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Recording of Rob Steinberg

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by rsteinberg100, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. rsteinberg100

    rsteinberg100 New Member

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    Steinberg studied with Brian Ganz of the Peabody Institute, Jules Gentil of the L'Ecole Normale in Paris, and composer Elizabeth Gould. He served on the Board of Directors of the Kennedy Center's Young Concert Artist series. He was founder of a performing arts group of governmental and business leaders in Washington, which included Senators, Congressmen, and Cabinet members. Steinberg was accepted into the Masters of Piano Performance Program at the Peabody Institute and into the Mozarteum in Salzburg. As a young pianist, he was a soloist with various symphony orchestras. Influences include Andre Watts, Rudolph Serkin, Leon Fleischer and Glenn Gould.

    Steinberg is or has been a management consultant, trial attorney, Reagan Administration appointee, classical pianist and author of five books.
     
  2. mwyman1

    mwyman1 New Member

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    Mr. Steinberg - Thanks for your postings, and welcome to Piano Society! (I assume you're new around here?)

    You have an impressive background, and you chose a nice sampling of music here. I'm just a member here, FYI, and the admins will likely have more definitive comments.

    I enjoyed the Aria recording, and you had some nice moments throughout. I heard a few slips, but live performance so understandable. It did seem a little tentative to me in places however, but others here are more versed in Bach than I am and may feel differently.

    Did you mean to post the subsequent performance of Beethoven's Sonata Op. 13 (1st movement)? Was that you playing as well? I don't want to be too discouraging here, but I'm much more familiar with this piece and really feel it was not ready for performance. But I'm not sure if this is you and/or you even wanted feedback on this one so I'll withhold details for now.

    I'm also very familiar with the Waldstein Sonata, and IMO this was a very rough recording. It also sounds like possibly a live performance (?), so perhaps I'm being too tough, but as you know this is a very complex piece requiring great technical prowess and musicality. And it's one everyone knows and loves, and therefore opinions are abundant! :wink:

    My quick thoughts:
    It begins WAY too heavy-handed - supposed to be pianissimo.
    Dynamics throughout need a lot more attention. Range is very limited.
    The phrasing and tempo are uneven off and on throughout.
    There are just so many mistakes, especially in the runs and arpeggios. I think you could certainly hit all the notes, but need a lot more practice at much slower tempo to get this under your fingers.

    So overall I [personally] found these postings a very mixed bag. Some of it was nice, and you obviously have a lot of talent. On the fast stuff, please consider much more meticulous, slow practice to get the notes completely within your grasp. Then think a lot about the musical "message" you (and the composer) are trying to communicate. Don't rely on your technical abilities too heavily - without carefully planned phrasing and dynamics it's all pointless anyway! :mrgreen:

    Matt
     
  3. rsteinberg100

    rsteinberg100 New Member

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    Thanks for your comments. I just joined piano society. I actually stopped practicing piano regularly about 35 years ago, and practice about 2 hours a month, typically right before I perform. Sonata 13 wasn't my recording. These were live recordings. Waldstein is real tough because my hands are quite weak from lack of practicing and I also had a median nerve injury in my mid-20's and don't have full feeling in my second finger. I do better with the slow stuff.

    I still enjoy performing, even though it is pretty frustrating because I don't practice enough to play at a technically high level.

    Agree with most of your comments -- although I do like the rendition of Goldberg aria and particularly like the Handel recording. I had only 3 mp3 recording so put the Waldstein up even though I recognize it was a rough performance, but probably a fairly good performance for not playing it for years and practicing it so little. I don't know that I could get it to the real high level now even if I practiced it for 20 hours because of the second finger problem I have --makes it difficult to play consistently evenly at fast speeds. I do feel good about what I am able to do musically now -- I believe my playing is at a much subtler, deeper level than ever before, and always got nice compliments on my musicianship when I was younger from high level pianist like Brian Ganz and Andre Watts.
     
  4. mwyman1

    mwyman1 New Member

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    Well you still played it better than most I'm guessing, and certainly better than I could do at this point!

    I'm sorry to hear about the finger problem; that must be frustrating but you may surprise yourself. And luckily there is so much out there to show off your seasoned musicianship as well!

    I just listened to the Handel Transcription - nice job! I'm not too familiar with this piece, but have heard it before. You created a very tranquil, relaxed mood overall. I don't have the score, but I liked the dynamics. What a great little piece! Sorry I should have listened to all three before I commented the first time...

    Take care.

    Matt
     
  5. rsteinberg100

    rsteinberg100 New Member

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    Thanks Matt. Appreciate the comments. Listened to a little bit of your Chopin Preludes -- really superb.
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Rob and welcome to Piano Society.

    I've just listened to your three recordings; here are some remarks:

    The Goldberg Aria - Your playing is nice and musical, but a couple things don't jive with me. The first is that your rhythm if off at bar 3 - the LH G. Secondly, I'm refraining from saying much about your ornaments because I realize these are subjective, especially in this piece. However, your style of playing them is very different from any other recording I have heard (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but well...). Third, I don't like that you didn't take the repeats. That in itself is not too big a deal, but I think it is important to do so in this one, especially if you are just playing the Aria.

    I didn't know that the 1st movement of the Pathetique was on the same file as the Aria. Listening to it now I have to agree with Matthew in that it is not without problems. The first thing that bothered me was your pedaling. It totally disrupted some of the harmonies - like your foot was out of sync.

    The Handel piece I do not know. It sounds like you play it very nicely, but too bad that it is such a 'clunky' recording. Sounds like you had the mics too close to the piano and it picked up lots of pedal/hammer noises and also your breathing (a pet peeve of mine). Maybe you can re-record it after experimenting with placement of your mics?

    So, I'm sorry to say that we cannot take any of these recordings. Our members work hard in producing fine recordings, and you obviously have a lot of talent and can play well. There are places in all of your recordings here that sound wonderful! But we have so many fine recordings of many of the same famous piano pieces and so any additional submissions need to be of very good quality in order to be accepted. You're welcome to make some new recordings and audition again. :)
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I'll have to agree with the other posters here. With all due respect for your (Rob Steinberg's ? ) dazzling pedigree, there are just too many flaws here.
    Despite much obvious musicality, these recordings are not fit for the site.

    It seems to me that 2 hours a month is not nearly enough to keep up your previous high standards (though I'd be happy to play half as well with so little practice). I would also recommend to get back to the scores and ask yourself if you are still playing all the right notes. It sounds like you have been playing these pieces from memory for too long - things tend to get sloppy then.
     
  8. rsteinberg100

    rsteinberg100 New Member

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    Unfortunately, don't have any decent recordings on mp3 - just sent in the 3 I have. I do not practice regularly, and am not up to past techical standards. However, I believe there is some very interesting musical approaches in some of these pieces. Sorry you don't agree. Also, didn't realize there is some version of Pathetique that was included in the submission as I never really studied that piece and didn't intend to submit it -- barely ever even have practiced that piece.

    In any event, I don't need any more comments. and would like to delete this whole string of messages and the recordings if that is possible.
     
  9. rsteinberg100

    rsteinberg100 New Member

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    Just went back to listen to the recordings I submitted and now understand the comments

    The recording of the Goldberg was just some practice recording and a run through of the Pathetique which I played a few times but never learned. The Waldstein also was not a good recording, as it was a local performance that I gave after practicing it for abot 30 minutes -- use to perform it as a teenager. I do like the recording of the Handel aria(however that is a simple transcription

    I should have reviewed these tapes prior to submitting.

    Sorry for wasting your time.
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Oh but we do agree. Nobody is questioning the musical value of these submissions. But there's also quality standards, which obviously are higher the more popular the repertoire is.

    Don't feel like you have done that. Listening to good music, interestingly performed, is never a waste of time.
     

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