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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. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for listening and commenting. It's true that Liadoff mostly preferred working in small forms. And there are obviously some gorgeous pieces in his oevre. When it came to large forms, he did show his potential in works like "The Enchanted Lake" for orchestra. But his biggest obstacle was indolence and procrastination. He couldn't stay on task and schedule, so he didn't achieve as much at that end of the musical spectrum. For example, he left unfinished a ballet suite. I truly think that Liadoff doubted his own capabilities--he didn't believe in himself. Getting back to his piano music, I've been most impressed by Liadoff's sense and treatment of polyphony. There are times when the accompaniment transforms a piece to a melodic duet resulting in interesting textures and voice leading.

    I haven't studied with artist teachers since 1993, and have been communing with the composers since then. When I delve into the composing idiom of a composer whose music is new to me, immediately I wonder what that composer will teach me about playing the piano. And I must say, the teachings of Bortkiewicz, Catoire, Medtner and Liadoff (and now Glazunoff) have been invaluable.

    On that last prelude that you mention, in retrospect, in the same way that Chopin's Prelude No. 7 in A is probably the most terrifying of Op. 28, this Liadoff Prelude Op. 40, No. 3 similarly has a very transparent texture. For the pianist, there's no place to hide there! The tempo is a very slow lento, and seems like a child's lament. I admit that I was tempted to ignore the tempo marking, play the piece adagio, and give it a more sensuous sound. But its hallmark is its very simplicity, so I decided to honor the composer's wishes and play it as written. I'm glad I did because as I've listened to it a few times since, it has grown on me.

    Yes, you're quite right, I could have definitely employed more rubato in places. I spent only the time necessary to make these recordings. If I were to live with these pieces longer, I'm positive there would be more rubato in my playing of these works.

    Thanks for your compliment on my playing!

    David
     
  2. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi David,
    I have enjoyed your performances of these little gems very much. Your playing is great and expressive and you seem perfectly to capture the right atmosphere of these pieces!
    To op. 11: You bring out the "waves" of cresc.-decresc. very well. The figures in bar 67 and parallel before seem quite complicated to me, but I think, it´s right to play the two thirytysecond-notes of the upper voice after the bass-figure.
    To op. 24: That´s a true enlightening miniature. The up-going eigths have something touching for me. Great playing!
    To op. 31: This one has a bit of the Chopin-prelude with the same title (Largo), isn´t it? A deep and moving piece and your performance deserves absolutely the same attributes.
    To op. 42: a chromatic arabasque to which your contemplative and calm interpretation embraces in every aspect.
     
  3. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andreas,

    I'm glad you could listen to these recordings and I very much value your compliments!

    In 11/1 I decided to play it the challenging way. That is, instead of keeping the LH subdued while letting the RH do the cresc.-dimin. effects, I knew it would be more dramatic for both hands to participate in that way--but it would also be more difficult to restrain the LH enough so as not to drown out the RH, where the LH is in a lower and more powerful register. Much attention went to balancing the hands properly. There were a couple of measures where it was a struggle for the RH to prevail, but it pretty much worked overall. Yes I too wondered about those two pesky 32nd notes you mentioned, but I think it sounds OK. That entire figure is Chopinesque ornamentation.

    I believe the Op. 24 has some excitement in the air. It's a very bright piece which contrasts well with the others that are more somber and melancholy.

    You're absolutely correct. In regards to technique for this Op. 31 largo, I used Chopin's "Prelude" Op. 28, No. 4 in E, also largo, as the model of playing inside the keys to keep the double notes as quiet as possible. In that Chopin piece it's done for the left hand chords, but in the case of this Liadoff piece, I had to transfer that technique up to the right hand which also plays melody. It's interesting how when we learn a particular principle of pianism when we're young, we often associate it with the piece where we first encountered it. Another good example is playing a 2 against 3 polyrhythm. I always think of Grieg's "Notturno" Op. 54, No. 4.

    The Op. 42, a little lament, was as scary as Chopin's "Prelude" No. 7 in A--the texture is so thin, sparse and simple that the pianist has no place to hide there. And trying to maintain a good legato at a very slow lento with passing tones limiting the pedal at times--a lot of work!

    I'm glad I looked into this music of Liadoff. It impresses me in many ways. Thanks again, Andreas! :)

    David
     
  4. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi David,
    I see you have made a lot of profound and elaborated notions of playing the fast figures in the first piece and also all the other preludes in general. That´s what one hears thoroughly. All is elaborated and well felt, so that your interpretations seem convincingly and they are a great enjoyment to listen to.
    Yes, I also often think of certain pieces I have learned as a teenager when I am confronted with certain musical phenomenons. F.ex. when I see 3 eights against 4 in polyrhythm structure I always think of Chopin´s "Fantaisie-Impromptu", which I have practised a lot when I was fourteen or fifteen. I also think with such "basic pieces" we do learn a lot we can benefit from our whole life. It´s a nice matter of music, that many structural phenomenons repeat and we can gain the more experience the more pieces we play. :D You for me are one of the best examples of a pianist with a good and great experience!
     
  5. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andreas,

    You are way too kind, but thanks so much for that! :)

    David
     

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