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Happy Halloween with Franz Liszt

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianolady, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Here is my little Halloween contribution. Probably not too many people here have heard this piece. I think it is one of the scariest and darkest pieces I have ever heard!! And I think this music really does do something to your mind. I finished recording this yesterday, and last night I had a really bad nightmare. To scary for me to even talk about!
    Anyway, the title is, "Trauervorspiel und Trauermarsch," which means Funeral Prelude and Funeral March.

    Happy Halloween! [​IMG]

    Liszt - Trauervorspiel und Trauermarsch
     
  2. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist

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    Wow. I can't begin to imagine what mood you must be in to play this so well. Perhaps commiserations are in order. I feel bad just by listening. I almost thought it a joke until I looked it up on imslp.
    Great expression and really great sound from the piano - did you use some particular post-processing or is this the way it actually sounds?

    (I'm no expert on German but I think "Trauer" means grief or mourning rather than funeral.)

    Joachim
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Sooooo Romantic... having a nightmare after recording a sinister piece :lol:

    No quibbles on the performance here. You do what you can, and draw some impressive sonorities.

    But what a bleary, hollow, and, dare I say, utterly tedious piece ! It may well be that Liszt is visionary here and maybe he is foreshadowing Schnittke in all his obsessive bleakness, but to me he sounds like and old man who's lost it and is droning on about impending doom and gloom. Not particularly scary. But it's a matter of taste of course.

    For a truly scary Halloween piece try this Prelude by Lera Auerbach: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PftgK0E_Ic Ah what magnificent Grand Guignol horror. I hope to play this one day but haven't really started on it yet...
     
  4. hreichgott

    hreichgott New Member

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    It's not my favorite Liszt piece either but I do have some appreciation for the slower-moving, bleaker side of Liszt, as in Via Crucis. You play it very well and what a spooky treat :)
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Sorry for making you feel bad, Joachim. :) I do so enjoy scary music, though!

    Regarding my sound: I had some ‘technical difficulties’ in making this recording. There is this one line of music that is so hard to play. The score shows an accelerando leading up to it, but if my tempo rushes too much, then I can’t get through that spot. So I used a metronome while recording – wearing earplugs. At some point in the hard section, the metronome fell on the floor which made a clatter and it also yanked the earplugs out of my ears. The click, click, click sound coming out of the earplugs, which were now on the floor, could actually be heard on the recording. This piece is physically demanding, and the weakness and pain in my wrists prevented me from making a bunch of re-recordings. Therefore, I had to use the recording with the noises and then experimented with some of the noise-reduction features on my editing program. I think that changed my ‘normal’ sound somewhat. I also boosted the bass a little and added reverb.

    Trauer – I think it has several meanings, like grief, death, tragedy, funeral, all those nice things… :lol:

    Well, what is one supposed to have? I actually screamed in bed...which I guess could be romantic. :wink:
    there is a part in the middle that reminds me of scary, dancing scarecrows. The other sections are just plain grim and morbid. I wanted to play something for Halloween.

    Wow, what a great piece! I love it!! It’s similar to Liszt. Auerbach was probably inspired by Liszt but took it to whole new level!

    Thank you, Heather! Trick or Treat!! :)
     
  6. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Monica,
    You played this really well, but I was not scared at all! 8)
    (While listening, I was turning a queen-size mattress by myself and was too scared of what would happen if I dropped it to be scared of a piano piece.)
     
  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Stu, but Oh darn! I'll have to try harder next time. Or maybe I will just let Chris play that other piece for you... :wink:
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ummm... that may take a while yet :shock:
     
  9. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ok, you have exactly 364 days. :p
     
  10. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    I'm very impressed with this recording. Dark, but with good handling of staccato and you were able to change mood to deal with the brief moment of tenderness amongst the bleak surroundings. I've heard this piece before, played by Katsaris: he uses more pedal in the start and creates a sense of mist in the gloom, but I certainly don't mind your approach. In so much as it's possible to enjoy music like this, I thorougly enjoyed it and found it compelling.

    I take some issue with Chris's perspective on the music (though I agree it is a matter of taste) but I think late Liszt demonstrates what a profoundly protean musician he was. He may indeed (judging by biographical accounts) have been somewhat depressed in late life, but I believe that modern (piano) music begins with late Liszt and with Debussy, and I think pieces like this one, Unstern, Nuages gris and La lugubre gondola (the piano+cello version is particularly effective) are the product of a remarkable imagination.
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    That they are, and I was not suggesting that late Liszt is totally a dead end. It's just this particular piece that bores the heck out of me. A matter of taste of course :D
     
  12. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    I listened to your recording throughout and I must say I enjoyed it -- though it is the darker side of Liszt. And here I thought the B minor sonata was the scariest! :lol: The very low register octave chords in the beginning really set the mood. Happy Belated Halloween! And thanks for the fb birthday wishes!
     
  13. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Andrew. I'm glad you liked it!! :D You're the only other person I know who has heard this piece before.

    Thank you, Riley. And you're welcome :wink: I hope you had a great day!! :)
     

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