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Just the one Mazurka

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by troglodyte, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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  2. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    One of the most finished and tragic of the Chopin mazurkas IMO. Also a subtle one to interpret. You have some nice phrases, particularly at the beginning, but some of the slowing down at certain junctures throughout seems to disturb the flow a bit and causes me to miss some of the whole picture of the piece. I'd be the last person to criticize individual use of rubato, though here it seems a bit more like changing the overall tempo. Some specific points to consider:

    1. I like the sense of the rise and fall of the opening phrases and how you gradually take up the pulse at the beginning, though some of the speeding up to the tops of phrases and subsequent extreme ritards seem a bit jerky to my ears.

    2. A minor point, but the dotted rhythms on the A's that occur in mm. 20 and 28 seem as though they should be crisper and a bit more assertive.

    3. The transition to the "middle" section seems too grotesquely slow to me. I like the overall idea, but it seems almost as though you are changing tempo to start the section when that doesn't seem appropriate and isn't marked by Chopin.

    4. I debated whether to mention this, since some of your dotted rhythms are very nice, but the dotted rhythms in the section from around mm. 41-48 seem consistently rather flabby to my ears and could benefit from being crisper and more precise.

    5. Why suddenly so terribly slow at the reprise of the main theme? Some is definitely a nice idea, but IMHO this"practical "pull in and park" makes the whole structure sag too much.

    6. Nice crescendo at the ending, but I think the polyphonic motifs should be a bit better delineated and are getting lost in the overall texture too much. IMHO this is one of the technically more difficult passages in the mazurkas. On a related note, I'd consider making a parallel crescendo at the its first appearance in m. 62. Perhaps this is a matter of taste, but the diminuendo is not marked by Chopin that way and it didn't convince me.


    Joe
     
  3. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks Joe for the detailed comments! I certainly do realize this is a bit controversial. I aimed for a deeply personal, sad and dreamy take on this well known piece and stand by it though I know it is not to everyone's liking. In particular the places where the music almost stops only to come back again are integral to my perception. Your point about some of the dotted rhythms may be right though I wanted some contrast between different figures. And the dim at m.62 is certainly unusual (Chopin writes neither dim nor cresc here) but I cannot take credit for it: Sokolov does the same. Browsing on YT there really is an astounding variety of interpretations by famous pianists. The ending indeed is surprisingly difficult to bring out well.
     
  4. pianolady

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

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    Hi Joachim.
    I really liked your interpretation! I think I must have grown up (finally) and gained some maturity, because had I listened to this ten years ago I would have said that you took too many liberties here. But over the past two or three years I have also listened to many of the more historical recordings and realized that the famous players back in time all play so differently from one another, and why do I think that everybody has to play the mazurkas the same way? I guess I was just too naive. Now I like to hear more individuality in music. But not to the point where someone's individuality runs amok and the piece doesn't sound right anymore, like changing the rhythm or tempo. You didn't do that here. I think your interpretation is tasteful and stylish.

    I'll put this up on the site tomorrow. (Chris, I already uploaded it.)
     
  5. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks Monica, I'm glad you like it!

    Joachim
     
  6. pianolady

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

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    Ok, this is on the main site now.
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Nice interpretation Joachim. You take a few more liberties than I would (good on you !) but they all seem interesting and in good taste. Indeed the coda of this one is tricky.
    The piano tone seems just a touch bit clangorous here but not disturbingly so.
     
  8. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks Chris! I'm glad you like it. I usually don't go for such excessive rubatos but wanted to experiment here.

    Is the clangour just in the coda or throughout? Could it be that it is a bit out of tune? I always have a hard time noticing that. Certainly in the coda I sacrificed some control of voicing (as Joe pointed out) to make a really passionate crescendo - a trade-off I admit is a bit dubious.
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    It seems slightly out of tune to me. However I can't always seem to gauge that properly either.
     
  10. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I really enjoyed this. Lilting and idiosyncratic without reaching the level of being affected. It takes a certain amount of courage and self-belief to perform an interpretation such as this, and if I were to return to playing Chopin, it has a lot of stylistic decisions which I would be happy to incorporate. Very well done!
     
  11. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks Andrew! I hesitated a lot before posting this. I'm glad you like it.
     
  12. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Joachim,

    The compelling messages, emotional subtleties, pacing, and melodic expressionis are
    successfully conveyed through your performance.

    The energy and use dynamics in the performance are genuine and appropriate.

    I like the ending.

    Thank you for sharing your impressive interpretation.

    Kaila
     
  13. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Joachim,
    I have listend to it wih score and I haven´t found anything to nitpick. :( :wink:
    So, nicely and expressively played! :D I personally would play out more the melody at some places and being more lyrical respective poetical, but that´s a matter of taste. Though you do some rubati here and there and also the dynamical differences are quite good.
     
  14. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Joachim,

    I loved the liberties you took and the counter melodies are stunning.

    Thank you,
    - Kaila
     
  15. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    A belated thanks to Andreas and Kaila - I have been away for a while and now everything has changed here!
     

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