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More Halffter

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by techneut, May 8, 2011.

  1. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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  2. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Goodness! I wish I could read a piece on Thurday evening and it recorded it by Sunday afternoon!

    I shall listen.
     
  3. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Chris,
    Regarding the Llanto for R.V., I just don't care for the music and stopped 1/3 of the way in.
    Regarding Pregon, I like this very much! Please tell me it's in 5/8, because that what it sound like you're playing in. Nice character. I would wish for more melody (always :) )
    Regarding the Habanera, as a Cuban-born American ...<clearing-throat sounds> I can tell you that you definitely have the spirit of it, but I really think it should go faster. This form was the ancestor of the Argentine Tango, so don't hold back. Your rendering sounds too tame for me.

    Thanks for the recordings.

    Regards.


    Edit: Clarrified that I am an American of Cuban heritage.
     
  4. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    Similar comments to Eddy. I don't "get" the first piece at all. The second is harmonically quite interesting; in particular there are some nice sonorities near the start. I think the Habanera should be a little faster and with more swing. I think it's got a lot of potential as an encore piece. Where do you find these things? It's not on IMSLP.
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I think Hallfer has interesting harmonies - I wonder why I did not know about him before...
    I liked "Habanera" the most. It sounds a lot like Albeniz' 'Tango' to me.
    The Richard Vines one - again, really unusual chords here - sounds like he also had large hands.
    The last one -neat sounds, but the piece seems to not know where it's going. Over all, nice playing - I enjoyed the music.
     
  6. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Maybe he buys the printed scores in a music shop? I do believe they still exist, such shops. I was in one the other day, myself, because the scores online just were not of comparable quality and by the time you add connection costs, electricity, toner and all that...
     
  7. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Obama in mind, just be careful we do not ask to see your birth certificate! :D
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks all for the comments.

    I'm nonplussed about the negative reactions on the Llanto. I find this such an incredibly noble and deep piece. It is (I assume) an elegy or dirge on the death of Ricardo Vines, and for me it carries a palpable sense of loss and grief. True, I have a penchant for this kind of music, but I also think that musical tastes around here are rather conservative in that anything a bit unusual with a bit of dissonance is not appreciated.

    So y'all think the Habanera should be faster. But actually it says In Tempo di Habanera, moderato assai, mm=58 to the quarter, which is exactly what I do.

    Yes Dr. Eddy, the Pregon is in 5/8. It's actually subtitled 'Cuba'.

    Apart from the Llanto, a copy of which I acquired only last week, these original scores have been in my large collection for a long time, probably 30 years or more. I used to buy a lot in the past.. I'd never really played them until about a month ago I suddenly fell in love with them :D
     
  9. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Indeed, llanto comes from the verb "to cry", so you are right: it is a dirge.
    As I said...
     
  10. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    I would concentrate on the Moderato, and completely ignore the metronomic indication, which I always accept as only a suggestion, hoping to find what I and the music feel is the best expression: thus differing interpretations. :)
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hm. I have a tendency to respect the composer's metronome markings (unless of course it's too fast for me to play).
    Then again Halffter was not a Cuban so what did he know :D
     
  12. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Johannes Brahms said: "I am of the opinion that metronome marks go for nothing. As far as I know, all composers have, as I, retracted their metronome marks in later years."[Essentials of Music, READ BOOKS, 2008; ISBN 1443773697] :shock:
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    OMG... Can't argue with people quoting scripture :p
     
  14. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    :lol: :lol:
     
  15. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,

    I listened to all three of the Halffter pieces. I believe you played them all very well. The "Llanto" certainly has obvious merit, but might be one of those pieces that bears a few hearings before one acclimates to it. The "Pregon" was my favorite--I like all the sassy dissonances there. It's a very attractive salon piece in the best sense of the term. The "Habenera" is a laid back piece that immediately ingratiates itself to the listener. In all of this music there are some very colorful harmonies that put a dash of modernism on this very tonal and melodic music.

    David
     
  16. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,

    I listened to your new recordings.

    About the Llanto, your glissandos sound crisp. They might have a more powerful effect at a slower tempo, but that would change the piece entirely and I think the tempo right now works well. The simple block chord progressions remind me of Chopin's Op. 28 No. 20 Largo.

    About the Pregon: it is hard for me to get into. If you have read Aaron Copland's "What to listen for in music," he has a chapter on contemporary music. He classifies Shostakovitch as easy to approach, Prokofiev is "quite approachable," Bartok is "fairly difficult" and Alban Berg is "very tough." The harmonic language of this piece is like something of a Berg-composition, that is, it's very foreign to me. For what you could work on in a redo, I would say the dynamics could be better, but this piece seems so tricky, if I were asked to play it (I could not) but if I tried, I think I would be preoccupied with getting the notes correct, not to mention the manner of performance :lol:

    About the Habanera, I think I have just listened to the first work by Halffter that appeals to a beginning listener of classical piano music. Ok... maybe intermediate listener, but this piece seems the most approachable of the lot. I agree with Monica, I hear a lot of Albeniz's Tango in the The rhythms, passing tones, cadences. Staccato could be a little sharper, to my aural taste.

    On the Dulcinee, sounds nice. Hearing this piece a second time, I like it a lot more than the first time. I like your phrasing interpretation around :52, there is a nice accel. and rall. there. Dynamics at 3:30 are well contrasted to the forte moments in the piece. I can't really tell where the slips are It seems like there should be a longer pause in between 3:18 ~ 3:20, but the continuous phrasing works ok. I don't think it would be worth recording again, I think this is a good performance. I am curious to hear how a pianist heard on naxos would play this? Maybe less expression?

    ~Riley
     
  17. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks David and Riley. Seems like I may be doing some things right here :)

    Arpeggios, not glissandos. I would not want to do it any slower, it's already on the funereal side but IMO that befits the occasion. The harmonies have little in common with Chopin's prelude.

    With all respect to Copland, I think his categorization is just a little oversimplified.... Some of Shostakovich is totally abstract and forbidding, and some of Bartok is sweet and accessible. Composers thus caliber have many faces.

    Strange that one perceives this as a sassy salon/encore piece and another as a rather abstract piece a la Berg.

    It's certainly the most easy-going of the lot, and an immediate charmer. It could probably stand different interpretations but I think I well approach what the composer wrote (if maybe not what he meant :lol: )

    I never heard this played by someone else, nor any of the others (though there is at least one pianist with complete Halffter on CD, not Naxos). Had to make up my own mind of how to go about them. This one is very much open for interpretation, I think, more so than the others. Despite its apparent simplicity it is really tricky and doesn't come easy. The 2 or 3 slips are very minor but irritate me all the same (as they were not in the first version :x ). So maybe, one more time yet....
     
  18. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Why did you place a Latin harrangue in place of his biography? To test if anyone actually reads it? :lol:
     
  19. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Well it looks better than nothing at all...
    I should get my finger out and write some bios for the new composers I put on the site :roll:
     
  20. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    And I need to get down to the three I should be writing. :oops:
     

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