :)

    You have had, in bars 9 and 11, a continuous semiquaver pulse going (except that nothing happens on the 7th pulse), and you should be able to keep that pulse going in your head while your hands play the slower notes of bars 10 and 12. Pretend that in these bars you also had to play a bunch of silent semiquavers in addition to what is actually there, and take care to play those silent notes in exactly the right place in time. Then the slower notes will look after themselves.

    I'm still bothered by the thumpy accents (I'm exaggerating a little) on the 1st and 3rd beats of the opening bars. This is not a military march. Heed the hairpins, shape the phrases.
     
  3. pianolady

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

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    This is pretty good now, Richard. Except two bars, nos. 12 and 22, where your rhythm is off. Your pulse is going along fine until you get to these bars - you are holding the half note too long. If you feed two beats in your head while you are playing, then these bars are just the same thing. You play the E-flat, hold it down for two counts and then on the last upbeat you stick in the 16th notes. Hope that makes sense.... :)
     
  4. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,084
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Amateur musician
    Home Page:
    You both agree and this is obviously brought about by the new fingering for the accacciature. Too much attention diverted to that caused a bit of anticipation. Understandable, if you consider I only practised once before with the new fingering!

    I seem to have lost the fear of the recorder, which is perhaps the best thing, and I have gained the capacity to retain the performance, that is, that playing the piece well is no longer a question of luck, but design. Thi, of course, increases confidence.
     
  5. pianolady

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

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    "fear of the recorder"...see? Piano Society is good for many reasons! :D Now try VIDEO recording! :lol:

    But please Richard, practice your new fingering more than once before recording.... :wink:
     
  6. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,084
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Amateur musician
    Home Page:
    I have practised the new fingering. I hope this one is better.
     
  7. rainer

    rainer New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    It is better. The timing in bars 10 and 20 is pretty well perfect now (10 more so than 20).
    There is new problem, though, or an old one come back: An inter-phrase hesitation has crept in, in the form of a gap between bars 16 and 17 of about a 16th note duration.

    In bars 12 and 22 the 4th beat is a little bit late, and the next beat (the 1st of the next bar) is still quite a bit late. You are making too much time into which to fit the two grace notes.

    I notice you making the effort to bring out the hairpins centred on the beginnings of bars 2 and 4, but you could make still more of them. But that doesn't mean you should get louder at their peaks, you should start quieter instead. In fact, although the hairpin is only marked to begin in the middle of the bar, I feel you should begin bar 1 quieter too, and with less accent (or better no accent) on beat 1. The volume you play from bar 5 is lovely and gentle. By comparison bar sounds harsh, and I think the piece would work better if you started bar 1 at a similar volume as you have in bar 5.
     
  8. pianolady

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

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Well....sorry, but I don't agree with Rainer. I still think bars 10 and 20 are off the mark. Like you are holding the A in the RH and the F# LH too long. Also you should make the next notes, the RH B and LH G softer. Right now, you tend to accent these notes, whereas they should be the softer of the two-note phrase. One more thing...it sounds like your recorded is closer to your LH than to your RH; your RH sounds a little underneath the LH. Either that, or your LH is playing too loudly. You're almost there, Richard. Don't give up... :)

    edit: very weird...I just went to the home page and "today's Composer" is Grieg!
     
  9. rainer

    rainer New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    You don't? I think you do. 8)
    But bars 10 and 20 don't have an A in RH or an F# in LH, so I think you must mean bars 12 and 22, about which we are in agreement: You said he holds on to the (dotted quarter) A F# too long, I said the (8ths) B G are late; same thing.

    However, this timing business can be pretty subjective, and things can play tricks on our internal clocks. Clearly we both felt that Richard's 4th beat is late enough to remark on it, so I tried to get some impartial corroboration. I managed to synchronise my metronome to Richard's playing, by loading the file into Audacity and preparing it up to start playback at the beginning of bar 11. I set the metronome to 144, which is the 16th note speed here, and started it ticking, then started the playback on a tick. I was stunned :shock: to find Richard's 4th beat in bar 12 come in the right place after all.

    Maybe it is the syncopation in the 2nd half of bar 11 that throws our internal clocks off track. Maybe it's also Grieg's fault, because we kind of expect something to happen on the 3rd beat, and when nothing does, our clocks get in a bit of a panic and speed up, making us think the 4th beat, when it comes, is later than it really is. Another possibility is that when the 4th beat finally comes, there is something inside us that wants to interpret it as a very late 3rd beat.

    Still, there can be no doubt that Richard's 1st beat of bar 13 is significantly late.
     
  10. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,084
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Amateur musician
    Home Page:
    Most of the time I was counting but, as you say, tempo is subjective and might need correction. It is something like Greek columns, that bulge outwards half-way through, to compensate the fact that the eye actually sees a straight column as bulging inwards if it is straight.
     
  11. pianolady

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

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Oh yes, I did mean bars 12 and 22. :oops: Sorry, I'm off my game....
    And sorry to you too, Richard. I must be driving you nuts with all this nit-picking.

    Best wishes, :)
    Monica
     
  12. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,084
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Amateur musician
    Home Page:
    Let us see this one. Excuse the hiss: I tried, but this is the best I could do (about the hiss, that is).
     
  13. dctpianist

    dctpianist New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello Richard,

    I think this is a big improvement over your first attempt! However, there are still a few problem spots that need a little tweaking.

    Measure 10-11: You play the first 8th note on measure 11 too soon. You didn't sustain the quarter note for quite long enough, it was more like a dotted eight note.
    Measures 5-8: This piece is supposed to sing! The melody sounds a bit muddled to me in these measures. It sings everywhere else.
    Also, in measures 12 and 22 I didn't like the way you handled the grace notes. They sounded a little rushed and not fluid enough. However, you do maintain the rhythm, so I'm not sure if the grace notes matter too much in light of that.

    Thanks for sharing!
    David
     
  14. pianolady

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

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    I was really hoping that this was going to be the keeper. But now there is another rhythm glitch - as what Dave said, it's in bar 10-11. He says that you come in too soon on bar 11; I go the other way and say that you don't hold out the second quarter note in bar 10 long enough. Either way means basically the same thing. Maybe it would help you to listen to this recording:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b99h0VBM5cI

    I think it's really about perfect and demonstrates how gentle the phrasing is and those grace notes too.
     
  15. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,084
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Amateur musician
    Home Page:
    Hm... Have you listened to the Gilels recording you suggest with the metronome?
     
  16. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    This must be the most recorded piece ever by now :lol:
     
  17. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,084
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Amateur musician
    Home Page:
    Do I not know, but I doubt no matter how much these are better than my recording on the site, they will never never do. :cry:

    Oh well: it is short and it only takes 5 minutes to record three takes!
     
  18. pianolady

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

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    No, I have not. Why do you ask? He is holding out those two quarter notes in bar 10 just fine, and you did too on one your takes, but just not on your most recent one. But do you hear how gentle he plays the piece? You are close and I can hear some nice phrasing in your playing. Just maybe you could soften your LH a little and I dunno...think about something soft and gentle when you play. Like sitting in a meadow under a blue sky, warm sunshine, flowers blooming all around and a doe and her cute fawn grazing nearby. :)
     
  19. dctpianist

    dctpianist New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes. He's doesn't follow a perfectly even rhythm and has various ritards throughout his performance. However, all of his decisions in regards to rhythm and tempo are obviously deliberate and don't distract from the piece (I would even say they enhance it). In your latest recording, I think that your one rhythmic slip was just a mistake, not a deliberate decision. In fact, I would say that shortening note values in a slower lyrical piece like this one is much more glaring than lengthening them.


    This is exactly what I was thinking when I commented on the "muddled" melody in measures 5-8. In softer, singing pieces, maintaining an appropriate balance of both hands can be tricky, but it is essential. I play Arietta from time to time, and I've never managed to perfect it because I'm still too brutish with my left hand :oops:

    Don't be too hard on yourself, Richard, I think you're extremely close and just need to do some delicate fine tuning :)

    David
     
  20. mwyman1

    mwyman1 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Hello Richard. I joined late and just listened to your last posting. What beautiful music! It's one of those deceiving pieces that are technically accessible, but musically requires more than a lot of people realize. I agree with the others that you clearly have a very good recording here. The slight timing problems don't bother me that much personally.

    Here's my two cents and you may already do these things, but thought I'd mention just in case you find it helpful. Listening closely I can hear the wonderful long phrasing you're employing. I do find myself wishing I didn't have to listen so closely, however. This ties into another suggestion someone gave about having a lighter left hand.

    Please don't laugh if this sounds ridiculous, but what I often do for these sorts of delicate, lyrical pieces is to step back and play the melody alone - in this case the RH mostly I believe. This lets me focus on the "singing" and shaping of the melody without the distraction of the left hand. Depending on the music, I picture a symphony in my mind with perhaps a solo violin, or maybe a soprano, whose notes rise above the orchestra to deliver the story to the audience. I will play right hand only until I feel I have worked out (or reminded myself of) all the phrasing, dynamics, and sound quality I feel is needed to give the melody its best opportunity to make an impact. In your song it would be "da da Da Da DA Da da" (didn't you like my singing??!!) :mrgreen:

    For me I always have to pay careful attention to getting the right sound. Am I attacking the notes a bit too hard? This happens to me ALL the time when I play my recordings back... ugg. For legato phrases, I focus in particular on the transition between notes imagining that I'm NOT playing a percussive instrument and instead am carrying the melody under a steady breath as a woodwind player may do. These images help me get closer to that magical, light, pulsing touch that you hear on the youtube link Monica posted. This would close the gaps in your phrase ... perhaps "da.da.Da.Da.DA.Da.da" now - closer but slightly connected. Yet sung under one breath ... so to speak. :)

    In the same manner, I consciously decide how soft I will play the RH melody (at the beginning of a phrase for example), which tells me in most cases that my left hand will need to play even SOFTER than that. Easier said than done for sure, and I know I'm generalizing a bit but I think you get the idea.

    My old [Russian] piano teacher from a few years back, Dr. Anna Arshavsky, kept my mind full of metaphors - I think she had a new one for every piece we played! :? I was thinking about her recently as I was re-learning a Chopin prelude (No 21). You are probably aware, but this slow waltz begins very lyrically in the right hand, but has a "restless undercurrent" of legato double notes in the left. For this prelude, a very light and legato left hand is critical or it becomes VERY distracting to the melody. Anyway, my teacher really had to work with me because I would start to revert back from my delicate LH. She would grab my fingers and shake them gently, tell me to "relax and forget about using any muscles." She told me (in broken English) to "think of stream; water trickling down; takes no effort; very gentle; don't use your finger muscles" (Lot's of interesting things there to say the least!)

    Again, I'm no expert but just thought I'd share my approach in case you can apply anything to your Grieg Arietta. I really think it sounds very nice as it is, but if you enjoyed Gilel's performance you could certainly make some adjustments in that direction. Very light left hand would let the phrasing you've worked out breath. Focusing on the melody may present you with opportunities to make it more connected, more lyrical. I very much look forward to see how this ends up - I really like the piece.

    Best Regards.
     

Share This Page