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Schubert, Impromptu op. 90,2, final version, I promise!

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by musicusblau, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have not had too much time for practising during the last days, though I´m actually working on several piano-projects (also chamber music. f. ex. Poulenc: Sonata für clarinet and piano, and some jazz-variations on a Paganini-theme). I have practised on the Impromptu op. 90, no. 2, for several weeks now more or less sporadic, but I think, I could bring it nearly up to my good old level. So, here I offer my final version, which I would like to have on the site. So replace my old version, Chris or Monica, please.
    I have choosen a slower tempo in summary, having in mind, what Chris told me to my first version.

    On the video below you can watch me playing this piece by heart. The mp3-file is exact the audio-file of the video.

    Comments are appreciated!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEPSmrBgMHY (Franz Schubert, Impromptu Es-Dur, op. 90, Nr. 2, Allegro)

    Schubert - Impromptu in E flat major, Op.90 No.2 (6:10)
     
  2. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andreas, good to see you again! :D I still remember your last version, and I find this version much much better. I specially like the mysterous atmosphere at the "ben marcato" section, which is full of amazing tension and excitements! The ending was also excellent! My only reservations lie in your way to treat the accents/sforzandi. At times your emphasis is too strong. At times you play the repeatedly coming sforzandi in a very expressive, but constantly in the same way, so that the whole section loses the balance (I mean, in the transition-section to the first ben marcato). Apart from these I think this is a really good, artistically successful job.
    (BTW it's interesting to notice that you are working on a sonata for clarinet and piano. Cause I'm, too, on the second sonata for clarinet/piano by Brahms. I didn't find a decent piano yet, so I'm not sure if we'll get an acceptable recording, but recently it came to my mind that you posted a wonderful recording-set of Schumann's Fantasiestücke from your collaboration with your young student and I anyway wanted to ask you for some recording tips. I have just a Zoom H 4 (the old one), so it would be much different from your noble recording equipment, but I need some advices, since I have no experience at all where to locate the mic to catch the sound of both the clarinet and the piano.)
     
  3. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for this, Hye-Jin. Also nice to "see" you again :D

    I tried to bring out these sforzati and I often have asked myself, why Schubert has written them from bar 71 to 76 each time at the beginning of each bar. I´m playing that piece now since 26 years and in former times I also did not bring out the sforzati as they stand there (because I also feared it could have an "unmusical effect"). But now I think, Schubert wanted to have there something very insisting and grave. At least I have tried to play them out musically with a full and soft forte-tone. (I don´t think, that the balance totally is lost, it´s just brought out a bit, and may be that´s, what Schubert could have wanted here.)

    I have played both Sonatas for clarinet and piano by Brahms (I think, I have old video-tapes of the performances then) with some of my pupils. I also have a Zoom H4, btw (the new model, Zoom H4n), but the difference is, that I mostly use it with my Neumann-KM-184-mics on the external inputs. But if I´m outside or have no time to install the external mics, I also use it just with the built-in mics.
    Next sunday I will try to make new recordings with clarinet and piano and I think, it´s very good to have two external mics, because one mic I will post nearly 2m from the piano and the other nearly 2 m from the clarinet. If you use the built-in mics of Zoom H4 you should try a position may be a bit closer to the piano, because in my experience the clarinet is louder than the piano, but you have to test that out. If both instruments are of an equal force you should post your Zoom H4 exact in the middle of piano and clarinet. I think, you should do two or three test-recordings for to find out the right position of the Zoom H4.
     
  4. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for your advices, Andreas. It will help me a lot!
    I'm glad that you played both of Brahms' sonatas. I love the second one sooooo much, but the first and the second movements include many stuffed chords in octaves which are for my hands too difficult to press. Apart from them there are too many precarious spots to me. If you still remember, was it for you easy to play?
     
  5. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Musicusblau

    Your interpretation is very individualistic, you divide things up by sections in a interesting way. Every section has something different in character.
    The repetitiveness in the structure of this piece fades away and one is drawn in to the present section.

    It's interesting to see your technique in the video. Excellent use of the upper arm so that the hands are just an extension.
    What you choose to bring out in terms of importance i.e. accentuations, is completely under control and it seems as though you planned to the
    smallest detail how you would present your ideas. Congratulations!

    Kaila
     
  6. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hyenal wrote:
    I have to admit I love both sonatas equally. Of course, these are quite virtuosic pieces and they are not easy. I had to practise on them countless hours and would have to do that again, if I would like to replay them now. (That´s the point, music seems to have to do something with sports, it´s always the daily training you need and I have so few time these days, alas.)
    So, I´m curious, if you will present us a recording of the second sonata. Would be very nice and interesting.
     
  7. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Kaila,
    thank you for your pleasant feedback.
    I always feel happy, if my artistic intentions are recognized, that´s very constructive and encouraging. (Though we also can learn from negative critique, of course, but sometimes we need also to hear, what we have done well. :) )
    For me Schuberts music is "speaking", full of individual (rhetoric) ideas and expression. The repetitive structures for me seem only to be the "surface area", beneath you find all the richness of his soul and thoughts. You seem to have recognized that.
    In this Impromptu we have a big contrast of an innocent joy (in the A-part) and desparation between fight and resignation (in the B-part). I think this contrast is the inner idea of this "Impromptu" (that means something like "invention", "idea"), so we are far away from to have to consider the A-part as an "etude" (as it was done by some members here in Monicas topic of the same piece), unless we put it in the category of an "artistic etude" like Chopins ones f.ex. , but this isn´t necessary, it´s simply an "Impromptu", a romantic "character piece" (german: Charakterstück) for piano, otherwise it would have been called "etude" by Schubert himself.

    All the best
    Andreas
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    That is much better indeed. In fact it seems the complete antithesis of the previous version - even a bit on the slow side. But I will not nag about that :p Yes it is very individualistic indeed. I agree with Hye-Jin that some of the sforzando accents are a bit too harsh.

    These two Brahms sonatas are gorgeous, I'd hate to choose between them. I have played them with my viola partner (I actually prefer the viola versions to the clarinet versions). They present a real challenge to the pianist, first in mastering some technically very hard passages, then to realize the incredibly subtle and intricate interplay with the partner. I had to work endlessly on them too, and would have to do that once more if we were to pick them up again.
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    This one has now been replaced.
     
  10. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andreas,

    I listened to this impromptu last night and was very impressed. First, I liked the slightly slower tempo, as it is more conducive to performing this impromptu. By comparison the really fast tempo in retrospect made the piece seem more like an etude. This is much more convincing. As usual, I marvel at the precision and evenness of your playing in the passage work. You probably take that ability for granted, but I think it's a gift, and wonderful especially in Baroque and Viennese Classical works. With that, you could play Mozart pieces that I wouldn't dare to touch. The phrasing and clarity of your playing merit mention too. Overall, your performance is very refined. It's most interesting how you've worked on this piece at different times over the years, changing your ideas on interpretation in the process. It shows that a work for piano can become a lifelong project where we continually gain new and ever deeper insights into the music. Even in his 60s Moritz Rosenthal said he was still working on Chopin's short Prelude Op. 28, No. 4 in A for that very same reason. Excellent playing, Andreas!

    David
     
  11. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    (sorry for this OT)
    Thank you Andreas and Chris for sharing your experiences with Brahms' sonatas. Someday I'd like to play also the first one which is wonderful, too, but personally I feel myself very close to the second sonata. Don't know why... It seems like Brahms got rid of the barrier for me in this sonata, which in other works by him looks emotionally alien to me. I guess it was resulted from my lack of studies and experiences. though. Anyway, it is a sort of consolation to hear that those sonatas are hard to play also for you guys, who are better pianists than me. Have a good day!
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I'm not sure we are that :D It's true that you sometimes need big hands though.
    Anyway, I think generally Brahms is hard to play for ANY pianist. At least that is what I've read somewhere.
    But it is always worth the effort. I think few composers have written such good ensemble music.
     
  13. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,
    thank you for replacing my old version!

    Techneut wrote:
    I think it´s more than only "much better"! :p (Sorry for my immodesty, but a bit more praise would have been adequate IMHO.) And it´s not the "complete" antithesis of my previous version IMO, only concerning the A-part and the whole tempo, but the interpretation of the B-part is quite similar to my old version.

    Sometimes I have the impression, that all what goes a bit in the direction of artistic creation, you call it immediately "very individualistic". I think, I play it in a normal range of interpretation, so it´s not "very individualistic", but "a bit individualistic" like more or less every interpretation by every serious pianist.
     
  14. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Oh well. Only giving my personal opinion, FWIW.
     
  15. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi David,
    thank you for your detailed and encouraging comment, my friend, which always means much to me as you know!


    Rachfan wrote:
    I agree completely, while thinking more and more about that "etude"-categorization, I came to the same notion and that was the main reason for me to slow down the tempo.

    Thank you, David. As a pupil I worked much on precision and eveness, especially in the first years when I began to play piano with 11 and a half years. My first teacher was vicarious organist in the dome of Cologne and he was quite severe (he let me practise a lot of Czerny-etudes, by the way). So, yes, I ever have taken these "tools of the trade" as granted. But I think, you are too modest here, David. Your playing is also precise and even in a very musical sense: your precision serves always the musical ideas you want to express and that´s the main thing (and that´s what I call real artistic piano playing)! But probably you just feel more affinity to the romantic pieces, which really is great and is absolutely your forte.

    I agree absolutely to that. I think, many or at least some of the pieces of my repertoire have become such lifelong projects, but that Impromptu is a special one.
     
  16. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Techneut wrote:
    What does that mean?
     
  17. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    For What It's Worth.
     
  18. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Techneut wrote:
    Okidoki, I will comment on your new Bach submission ASAP. (I´m nice, isn´t it?!, because this abbreviation is much easier than your one.) :wink:
     
  19. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Indeed, this is a much slower version, lasting 2 minutes longer than your first one and I like it just like that. It does not need to be faster and all comes out clear. If you ask me a lot of courage and good technique is needed to play a piece slower. After all, when one hurries all becomes muddled and error becomes correct.

    You play with great tranquility and it was a pleasure to listen to (and see).

    This is just the speed I am aiming at, when I place my version in 10 years time :D .

    I listened to this on YouTube. I got an Error 404 page not found when I clicked on the link to the Mp3 here.
     
  20. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ah sorry, that was my mistake. I've fixed it.
     

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