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New pianist submission: Bach, Brahms, Debussy

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by hanysz, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. hanysz

    hanysz Member

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    I've been "lurking" in the forums for a couple of weeks now, so it's about time I uploaded my audition. I found out about PS by the rather boring method of googling for piano forums; the friendly atmosphere here, plus the option to upload recordings, means that this looks like a very nice place to hang out.

    Most of my professional activity has been as an accompanist, but I still give at least one solo recital each year; I don't think it's healthy to have a barrier between "accompanists" and "soloists", we should all be striving to be good musicians. You can read more about me on my web site if you want.

    These three recordings are all from live concerts. It's repertoire that you already have on this site, but I think they're all pieces that admit more than one interpretation, so I hope you find it interesting to listen to a different version. All feedback will be gratefully received. Thanks for listening!


    Bach - Prelude & Fugue in B Major, BWV 868

    Brahms - Intermezzo in F minor, op. 118, no. 4

    Debussy - Prelude book 1 no. 11 "Puck's Dance"
     
  2. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Alexander, welcome to the Audition Room :)
    I thoroughly enjoyed your Debussy. The interpretation with the excellent technical controll is very convincing and surely much inspired and inspiring, too. And the sound is fantastic. I guess you used a very good grand and good recording equipments for this concert.
    The Brahms and the Bach are also well played. Even though I hear a couple of weak notes or some hurriedness, but I admire anyone who can play so well in concerts :!:
    This was my two cents :wink: and I'm looking forward to hear more from you.
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Alexander and welcome to Piano Society!

    I agree with Hye-Jin that these are nice recordings. I can hear that they are different pianos and/or recording equipment - there is different background noise in all three. The piano sound in the Bach is a little strange. Almost like it's coming from inside a tunnel, or under water....It's not bad, just a little different, is all. And it amazes me that these are all live recordings, yet I heard not one single cough or sneeze or clap or anything at all from your audience. People in Australia must be very well behaved concert-goers!

    Anyway, these submissions qualify for acceptance as a member of Piano Society, so we need your bio and photo. Also - as you may or may not know, we are actively campaigning for all members to remain regular commentators on our forum by not only submitting their own recordings, but also commenting on other places on the forum. I see that you are already doing this, so that is good! One more thing - we basically are about submitting newly-recorded pieces, so please do not submit a bunch of older recordings. Not saying that that is what you plan to do, but sometimes new people want to do this sort of thing and we really don't like that so much.
     
  4. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Welcome Alexander,
    For me the Debussy was most delightful. I thought you showed very nice control of the sound. The Brahms didn't do anything for me, but it is more a matter of the work itself, but if it does you good, then "make it so." The Bach was fine but I think you should do more to distinguish the voicing in the fugue, especially in those thick areas where the interest is "burried." Good to have you on PS and look forward to other posts of yours.
     
  5. hanysz

    hanysz Member

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    Thanks all for the comments. Indeed I was a little disappointed with the recording quality of the Bach. But I remember enjoying the performance so much, I thought it was worth sharing anyway. The Debussy was recorded in the same hall as the Bach, but with different equipment and a much better piano--they bought a brand new Steinway D last September.

    I did take some care in choosing which tracks to upload--I can show you some much noisier recordings if you like! Occasionally people do get through three minutes without making a noise.

    My bio and photo are below. Thanks for having me on your site!

    ----

    Alexander Hanysz enjoys a diverse career embracing many facets of the pianist’s art—soloist, accompanist for singers and instrumentalists, chamber musician, repetiteur and orchestral pianist. He has performed throughout Australia, and recorded for ABC Classic FM and for MBS radio in several states. He has also appeared as soloist and chamber musician in the UK.

    In Adelaide, Alexander has collaborated in concert with artists such as Thomas Edmonds, Elizabeth Campbell and Nicholas Milton, and was a repetiteur for Wagner’s Ring cycle in 2004. He has a keen interest in contemporary music: he gave the South Australian premiere of John Adams’ piano concerto with the Adelaide Art Orchestra, and has given world premieres of new works by Australian composers. His two piano arrangement of Carl Vine’s piano concerto was published by Faber Music.

    Alexander graduated with honours from the Flinders Street School of Music, and has participated in masterclasses with Jeremy Menuhin, Roy Howat and Michael Kieran Harvey. An Adelaide University medallist, his numerous prizes also include the Edith Leigh Piano Prize (Cambridge), the Geoffrey Parsons Award at the Barossa International Festival, and the Adelaide Eisteddfod concerto prize. He has twice appeared as a finalist in the Australian National Piano Award.

    Alexander Hanysz has a web site at http://hanysz.net

    ----
     
  6. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Alexander,

    Welcome to Piano Society!

    I enjoyed listening to your program. Your rendition of "Puck's Dance" certainly brought out the witty and impish character of Puck. It was delightful, and your playing beautiful and thoughtful throughout. Your Brahms attained the romantic burnished sound where needed, and your interpretation seems to includes just enough individuality to make it a distinctive performance in my opinion. I believe it's a fine rendition. Your Bach P & F is well controlled yet very fluent, and I think that the etching of the voices in the Fugue is well balanced and effective. The piano sound and recording quality are admirable too.

    David
     
  7. hanysz

    hanysz Member

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    "Just enough individuality"--I don't know whether or not to take this as a compliment ;-)

    Re the fugue: it's interesting how perceptions differ. My aim at the moment (although I don't always achieve it) is to shape and articulate each voice independently, but not necessarily to "bring out the theme". Often I find that I don't want to hear the same motif over and over, and the other voices have some of the most interesting material. I find that some people hear this as well balanced, while others hear it as muddy or thick--I suppose because the dynamic levels of the different voices are more similar to each other than in many performances.

    That's the fascinating thing about playing Bach on the piano. I still keep changing my mind as to how it should be done...
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Good to see some submissions from you, now that we've got to know you a little. This is really the way to go about it :)
    Very accomplished playing, and these being live recordings we should not nag too much about a lone dodgy note - not that there are many.
    The Debussy indeed stands out here, it's very good. Though this Puck is probably not meant to be a Scarbo, I'd have liked him to be a bit more puckish
    and mischievous, he seems a bit too polite and well-behaved here. Shame about the missing top note on the final run. Ah, sh*t happens.

    The Brahms is full of nice details but seems a little dry, choppy and impatient.

    The Bach is good even though the sound is a bit funny. The fugue sounds a bit too hasty for my personal taste.
     
  9. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Alexander,

    Please do take my comment as a compliment! I strongly believe that a pianist needs to allow a bit of his own personality to imbue his rendition--but not, of course, to the detriment of the score or the composer's intent. I believe that one's interpretation is guided by a suitable inner vision which supports the mood created by the composer, which translates into the appropriate emotion, and which forms a musical intent that is then executed by the pianist in the moment. There is nothing worse than hearing one pianist after the next playing the very same "plain vanilla" rendition of a piece. Unfortunately this tendency haunts most piano competitions where the pianists all play the standard versions of the standard repertoire pieces (or "conservatory anvils"). A little individuality within the bounds of good taste is always welcomed by the listener in my opinion. Whenever I listen to, say, Arrau, Rubinstein, Bolet, Sofronitsky, etc., this element is what differentiates their interpretations, approaches, and performances. It's always a good thing, not a bad thing.

    David
     
  10. hanysz

    hanysz Member

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    Hi David,

    Thanks for your kind words...

    Funny you should say that. This particular recording is in fact from a competition. I got some odd feedback from the judges. They didn't like this movement in particular, saying "it sounded a little bit agitated". Well, Brahms's tempo direction is "Allegretto un poco agitato", so I felt that I'd achieved exactly what I set out to do. But people usually play it a little slower (because it's difficult? Surely not; we get plenty of Liszt and Prokofiev at top speed in these competitions) and I'd stepped "outside the box" too much here.

    I did enjoy entering competitions. It was a good chance to meet and socialise with other pianists--in general we tend to be a solitary lot, and don't talk to each other enough. But it had its frustrations too.

    Nice to hear you mention Sofronitsky. I haven't listened to him for ages, but you've sent me rushing back to my CD shelf.
     
  11. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Alexander,

    If you were outside the box too much" in the judges' opinion, be glad and proud of it! It was more important that you could justify your interpretation and stand by it. Serving the composer well was your badge of honor, far more important than the judges' prizes. That's why playing the piano and hoping just once to almost be close enough to touch perfection is a noble and lofty calling.

    There are also MANY Sofronitsky offerings at YouTube, some of which might not be in your collection. He could certainly play Scriabin, couldn't he?

    David
     
  12. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Alexander,

    It is nice to hear a new artist at the Piano Society.

    The Debussy had a lot of color and variation of dynamics. The playing sounded very assured.

    The Bach Prelude was clearly defined. Perhaps some of the tone quality of the Debussy
    could be employed to create a deeper tone.

    The fugue was very well paced. It was easy to understand the voicing and the resurgence of the motif.

    Have a happy New Year,
    Kaila Rochelle
     
  13. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Okay, Alexander, you are up on the main site now. Please check everything, including links.
    Also, please be careful when submitting files that you get the names/numbers correct. I had a little difficulty with the Bach because you labeled it book II, where it is actually book I.
    And remember also that we prefer new recordings and we hope that you will remain active on our forum.

    Now that you are official, I will once again say Welcome to Piano Society! :)
     
  14. hanysz

    hanysz Member

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    Thanks Monica for your careful attention to detail, and my apologies for the mixup with the Bach.

    Two tiny requests: could the word Ring in my biography appear in italics? And is it possible for my web site to be listed as an active link--i.e. so that people can actually click on it to go to the site?

    I hope so too, it's a nice community that you have here! There will be occasional spells where "real life" gets too busy, so you mustn't worry if I sometimes disappear for a couple of weeks.

    Thanks to everyone for their welcoming words.
     
  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    A belated welcome to PS from me too !
    Do stick around, and keep up the good work (both in recording and commenting).
     
  16. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ok, no problem. It's done.
     
  17. hanysz

    hanysz Member

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    Looks good, thanks.
     

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