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Recitals you attend

Discussion in 'Repertoire' started by Terez, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Many of us pick up on new repertoire here, but the old standard way of picking up on new repertoire at recitals is still a good one, and since we don't have a thread for recitals we attend, I figured I'd start one. Every time you go hear a pianist or chamber group, post the program here, critique the performance of those pieces you were already familiar with, and make comments on the pieces that were new to you. :D

    I went to see one of our piano faculty, Dr. Elizabeth Moak, play last night. Here's the program:

    Bach, English Suite #5
    Beethoven, Sonata Op. 109
    Chopin, Mazurka Op. 56 No. 2
    Chopin, Ballade #2 Op. 38
    Nazareth, Odeon: Tango Brasileiro
    Ginastera, Malambo Op. 7

    The only pieces I'm really familiar with are the Chopin ones, of course. ;)

    I think the high point of this program for me was the Bach, especially the Gigue, which I think was even more exciting than the gigue I'm working on from Partita #6. She played it fabulously, and damn near note perfect, as far as I could tell. She also used pedal throughout (though rarely a romantic wash of pedal), and some (IMO) tasteful rubato as well in some places (I think especially the Allemande and the Sarabande). But wow, that Gigue was awesome. :D

    I'm not a big Beethoven fan....he has nice moments in his music, but the traditional classical style just bores me. Beethoven is my favorite classical period composer simply because he broke away from that style in many ways, but the (large) bits that remain still bore me. I really did enjoy the finale of the 3rd movement, though....there were only a few kinks in the performance of the whole sonata (I'm not familiar with it, but I noticed a few small kinks), but the finale was performed very, very well. I have a feeling that finale is the main reason why pianists want to learn this sonata. :D

    The Chopin mazurka was pretty much perfect, very musically played. The Ballade gave her some problems, though...I could tell even in the beginning, in the lyrical section, that she was very much intimidated by playing it on stage (which is quite understandable - this ballade is no joke, despite its deceptive beginning and ending). Other than the trouble that the piece gave her, I think she played it quite nicely and musically overall.

    The Nazareth was nice, but short, and the Ginastera was a bit longer and definitely more dramatic. I was sitting behind a guitar player, and I saw him perk up with the opening, which is the open string series of the 6 string guitar(E-A-D-G-B-E), at least by interval (I don't have perfect pitch). I'm usually not very fond of atonal stuff, but this piece was very exciting, and played very well.

    She did an encore by another Brazilian composer, Villa-Lobos, though I don't remember the name of the piece. It was just a short and sweet one, though - flashy encores seem to be uncommon at my school (perhaps because the flashy pieces are all put on the program :lol:).
     
  2. bclever

    bclever New Member

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    Hi Terez, would you consider a concert by someone really famous a recital also?
    For example would a solo piano concert by Alfred Brendel be considered a recital?
     
  3. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Yeah, any piano performance is what I had in mind. People usually discuss the famous ones on the "pianists" forum, but I put this one here because I wanted to focus more on the repertoire than the pianist, though of course comments on the performance itself are quite acceptable. :D
     
  4. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    If you enjoyed the performance so much, then why didn't you sneak in your recorder and record it? Then you could share with all of us! :p :wink:
     
  5. bclever

    bclever New Member

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    March 9, 2008 for his final performance in Chicago Alfred Brendel played:

    Haydn - Variations in F minor
    Mozart - Sonata in F Major, K. 533/494
    Beethoven - Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 27, No. 1 (Quasi una fantasia)
    Schubert - Sonata in B-flat Major, D. 960

    He gave three encores:
    A piece I can't remember at all (He didn't announce his encore pieces like many pianists do)
    A Bach piece which I'm not sure but I think was the Allemande from the A minor Partita
    Schubert Impromptu in G-flat

    Most of the programs we get in Chicago are pretty standard like this. The most modern
    piece this season was when Joyce Yang played Carl Vine's sonata No. 1.

    I'm not sure why, but this recital did not really carry me away or inspire me (except
    for the Bach and Schubert encores which were _so_ beautiful). Brendel is
    a masterful technician obviously, but I just didn't feel like he was channeling the music.
    Does that make sense? Of course every note was correct. He played these pieces
    wth dynamics slightly flattened out, for example fortes not so forte and pianos not so piano.

    Partly I do know the reason why I couldn't completely connect with him: from the
    very first note there was a loud snoring sound clearly audible to the people in the
    first few rows. I sit in row H and I could see many of the regular subscribers looking
    around to see who was snoring. The snoring went away in the quiet parts and came back
    full strength in the louder parts. I finally realized it must have been Brendel himself,
    his breathing was loud enough we could hear it over the music.
     
  6. bclever

    bclever New Member

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    It was tough to decide whether to mention this one since it was a few weeks ago,
    but since it probably was my favorite concert EVER (I still tingle when I think about this one)
    on February 24, 2008 Jean-Yves Thibaudet played for a very sparse crowd in Chicago:

    Debussy Preludes Book II (two weeks prior to this Radu Lupu played Book I)
    Brahms Sonata No. 3

    He gave three encores:
    Brahms Intermezzo Op. 118 No 2. (so masterfully played!)

    Cherkassky Prélude Pathétique

    It's not published, written in 1923 he told us the composer gave it to him.
    Here is a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIr93In9QCI

    Finally he sat down again and told us about his 98 year old grandmother who used
    to tell him "A day without Chopin was not a good day" and played the A minor waltz
    Op. 34/2.

    Hopefully my next statement won't get me kicked out of the forum, but I find Debussy boring.
    I'm sure it is some failing on my part, some genetic anomoly that keeps me from enjoying
    that music but to me it's just sound effects. I especially felt this way when Radu Lupu played
    Book I two weeks prior. Unfortunately, the preludes were the second half of Lupu's recital,
    and then he played two more Debussy pieces for his encores. Ugh, my significant other
    and I left Symphony Center with no emotion whatsoever. It was like a non-event.

    However when Thibaudet played Book II I came alive to the music.
    I do not know why this recital hit me so hard, maybe I was in a good
    emotional state, maybe I was happy I don't know. I wasn't even looking forward to this one
    because of the Debussy on the program. But as soon as Thibaudet sat down, something
    very special happened. He just became the music. I'm sure it had something to do with
    the more intimate atmosphere of seeing a lot of the seats empty.

    His Brahms Op 118 was absolute beauty. I had tears that I actually had to wipe away
    (I'm 41 year old male). The Cherkassky is very Rachmaninov-meets-Chopin-esque
    so of course I loved it.

    Then when he played the Chopin, yes more tears and such a warm feeling in
    my heart that still persists almost a month later. I truly believe that recital was something
    special.
     
  7. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    bclever, I often find Debussy boring as well. :D

    And juuf, if I had a recorder, I'd have recordings on PS. ;) But, she did record the recital. I'll ask her if she'd be willing to post the recordings here, most especially the Bach. :D
     
  8. diminished2nd

    diminished2nd New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I know what you guys mean about Debussy... He used to be one of my favourites but as time goes on I'm getting more and more into Ravel. I know they're similar, but with Debussy it's always like "ooooh fog foggy look I'm making fooog ooooh it's foggy". And that's basically all (with the exception of a few pieces when played well... like the last prelude from book II. I assume his etudes are good, but I'm not familiar with them) But with Ravel it has that same "sound" to it, and then there's something to cut through the fog and you can say "oh! a melody!"

    Also, have any of you heard Alexander Kobrin's performance of the Brahms 118/2 intermezzo from his final round performance at the Cliburn in 05? It's extremely beautiful... I can listen to it over and over and I never get tired of it! (I'm not on my own computer right now, but when I am I'll post a link to it here...)
     
  9. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

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    That may be favorite quote ever! :lol: great Debussy description. Sometimes Debussy makes me think of New Age music ... pretty ... but pretty pointless too.

    On the other hand, some Debussy really rocks my boat ... but he did write a lot of fog too.
     
  10. demonic_advent

    demonic_advent New Member

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    Debussy can get a bit "foggy" for my tastes as well. Sometimes it's cool... but in high doses, it can cause issues.

    Ravel is sooooo much cooler. I particularly enjoy the toccata from Le Tombeau de Couperin... it's totally not "foggy" in just about every way.

    ... but now I'm off topic ...

    *runs away*
     
  11. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    I got to see another recital tonight, this time by a guest artist that one of our piano faculty went to school with at Eastman. Her name is Lina Morita, and she's Brazilian-Japanese (interesting combo there), and she was raised in Brazil. As you would expect out of anyone with a doctorate from Eastman, everything on the program was played damn near perfect, and I found her playing to be very sensitive as well. This was a top-notch performance. Here's the program:

    Granados, Spanish Dances #s 1 (Minueto: Allegro), 2 (Oriental: Andante), and 5 (Andaluza: Andantino, quasi Allegretto)

    Beethoven, Sonata Op. 31 No. 3

    Debussy, Images Bk. 1, #s 1 (Reflets dans l'eau), 2 (Hommage a Rameau), and 3 (Mouvement)

    Villa-Lobos, Festa no Sertao, from Ciclo Brasileiro

    Scriabin, Sonata #4

    I have nothing but good to say about the performance, so I'll just give my impression of the repertoire.

    The Granados pieces were all very nice pieces. The first two had moments that reminded me of Chopin mazurkas, though I can't remember which ones (I bet Monica would know!). Beethoven usually bores me, but she played this sonata so nicely that it actually entertained me quite a bit. Debussy usually bores me as well, and while #s 2 and 3 were no real exception to that, the Reflets dans l'eau was a lot of fun to listen to, and it seemed like it would be a lot of fun to play if you're actually good enough to play it (not me! :lol:). The other two seemed more doable (especially the Hommage a Rameau, which seemed pretty easy), but they just weren't as interesting to me. The Villa-Lobos was very good, as was the Scriabin (do his sonatas not have movements?), and I heard a bit of Chopin in both of the last two pieces. :D

    I'm playing some Bach in a master class with Ms. Morita tomorrow, and after hearing her play, I'm nervous!
     
  12. demonic_advent

    demonic_advent New Member

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    Scriabin's first 3 sonatas have clearly defined movements, and 6-10 are all in one movement. His 4th actually is in two movements, but the first movement goes straight into the second with one of those attacca thingies. I'm pretty sure the 5th is only in one movement as well, but I'm not really sure, as it's not one of my favorites. I tend to like early and late Scriabin, but not so much the middle, because he really doesn't have a strong voice in either direction.
     
  13. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    That's because you have Chopin on the brain. :lol: Me too! But also Granados. I don't hear mazurkas in the Spanish Dances, but I hear some of Chopin's 2nd concerto in a couple of the Goyescas. Go figure...

    Good luck in your master class! :)
     
  14. bclever

    bclever New Member

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    Terez will there be videos taken of your master class? I would love to see that.
     
  15. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    No, there was no video, unfortunately. It went okay for me, though, which I was happy for (I had just bombed an accompaniment thing with a voice student a few minutes before, and that damn near ruined my whole day....%#%&*&^ Brahms!). Here's the program for the master class:

    Beethoven Sonata Op. 2 No. 1, 1st movement, played by Charles Bridges

    Liszt, Concert Study I, Waldesrauschen, played by Mary Chung

    Beethoven, Waldstein, 1st movement, played by Jordan Scott

    Bach, Partita in E Minor, Gigue, played by Theresa Gray (me)


    Everyone that played was better than me, and their pieces were a lot more difficult of course. I talked about Mary Chung in the chamber music thread - she's working on her doctorate, and she's almost done, and she's almost as good as the guest artist herself was (maybe not even almost, lol). She got up there and started playing her Liszt, which I think is more difficult than anything Ms. Morita played (not that I don't think she could play it - she demonstrated that she could when she was giving Mary advice), but anyway, I was trying to think the whole time she was playing it what Ms. Morita could possibly even give her advice on, and the only thing I came up with is that her melodies could have been brought out a little more and her pedal could have been a bit cleaner, and sure enough, that's pretty much all the advice she had to give. :lol: The other two guys are better pianists than me, but not quite as phenomenal as Mary. :D
     
  16. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    I just attended a doctoral lecture recital given by Amanda Virelles, whom I also talked about in the chamber music thread (and linked her MySpace). She was promoting the music of Rodion Shchedrin, a not-so-well-known Russian composer, and I really enjoyed everything she played. I'd recommend checking Shchedrin out to any of you who are looking for something outside the norm. This was her program:

    Poem

    Four Pieces from "The Humpbacked Horse" Ballet
    1. Elder Brothers and Ivan
    2. Girls' Roundelay
    3. Scherzino
    4. I Play the Balalaika

    Humoresque

    A la Albeniz

    Troika

    Two Polyphonic Pieces
    1. Two-part Invention
    2. Basso Ostinato


    She said that the Basso Ostinato and the Humoresque are his most well-known pieces, but the A la Albeniz was my favorite. :D
     

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