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Schumann - Album for the Young

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by Chaotica, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. Chaotica

    Chaotica New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Here are some more not-so-difficult pieces I've recorded. It's Schumann's Album für die Jugend/Album for the Youth, Op. 68. I plan to do the complete thing, which will take a longer time, I guess, as it has a total of 42 pieces plus appendix.

    I've done so far:

    1. Melodie / Melody
    2. Soldatenmarsch / Soldier's March
    3. Trällerliedchen / A Song to Hum
    4. Ein Choral / A Chorale
    5. Stückchen / Little Piece
    6. Armes Waisenkind / Orphan Child

    I'm not sure about the chorale. Is it too slow? I must regret I have no experience with this kind of music.




    Here's my bio. I hope I can post an acceptable photo soon.

    Jan-Felix Lebenstedt was born in 1986 in a relatively small town in Germany. When he was eight years old (if he remembers correctly), he was forced by his parents to take piano lessons in the local music school. Thanks to his mother, he kept practicing a bit from time to time. Later, in 2005, Jan began to wonder why it had taken so many years to make the quite obvious discovery that making music, especially piano playing, is great fun. So he increased his practice time and formed deep respect for Chopin, Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Schumann and many other composers. Unfortunately, this resulted in a worsened relationship to other family members.

    Besides piano playing, young Jan-Felix was also forced to go to school, which he finished 13 years later, in 2006. Then he began studying mathematics in Münster, where he may now live and enjoy a university student's life.

    Due to the lack of real audio equipment, Jan cannot record his family's Seiler upright at home, so his Yamaha CLP-240 has to do the job.
     
  2. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Sehr nett! I cannot comment too much on the music because I do not know it too much. The only thing that I suggest is to slow down the Trällerliedchen to me that is not "nicht schnell" rather it is "schnell".

    Ha-ha...Aber deine Biographie hat einige übersetzung Fehler! :wink:

    One mistake is:

    You cannot develop friendships with dead people. It may seem grammatically correct in German but in English it will freak people out :wink: :lol:

    Besser: "So he increased his practice time and formed deep admirations (or respect or knowledge of or or or or.....) for Chopin, Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Schumann and many other composers."



    A minor error:

    sounds like you are a vintage Cognac or wine.

    Besser: "At eight years old" or "When he was eight years old"



    ....I hope I do not sound like an arrogant SOB. Because I am not. I am just trying to help (and also I better get used to fixing grammar because I am going to become an English teacher :x )

    You could help fix my German that I gave (I know there are some errors :oops: :lol: )

    Anyways. Nice recordings.

    -JG
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    These were all very sweetly played. I have only played the Soldiers March and the Melodie and it was a long time ago. I am not looking at the score, but wondering if there are supposed to be any slurs in the Soldiers March? I could be confusing it with the one about the farmer, the Nice Farmer, the Little Farmer, the Mad Farmer (grrr...can't remember the exact title) but I know it has slurs in the left hand. On the Trällerliedchen something sounded a bit awkward at 0.35 like maybe there should be a rit. or a hold?
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Ha ! I like plans to 'do the complete thing'. Got lots of these but they don't always work out :oops:

    The Jugendalbum gets off to a bit of a slow start. Plenty of appealing material along the way, but these first few items are a bit bland, especially these 3 with the broken eights in the LH, which tend to sound very similar. Your playing is good and solid but these trifles need a little something more to make them into something. A bit more fantasy and freedom, a bit more rubato and dynamics. Yes these are all marked 'piano' (except the march) but still you can give a little more in places. There will be coming up some surprisingly vehement items very soon, better get used to putting in some drama ! The chrorale should have more volume and weight, think of a large congregation singing, or an organ playing in full plenum (not that one can imitate that well on piano, but all the same...0

    Some things I noticed:

    1) Your broken eights LH figurations are a bit choppy sometimes, not always seamless legato.

    2) Your attack can be uneven when multiple voices are involved. This is a bad thing in the choral, and not so good in the poor orphan either. You could practice some on playing even chords.

    3) You do not very well observe the slurring in the nrs 1, 3, and 5, which are clearly song-like pieces, to be thought in clear phrases.

    I'll be interested to hear how you progress in this cycle. I've never played them all but I think it's a rewarding set once you get past the easy beginnings. These ones could go up though they would be much nicer if you re-did them keeping the above in mind.
     
  5. Chaotica

    Chaotica New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you for your corrections! That's exactly what I wanted to hear from kind native speakers here.

    "Aged 8" is something I read on this site. So there seem to be more mistakes for you to correct. :wink: The friendship thing should actually be some kind of joke and it sounds ridiculous in German as well, you must know. But if it doesn't work, I'll replace it with your version.

    Aren't there another mistakes? Can't believe that.

    Ironically, the only translation error you made is "übersetzung Fehler", which must be "Übersetzungsfehler"! :)

    I wouldn't call my Trällerliedchen "schnell". OK, it's definately not slow, but fast?
     
  6. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Allow me to correct myself.

    You should slow the tempo so that it becomes "nicht schnell" (as it is written on the score). You played it more with a "schnell" tempo.

    Sometimes English is confusing for me too even if it is my naitive language :x
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Your English is excellent, BTW. But don't start writing 'definately' like may people seem to do these days. It's definitely.
     
  8. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I like your playing on these nice little pieces! Also great, that you plan to record the complete "Album für die Jugend".

    The Trällerliedchen is not too fast played in my opinion. I agree with previous posters that you could play a bit more liberate, lyrical and let the phrases breathe a bit more, also on the other pieces.
    In the Trällerliedchen the melody is first in right hand, and then in left hand. You could try to reduce the right hand during the left hand melody part more so that all the time the hands are weighted same way, only melody and accompaignment switches.

    I agree with Chris (Techneut) that the choral might sound well on organ with full plenum. However, for piano, long sustained notes can be better simulated with soft, very soft playing. Because the percussive elements come more to foreground on forte notes. So to have long sustained notes and not percussive ones, better let it be soft as you do, or even softer. And, by the way, that is also what Schumann marked.
     
  9. hasekamp

    hasekamp New Member

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    Very well played

    You play these small pieces very well!
    I just started with them (studying #1 now) because I found the sonatines, I did so far next to my Czerny and Burgmuller, a bit too long. It took me too much time to master them. So I wanted to do some short pieces first, and these pieces seem to be the right thing for me.
    Please continue to upload!
    I am not yet much of a pianist myself, so don't ask me to upload too yet.
    I am taking up piano again after many years of pause. Now I am a pre-pensioner and have time enough again.

    Rene Hasekamp
     
  10. Chaotica

    Chaotica New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you! This cycle is more than worth a look. Enjoy it!

    I will re-listen to these six recordings the next days and then tell you what I'll do with them. But I will certainly not try to search for big depth where there are etude-like pieces.
     
  11. Chaotica

    Chaotica New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I haven't forgotten this. I still plan to record all the 43 pieces, including this horrible fugue... I've begun almost all of them in the last two month, but I think I have only 20-30 % of the work done, unfortunately.

    I changed the GVerb settings again. It has less reverb now, I think the sound is less artificial this way.

    All of these were recorded today.

    Album für the Young Op. 68, No. 1 - Melodie

    Album für the Young Op. 68, No. 2 - Soldatenmarsch

    Album für the Jugend Op. 68, No. 3 - Trällerliedchen

    Album für the Jugend Op. 68, No. 5 - Stückchen

    Album für the Jugend Op. 68, No. 8 - Wilder Reiter


    Album für the Jugend Op. 68, No. 9 - Volksliedchen

    Album für the Jugend Op. 68, No. 10 - Fröhlicher Landmann

    Album für the Jugend Op. 68, No. 16 - Erster Verlust

    Album für the Jugend Op. 68, No. 19 - Kleine Romanze
     
  12. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    very nice. you have a lot more to finish. Then you can record Tchaikovsky's Album for the Young. :p
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Very respectable performances. I liked the later numbers best, perhaps because they are musically more interesting than the first couple (I confes I find 1, 3, and 5 really boring, and very much alike - not your fault). The overly modest and constricted sound of your piano is not very appealing, it sounds a bit like a music box in places, especially when the writing is high-lying.

    I have not got much specific comments, it's all very well done. Except the Soldatenmarch and Wilde Reiter, both of which should be far more fiery, snappy, and rhythmically taut. Your rhythm can be a bit unsteady in places, and you have a tendency to play dotted rhythms not sharp enough, as if they were in triple meter (I know well this problem, and always need to watch out for it). In the Wilder Reiter there is a persistent LH mistake which happens 4 times in the first couple of bars. All in all I would like a bit more conviction and drama - but I agree this is hard to manage in some of the slighter items. I except this will get better as the cycle progresses and there is more meat in the music.
     
  14. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    That one drives me crazy, too. I even have a handy link for that one. :lol:
     
  15. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I definitely agree with previous posters that these recordings are very convincing and I'll have Monica put them up when she arrives.
     
  16. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Ah, yes, memories of long-ago piano lessons.

    I have put these up, Jan. Please check all the links to make sure they are correct.

    A few comments about your playing: To me, on the 68/1 I think your LH is a little uneven at times. Like it is skipping, or going long-short-long-short, or turning it into dotted rhythms instead of even eighth notes. (hope that makes sense). I noticed it also on 68/5. It only occurs on some, not all measures. Other than that, these sounded good.

    I thought 68/10 was titled The Merry Farmer? I used Merry Peasant, but this can be changed if necessary.

    Also, Chris/Robert - I put these up using English titles. I wasn't sure if I could type the different characters. But now there are two or three other files from different members where the title is in German. Should I change them to English? Leave them alone? Or figure out how to type characters on my computer?
     
  17. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    It is always a hard decision whether to use English title, or German, or perhaps the composer's native language (Grieg, Granados). There is no hard rule for that, nor will there ever be.
    In any case, if you add to pages on the site, it is probably safest to stick to the method that was already used there.

    Yes you must definitely learn how to insert foreign characters. Easiest is just start the 'charmap'
    program. Click the Start button, then Run, type "charmap", click OK, click the character(s) and then click Select. That will put the char(s) on the clipboard so you can paste them in wherever you want.
     
  18. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Ok, German it is!
     
  19. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Aber natuerlich Frau Monica! Nur Deutsch!!!!! :p
     
  20. Chaotica

    Chaotica New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I don't know what happened to the Wilder Reiter. There are these left hand mistakes, but I'm wondering why I didn't recognize them while playing and re-listening. :? Definitely no reading errors. (If you English-speaking people used a regular pronounciation like the Dutch, for instance, things like "definately" wouldn't happen... :wink: ) It's on my re-recording list.

    Monica, you're right, the left hand in 68/1 (and 3 and 5) is uneven in places. The thing is, I tried to produce a rubato and to follow the phrases as Chris wanted me to make more out of these pieces.

    Regarding English and German, I think it would be best to provide both languages on the side: German because it's in the original and English for understanding. Shall I compile a list with all titles in German and English? I think the links to the mp3s would be to long, otherwise.

    - The actual full title of no.10 is "Fröhlicher Landmann, von der Arbeit zurückkehrend". It's minor, but makes a difference.

    - There are missing some zeros.

    - And some of the links are underlined.
     

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