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Scriabin, Prelude Op. 37, No. 1 in B flat minor

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by Rachfan, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Alexander Scriabin composed the Prelude Op. 37, No. 1 in B flat minor in 1903, thus it fits into his middle period literature for the piano. The piece is marked mesto (mournful), and I would characterize it as a lament. It's a piece of great beauty, so I hope you'll enjoy hearing it.

    Comments welcome.

    David

    Piano: Baldwin Model L Artist Grand (6’3”) with lid fully open
    Recorder: Korg MR-1000
    Microphones: Earthworks TC-20 matched pair of small diaphragm omni-directional condenser mics in A-B configuration

    Scriabin - Prelude in B flat minor, Op. 37, no. 1 (2:04)
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi David,
    I like the sound of this piece and think you play it well. Nice job! :)
    However, your tags are all good, but the file name should be:

    scriabin-37-1-april

    Thank you :)
     
  3. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    OK, I changed the file name to what you wanted, deleted the original recording and added back the recording with the correct file name. I just checked it for sound (having gone through the mp3 conversion twice now) and it seems OK. Please let me know if we're out of the woods on this now. Thanks!

    Glad you liked my playing of the prelude. I believe it's one of Scriabin's finest.

    David

    P.S. If the new tags still don't work, I think I can then fix it by switching the information between the File Name and Title fields, although it's intended to work properly as is.
     
  4. Affinity

    Affinity New Member

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    An intriguing prelude, sounding rather fatalistic. Only comments are that at 0:31 I think you should play the repetition louder, followed by a larger diminuendo (though the later one is very nicely done). Also, at 0:54, perhaps you could bring out the interesting turn in the right hand more. Other than that, I really enjoyed the recording. Great job.
     
  5. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi affinity,

    Thanks for listening and comment on my recording.

    Regarding making the the repetition chords louder, I believe I did it to some extent. That second group of chords though has only tenuto markings with indication of a rising dynamic, so I didn't stray far from the prevailing quietness there. The little diminuendo afterward was of my own making. I saw that the upcoming measure, following the excitement of the earlier accelerando, was marked p, but I didn't want it to be a subito p. My solution therefore was to make the short ritardando marked in the previous measure more calando in peformance. I thought it worked quite well actually. The repetitions over on page two are far more emphatic being marked ff. I believe that these quite similar but separated sections have fine differentiation due to their very different dynamics.

    On the matter of the turn, where it's essentially an ornament, I decided to keep it subdued within the melodic line, although it's certainly audible. The turn occurs again in the coda where I made much of it, as Scriabin had marked it espress.

    I'm so glad you enjoyed my playing. Thanks!

    David
     
  6. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello David,
    I've just listened twice your prelude. I did not know it before. Beautiful music, so serious and nostalgic... Thanks for sharing this discovery !
     
  7. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Francois,

    I was so glad to discover this prelude! I believe it shares the opulence of the other preludes I've posted, but this lament has a ravishing beauty to it, and it's such a powerful piece too, the closing chords sounding like the "closing of the tomb".

    Thanks for listening, and I'm happy you enjoyed hearing this piece.

    David
     
  8. mwyman1

    mwyman1 New Member

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    David - very nice job! I really enjoyed this prelude, although I have not heard it before. I downloaded a score to follow along and have only a few comments...

    Overall I thought you were very expressive and executed all the markings very well. It's a bit of an emotional piece isn't it? Mournful indeed, and you pulled this off well.

    Opening - very nice sound quality on the opening notes. Gentle.

    Bass - I love your careful articulation of the bass notes, especially in measure 10 (around 0:33)! Very nice and light thumb.

    Measure 5 (around 0:18), I felt you could have pulled back a bit more - it's marked pp with una corda on my score. I can see the difficulty here, however, as this measure begins quite suddenly and is only a very brief (one measure) transition point in a much longer phrase. Same comment for Measure 13 as well... just my preference of course, and I can certainly hear your dynamics very well.

    Measure 9 - IMHO I thought the rubato repetition chords were just right, although Affinity certainly may have different taste. And excellent job with the poco accel!

    I really liked this Prelude very much! Thank you for posting.

    Matt
     
  9. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi David,

    I had a listen to this Scriabin prelude. I haven't heard it before, this sounds nice. I agree with your assessment, it indeed has the character of a lament. I'm replacing your file with a link. Check to see that it plays ok.

    Riley
     
  10. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Matt,

    I'm so glad you enjoyed hearing this music. Yes, this piece was a pleasant surprise to me as well. I had never noticed it before.

    Yes, it's certainly a very emotional piece, but those are the best kind. They enable to pianist to play with expressiveness, putting those feelings across the the listener, as well as the pianist revealing some of his own personality in the playing.

    Playing the soft, gentle notes was one of the challenges to ensure that the notes all sounded, even where chord voicing was in play. Just a few days before I made the recording, my tech/tuner regulated the key dip along the entire scale. That helped quite a bit.

    Concerning the bass notes, like Liadov, Scriabin was a master of polyphony, so oftentimes the left hand is not a mere accompanist, but rather and equal partner such that the melodic and harmonic/supporting lines intertwine producing a rich and extraordinary sound overall.

    I did find that poco rit. a bit odd, but should probably have experimented with it more. In my score there's no rit. in measure 13, so I maintained tempo there.

    Yes, on the repetition chords--we do know that the earliest influence on Scriabin was Chopin. In countless instances in his scores, Chopin strived for differentiation. Often he didn't want similar measures to sound the same. So, he's change an ornament, or a dynamic, an accent, the the composition of a chord, a bass harmony, etc. Scriabin seemed to have learned that lesson well. In this case the first dynamic is p and both the treble and bass notes are tenuto. In the repetition, the dynamic is ff, the bass notes are no longer tenuto, and the the note pattern has changed as well, and while there was a rit. immediately afterward in the initial instance, the rit. has disappeared in the second iteration. Scriabin wanted differentiation in my opinion.

    Thanks for listening and commenting. I'm glad you liked this piece as much as I.

    David
     
  11. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Riley,

    Thanks for listening to my recordings and I'm happy that you enjoyed the piece.

    I just tested the play link and it works fine, so thanks for that.

    I believe, however, that you haven't yet connected the link to the Scriabin Preludes on the Composers page. That's probably the next step?

    Thanks again.

    David
     
  12. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Riley didn't have to make the connection because it was already there. Just your recording wasn't up on the main site, but it is now. We do things as we are able, David. Please be patient. :)
     
  13. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    Where Riley is helping you out, I assume Chris is away on vacation. So I realize the difficulty in training and tending to on-going workload as well. I didn't mean to rush you or to give that impression. It looks like everything is in working order here now. Riley did great, and I appreciate everything you do here for the members day after day, Monica.

    David
     
  14. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi David,
    Guess you have not seen the announcement regarding Riley joining the team.
    And Chris is not on vacation, but is moving a house! :shock: :lol:
    Look here: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5330
     
  15. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    Yes, somehow I missed Chris' announcement. I think Riley will be very good as a moderator. Thanks for the info.

    David
     
  16. cmudave1125

    cmudave1125 New Member

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    Hi David:

    I enjoyed your performance of this wonderful Prelude. I particularly liked your pacing from 12 bars before the end of the piece until the last bar.
     
  17. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy New Member

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    A Scriabin prelude, how come?
    Just kidding.
    I was very tempted to hear your view of this marvellous piece, David. You drive masterfully. No doubt there. More Scriabin to follow, I suppose?
     
  18. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi David,

    Thanks for listening and commenting. And for the compliment on my playing too.

    I agree with you that this prelude is wonderful indeed--perhaps even one of Scriabin's best. This lament exudes so much sorrow and despair. I'm so glad you liked my approach leading to the codetta. Seldom do I feel the need to count in a piece, but in that part of this prelude I counted ever measure! The piece is in 9/8, so I wanted to be sure that I wasn't early or late in the execution of that thin but poignant and haunting melodic line. In the past, I've heard a couple of pianists rush through that section without even realizing that they had departed from the tempo. I think it would be easy to underestimate this piece.

    Again, I'm glad you enjoyed listening!

    David
     
  19. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Pantelis,

    I'm so glad you enjoyed my playing of this piece. It's quite intense in its own way. Here on Page 1 at the moment I have posted four Scriabin preludes. I'm now working up a character piece and might do an etude as well. Following that, there's a Glazunov piece I'd like to do. So maybe some more work in the Scriabin literature, but then I'd want to move on--but I could return to Scriabin in the future, of course.

    Thanks for listening!

    David
     

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