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Schumann

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by richard66, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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  2. Affinity

    Affinity New Member

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    Pretty standard and strong recording, with a sure sense of rhythm. I like how you give a sense of breadth at the end of the piece.
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, much better! Your title was incorrect though. We don't expect people to know all the time how to title recordings, but you should always first look on the main site and see if we have any recordings of the same piece and how it is titled. Consistency is appreciated! However, I'm in a nice mood and have fixed the title for you and have replaced the file.
     
  4. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you both for your comments. I am happy to have this recording in place instead of the older one!

    What mistake did I make? That I did not give it the German name? I must say I always think of it as "Scenes of Childhood" and never "Kinderszenen". One must, however, be consistent, as you say, so thank you for correcting.

    Now I do not have anything to feel modest about, can concentrate on new pieces.
     
  5. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    Yes indeed, much better, and worthy of being on the site as is, although if you felt up to making just a couple of small improvements at some point, I would suggest two:

    The first is that you don't seem to be doing the slow-down in the bars leading up to the fermata in the middle of the second section, and it would be nice to have this. In fact, I quite like the way some players make more of it the second time than the first.

    The second is my usual pet peeve, namely playing a section, and

    then

    freezing

    before playing the next. In particular at the end of the first section, both when repeating and when proceeding to the second, and also at the end of the second section when repeating, you are playing these as 7/8 bars, more or less by doubling the duration of the last 1/8 note in the bar before continuing. But you're not the only one guilty of this practice, even Chris does it, though not quite to the same extent, so I guess it must be OK. Still, listen to how Joe plays straight through these points, and yet does so without losing the sense of one phrase ending and another beginning.

    There is a third point I mention only for general interest and not as a suggestion for change, since it's probably an open question. Think of how you would play the melody line without the accompanying triplets. How would you play the dotted figures? Would you play them as printed, in a 3+1 rhythm? If so, then why change it once the triplets are added? There is a natural tendency to let these dotted figures slip into a 5+1 rhythm, so that the printed 16th note takes on half the duration of a triplet (which is how you play them, and so apparently do the majority of players). I've no idea which version Schumann wanted. It's conceivable that the printed 3+1 is short-hand for 5+1, but uncertain, and I notice that Chris with his Bach-like precision does play them as 3+1.
     
  6. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Than you, Rainer.

    You mention the rubato; I thought I had done it! Does it not come through?

    I tend to mark the start of a repeat. It used to be worse, but I still need to master this point, to allow breathing time, but without losing the rhythm. Maybe a way to practice would be to copy the score out, copying the repeats, in such a way that there is no visual caesura to disturb the flow.

    Interesting point about the 3-1 and 5-1. When I first started practising this piece I wondered if I was not being too snappy, so I toned it down a bit and was doing it 3-1 (no recordings, though), then I heard so many recordings and I heard the same snappines, so I decided it was just my impressiong and that I was doing the right thing. Yesterday I heard about 5 versions of this Schumann and the one that came out best for me was Chris. Why, I did not know, but maybe it is that the dotted rhythm is done 3-1, as you say. Even if I am damning my own handiwork, I dare to agree with you and would say that if Schumann wanted 5-1 he would have used a double-dotted rhythm amd not the one he wrote.

    Now, if I were to count the triplets thus: 1,2; 3,4; 5,6 and where two equal quavers fall on 1 and 4, where would the semiquaver after the dotted quaver fall?
     
  7. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    Maybe you did one in some of the takes you didn't submit. :) I can't hear one. You do pause on the fermata, before playing the semiquaver C in the 6th bar of the 2nd section, but in my score there is not only a rit marked at the beginning of the 4th bar, but it is reinforced by ri_tar_dan_do printed (on both staves, so you can't miss it) in the 5th and 6th bars. It is this rit which I am not hearing. It seems to me your triplets are not slowing down until you've played the 6th triplet of the 6th bar, and then you pause.
    I suspect that this course of action would be pedagogically wrong. It might work for the piece you copy out, but you can't go copying out every piece like that. You need to face these demons instead of closing your eyes and making them go away. You need to retrain your brain to recognise the repeat sign as only a repeat sign and not as an instruction to stop briefly. But doesn't it go beyond just being a cognitive issue? Isn't it also a matter of working out how to achieve a noticeable phrase separation without making a gap?
    Except that simple double-dotting would make the rhythm 7+1 instead of 5+1. To write something which would give a 5+1 ratio would look pretty ugly: it would involve a crotchet tied to a semiquaver, followed by the other semiquaver, all three of these notes under the umbrella of a triplet symbol. Definitely worth abbreviating. But I guess one could argue that he would have written it out the ugly way at least once and then used abbreviations for the other occurrences.
    Trouble is I'm not sure myself. If it's shorthand, who's to say it couldn't even mean that the semiquaver should fall on the 3rd triplet instead of halfway through it? That certainly seems pretty unlikely in this case, and I'm unaware of anyone actually playing this piece like that, but it is a form of abbreviation sometimes believed to be implied in certain contexts; I think I've seen the question discussed in relation to Schubert's Impromptu Op 90 No 1.
    don't you mean two equal crotchets?
    It makes no difference whether you count the triplets as 1,2,3; 4,5,6 or as 1,2; 3,4; 5,6, except that one way may be more helpful to you than the other in getting the semiquaver to come at the correct time. If a dotted quaver coincides with 1 or 4, then the following semiquaver should fall a quarter of the way through 3 or 6.

    The way to demonstrate this is to subdivide each crotchet (quarter note) into twelve equal parts, which would hence be 48th notes, but since that's a bit of a mouthful let's just call them pips. Then clearly each triplet is worth 4 pips and each semiquaver (16th note) is worth 3 pips, and since a dotted quaver is worth three semiquavers that would be 9 pips. The question you're in effect asking is how many triplets the dotted quaver is worth. So how many lots of 4 pips fit into 9 pips? The answer is 9/4 or 2.25. It's a pity that playing it isn't always quite as easy as the arithmetic.
     
  8. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    He would have written a note above to that effect.

    You are right about the Schubert. I have read the very same thing, but it says the convention was to place the last quaver over the third note of the triplet. The doubt creeps in when it turns out that following the convention would change the theme's rhythm.

    I will say that I notice in myself a tendency to play the Schubert with the same snappiess and it needs a conscious effort to avoid doing so.
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    My response to this is exactly as for the Grieg Arietta (the two pieces are quite similar IMO). Very good but it could use a little more poetic freedom and a less insistent LH.
     

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