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Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by Rachfan, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Excellent point above, Alexander. As soon as I read "beat as slow as 30" I naturally started marking a beat every 2 seconds, and that is certainly a very appreciable tempo.
     
  2. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, that is a very good point. When you look through the other end of the telescope, you sometimes find a new perspective.

    David
     
  3. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello David,

    Another nice set indeed! I wonder how many set of Preludes did Liadoff write? Do they follow the circle of 5ths? Since you're accumulating several of these Preludes, would you ever record a complete set of Preludes? It would be great to have "a" set of something recorded, like Monica and Chris did with the Mazurkas. I'd like to do that with the Chopin Preludes someday, I only have learn Nos. 1, 5, 13, 21. I really liked the Op.11/1 Prelude, wonderful melodic line, although the ending sounds unexpected. What a great discovery with these works, and wonderful playing as usual...

    George
     
  4. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi George,

    It appears to me that Liadoff's preludes were not a single organized effort, rather Liadoff seemed to compose them when the spirit moved him. In all he wrote 31 preludes between 1876 and 1906 that I know of. The very last one was a bit different being titled "Prelude-Pastorale". Actually neither of the two groups of four I played were "sets". They typically fall into three categories: 1) a standalone prelude with its own opus number; 2) sets of two, three or four preludes; and 3) sets containing a prelude with other character pieces or dance forms such as mazurkas. In my case I chose preludes that were lyrical, as they most appealed to me. I did eight in all and it's probably doubtful I will do a set (but never say never), as I've already moved on to another composer. But here's the good news: I believe Chris will be working up a set soon, but again, bear in mind that some sets contain a preludes along with non-preludes (I just coined a new word there. :lol:). In the meantime, if you go to YouTube, you can watch Koji Attwood play the Four Preludes of Op. 46, whereas I only played No. 4. I think he has the only set there.

    For these pieces I purchased The Well-Tempered Press edition that collects all and only the preludes from the many opus numbers and consolidates them into two volumes. It was a very convenient way of accessing them. Plus I didn't have to squint at pdf files which is my usual fate in playing off-the-beaten-path music.

    The ending of Op. 11, No. 1 is actually a very concise recapitulation or reprise of the main theme. It is unexpected, as you say, as it boldly asserts itself at first, but then the following notes softly drift away punctuated by a soft chord in the bass at the end. It can easily fake out the listener who was expecting more music. I think it's unusual, but a clever and effective device.

    I'm really glad you enjoyed these pieces so much! Others who are hearing them have written to me including a teacher who has already assigned one of the preludes to a student and plans to use more of Liadoff's music with others. These pieces aren't a discovery, but they haven't been getting as much play as they deserve, so many people find them new and refreshing. I cannot think of anything better in music than hearing a lovely piece for the first time.

    Thanks for listening.

    David
     
  5. pianolady

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

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    Or 'playing' a lovely piece for the first time! :D
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Seeing that Liadov wrote sets consisting of a couple of genre pieces, mostly Preludes and Mazurkas, but occasionally other titles, it seems strange to collect only the pieces titled Prelude (or Mazurka). This was the dilemma I faced when introducing Liadov to the site. Initially I had a page for Preludes and one for Mazurkas, as is the way PS is organized - by type. But I felt that while this makes much sense for Chopin, it did not for Liadov so I changed it. So now he has a page called 'Piano Pieces' which is totally lame... but I don't see another way to to it.

    I'm not sure it is good news or not, but yes I will be submitting re-recordings of Op.10, Op.11 and Op.22 before long. On longer term I need to replace all my Liadov recordings. Indeed, be warned of the non-preludes (in this case, aka Mazurkas). But they are nice too :p
     
  7. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    You're absolutely right!

    David
     
  8. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hello, David,

    I have finally got around to listening to these. My favourite is op 11/1, which is beautifully played and recorded. Op 31/2 is one I have been attempting for some time but never get too far. It is a bit so-so, which might explain matters a bit.

    I find too much importance is attached to names and to the fact pieces are published together. Just because he had a couple of odds and ends that he stuck together and had published does not make them into a set, neither does calling a piece a prelude instead of intermezzo or interlude make much of a difference. Unless they define a form (minuet, fugue, sonata, rondo, etc), mood (Elegy, etc) or imitation (In a Boat, etc), titles in music to me have no meaning whatsoever.
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    This is very true. All the same, names are all we have to categorize stuff. Unless we decide to dispense with individual pages under composers, and just list all pieces directly on the composer page. It is an attractive option, thinking about it. But too much hassle to change it all.
     
  10. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    For me finding volumes dedicated only to Liadoff's preludes was a boon in preparing these pieces. The reason? I dislike mazurkas! Otherwise, I would have had to comb through every opus on the IMSLP, including the mazukas, trying to find, separate and extract the preludes. Worked fine for me given my purpose! :) I can also understand that for other pianists taking a broader view of these pieces, that a mixed edition would be more suitable.

    David
     
  11. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Richard,

    I too really enjoy Op. 11, No. 1. It has a very beautiful, haunting sound. As for 31/2, the issue there, of course, is managing melody and accompaniment within the same hand (RH) while layering the dynamics appropriately including those in the left hand accompaniment. When I say "issue" it raises a larger and more interesting point. Quite often in the preludes of Chopin, Liadoff, and even Rachmaninoff what I've encountered and have come to appreciate is that often these "preludes" turn out to be small etudes focusing on particular technical problems. For that reason I've always looked at them as not only an introduction to the composer's idiom, intrinsically beautiful music, and a fine way to prepare for that composer's larger pieces, but also as a way to strengthen one's piano technique in general.

    Thanks for listening to these pieces.

    David
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Huh :!: :?: :? :roll: :shock: :x :evil:
     
  13. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,

    Yes, it's true, generally I dislike mazurkas except maybe two or three that Chopin wrote. When it comes to dance forms for piano, I do occasionally make an exception for a waltz, but only if it sounds sufficiently scandalous. :lol: Dvorak's dances are appealing too.

    David
     
  14. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    But then a Mazurka is a defined form. While you might get away calling a prelude a romance, calling a mazurka a prelude will result in a mazurka that has been misnamed a prelude!

    You are quite right: many shorter pieces make for wondeful technical studies. Just as Oswald's Il Neige is a wonderful etude on triplets. Play that piece well and never again will a triplet bother you!
     
  15. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Richard,

    I would agree that it's difficult to define a 19th century prelude other than to say that it's a pianistic character piece, and in Scriabin's case, even seemingly improvisatory at times. Similarly, there would be extensive discussion on what formally constitutes an intermezzo (in the pianistic, not the operatic sense) or a moment musical of that same era or early 20th century. I cannot disagree that a mazurka, bourree, gigue, allemande, gavotte, waltz, tango, etc. each refers to a specific dance form with its own rhythmic distinctions. So yes, it would certainly be near impossible to refer to a dance form as a prelude. Yet... Bortkiewicz's Prelude 33/8 is clearly a waltz as is Debussy's character piece "La plus que lente". And Rachmaninoff's Moment Musical 16/5 is unmistakably a fine barcarolle. So, never say never! There seems to be an exception to every rule. Preludes of the romantic era are certainly well appreciated though. I've never heard anyone complain about hearing Chopin's 24 played in succession!

    David
     
  16. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Unless someone happens to dislike preludes :p
     
  17. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi,

    True, but I've just not encountered one yet, although I probably don't get out much. :lol:

    David
     
  18. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Add me to the list of the Chopin Preludes. 24 are too many all in a row. I lose count after the 10th and then always hope the next one is the last! :D
     
  19. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Richard,

    The reason you're losing count is because you only have 10 fingers. If you're going to listen to the entire Chopin Op. 28, a good strategy would be to bring along to the recital a miniature pocket abacus and then move a bead after each prelude. This would also be ideal for long sets of variations. I tell you it will work famously. :lol: :wink: Just joking.

    David
     
  20. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi David,

    Very nice playing of IMO a highly underrated composer. I'm actually not very familiar with Liadov's music, but what I've heard I've really liked, starting with that nice little bon-bon The Musical Snuffbox. He seems a master of small forms, especially the character piece. These preludes seem impressionistic in spirit (I thought I heard flashes of Debussy) with some typical Russian chromatic harmony thrown in. That last one is probably my favorite -- a beautiful, vaguely melancholy, Russian tune.

    Regarding the playing, I particularly liked your phrasing at the end of the middle two preludes and your overall sensitivity to the harmonic changes. Very nice too, that you keep an accurate rhythmic pulse. Perhaps there are a few places you could have a bit more freedom -- sometimes it almost seems to sounds a bit too metronomic to me and could use more rubato -- but we know that my tastes in rubato are not everyone's :p

    Very good playing! Thanks for introducing us to these pieces.

    Joe
     

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