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Schumann Carnaval, Op. 9

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by jlr43, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello,

    The piece de resistance of character pieces for my recording project. The Schumann Carnaval probably needs little introduction for pianists. It is one of Schumann's most elegant and fanciful works, although it also has a bawdiness and ribaldry that are appropriate for the masquerade festival it refers to. It is probably my favorite piece of Schumann along with the Papillons and Fantasy (I've never been that fond of the Kreisleriana).

    As with Pictures, I tried to separate the tracks according to the flow of the music. Here is the breakdown:

    Schumann - Carnaval Op.9 - I, Preambule (2:20)
    Schumann - Carnaval Op.9 - II, Pierrot - Arlequin - Valse Noble (4:53)
    Schumann - Carnaval Op.9 - III, Eusebius - Florestan - Coquette - Replique (5:00)
    Schumann - Carnaval Op.9 - IV, Sphinxes - Papillons - A.S.C.H.-S.C.H.A. (Lettres Dansantes) (2:21)
    Schumann - Carnaval Op.9 - V, Chiarina - Chopin - Estrella - Reconnaissance (5:03)
    Schumann - Carnaval Op.9 - VI, Pantalon et Colombine - Valse Allemande - Paganini (3:21)
    Schumann - Carnaval Op.9 - VII, Aveu - Promenade (3:18)
    Schumann - Carnaval Op.9 - VIII, Pause - Marche des Davidsbundler contre les Philistins (4:07)

    Thanks for listening and I hope you find my performance of this important work a good addition to the site (there are currently no complete recordings of it up).

    Joe
     
  2. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    I had a listen to the first yesterday. I have been very busy but I like your playing, it seems quite assured. I am not familiar with this set, so hopefully some other members can give you better feedback.
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    A great achievement Joe. Overall a very good performance even though I do not agree with everything you do.
    In a blockbuster piece like this some slips will happen which is not at all a problem. Even Paganini you sail through without too many blemishes, kudos.
    My only real criticism is that you occasionally get overly blustery, rushing the endings of phrases, and in the stormier passages you do sacrifice accuracy to speed, to the point of being a bit sloppy. I think that's a pity but you may argue that the spirit is more important and that great pianists of the past were not nuts about accuracy either.
    A detailed critique (for which I have no time anyway) is probably irrelevant as you are presenting the final product here.
    I would have welcomed a more opulent sound (more pedal specifically) in the closing bars.
    And isn't the final chord of Paganini supposed to be depressed silently, the strings sounding only in resonance with the ones that sounded before ? Or is it just the Peters edition suggesting this ? These editors do have some peculiar ideas now and then.
    I'll put this on the site somewhere over the weekend.
     
  4. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,

    Thanks very much for the comments. Much appreciated.

    Joe
     
  5. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist

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    Great playing. I'm impressed. I listened to most though not all - I am not very familiar with it (if you try the fantasy I can promise more detailed feedback!). I understand what Chris means when he says you occasionally rush - I'm not really bothered by the loss of precision, especially in an amateur recording - but rushing too much can sometimes imply a loss of tonal control. Otherwise I think your tempi and rubatos work fine. The dynamics are occasionally a bit static, especially in the f passages, you could gain more drama (if you want) by shaping the phrases more. My favourite track is Chopin which I think comes out really wonderful. Also bravo for the final piece in consistently bringing out the upper melody in the chords - this cannot be easy.

    Joachim
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    These are up.
     
  7. hreichgott

    hreichgott New Member

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    I only get little 345-byte unplayable files when I try to listen?
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Opps... little glitch, and forgot to check the uploads :evil:
    It's fixed. thanks for reporting.
     
  9. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Joe,
    Wonderful job over all, especially the 2nd and 7th mvmts which are lovely.
    Sorry this is so late - I listened to the entire suite with Chris's criticisms in mind. I have to agree with him that some phrase endings are problematic in the first mvmt. In the 4th, I do not know if the intention on some phrase endings is rubato or ritard, but it's not always convincing to the listener. I did not notice any phrase ending problems in other mvmts; certainly nothing endemic.
    I also agree that the end of the last mvmt needs something - perhaps a little slower leading up to it (?), more power (sometimes they go hand in hand) (?), perhaps more pedal like Chris says (?). You're an artist and I'm not a teacher - just a listener - so I'm sure you'll handle it.
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I wonder if this isn't a dangerous thing to do. When I read others' comments before listening (can't always be avoided) it seems harder to be objective.
     
  11. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks very much, Stu. Regarding "phrase endings," I think I understand the objection in the Preambule (the first) -- I do several accelerandos but agree they could be perceived as getting a bit out of hand -- i.e., rushing. In the 4th, is there a specific point you're thinking of? I know my tempo in the Lettres Dansantes is not consistent -- I slow down at several junctures partly because that left hand is such a bitch to play accurately. But I''m not sure I hear anything with phrase endings there (or in the Papillons, which in my biased opinion was one of the ones that came off best :D ). But anyway, it's an interesting point; I'm just trying to hear it better.

    Thanks again for listening and for your compliments.

    Joe
     
  12. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Congratulations ! I have listened the whole set, and I'm quite impressed ! Really, such a recording made in a real studio on a top-class piano would sound just professional. Another thing I like is that you have matured enough this set to propose a personal view of this otherwise so famous piece. I don't have your talent to analyse and to detail, but I just wanted to thank you for the pleasure you gave me.
    I have played in the past Kreisleriana and the Fantasy, but not this Carnaval (I played the Wien one). After having listened your interpretation, I realise I have to study it one day... Regards,
     
  13. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks very much for listening, Francois, and for your compliments and comments.

    I assume you are referring to the Faschingsschwank aus Wien? That's a great and somewhat underperformed work -- I haven't practiced much on that one yet but it's on my list of Schumann to study -- doesn't seem nearly as difficult as the Carnaval but just as elegant and rewarding. Would be interested to hear your playing of it.

    Joe
     
  14. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have an old recording on cassette, but really far to be satisfactory. I'd have to rebuild everyting. Maybe in the future... Regards,
     
  15. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris/Monica,

    I belatedly noticed an error in the version of this on the site. The listing for track 7 should be "Aveu - Promenade" not just "Promenade." Sorry for not spotting this sooner.

    Thanks,

    Joe
     
  16. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ok, fixed.
     
  17. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks, Chris.
     
  18. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Joe,

    I had more of a listen to your set here, this is quite an achievement, as it is. The Paganini as Chris points out is a tricky piece to play up to speed, certainly reminiscent to the devilish "blindman's buff" from Schumann's Kinderescene. Any plans to finish the rest of the set? I went on youtube and checked out a few of the rest, really like the intermezzo.
     

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