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Kuhlau Sonatina in F maj. Op 20, No. 3

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by RSPIll, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    Hi folks,

    I finally get up the nerve to offer my first recording to the site. It still has a wart or two, but I decided that I need to just do it and maybe I wont fear the recorder so much next time. I also must learn to turn the recorder on before a run through because otherwise I do a decent run through and everything falls apart when I do turn it on.

    Anyway, this is one of the Kuhlau Sonatinas. Though it is in the lighter Sonatina vein, it still has a bit more meat to it than some of the others. It actually has some semblance of a development section.

    Now to see If I get it uploaded correctly.

    Scott Pittman

    (By George, I think I got it :D )


    Kuhlau - Sonatina in F major Op. 20, No. 3; I: Allegro con spirito

    Kuhlau - Sonatina in F major Op. 20, No. 3; II: Larghetto

    Kuhlau - Sonatina in F major Op. 20, No. 3, III: Allegro polacca
     
  2. pianolady

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

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    Well, you've taken the plunge! Great! Recording is quite an experience, isn't it?! Now, give up the goods - what kind of piano do you play, what's your recording gear, etc...

    About your recordings - I've never heard this Sonatina before. It's pretty long! I think you play nicely, though, although there are quite a few stumbles in the third movement, especially towards the end. Any chance you can re-record that one? Also, it sounds like you may have your mics too far away from the piano. It sounds a little distant to me. Did you do any editing here? Added any reverb?

    Altogether, these three movements would qualify you for being accepted as a member. (except maybe the third mov't?)(let's see what other members say about it. I can bend if others say it's ok.) In the meantime, you can start preparing your bio and photo.
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Great that you join the band of performers Scott ! And a good result for a first recording. Yes there are some little slips but I don't find them too disturbing, not even in the finale. Indeed it sounds a bit distant with a bit too much reverb and/or pedal. A point of attention would be your 16th notes which sound a bit sluggish here and there. The finale could maybe hop and dance a bit more, a faster tempo could help but also you could generally be a bit lighter on your feet.

    Nice to have more Kuhlau on the site. I've always had a soft spot for his Sonatinas (as well as those of Clementi which are often mentioned in one breath). I'd love to have seen him and Beethoven having their night out at the pub :D
     
  4. Jan

    Jan Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Scott!

    Welcome to pianosociety! I just listened to the first movement of your Kuhlau-recording.
    I like your musical taste, the way you put the musical elements into shape and your sense for sound.
    Of course there are some things you can work on (is there someone who can't work on anything?), but I believe you are in the right direction. (I found the 51 exercises by Brahms very good; best would be to design your own. The perfect control of each single semiquaver in respect to sound, level of brilliance and connection to its neighbours takes a lifetime of practice, I believe.)
    What does your recording room look like? Did you add reverb?

    Greetings

    jb
     
  5. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Kudos and welcome, Scott! You always remember your first time, they say! :D

    I listened to these in reverse order w/out paying attention; you have to upload your submissions to PS in reverse order to get them to lay right on the page.

    I really enjoyed it and I love hearing more Kuhlau. He has a lot of good music that we just rarely get to hear.

    That Polacca mvt. is a right bastard, isn't it? I heard the slips that Monica mentioned too, but didn't think they were overly distracting. It could probably benefit from a more convincing rhythm; that syncopated LH isn't the easiest sound to pull off. Overall, the impression was good.

    The 1st and 2nd mvts were very good ... I like the pedal in the 1st mvt particularly. I agree with Mon that the sound is a bit distant ... I had the impression that I was in the tippy-top of the nosebleed section! Distracting, sure; but not enough so to reject the recording for sound quality IMHO. Maybe next submission you can play around with the mike positioning a bit more.

    Anyway, welcome and kudos!! Have a ciggie and remember, it's all downhill from here! lol

    Oh, and don't forget to submit your bio. :)
     
  6. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    Thanks everyone for your comments.

    I've planned to re-do the last movement when it gets a little warmer. The piano is a Baldwin grand that I've known through three owners since the late 60's and early 70's (and it was inherited then.) It is currently in the sanctuary in my church here. But the sanctuary is not kept particularly warm during the week. By this take, my fingers were giving out.

    My recorder is a Zoom H4. The reverb is the natural reverberation of the sanctuary.

    I'll try it closer. The main reason that I recorded from the distance that I did was that the hammers are so completely worn into hard grooves. I have to ride the una corda pedal just to get some felt on the strings and it requires a pianissimo touch to attempt to play piano. But I'll do some experimenting.

    Here is one more that I just did. Again, I'll re-record it when it gets a little warmer in the sanctuary.

    This is by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (not to be confused with the poet, Samuel Taylor-Coleridge). He was a well known British Composer at the turn of the century but over the years has faded from view. His mother was British and his father was from Sierra Leone, West Africa (sound familiar?). This piece is no. 10 "Deep River" from his 24 Negro Melodies, Op. 59 written about 1908. This is a collection of compositions based on songs from West Africa, the Carribean, and African-American Spirituals.

    Scott


    Coleridge-Taylor - 24 Negro Melodies, Op. 59 No. 10 "Deep River"
     
  7. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    BTW, we now know who the true composer of the "Mexican Hat Dance Was." :wink:
     
  8. pianolady

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

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    Ok, first Toto and now the Mexican Hat Dance - I am so confused....

    Meanwhile, Scott, you can post your bio and photo right here, or email it to me or Chris.
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Scott, it would be better if you posted this in a separate topic with appropriate title. Makes it easier to comment and keep track of things.
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I prefer never to give people a choice if I can help it :lol:
    Just post it here.
     
  11. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    Monica and Chris,

    Here is my bio and picture.

    Bio-----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Scott Pittman (1953) was born and raised in one square mile in the middle of a cornfield in east central Illinois, Hoopeston, "Sweet Corn Capital of the World" and "Home of the Cornjerkers". A charter member of the "Television Generation" his early cultural exposure included "I Love Lucy", "Captain Kangaroo", and "Gilligan's Island." His early music experiences were of Victor Borge and Liberace.

    During a visit to relatives in Chicagoland in the summer of 1964, Scott discovered his Aunt's piano and dilligently worked through the beginning of John W. Schaums first book during the week. When he returned home, he begged and begged his parents for a piano until they relented. Family friends gave them an old, no longer identified, upright.

    Scott's first lessons were with a high school student. After his teacher left for college, he began studies with Earl Robert's in Danville, IL. Earl was an eccentric, barefooted teacher who taught piano, pop organ, cello, banjo, guitar (electric and acoustic), accordion, etc. often at the same time. It was during this time that Scott learned to read lead sheets and began working with improvisation.

    After about a year, he went to Esther Paulson who lead him down a more classical path. He studied with Mrs. Paulson until he left for college.

    Scott started band in the last part of his freshman year, learning the bass viol. Upon entering high school, he also learned the sousaphone for marching band (the "tuba fours" squad) and later the bass clarinet. He was pianist in the jazz band and played bass guitar for a dance combo made up high school teachers.

    In fall of 1972, he entered Eastern Illinois University where he studied piano with Dr. Catherine Smith. In 1974, with the end of the Vietnam War and the draft, Scott left school to find some less flat ground and moved to Denver, CO. and later to Spokane and Seattle WA. During this period, Scott sold pianos and organs, played odd jobs and taught piano and organ. It was an otherwise fallow period for his musical studies.

    In the fall of 1980, he moved to the Rio Grande Valley on the Mexican border in way south Texas, where he spent the next 22 years. During this time, he was church organist and choir director, accompanied and directed music for community and college theater, played odd jobs, and was a partner in a package liquor store. He also spent two forgettable years studying music at the University of Texas - Pan American.

    After his partner died in 2002, Scott sold the business and returned to the midwest to be closer to his aging mother and settled in Indianapolis where he was again church organist and choir director and accompanied for local theater groups.

    In 2009, Scott made full circle and returned to the cultural mecca of Hoopeston, IL. He is currently music director at the United Methodist Church and a private piano instructor as well as playing odd jobs. He now has more time to work towards developing his non-existent technique and studying music as his mood swings move him. He also has time to work at classical organ and harpsichord techniques and to learn how to record them.

    Through out his life, Scott has been pulled between the forces of classical music on the one hand and jazz, rock, and pop music on the other hand. In classical music, besides his love for Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and the "Big Guns" he is also discovering the joy of such somewhat forgotten composers as Clementi, Dohnanyi, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and company. He also enjoys studying music theory and history.

    When not working on music, Scott enjoys reading, cooking, genealogy, and walking.
     
  12. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Scott, I've just finished listening to the Kuhlau. I cannot say that I begin to warm to this composer, but it's not your fault" :lol:

    I like very much your playing, you certainly know how to engage your audience. And I also see where the Mexican Hat Dance comes from!

    A very nice start. I hope to listen to more recordings from you in future.
     
  13. pianolady

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

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    I enjoyed reading your bio, Scott. Some funny things there! One question; in the fifth paragraph, is that word 'viol' correct? Should it not be violin? Or maybe that's a new, hip way of calling a violin that I'm not aware of? (I'm probably going to be embarrassed now).

    Btw - I've played in Methodist churches a lot too - was an accompanist in my church for several years.

    So anyway - your bio page is up, along with your four recordings. That means you are officially a member of Piano Society! :D Btw#2 - having listened to the Coleridge-Taylor piece again, it reminds me of another spiritual that's swimming around in my head now called, "My Lord, What a Morning". I've been humming it all night, also Dvorak's Humoresque No. 7 and Mozart. The three don't sound so great all at the same time, though. Please check your page and all the links and let me know if everything is okay. Also, thanks for providing correct tags. I only changed a couple little things.
     
  14. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    First, a quick check of links seem OK.

    Second, "Viol" is correct. It is a new, hip 16th century (or earlier) name for a family of stringed instruments. The Bass Viol (or string bass)is the last remnant of the Viol family, which were predecessors to the violin family. A viol often had at least 6 strings, were often fretted, and were tuned in 4ths instead of 5ths as violins are. They also have more sloping shoulders and the holes in the top are "C" holes instead of "F" holes.

    Don't be embarrassed, but store the info away to amaze your friends during your next game of trivial pursuit.

    Third, I was born and raised a Methodist, though I have played in a few other denominations in my life.

    Fourth, the Coleridge-Taylor collection is available on IMSLP. I originally found it in the Indianapolis Library. I was looking for stuff to do on the piano for church preludes that had more meat than many of the arrangements published today. It is interesting that you mention Dvorak because he was an influence on Coleridge-Taylor (as well as the Canadian-American, R. Nathaniel Dett), particularly concerning the idea of using "National" folk music in the creation of art music. In Coleridge-Taylor's case, it was the music of a displaced race. Dett concentrated mostly on Spirituals.

    Thank y'all for having me as a member.

    Scott
     
  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    It's nice that you make a case for Coleridge-Taylor. I dabbled with some pieces of his many moons ago ( I think they were a Waltz Suite and a piece caled Papillons or something alike). It's earnest and well-crafted music but ultimately could not hold my interest. This piece here seems rather too long to me, and too slender in content and development, the middle section sounding a bit perfunctory. You do your best for it, though there are a number of little flubs that maybe should have been corrected.

    Anyway, welcome to PS, and enjoy your stay !
     
  16. pianolady

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

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    Ok, thanks for the lesson. I learn so many things here on PS! :)

    Is your church a 'traditional' Methodist, or one of those more 'contemporary' ones? Mine is traditional, although they have recently implemented a 'contemporary' service on Saturday nights. That's not my thing, though. I like traditional best.
     
  17. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    It is mainly traditional. Heck, at 56 I am one of the youngest members. But they like peppy music and don't mind some jazz and gospel styles. There are those who balk at or even refuse to sing anything from "The Faith We Sing" hymnal supplement. (They probably did the same when the "New" hymnal came out in 1987).

    Scott
     
  18. pianolady

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

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    Nothing like some good gospel music to wake you up! My church also does 'peppy' stuff (the choirs), but when it comes to singing hymns, I hate to say but I also don't care for that hymnal supplement. Give me just plain, "Rock of Ages", or "Onward Christian Soldiers". Maybe you like to play the music in the other book though, since it's something different.
     
  19. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    There are a few good things in the supplement. But there is a lot that I don't care for.
     

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