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Schumann - Sonata G minor op. 22

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by verqueue, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. verqueue

    verqueue New Member

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    It's my first submission in audition room.

    Here is link to playlist on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oZgzZw ... LBYMso4ztu

    I'm not happy with my result, but my life performance is in a few days and I'm not planning to practice it much more after that. Especially I didn't commit enough time to the second and third movement, because the first and the last one are pretty hard. The score is misleading, some spots seem to be repetitive. But getting it all together is something which is main problem in this work. Also, I'm newbie to recording myself, I've two mics - C-2 (behringer), mixer - xenyx Q1202 (behringer) and I use audacity under linux. Especially I don't how to get rid of the noise of pedal and scrapping.

    Any comments, advices, remarks more than welcomed!
     
  2. Didier

    Didier Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    That's extraordinary !

    I was caught as soon as the first bars and had to listen (and watch) to the 4 movements.

    The image is extraordinary too: A Kind Of Blue ? :wink:
     
  3. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Great playing! In particular the slow lyrical parts are very moving and I enjoyed the whirlwind tempo of the last movement. I watched the YT and it seems the movements are single take, in which case some lapses are inevitable. There were a few that bothered me a bit but I guess if you want you could make edits.

    The real danger with the outer movements, once you get them in hand as you seem to have, is that the playing can become a bit mechanical in the continuous fast fingerwork, as if all available energy goes into nailing all notes. In fact I think a little more rubato here and there is allowed to bring out phrases and structure a bit more. If necessary you can bring down the tempo just a little bit, at least when practising, so that you have time to think about what to project. In the final rush at the 1st mov I didn't really hear the prescribed tempo increase and missed the feeling of desperation that can be very effective. Of course that might be difficult to pull off on an upright with the limited dynamic range.

    But I'm sure it will come in time. Good luck with your performance!

    Joachim
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Veronique,

    Quite an achievement to have such a big work securely in the memory and fingers.

    My sentiments are similar to those of Joachim (troglodyte). The quieter parts are really good (even though you could dream and sing a little more yet) but all the busy passages do get a bit frantic and breathless. If you can remember to relax, take your time more, and be more careful with the pedal, I'm sure the recital will go just fine.

    One little thing I disliked is your rough touch at 0:39 in the first movement. Perhaps it just came out that way ? What I particularly liked was the start of the reprise in the slow movement, how one voice gives way to the other. A very nice moment. In the middle section of this movement I thought you were getting a bit too impatient again. Just remind yourself : there's no need to hurry - ever. The coda of the final mvt is really impressive, with both control and drive.

    I did not hear any pedal noises. What did you mean with "scrapping" ? And would you not open the lid (oe even remove the front panel) for a recording, to get a more full-blooded sound ?
     
  5. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    That's a very commendable effort, especially on an upright. The only suggestion I can really come up with is to be careful in the outer movements that the passagework doesn't become a bit relentless. The more the forward motion within it, the more clarity you need, imo (for example, perhaps the pedalling during the final coda flourish of the last movement needs thought). Good work though, impressive to have it memorised and performed without any real signs of strain.
     
  6. verqueue

    verqueue New Member

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    Thank you Didier, troglodyte, techneut and andrew for listening and your comments.

    troglodyte:
    All videos/sound (recorded with different devices) are in single-take. The truth is that I can't play even the whole movement of this sonata without some mistake, yet. I just can't... Maybe it's too soon, I don't play it as long as I should to perform it. And it's always like this. I don't know how people are doing such things. I can't do edits yet, maybe I'll try to do some, but I'm not sure if audacity is enough for it.

    Even nailing notes in the outer movements is a challange for me, I'm not "fast" pianist. So it's easy to forget about main goal - music, interpretation, etc. You're right that I should think bigger and be more free in rubato and other aspects too. I had an issue with slowing down, which I'm not sure I overcame yet. In this tempos my approach with couting out loud doesn't work, because I just can't cout so fast. Metronom doesn't help with my inner pulse.

    In the final of the first movement I don't have "mental stamina". I'm just wrecked by previous climaxes. Definitely I should build it in different way. I come up with cheaty solution - slow down a bit before final and then it's easier to speed up.

    techneut:
    Yeah, I didn't like this one also. There is sf in fortissimo and I wasn't careful enough with it.

    Yes, I start rushing when I'm not sure. I always make this mistake with slow movements - learn them none too soon...

    I think it's the hardest thing in this sonata. Play it with breathless, impatient mood, but not become frantic and maintain control.

    andrew:
    I wasn't sure about pedalization in Coda. Now I think I should start it without any pedal and then add more and more, and then when harmonies start to change one per beat, I don't know what to do ;).
     
  7. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    I listened to the mp3's through speakers. The performance was excellent, particularly mvmts 2-4. I did not heard any pedal noise.

    I went over to YouTube and was surprised to see the upright piano. The sound was so good through the speakers that I thought I was listening to a grand.

    Also, very glad to hear about Audacity through linux, since I'll be switching my sound-processing computer to linux in a couple of months.

    Again, congratulations on a fine recording.
     
  8. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hello Véronique Marie,
    I am lagging behind the other comments, but I hadn't been to PS for a while, and I've seen yesterday that you eventually posted your Schumann's 2nd sonata. Congratulations, it is quite an achievement ! I know how difficult is this piece, having recorded it recently. I like your bravura and your sense of drive and urgency. It is quite obvious that you have the talent and the physical ability to beautifully perform this music. I agree with most of the previous remarks. I think you should generally adopt somewhat slower tempi (especially in the 1st and 4th movements), not only to be more precise in your articulation but also to let the music more singing and easy to follow for the listener. In the 'Eusebius' parts, I find your playing somewhat to stiff and metronomic. Rather you should relax, look for the resonance in the piano and emphasize dynamics (I did not hear much pp while there are some, if I remember correctly). But these are classical defects of the youth...
    Regarding the sound aspects, your upright piano is not bad at all. However, I think your recording devices are less than average. Particularly, the recording level seems to be on automatic mode, which means that when the recorded sound vanishes - eg when you hold a chord with a fermata, the amplification tends to increase to maintain an equal sound level. This is a well-known weakness of bad quality recording devices, tending to smash all the efforts of the player to give dynamics and expression. Maybe it is just that you have to tune correctly your recorder. Or, when you can afford, you can buy a decent recorder (nowadays, you can find very good ones for less than 100 €).
    Anyway, your recording was very pleasant to listen, and I hope you're going to contribute regularly to PS - possibly with a better sound :)

    François

    P.S.: my wife who is also an amateur pianist liked your rendition very much !
     

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