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Hamelin - After Pergolesi

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by techneut, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Pretty dismal weather today so I finally took the plunge and sat down to record the 6th piece of Hamelin's set Con Intissimo Sentimento, which has been occupying me for many months. A piece like this is what comes out when MAH sits down to write something that can actually be played by someone not endowed with supervirtuoso talent. Still pretty damn difficult though, it took me a lot of determination. What a wonderfully inventive piece this is, well worth the considerable effort.

    For some reason I wanted to video this as well. Making a video really hampers me because the puny battery of my Sony camera runs flat after 1 or 1.5 hour, a veritable piece of low-life it is. So I live in constant fear of my session ending prematurely. Due to that there are a couple more slips than I would like - though among all of Hamelin' weird and wonderful harmonies and dissonants I doubt if many will notice :D Actually I make things more difficult in 4 bars by adding low notes, creating more of these tenth intervals that are so abundant in this piece. I may yet record a better audio track maybe.

    Hamelin - Con Intimissimo Sentimento - 6: (after Pergolesi) (4:36)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxpEoAkmsj8
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    That was very nice! Interesting music and indeed it does not sound or look very easy.
    Who is Pergolesi? And why is there French text near the end? I know what it means, but is it something that it is written in the score? It must be and therefore this is so romantic - I didn't know MAH was like that! What an Interesting man and kinda sexy too, now that I saw this.
     
  3. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,

    That was great! I've not seen the score, but at times it sounds like it's written in 24 key signatures. :lol: Trying to keep up with complex, ever changing and unpredictable notation like that is very difficult, takes unwavering concentration, and countless hours of practicing--at least for me. No, I could not detect the four slips. The piece is certainly very enjoyable to hear. Thanks for posting it.

    David
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    In fact these are the most baffling 5 pages I ever tried to master. I have never spent so long on learning a piece.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Battista_Pergolesi

    Yes that is written at the end of the score, and I thought it fitting to reproduce it. Indeed there is more to MAH than just jaw-dropping virtuosity.
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    In fact the signature has only two flats, but there are a lot of accidentals in unexpected places. Musically the piece is not so complex but it is crammed with cruel stretches, large jumps, double-note passages, dense chords with up to five notes (usually a dissonant among them), and assorted other pitfalls. Bastard little piece. There are more than 4 slips (two of them quite annoying, at least to me). The number 4 referred to an extra note I deliberately added in 4 bars to create even more sonority, as well as to go one better on MAH :p
     
  6. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,
    that´s a nice and interesting performance, though I can´t judge it really, because I haven´t the score. But it sounds always interesting and alive.
    I´m quite sure, the little remark at the end is not French. I suppose it´s Italian. But what does it mean exactly? What has that piece to do with the old Italian composer, Pergolesi? Are there any motifs respective themes of one or more works of Pergolesi in it?
    Have my congratulations, I believe, that it must have been a lot of work to learn that piece! Also a good video picture! (Nice to see your Gaveau in good shape. :wink: )
     
  7. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    Nice performance. I followed it with the score and caught a couple of slips but didn't find them detrimental to the overall result. More importantly, the melody is followable which isn't always easy when you have extraneous things going on (in this case I would assume the double notes being a particular nuisance).

    I have the same problem with my Sony camcorder though it does run off the mains supply.

    It's actually a paraphrase on this aria:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBN8I9Zc3AU
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Andreas. Yes a lot of work it was. And now to learn to play it without mistakes....
    Furthermore, see Andrew's reply :!:
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for that Andrew. There are two slips that really irritate me and I guess I will just have to redo this one :x Not the video, probably. Too much hassle.

    Ha ! I wonder why I never thought of Googling 'Se tu m'ami' . . . Just assumed it was something MAH made up.
    It's s surprisingly faithful transcription actually, more so than a paraphrase IMO. Only the introduction and the coda really deviate from the original.
     
  10. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Andrew, for your competent help! :D

    The recording with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf is thorougly excellent (that´s highest musicality combined with excellent precision), by the way, and the sound-quality is amazingly good for a recording of 1957!
     
  11. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,

    Had a listen to your "After Pergolesi." What a dense and atonal work! Maybe it wasn't all atonal, but there was clashing intervals that would not follow voice leading standards for the Baroque or Classic period! That said, this piece seems to be thoroughly modern, with a lot of innovative voicing that Hamelin has produced to his credit. I think your efforts practicing this piece for a long time have paid off, I couldn't detect many wrong notes, from what I heard.

    It seems like one the main challenge of a piece like this is getting all of the notes correct. Granted, that might be the main challenge of any piece, but this piece does seem to be demanding, when you say someone not endowed w/ supervirtuoso talent could play this piece, I would say they had better be a few ticks above intermediate level, because I like to see myself as beginner/intermediate level player, w/ more lean to intermediate and I certainly do not have assurance that I could play this piece, even with a month of doing nothing but practicing it.

    If you can afford it I recommend purchasing another video battery and have it charged, unless you record a piece over and over in a 1 hour take?


    ~Riley
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks ! Though I would not confuse dissonance and adventurous harmonies with atonality. I find this piece very tonal, despite all the off-key notes.
    Dense it is.

    Absolutely. Someone on Youtube commented that Con Intissimo Sentimento was "quite easy to play". Maybe so compared to Hamelin's etudes, but not by any other standards.

    That thought did occur to me :) But these things are ridiculously expensive and I am such a scrooge that I rather sit and moan about it than get up and buy another one :roll:
     
  13. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    If you say there are 4 spots where you made a mistake I will believe you and all I can do is to commend your honesty, because I could not detect them. Maybe I should do as Andrew, and follow with the score. Do you know the story of the famous pianist, I cannot recall who, that gave a recital somewhere (I can look it up after). He was at the piano when he noticed a woman in the front row who took out the scores and began to follow them. After the concert he declared he had never been so nervous in his life.

    A propos de bottes, I find this a fun piece: it has a pleasant swing about it.
     
  14. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris, I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful transcription! After having listened to the original song through Andrew's link, I could appreciate AMH's creative talent much better than at the first listening without knowing that song. The originality in new harmonies reminds me of that Bach-Rach transcription of Violin Partita. Your playing is very sensuous, too :)
    Ahh... I do love Pergolesi's Stabat Mater a lot and find this song totally beautiful, too... BTW this rendition by Bartoli is really good:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THTUCtExVbo&feature=related (I'm also a fan of Bartoli :wink: )
     
  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Richard. As I explained there are far more than 4 slips... but they're mostly inconsequential and you would not notice them unless you've played the piece.
     
  16. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ahh... sensuous. Now that is a compliment, thank you :D
    I can see what attracted Hamelin to this song. Somehow it sounds very much ahead of its time. And yes, this is an extremely refined and ingenuous transcription. Something Godowsky might have penned had he lived longer.

    Yes her virtuosity and sheer volume are breathtaking. But I find her steely fortes and prominent rolling R's quite tiring. One reviewer likened her diction
    (I think it was in a Vivaldi piece) to machine-gun fire. With all respect I do like a less strenuous voice.
     
  17. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    ...Which is the case most of the time, unless one really hits a Db7 in a Mozart C major sonata and then stops!
     

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