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Shostakovich

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by richard66, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    I hope I am not taking over all the space on the page with my submissions, but I happened to make a good recording of this, some hours after the Grieg.

    It is the same sad Little Ditty of before, but calling it now "Sad Songlet" . I hope this one sounds less hesitant.

    Shostakovich - Moscow, Cheryomushki Op. 105 "Sad Song"
     
  2. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    I didn't catch this last time round. What a lovely little piece!
    It seems to work reasonably well at your speed, though I suspect it ought to go a bit faster.

    On first listening to it, I was misled by your playing the first notes of the piece a little too quietly, into thinking that they were an upbeat, as though the beat 2 D in the right hand were the downbeat of the first complete bar. Then of course by the time bar 3 comes, it stopped making sense and I had to mentally resynchronize. All became clear once I managed to find a score online.

    Your counting problem is letting you down a bit again, with inter-phrase hesitations in bars 13, 29, and 41, [0:35, 1:18, and 1:52]; and jumping the gun in bar 23 [1].

    Perhaps your edition differs, but in mine there is no rit or dim marked at the end, but you play it as if there were, and continue it during the last bar, leading to the very last note of the piece, the bass G, being too late and almost inaudible.
     
  3. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    @ Richard

    The sound is less distant, I like this recording much better. The dynamics also seem more varied. All that, and the tag is noticeably shorter! :)

    This may have to be cataloged under Shostakovich:Micellaneous where currently a recording of a polka from a ballet by John Robson lies.

    Riley
     
  4. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Shostakovich arranged several of his music for cinema, operetta and ballet for the piano.

    The speed is the same as is used in the operetta itself; I treid it faster, but did not like it at all.

    I play this very softly. A miracle for me with my piano.

    You mention the rh D. I have heard it otherwise, with the accent not on the e, as i do it, but on the d, becoming da daaaa. Which is right I do not know, but the e seems to nme so much like an appoggiatura that I did it that way.

    I deb to differ a little from your comments. In bar 13 the phrase ends in a very short a and then, without any pause or anything, the melody starts again on the d. I did count to perfection on previous times, only to feel the phrase cut off too abruptly, this is why I have "miscounted": in order to make a smooth break.

    at bar 41 you are right; it was noticeable to me, but I did not think it merited a whole rerecording, as there seemed to be much here that was good. I did not want to cut the break and I did not want to edit it with a second take. While I am not against stopping and repeating a passage which goes wrong, I am yet to record in pieces and then glue them together and call it a recording.

    I do not have a rit or a dim (I have a pp on the last bar), but with such an "incomplete" ending, I thought this way it would be more convincing. The low g is late and it is late because the first time I pressed the key, on time, no note came and I had to press again! Then I thought, does it really matter?

    In the other three instances I must say I did not notice anything amiss. Are they that obvious?
     
  5. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you!

    Much better, I must say and I was not nasty with the tags!

    Maybe you should rename the section "light music"? The Polka is very much in the same vein and, while not part of the collection I have, was incorporated into one of the suites made from film, ballet and operetta music, I believe No 4, where it is the last movement. The piece I recorded is not part of the suites, but at least one other number from Moscow, Cheryomushki, have made it into one of them. I need to consult my CDs (I have the operetta, some of the ballet suites, some of the film music and the Jazz suites and so on) Such fun they are!
     
  6. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    I think accenting either the Eb or the D is OK, it seems to work both ways, but that's not what I meant. I thought that the LH G-Bb was too weak (the first time only), and this made me hear the G-Bb as a beat 3 and the D as a beat 1.
    But that's the thing, you say "without a pause or anything", and that's how it should be. But your break isn't smooth, the pause you are inserting results in a jarring rhythmic discontinuity. If you want to bring out the separation between the phrases, do so by means of dynamics or perhaps the tiniest bit of rubato, but not by major messing with the timing. In any case, there is nothing to say that the A should be "very short". There is no staccato on it, it is beamed together with the following notes, and notice that the LH D-F# lasts a full quarter, deliberately helping to cover up any unintentional break you might make in the RH between the A and D. But you are making too much of the break and are playing bar 13 almost as a 7/8 bar by playing the D nearly an 8th late, where the 3rd beat should be.
    I think there should be no more of a break before the D here than in bars 7, 23, and 29, or, with different notes, in bars 15 and 31. In all these places your recording brings out the phrase or sub-phrase separations well enough without the help of deliberate special effects, and so bar 13 should basically likewise be properly in time.
    I agree that a piece as short as this should not need to be broken down into smaller bits to be recorded separately and then spliced together.
    :oops:
    It's the last note of the piece, and the root of the chord. Of course it matters. If it were only a little late, that would be one thing, but it's still so quiet that I had to turn up the volume to convince myself it was really there at all.
    They are to me. 8) These may all just seem little things, but there are enough of them, I suggest, to make it worth having another go.

    I was wondering how you feel about bars 19 and 35. Do you see the RH D-Bb as ending a phrase [so that, counting from the middle of bar 34 we get da-DI-da-DI-da], or do you see the LH 2nd beat chord as in a way extending the melody by one note [so that we get da-DI-da-DI-da-DA]? If the former, the RH might benefit from being phrased off a bit more, and the LH chord from being voiced down a bit. It's strange how the ear can sometimes manufacture phantom notes, here it almost sounds as if the RH were playing 3 notes D-Bb-G (the G in question being an octave above the one the LH plays); I'm sure I'm just imagining it, and that you aren't really playing that RH G, but sometimes it sounds almost as if you were. Do you know what I mean?
     
  7. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy New Member

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    That's a lovely piano piece. I think you bring out its mood quite well. I might agree with 'rainer' that it could benefit from a faster tempo but it sounds nice as is.
     
  8. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ok, Richard, this one is up.
     
  9. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Oh, you decided to put it up! Thank you, but I will keep Rainer's words in mind for future reference. All links work, except the one on the home page, which does not redirect to the Shostakovich page.

    One thing, Rainer, who are you? I would like to hear some of your recordings, not because I want to offer comments this way or that, but just out of curiosity and a desire to learn.
     
  10. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    I'm just an amateur musician. Although I began on piano when I was young, the bassoon is my main instrument these days, though I accompany church services on piano about once or twice a month. I'm always on the lookout for new stuff to play before and after the service instead of recycling pieces I played several years ago, and am very pleased to have found some tips here, I think I will play the Baricades and your Sad Songlet next time.
    I introduced myself here: http://pianosociety.com/new/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=5091&start=0.
    I would like to make and submit some recordings, but must ask you to be patient. Although I've taken a first step and acquired recording capability (a second hand Zoom H1), I've alas not yet made any recordings good enough to submit, mainly because I'm still working on overcoming my microphone-phobia.
    Curiously, I feel more at ease playing to an audience than to a microphone, but it has taken years to overcome fear of an audience, which I think mainly boils down to fear of making mistakes. It seems to be the case that the more/less you worry about mistakes, the more/less likely you are to make them. I'm more relaxed with audiences now, perhaps because I've convinced my subconscious that in a live performance the occasional fumble due to nervousness is quite likely to be tolerated and excused. However, I guess I feel a recording needs to be better, more mistake-free than a live performance, and although I know I could just re-do an unsatisfactory recording, and that therefore there is no logical reason to worry about mistakes, I worry all the same. It's a pity that logic and reason don't work when you try to persuade your subconscious of something.
     
  11. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    So, you have quite a respectable curriculum!

    During a live performance even if a mistake is made, people might (or not) wince and that is that, provided you do not break down and have a fit. In a recording, alas! the mistake will always be there to haunt you and whoever elese has the recording. There are times I record something three times, each take lasting 40 minutes and in the end doing a fourth recording, where almost all is perfect (to me) and then other members hear things which to me passed unoticed. The same goes for this piece.
     
  12. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    This will be fixed tonight.

    Then try video-recording. That's not nerve-wracking at all! :lol:
     
  13. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Just make sure you have your nerves removed boeforehand!
     
  14. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Nice little piece ! Thanks for sharing,
     
  15. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Do not mention it!
     
  16. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Very nice - though I admit I do not remember the first recording of the piece. I don't have much Shostakovich around the house, though I might root around for some now.
    BTW: Do you add any reverb to your recordings? Just curious.
     
  17. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you. Very well worth the other side of Shostakovich and well worth a try.

    I add no reverbation: I am not competent enough! I donotice the sound quality improved after I placed the recorder on the sofa, with some cushions on the side, but not directly on the microphones.
     
  18. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    A beautiful piano piece in small scale. Never heard it before. Thanks for sharing!
     
  19. OpenGoldberg

    OpenGoldberg New Member

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    Richard, I've listened to a few of your submissions now, and have enjoyed the repertoire and the playing alike. One thing that distracts me quite heavily from the enjoyment is the very strong compression or digital fuzz that happens every time a note is played. It's like squinting my ears due to a loud sound. Do you hear it, and know what I mean? I just think that you are working really hard and sharing your music so generously, it would be a great investment for you to get the equipment needed to make really good sounding recordings, or maybe to export them at a high enough bitrate that the distortion isn't there.

    Please don't take this too critically - it's meant to be a positive suggestion and to encourage you to do more, and share more.

    Thank you,

    Robert
     
  20. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, I know only too well what you mean. I hear it too and it is a bit distracting. At present my means are very limited and we need to more house very soon, so any investment will need to be later off. I am by no means offended by what you say. Monica (Pianolady) says the same things about it, though she calls it a pulsating hiss. This is caused by the noise removal. It seems only to remove it from the passages where there is silence, leaving the hiss where the notes are.
     

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