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Tchaikovsky - more opus 72

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by StuKautsch, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Time for more Opus 72. This is number 9, "Un Poco di Schumann" and 12, "L'Espiegle".
    The first really does sound like Schumann, IMHO, and the other means something like "an imp" or "impish".
    Piano is Petroff baby grand from early 90's, recorded on Zoom H2.

    Again, the url for the IMSLP page for this opus is:
    http://imslp.org/wiki/18_Pieces,_Op.72_(Tchaikovsky,_Pyotr)

    The only editing is the addition of a little reverb, using GVerb, and the settings found at
    http://wiki.audacityteam.org/index.php?title=GVerb
    which they call "The Quick Fix".

    Since the pieces call for crispness, I did not want too much reverb, but at least through speakers, this setting sounds ok.

    Tchaikovsky - 18 Pieces, Op. 72, no. 9 "Un Poco di Schumann"

    Tchaikovsky - 18 Pieces, Op. 72, no. 12 "L'Espiegle"
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Well done, Stu!! I like both pieces, but I like the "Schumann" piece the most. You're right, it really does sound like Schumann!
    I will put both pieces up on the main site tomorrow.
     
  3. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    Well played! My personal preference favours Espiègle over Schumann, and I think you succeed in imparting it the mischievousness it seeks to portray. I'm wondering whether there is an etymological link between the word and the "spiegel" part of Till Eulenspiegel.

    I listened to both without score first.

    I had difficulty aurally parsing the beginning of Espiègle and had to re-start it several times before I could make sense of it. The sense I then made of it aurally was confirmed when I looked at the score. The problem is that the very first note of the piece feels quieter than the chord which immediately follows it. Accordingly the brain (well, mine anyway) interprets the chord as the downbeat, and then of course has latched onto the rhythm one eighth-note out of phase, and what follows then fails to make sense. It soon manages to re-synchronise, but I was fooled again on re-starts until I made a conscious effort to understand. Then at last I got it. I think it would help avoid this mis-parsing if you were to put a bit more weight on the first note than you normally would, and less on the chord, exaggerating the difference; this is necessary first time only, you can re-adjust the balance to your liking thereafter, because by then the listener's ears have been trained. Or was this deliberate mischievousness?

    There is a rhythmic read (or perception) error in the four places where there is a long chord, consisting of a dotted quarter tied over the bar line to a half, and further tied to an eighth. These chords should therefore have a duration equal to a whole note. You consistently make them last exactly half that amount each time.

    I wasn't wholly convinced by the slower middle section. It felt a little laboured, as though you've slowed down too much. It's only Poco piu tranquillo


    In the Schumann I spotted only one slight rhythmic liberty, of which I don't know whether it was intentional or accidental. It's between 1:00 and 1:01 in the recording. In the Peters 11709 version it's on the middle page, two lines up from the bottom, second bar. In the descending passage F-Eb-Db-C-Bb the Eb and Db are printed as equal eighths, but they come out more like a Scotch snap, i.e. the Eb as a 16th and the Db as a dotted 8th.
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ok, these are up.
     
  5. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks to both Monica and rainer. The "Schumann" is much easier than the L'Espiegle and it was easier to do a good job on the recording.

    rainer:
    Of course, that's no excuse for the read error that you found. Whew! This opus will have part of my attention for a long time, so I'll try to correct that at some future point.

    The beginning - I know why that emphasis problem happens (lack of confidence that I will hit the chord correctly) and I'll take that into account in the future. It happens more in front of the mike.

    The tempo on the "poco piu tranquillo" was a strategic choice, not musical. The poco stringendo into the recapitulation can easily result in a tempo at which I cannot handle the 16th note passages on the last page, and I wanted to ensure that it does not. I suppose I could have tried to control the stringendo better, but there was a lack of confidence.

    The rhythmic flub in the "Schumann" was simply a flub.
     
  6. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Very late listening, but only last night did I manage to do it. I like both of these, with the "Espiegle" being great fun. You mention the meaning of that word, but most concert-goers will know the word better through Strauss's "biography" of that supreme rascal Till Eulenspiegel.

    As for sounding like Schumann, that is a knack of Tchaikovsky's, to be found also in his Album for the Young, though the piece here in question sounds like Schumann while at the same time doing things that Schumann would never have done.
     

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