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Hamelin - 3 Ländler

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by techneut, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Here are the first three pieces from Marc-Andre Hamelin's collection of 7 pieces Con Intimissimo Sentimento. Praise be to MAH for writing something that an amateur can actually play :D I intend to complete this set eventually - but there's quite some more work to do. These were recorded with my new Tascam DR-1 in a new position. It sounds a lot brighter than my previous recordings.

    Hamelin - Con Intimissimo Sentimento - 1: Ländler I (2:40)
    Hamelin - Con Intimissimo Sentimento - 2: Ländler II (4:55)
    Hamelin - Con Intimissimo Sentimento - 3: Ländler III (4:17)
     
  2. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Oh, did you buy a new recorder, Chris? What happended to your Edirol? Anyway the sound is nice.
    I listened to these three Ländler and cannot say that I thoroughly enjoyed them, because the harmonies or the styles of these compositions are very unfamiliar to me :roll: But I think you played them very convincingly and well balanced. And I admire your endless exploration into new repertoires as always.
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Nothing happened to the Edirol yet. I think I'll up it up for sale now. Any takers ?

    That is exactly why I love them so much. Hamelin's harmonies, sonorities, and use of dissonance are just breathtaking, even when he writes 'simple' things. I wish I could make them sound like he himself does. You can hear his many influences and yet his style is profoundly original. I hugely admire him as a piano composer.

    Thank you 8)
     
  4. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,

    While I'm well familiar with Hamelin's piano artistry, this is the first time I've heard his own piano compositions. I don't have the scores for these Landler, but it seems to me that you play them all very well, and I think you've done Hamelin a good service in raising awareness of these works. The idiom strikes me as being neo-romantic in style. Landler No. 1 seemed to have a few brief cameos of Satie, but still Hamelin's own idiom held sway. I imagine that No. 2 must be difficult to learn with accidentals lurking everywhere for those tonal cluster progressions. And I bet that some accidentals are treacherous and can creep up on the pianist very quickly if inattentive for even for a second or two. The piece could be an etude in how to voice a melodic line through moving tone clusters. You did very well with that challenge, constantly imparting a horizontal sense of direction. The third piece was interesting too. There were fleeting impressionistic moments almost oriental in character. Again, you played them all very well in my opinion. Thanks for posting them.

    P.S. I like the Tascam sound better than the Edirol. The Edirol always seemed to have a boxy quality to it, whereas the Tascam sound seems more open, unconstrained and natural at least to my ears.

    David
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks David. Yes the many accidentals, especially those in MAH's weird and wonderful ckuster chords, can be are tricky. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a read mistake or two in these pieces. But they probably don't sound much the worse for it.

    What strikes me most about the Tascam recordings is how the treble has opened up (this could also be because I changed recording positions, see photo). The Gaveau really sounds like an old grand now, in fact, to my ears, a little like a fortepiano. I'm not yet sure how much I like that.
     
  6. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,

    Yes, changing recording equipment can hold some surprises. I recall that when I first switched from the Nakamichi condenser mics to the Earthworks condensers, it was quite different. The Nakamichi's used to add a bit of their own coloration, whereas the Earthworks rendered a totally neutral and natural sound. But I soon preferred the latter.

    Note too that in your pictured configuration, you're doing close-in recording, and the Tascam is pointed more toward the line of hammers rather than panning downward directly across the strings (although it could be an optical illusion resulting from the angle of view). That would pick up more of the percussive sound of the hammers striking the strings possibly leading to the fortepiano sound. You might try first aiming it at the center of the soundboard instead taking in the bass strings and treble bridge. I'd also separately try moving the stand about 5 of 6' (or 1.5 to 1.8 meters) away from the curve in the case and pointing the Tascom upward at the edge of the open lid (sight with your eye along the Tascom's side) rather than down at the soundboard. (If you point toward the center of the open lid, there is too much sound wash there.) That would give you more of a finished sound rather than sound in the making. Even not doing anything, I like the Gaveau sound more now than when you were using the Edirol. It sounds more vibrant to me.

    David
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for the tips David. Indeed I need to do some experimenting here. Or alternatively, use the same position I used for years with the Edirol. It is never wise to change more than one thing at the same time :)
     
  8. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,

    From the angle it looks like you might have a model DR-2d. I'm not sure if the on-board mics are XY configuration or parallel A-B. If you peer through the metal mesh enclosing the mics at the front, you might be able to tell visually. If the mics cross like an X or look like a V, that's XY. If that's the case, and if you can see the two mic cylinders, move the stand slowly back from the piano rim while monitoring where the mics are pointing. At some point the left one will suddenly overshoot the tail of the piano while the right one overshoots the keyboard. Too far! You'll need to move the stand back toward the piano, probably to be no more than .9 meter maximum. To better cover the soundboard, it might even have to be less than that.

    But if you can perceive the two mics as being separate and distinct and positioned parallel in the recorder case, then my first recommendation to pull back 1.5 to 1.8 meters holds, as that will be superior for A-B mics in parallel.

    If you can't tell from looking, hopefully your specifications booklet might help you, or if not, there might even be a tech support phone number there.

    There is another possibility that you should try, even if nothing more than to rule it out. Close the piano lid, but leave the front "flap" portion open and lying back on the larger part of the lid. Place the recorder just behind the flap and centered on the lid. I've heard a few recordings done this way and the results surprisingly exceeded expectations. However, there is no point to putting the unit on the side pedestals of the music desk. That is way too close to the hammer line such that mechanical action noises will be picked up in the recording, plus the sound will be biased either to the treble or bass.

    Finally, that unit has a "limiter" switch. That should be in off position, as it is meant primarily for voice, not piano.

    David
     
  9. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    Hi, Chris!

    this is played very romantically!

    I had listened to these miniatures a while ago, but I had never been familiar with them.

    your new recorder is better, but I don't think it's an impressive difference. and for the first time I could listen to a cut of yours in the first piece! your cuts were never audible to me. is there something to do with changing the equipment and the setting?
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Should I take this as compliment ?

    I think it is :D However the recording setup will need to be optimized. It's a bit too close to the strings right now.

    Is that the tiny little blip at around 1:40 ? I think that could be a cut (I needed one or two in this piece).
    If not, please tell me exactly where it is.

    Anyway thanks for the feedback.
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks muchly for all these tips David, it is appreciated. I could not see the mics through the mesh, but it may be a good idea to read all of the fine manual, and indeed get some tech help if needed.
     
  12. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    yes, that's it! but I never heard any cut of you before. your cuts were always inaudible.
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I remember there was one I had some trouble with, because it wasn't played quite the same before and after. In fluid pieces with lots of pedal it sometimes is harder to make a clean cut. Anyway this one does not really bother me much. Compliments to your sharp ears though :)
     

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