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Grieg with a Difference

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by richard66, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Chris knows things which others might not and, as I promised, this is the surprise for you, Monica! See if you can guess it! :eek:

    Now, I do not think this is for the site, as there is an error or two and overall it could be played better, but considering the conditions, I think it is an improvement over the last recording which I submitted to the site, which was of this very same piece.
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    You don't know how right you are!! :x

    Anyway...@Richard - this is nice! I don't recall hearing you play it before. But is my surprise that you are playing a different piano? It sounds good! What kind is it? Also, what kind of recorder?
     
  3. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Well, you ought to remember it, because it was the recording you had removed (rightly so) as the piano was so bad!

    The old Geyer gave me today at last some satisfaction: it went out the front door and made way to a tallish vertical Petrof (48"), which I bespoke on Friday last. It is still rented and there is a thing or two that, when it settles at home, I shall need to look into, but by in large the keys are free from lids and fallboards and the former works as a very convenient desk, where I can place at many open pages as I want. As you might notice, notes are sutained and there are dynamics!

    If you do not know the score it is passable, but I know very well the chord on the penultimate bar is not played quite as it should be, so I really think I shall need to redo it.

    I also gave a try to a Chopin prelude and the Grieg Arietta. Funny, because I am sure I muddled the former, though I could not hear it in the recording. See what you think.

    The recorder is the same old one, placed on a table a fair distance away from the piano, which has its back facing the room and not the wall. can it be that the fuller sound has made the hiss go? Opening the file on Audacity I was immediately impressed by how different the sound waves were: they are no longer peaks and valleys.

    So far I am happy, but I need to practise!
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hmmm...maybe the old piano was so bad that I didn't even recognize the music....???

    These two new recordings are okay, but not for the site. The Grieg still has the same problem at bar 10. The Chopin - 1. a rhythm glitch at 0:36 2. your LH is too loud in my opinion, 3. there are spots especially toward the end when the pedal is muddled.
     
  5. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Richard,

    The Petrof is a huge improvement! Way better sound, and yes you can even hear differentiated dynamics now. It takes at least a week, sometimes two weeks, for a piano to settle into a new environment. So best to wait awhile before tuning it in your home. I think the sound captured by your recorder is certainly good enough. I'd leave well enough alone on that for the time being.

    If you'll permit me, a performance tip: In the Chopin prelude, the trick for the left hand is to play the chords "inside the keys". By that, I mean don't allow the keys to return to rest position. So you'll always be playing the chords below the level of the keys. That means you'll be imparting less energy to the keys, which in turn causes the hammers tol strike the strings with less speed, thereby enabling the chords to be softer. You can also apply soft pedal there if needed. As for voicing the chords, the note in each chord that merits voicing attention is the one that is changing the harmony. I hope this is helpful.

    I'll listen to the other pieces a little later tonight. Enjoy your Petrof!!

    David
     
  6. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Just as I said, Monica: it: I only posterd them to show the difference between the old and the new piano.
     
  7. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, david!

    As I mentioned before, these are just trial recordings, to see how the piano goes. The music certainly needs practice, taking into consideration what I now can attempt to do again. You must consider this is the first time I actually have a piano which is not a console at my disposal.

    Your tips ar things I was taught to do and whuch I used to tried doing, but it was impossible, as the keys simply would not play! By definition, vertical pianos do not allow for the half-key technique (and half-pedal), but I will need to see if it works on this one.

    EDIT

    Yes: Half-key and half-pedal work! This is the best piano I have ever had, either bought or rented.
     
  8. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Richard,

    Glad to hear that the playing inside the keys and half-pedal releases work as well. You have a piano there that is a real instrument. It will open a new world of possibilities to you. Enjoy!

    David
     
  9. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Quite right, David! You cannot imagine how hard it is to know what has to be done, to try to do it... to practise practise, practise... and then to find out it sounds just as it did before and people tell you you must do what you have been trying to do all along, while they are silently thinking that you will never make it but are too polite to throw it at your face. One needs a lot of fortitude to keep going, but, after a time, the doubt creeps in that perhaps it would be better to leave it to Hamelin and just buy a CD.

    What beats me is than no one ever suggests that beyond a certain point most vertical pianos are counterproductive. Nobody asks Michelangelo to paint a fresco using colouring pencils and expect to see the Sistine Chapel and then, when it does not happen, say that he is a mediocre painter; and yet I never heard from anyone that maybe the limit might not be one's capacity, but the limit set by the medium. I needed to use another piano and to study the mechanisms of vertical and grand pianos to understand this. Do I need to improve? Yes! But first I need to recover what I have lost due to the use of seedy pianos: first my Baldwin (console) another one whose make I cannot remember, A Bachmann, another Baldwin (console) and, the lowest of the low, the Geyer (RIP). My memories of all of these,Geyer excluded, is that they were loud, very loud, incapable of any expression but aggression.
     
  10. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Richard,

    I believe that almost everyone here that listened to you knew that the Geyer was a terrible impediment rather than an instrument. Thankfully that ordeal is over! There is nothing better than a piano that rewards you for your touch, changes in dynamics, and the nuances that you create. From what I've heard so far, the Petrof is already starting to reward your efforts. As you adjust to your "new" piano, that will will only get better over time.

    As you well know, the hammers of the upright strike horizontally rather than vertically like a grand. So the action is and feels different. On some upright models the action is more firm than one would expect. But at the same time, in any line of grand pianos, because the key levers lengthen along with the length of the piano, usually a 9 foot concert grand will afford more leverage and sensitivity with the longer key levers than those found in the baby, medium or large parlor grands. Given the way of the world, everything is relative. :)

    May your Petrof bring you much pleasure.

    David
     
  11. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    Monica is right, the lh in the Chopin is too loud. But following David's advice (and keep the hand close to the keys on the repeated chords, with a minimum of movement) will enable you to not only keep it quieter, it will also produce a different sonority. It is possible that years of struggling trying to get a nice sound out of a bad piano may end up being surprisingly rewarding in the long term when you start playing on a proper piano and that your touch has been developed by the struggle.
     
  12. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Or conversely, that years of realising it does not work makes one give up trying!

    Anyway, as mentioned, these were only trials to see if anyone could spot the difference.

    I am now working on that technique that I had quite given up and there are some results. Whereas before I was happy just to get to the end without hitting a wrong note now I aim higher
     
  13. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Richard,

    Yes! Let that aiming higher be toward your own aesthetic standard. If you are already your own worst critic, then you've defined that standard in your work at the piano. Trust it to be your guide.

    David
     
  14. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall,
    Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall...

    Let us just hope all this bragging on my part will not end like that!
     

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