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Poulenc - Improv. 15 and Novelette No. 3

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianolady, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you to Alfonso for directing me to another nice Improvisation; this one is No. 15 in C minor. It's also pretty and sounds to me like something that would be perfect for a soap opera or an ultra-romantic/sad movie like "Love Story". In fact, Poulenc wrote it as an homage to the French singer, Edith Piaf, who led a dramatic, yet short life.

    Poulenc - Improvisation No. 15 in C minor

    A few years ago, I heard Chris play Poulenc’s Novelette no. 3 and fell instantly hard in love, and just had to play the piece myself. Unfortunately, and much to my chagrin, that was a time when I was experimenting with sound; I did something dumb with my recording setup and got a real weird sound on my recording of the no.3 Novelette. While lately I have been learning new Poulenc pieces, some Improvisations, I remembered how much I enjoyed the Novelette and how I really needed to make a better recording. So here it is. I memorized it and figured I might as well video-record it too. The links are below.

    About the Novelette: Poulenc based it on a theme by de Falla, specifically de Falla’s “El amor brujo” and the piece within called, “Pantomime”. It was the no. 11 piece in the ballet version and is also called “Intermedio”. The piece is arranged for solo piano and I am very interested in trying it out on my piano. I’ve only briefly glanced at it so far, but I think I’m going to like it (or love it?...)

    video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r3Iz2PGJdM

    mp3 (same as video):Poulenc - Novelette No. 3 "Andantino tranquillo"
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Great playing, sumptuous sound. I'd have wished for a little more flexibility and dynamic contrast especially in the Novellette. The Improvisation is better in that respect but could still use a but more rubato. Pedal usage seems right, I don't perceive these as too dry.
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, twice - for listening, and for teaching me about pedaling in Poulenc's music.
     
  4. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    I very much enjoyed that Improvisation. It reminded me of times when I've heard cocktail piano in hotels.. but you play so much better than the typical cocktail pianist (the piece is also obviously superior to the usual fare). Really lovely. :)
     
  5. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Hi Monica,
    This Improv was really nice! I love the simple romantic nature of the melody, which you voice very effectively. You play this very well all together but I really especially liked when you have to bring the melody out in the cello's register; that was really very effective. I kept trying to place this in some epic romantic work like Dr. Zhivago or something. Very nice. Regarding the Novelette, I think you do a good job again with the voicing, especially as you have to share it between the two hands/thumbs. For me, the tempo could be a bit faster, but I don't even know what the indicated tempo is.

    Thanks for the submissions.
    Eddy
     
  6. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    I really enjoyed both the improvisation and novelette. It was obvious you had an affinity for both, as it shows in your playing. Excellent performances!

    David
     
  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you also, Andrew, Eddy, and David. I know...hotel lounges, movies like "Love Story" or "Dr. Zhivago".... I hear this kind of music in those settings too.
     
  8. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    I suppose I need to go more to cocktails at hotel lounges and watch more Dr. Zhivagos, because listening to this brought me no such memories, which is just as well, because it allowed me to enjoy this piece without preconceived ideas.

    This improvisation I really like and pronouce it the best of the set, for all my pronunciation is worth, and am glad Poulenc kept it to the last. I was aware it existed and was aware it was dedicated to Edith Piaf. This had put me off at first, but having forgetten this, I was able to listen with clean ears!

    Good work!
     
  9. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Richard. And thank you for having clean ears! I would be grossed-out, otherwise.... :)
    (we need a 'sick' smily)
     
  10. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Not exactly. More a response to.

    Richard, are you as good in foreign accents as you are in foreign languages? Do you speak English with a British pronounciation? :?: Can you do English with a French, Russian, Italian accent? That would be fun.
     
  11. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    At the same time? :lol: Then all Richard needs to do is wear a scarf, speak with a gravelly voice, and wave his hands around.
     
  12. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Richard, are you as good in foreign accents as you are in foreign languages? Do you speak English with a British pronounciation? :?: Can you do English with a French, Russian, Italian accent? That would be fun.[/quote]

    Just a little word play, because to pronounce also means to make a statement, but yes, I can do that. In matter of fact, when someone says I do not speak language A with an English accent I immediately do so, just to please!
     
  13. jaggens

    jaggens New Member

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    Hi,

    From the very first bars I recognized a professional player. The balance of all aspects - vertical line, horizontal line, emotion.
    Thank you for posting. Beautifully speaking.

    GL
    Jaak
     
  14. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Jaak. And welcome to Piano Society. But I'm an amateur player - some of my recordings just come out better than others. :)
     
  15. Leena

    Leena New Member

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    I absolutely love this recording! I was literally amazed at how great this sounded playing through my bookshelf speakers! The recording quality is terrific! Can I ask how you went about it? Did you mix it all yourself, or did you hire an engineer? I am just wondering, because I am a mixing engineer myself, and can really appreciate it when I hear a good mix. Thank you very much for sharing this with us!
     
  16. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you very much, Leena. And welcome to Piano Society! :)
     
  17. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,
    these both are very good performances! Very subtle and expressive playing of these lovely two pieces. I have enjoyed them very much and didn´t find anything to nitpick. :( :wink: (The pedaling is a matter of taste IMO. For me it´s o.k.)
     
  18. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andreas,
    Thank you for listening and commenting! :)
     
  19. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have seen right know, that you have posted that already in septembre, so I must have overseen it. :oops: So, I am glad still to have noticed these real good recordings! :D
     
  20. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    These are very lovely performances and such elegant pieces. When I was giving piano lessons, I think my more advanced students would of loved these pieces, to bad I discover them a bit late. Thanks for sharing!
     

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