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Scriabin Prelude op 16/4

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by richard66, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Here I try yet again. I am sure there are wrong notes (possibly the same ones as before: one has to be consistent. :shock: ), eerie creaking noises (pedals, chairs, keys, hammers, shaky knees), lots of hiss and all that, but I just could not resist. :twisted:
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    There is a fuzzy sound to this recording, Richard. Every note that comes down is accompanied by a fuzziness. Something's gone wrong in your recording setup. About your playing: I know it says Lento, but I think this is just too slow. Ok, that could be my personal opinion, but even at a slow tempo there must still be correct rhythm. I think you should practice this one with your metronome to help iron out the beats. Also, there is still that wrong note in bar 5 - the LH third beat, bottom note - should be an F. I think you are playing an F-flat.
     
  3. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    No: it is the editing. Either hiss throughout or this hiss that comes in everytime a note is struck. Listening to it again this morning I came to that conclusion.

    I must be losing my ear, but that f natural sounds remarkably like f natural.

    I know I am a minority here, but all my life I have flatly refused to use the metronome (I do not have one and have never even contemplated bying one.). In matter of fact, metronomes just confuse me.

    I need to implement a 24 hour policy for myself; that is, after any recording let it be for 24 hours and then listen. Maybe this way I might limit the duds I force on youse.
     
  4. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    Richard, I'm pretty sure Monica is right about the Fb. The bass line intervals, starting at bar 4, should go up a perfect fourth from the Db to the Gb, then down a perfect fifth to the Cb, up an augmented fourth to the F, then down a perfect fifth to the Bb. It does sound as though from the Cb you go up a perfect fourth then down an augmented fourth.

    She is also right about the tempo. The metronome marking is 44. Even if you don't have a metronome, you should be able, by reference to the second hand of a wristwatch (or something else that pulses every second) together with judicious approximate ratio-taking, make a reasonably accurate guess at what exactly the suggested tempo is. How closely you follow that suggestion is up to you, of course, but there are limits. You are playing it only a little faster than half speed, and it becomes difficult to subdivide the beats accurately.

    I can understand how you feel about metronomes. They are nasty, thoroughly unmusical devices which can't keep time with your own inner clock. If you want to do rubato, they just interfere. But here, you don't want rubato, not much anyway. And even if you did, you should, before making any rubato, be able to play it straight and with mathematical accuracy of timing. This is particularly important in this piece because its big feature is the rhythmic complexity of juxtaposing straight pairs of 8th notes on the second beats with (dotted) triplets on the third beats of most bars.

    So again Monica is right. Your inner clock really needs some help here, ideally from a metronome, but it doesn't have to be a real one, provided you can trust your inner clock to keep a reliably steady pulse going while you play the melody, with the RH only, without any chords. Try to keep a constant and perfect sextuplet pulse going in your head, or use the LH to gently tap it out on some part of the piano's structure. Then make sure the first note in bar 1 gets exactly six of those pulses, the next two get three each. Initially it might help to pretend that the next three notes were straight undotted triplets, and they get two pulses each. Once you have the triplets steady, go for the correct rhythm by giving two pulses to the first, three to the middle one, and one to the last.

    At the moment you are consistently playing the first note of each triplet group much too short. It sounds almost as though you are playing the third beat groups either as 1+4+1 sextuplets or as 1+2+1 16ths.

    In bars 4, 5, and 7 you play the first chord too short (i.e. the 2nd beat comes too soon). Less so in bar 8, but you seem to speed up here so it's harder to tell.

    In bar 1 there is a huge and unwelcome accent on the Cb (2nd note of the 3rd beat triplet group).

    I'm having trouble hearing certain important notes. Mostly they are RH 5th finger notes which are so weak that the next lower note seems to come through more prominently, interfering with the melody line. For example, the first chord in bar 3 should have a Gb on top, but it is barely audible and what comes out more is the Eb, as though the melody involved a repetition of the previous note (the last note of bar 2). Also, the upper Ab of the first chord in bar 4 is so weak that it sounds as though the melody here, which continues with Gb Ab, begins with F.

    A small point about bar 8, beat 3. What we have here is that the upper voice has the established dotted triplet pattern, while the rhythm of the accompanying chords is a straight dotted 8th plus a 16th. Strictly speaking, therefore, the half triplet at the end should come slightly after the accompanying 16th, not at the same time as it. But this is similar to the debate about whether, in Schubert, a dotted 8th plus 16th should be played as 2+1 triplets when the other hand has triplets, so there may be some latitude of interpretation here.
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is a point I keep making with almost every new submitter here. Along with pedal, rubato is the most misused feature in piano playing. For too many people, it's an excuse not to bother with rhythm and note values.

    Not that this applies here, it's quite steady. I think it's too slow too, making it lose coherence and sound tentative rather than fervent. I did not
    hear too many extraneaous noises here.

    Maybe a cooling off time after recording is a good idea. I've had it that the next day I was less enthousioastic about a recording than when I've just recorded it. In any case yopu must listen back very very critically before submitting. I also recommend always listening to at least one other recording to spot misreadings.
     
  6. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you both for your comments. When I first learned this piece, I counted just the way Rainer suggested and in just that same way. it helps at times to do the same again, even when one believes the piece is well-learned. You were right there, of course.

    Funny about the f natural. I had to watch my hand carefully to catch it reaching for f flat, so Monica was right after all. :oops:

    You do not need to throw the rubato thing at me, Chris. I am only to well aware that I cannot do rubato, but I can be very good at interpreting speed. :D. Count, count, count!

    All this vetting makes for a better pianist. Thank you for battering me on the head! :wink:
     

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