Thank you to all those who donated in 2015!



DONATION STATUS
Needed before 2016-12-31
$ 2,500
So far donated
$ 595

Schubert - Op. 90, no.2 (last time, I promise)

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianolady, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,702
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    That's right, don't worry. This is the last time I submit this and I probably the last thing I submit for a while.

    This piece has nearly driven me crazy the past couple weeks. And also I have discovered that it is a very good way to lose weight. I know that sounds silly, but it's true. I weighed myself after I was done recording and I had lost two pounds! But a little warning to everyone...make sure you eat a big meal before trying to record. This took me a couple hours of recording take after take, and at one point I thought I was going to faint because I felt weird; like sort of lightheaded and I saw stars floating all around above the piano.

    Anyway, I tried to get my speed up, but this is fast as I ever want to play this piece. I do not subscribe to the notion that you have to play so terribly fast and then it's okay if your runs are a little unclear and sloppy. Or you claim you intentionally applied the pedal in such a way that makes the runs unclear. I don't buy that. Maybe my runs are a little notey and may sound like an exercise/etude, but you know what? I like them that way! I like clear runs. I think I always have, but was never brave enough to say so. Yes, I LIKE CLEAR PLAYING!! (there...had to get that off my chest...)

    Schubert - Impromptu in E-flat Major, Op. 90, No. 2
     
  2. musical-md

    musical-md New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Physician
    Location:
    Springfield, Missouri, USA
    LOCATION:
    Springfield, Missouri, USA
    "A rose by any other name ..." I for one consider it an etude. Just throw away the title and look at the music. Exactly how is it not an etude?
     
  3. hanysz

    hanysz New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2010
    Messages:
    243
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Pianist
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    Home Page:
    WEBSITE:
    http://hanysz.net
    LOCATION:
    Adelaide, Australia
    Some of my favourite pieces are called "Etude". There's no reason why clear playing and good musicianship can't go together.
     
  4. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Amateur musician
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Willmer
    First Name:
    Richard
    WEBSITE:
    http://server3.pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=2963
    Before listening, let me say a thing or two: I agree that clear playing is more important than playing at breakneck speed. Often speed is a wonderful way to hide errors and imprecisions. Just Follow any of the better acrobats of the piano and pick up the dropped notes as they fall. A basoonist firend of mine once had to accompany a known pianist (I was not told who and with orchestra, of course) playing one of Rachmaninoff's concerti. He says it was the slowest version he had ever heard but also the loveliest and the he had never realised what gems were hidden in the concerto, because at top speeds they just could not be heard. After the concert they spoke and the pianist said "of course few people dare to play slowly, but how many will dare?"

    Now I shall listen to your attempt.
     
  5. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Ph.D student
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Lee
    First Name:
    Hye-Jin
    LOCATION:
    Germany
    Monica, I think you did a good job here. Apart from the opening section where the RH runs have sometimes unnecessary accents and some unevenness (which aren't heard at the repeat any more), I enjoyed your listening. I espeacially liked the amazing dynamic control at the section B.
     
  6. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Amateur musician
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Willmer
    First Name:
    Richard
    WEBSITE:
    http://server3.pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=2963
    This is a good version. To me it seems a comfortable speed and I surely would not enjoy it any faster. Do I detect a slight spedding up starting from bar 271? I would have mantained the same tempo till the end. You also make a ritardando on bars 50 and 51 whereas I would have not taken that liberty.

    Overall I enjoyed it.
     
  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,702
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Exactly! :)

    Exactly! :)

    Hye-Jin, you listened to all three of my attempts and always had a suggestion. Thank you for all that! :)
    Thank you, Richard. My little rit. is not written in, but is intentional on my part.

    Bars are not marked in my score, but if you are talking about that you detect some speeding up at the 17th bar from the end, then I am very glad because it's marked accelerando from that point all the way to the end. :)
     
  8. musical-md

    musical-md New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Physician
    Location:
    Springfield, Missouri, USA
    LOCATION:
    Springfield, Missouri, USA
    Absolutely! I hope you didn't think I meant otherwise.
     
  9. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Amateur musician
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Willmer
    First Name:
    Richard
    WEBSITE:
    http://server3.pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=2963
    I thought the ritardando was intentional.

    Accelerando? Which edition do you have? I have two, one an urtext, and neither has any such marking and I am not sure I have ever heard it played that way.

    I have just played this for myself (I did not get too far) and this is the speed I would like to give to it myself, once I manage not to hit wrong notes! And no, no ritardando.

    Each one to one's taste!
     
  10. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,702
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    'Well that is mighty strange, because EVERY recording I have heard has the accelerando in it. Also, EVERY score I have seen 'shows; it, including the two on IMSLP. And really, you just have to have it there! It would not end as great as it does, otherwise.
     
  11. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    361
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Special Ed/Music Teacher NYC (Retired)
    Location:
    New York City
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Rochelle
    First Name:
    Kaila
    WEBSITE:
    http://specialneedsinmusic.com/
    Hello Monica,

    There are many good things in this performance. The middle section (or the contrasting section) has at times some real bite to it. It is effective. I think you can do more of that interpretive approach and use that sort of passionate tone more consistently throughout the B section..

    As far as the runs go, there are times when the musicality of the piece truly comes through in the line. I feel that you can bring out the musicality more by relaxing your wrists, hands and worrying less about the fingers. Being relaxed will aid you in your quest to bring out the beautiful melody to your potential.

    You can do it Monica. I know you can relax more when you play. Think of weightless thumbs and wrists.

    I think the tempo is very tasteful and appropriate.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Kaila Rochelle
     
  12. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    869
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Wright
    First Name:
    Andrew
    WEBSITE:
    http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/andrewwright
    LOCATION:
    Edinburgh, UK
    TWITTER:
    arpeggio_andrew
    YOUTUBE:
    alkanliszt
    Hi Monica, this is so significantly improved from your previous posting! I didn't save the previous one but only listened to it as a direct download from the server so I can't do a full comparison. However I do think that the runs are much improved. I don't know quite what you've done, whether it be with the pedal or using a more legato approach, but the individual notes now sound much more connected and it makes more musical sense. There are a few rare moments where the triplet articulation isn't absolutely spot on, but I had to listen pretty attentively to catch them. The best part of all is the middle section where there is much more contrast and interplay between loud and soft - I think you have got this spot on. Well done on a thoroughly musical rendition.
     
  13. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,066
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Chief Operating Officer, retired
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Last Name:
    April
    First Name:
    David
    LOCATION:
    U.S.A.
    Hi Monica,

    I've never played 90/2, only No. 1. I didn't catch your original recording, but listened to this effort just now and thought it was a very good rendition indeed. I agree with your point on clear runs. I'm a firm believer that clarity is paramount in articulation, voicing, pedaling and all other elements of artistic playing. Your playing of this impromptu was very fluent and expressive. Everything you brought to the piece enhanced musicality. Great work, Monica!

    P.S. And I'm glad you didn't fall off the bench! :)
     
  14. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,702
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    @Kaila - You are right on about relaxing the wrists and thumbs. Sometimes before I start off playing something like this, I tell myself to forget about everything and just play like there is no one listening. When I actually pay attention to that, I play much more smoothly. Trouble is I don't stay in that relaxed state for long. Thank you for the encouragement, though. I really appreciate it! :)

    @Andrew - Thank you also for your continued interest and help in how I can improve my playing :D. I'm not totally sure of what I did that made this version sound so much better than the previous two, except I just practiced more. Actually, I think I have the piece memorized without meaning to...

    @David - Thank you for the nice remarks. As far as falling off the bench - it was close for a minute or two. That would have made a really funny video! :lol:
     
  15. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,066
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Chief Operating Officer, retired
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Last Name:
    April
    First Name:
    David
    LOCATION:
    U.S.A.
    Yeah, the video! :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  16. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Amateur musician
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Willmer
    First Name:
    Richard
    WEBSITE:
    http://server3.pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=2963
    Perfect, Monica! I have to concede defeat here: I have found the indication on my scores too, but marked earlier than I the point where I noticed your speeding up. I must say I learnt this piece while I was studying and at not time did the teacher say anything about this indication. Come to think of her, she usually considered such effects in bad taste. (no half-baked pianist but a graduate of the Paris Conservatory) Anyway, I listened to all recordings on this site and none of them is consisitent: some do not accelerate, others do so only on the last two bars.

    But then you see, I am one whose natural tendency is to accelerate and it is at times a struggle to keep time, so I suppose my ICC (Internal Censorship Centre :D) chooses not to see such markings if it can.get away with it.

    Excuse me again. As a penace I will play this piece three times in a row. :oops:
     
  17. Didier

    Didier Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    France
    Last Name:
    Brest
    First Name:
    Didier
    LOCATION:
    France
    Why a sigh at the end ? Not on my score. :lol:

    Bravo Monica! You did it!
     
  18. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,702
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Oh darn, I didn't know that 'sigh' was there! :oops:
    Actually, it's really just me letting out my breath because I probably held it the whole time I was playing. I need to have 'breathe' marked in my score in a couple places, since I do the dumb thing of 'not' breathing when I am nervous and playing something fast. Good thing I got the piece down in around five minutes; it's not easy to hold one's breath that long..... :lol:
    Thank you for listening, Didier. :D

    Richard, okay you go play this piece five times in a row, but don't forget to hold your breath the whole time. Oh, and also you have to pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time too! :lol:
     
  19. musical-md

    musical-md New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Physician
    Location:
    Springfield, Missouri, USA
    LOCATION:
    Springfield, Missouri, USA
    Monica, I hope you'll excuse my late arrival to the party. I offer some of my thoughts in our "virtual masterclass" here on PS (some of which may be controversial). As far as the etude nature of the piece I offer that it bears remarkable kinship in spirit to Czerny Op.740 (The Art of Finger Dexterity) No.17, possibly Op.299 (School of Velocity) No.26, but mostly (for me) the Moszkowski Op.72 (15 Etudes of Virtuosity) No. 6 in F major. IMO, the piece is best approached as an artistic etude. In fact, if I were sitting on an Oral Board of Examination for an advanced candidate in Piano Performance and Literature, and admittedly wanted to stew the candidate, I would ask if Schubert composed any Etudes. And when the candidate answered "No," I would follow with "What about the second Impromptu of Op.90?" The point being, not to be so limited that we forget to see the music at the cost of the title (as I said before, "A rose by anyother name is but a rose"). This fist step may be the most important and controversial, Do I approach the work by the nature of its title or its betrayed purpose? I think it makes a very big difference. I think it should be approached as if it were an Etude of your favorite etude composer (Cherny, Cramer, Clementi, Chopin, Henselt, Liszt, Moszkowski, Moscheles, Haberbier, etc.)

    First, so that we're on the same page of music, the first note is in measure zero (0). As such the Ben Marcato ("B" music) begins at m.83, the return of the "A" material at m.169, and the "Coda" at m.251 (but this is false, as it is the "B" music; the real Coda, is not a Coda at all but a Codetta that is from m.276 to the end). That completes the overview.

    I think the entire "A" section should be played without pedal, as the very nature of the thematic material is scalar and creeping chromaticism. This first section should have "sweeping" motion of dynamics that rise and fall and climb even as a roller-coaster does. With so many fast notes in the right hand, the notes themselves become less important and the work of the pianist is to shape the groups and phrases. The absolutely worse thing anyone can do with this work is to "turn the right hand on" and let it play like a machine gun. This balerina needs "sparkling delicacy" that is "supported" by the male dancer of the LH. For the section at m.26-, please voice the RH half notes fully, recalling with them the second-beat half notes of the LH material (if you don't think of it as such, you won't play it as such). Sometimes here the right hand is "required" to do some thumb/hand passing, or is it so? Have you thought that on occasion (m26, 28, 30, 32, etc.) you may play the down-beat first note of the RH with the LH? This way you don't have to do the crossing with the RH. Having come this far and noting the importance that Schubert gives to the 2nd beat, is it possible that it changes the way that we play the LH at the beginning? I think it does. For me, I see now (in analytical retrospect) that the sounding of the second beat is as significantly characteristic to the work as any other feature. Think about it. To wrap up the first departure and its return, I would make a big deal about voicing the Cb in the LH in measure 49 so as to carry it through to an audible resolution on the Bb in m.51.

    Reagarding the Ben Marcato in m. 83, the most important thing I can say, is that Schubert failed supremely in the manner that he wrote his enharmonic modulation, and if you play it his way, you are starting off on the wrong foot. This is what I mean, the Gg major chord that serves as dominant to B minor is a huge sublimation! I would "change" the Gb major chord of m.82, to an F# major chord! Don't laugh, it makes all the difference in the world. Think about it. In this section I would use some judicious pedaling, but never allowing scalar melody to co-mingle the notes (meaning if you use pedal in m.85, you will need to change it on each beat) . The phrases here are four measures long and should be articulated with a break in between (just because he doesn't "compose" the [breaths with] rests doesn't mean there aren't any. I know you know what I mean.) At m.105 the RH should begin with fingers 2/5, no pedaling, always maintaining the prominent E# resolving to F# (which should be shortened so as to take a breath as the last note of the four bar group). (Last sentance is of course the same for m.149, etc.)

    At the improperly labeled "Coda" (now clearly seen as just "B" material, making the auditor think it is a rondo or repeated binary form), again enter with an F# chord not a Gb chord :) . Here I will comment directly to your interpretation and say that just because the second four-bar group (m.255-258) is in eb minor, it in no way means you should draw back on the force of the statement. You do the prior phrase with nice attitude, but then retreat when it shifts to the closing key. I would not do that; I would maintain a strong character throughout. The only dynamic from here to the end is FF with several fz thrown in for good measure! My score (the Breitkopf & Hartel reprint by Dover) shows the accelerando beginning m267. Harmonically, he writes a hemiola for bars 280-281 (i.e. meter change to 2/4). Don't be afraid to play it that way: 1,2,3,1,2,3,1. You have a slight hesitation on the penultimate chord that spoils it for me (can you close the gap with editing?)

    There you have it. Admittedly more about the work than your performance, but I think it is important. The big take away that I would tell you is, "Play it like a great etude and damn the torpedos!" :!: Don't use any pedal if possible and think about the interpretive and "applied techinique" issues I listed above. Personally, I think you have the piece ready now to simmer, and when you return to it, you may have a masterful performance.
     
  20. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,702
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Wow, thank you, Eddy. You have surprised me! "Better late than never" is a something I believe in. :wink:

    Here is my response:

    I agree about bringing out the RH half notes at m.26. I did this better in another recording attempt but then thought someone may think I played them too loud. I should have stuck with my instincts there. Regarding using my LH for the 1st note in the RH: That's a very interesting idea and I went right to my piano and tried it, but alas I cannot reach the notes. I'd have to jump the 1st LH note to the 1st RH note and although it can be done very quickly, there is still a slight 'bump' and I'm not sure that would be acceptable.

    Hit the C-flat more in m. 49 - that's good, I'll make note of that.

    Ok, now about changing the chord at m.82 from a G-flat chord to an F-sharp chord. I can sort of understand where you are going with this, as it leads right to the key change at m. 83. But I'm not sure the ear could hear this difference. Unless you mean that one should sort of push forward on that chord? Except it's marked ffz and I thought I came down pretty hard on the chord...I guess I don't really understand what you mean. Plus, there is a rest on beat 3.

    Regarding the phrasing in the opening lines of the B-section. I felt the length of the phrases to be 8 measures, not 4. Am I wrong? Are you right? Or is it subjective? I really do not know, since I've not studied this piece with a teacher.

    M. 105 - yes, my fingering is marked 2 and 5 but I changed it to 1 and 5. I also mistakenly let go of the E-sharp too, but thought no one would notice. :oops:

    Coda : My score at ms. 255-258 are marked mf, so that's why I backed off there and also at ms. 263-266. Did Schubert write in these dynamics? Interesting idea about playing those staccato chords at ms. 280-281 like how you describe. I'll try that. As to the hesitation - it's only just me trying to get my hands onto the next set of notes. I guess I could close it up with editing, but I would not feel right it. Is it really that bad?

    Finally, when I came back to seriously practicing piano about 11 years ago (after not practicing for nearly 16 years), I felt that EVERYTHING I played was an etude, because each piece had some sort of technicality to work out or I needed to drill on the scale/arpeggio passages. So I think it's interesting that you some others here feel so strongly that this 'Impromptu' is really an 'Etude'.

    Well, thanks again, Eddy, for the thorough and careful critique. You can now ask me to change your bio page again if you wish. :p :wink: :lol:
     

Share This Page