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Two Prayers

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianoman342, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have played two pieces, one on a virtual organ and one on a piano. One composer you would expect here, and one you will not.

    The first is by Tchaikovksy, it is the first of his set Album for the Young, Op. 39, утренняя молитва, that is, Morning Prayer. I only wish I had a sustain pedal, but I'll have to save up for that.

    The second is by Brian Wilson. You have no doubt heard of the acapella version. It is his Our Prayer, which I play on St. Annes Hauptwerk organ. The stops pulled are both 8', Geigen Principal and Dulciana. Comments are welcome.

    and Happy Thanksgiving :)
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Brian Wilson, no I sure had not expected him. I did not know this song, despite being a bit of a beach Boys fan. Having listened to the original I don't think it's their finest effort. Not sure if an organ arrangement helps it along a lot. But it is nice that you venture into playing (virtual) organ. No need for a sustain pedal at least :) I can't advise about your playing of this, not being my kind of repertoire. It sounds good enough to me though I think this somewhat whining registration does it no favors.

    To play a piece like the Morning Prayer without a sustain pedal is a bit of a torture. The least you could do here is play as legato as possible, so as not to draw attention to it. The very uneven playing at the start really needs to corrected before this could go on the site. Should you
    consider improving this here's some other suggestions :

    - You insert an extra eight note in bar 3, is that in your score ?
    - Try make a habit of counting out long notes. Bar 4 is here shortened to (almost) a 2/4 bar.
    - In some places the dynamics are good but less so elsewhere, like the diminuendo starting bar 13.
    - I'm all for discreet commas between phrases but your pause between bars 8 and 9 is IMO much too long, suggesting almost a 4/4 bar.
    - The accented tenor voice in bars 16/17 is a good idea but just a tad too loud, and in 18/19 it sounds a bit half-hearted.
    - In the last bar you should play only the top D. All others are tied over.
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Riley,
    I have not heard either of thses pieces before. The ogran sound on the the Brian Wilson piece sounds nice, but there seems to be too many gaps of silence scattered randomly about. But interesting to listen to this on Piano Society. Did you know thtat he used to live in St. Charles, IL? Supposedly, there is a nice recording studio in the basement of his house. Anyway, happy Thanksgiving to you!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for the detailed feedback, Chris. I think if I had a sustain pedal it would sound 150% better. Also probably shouldn't have played this with a metronome. Clearly this is a romantic piece and most romantic pieces require pedal. the extra eighth note was not in the score, guess I added it unconsciously. :p The organ registration that is whiny at the end is some type of 2 foot or 4 foot pipe. I wanted to recreate the singers hum at the end. I take it I didn't succeed :x

    Thanks for listening Monica, those are some cool graphics 8) I do hope (and expect) to have lots of turkey today, with some cranberry sauce :p About the Brian Wilson piece, I tried to leave some silence because the instrument seems to take about 2 seconds to fully decay, and I think it's so cool hearing the sound of an organ carry off al niente so I didn't want to shave that off by starting right away, but alas, I'm just a beginner organist. I didn't know at all that Brian Wilson lived in St. Charles? That's cool, I remember having cross country meets there at the high school in St. Charles. I wonder if his house is a museum now?! I'd be interested in seeing the recording studio.
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Maybe you *should* have :) It may be a romantic piece but it is a hymn and those are mostly sung in strict tempo. some breathing space is allowed but not such that it becomes rubato. Keeping the pulse, by properly counting the bars, is important.

    Maybe you did ! I'll admit that I just do not like this kind of register. Don't read too much in it. I'm probably too stuck in my Baroque ways :)
     
  6. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Other than the first 4 or 5 measures, I was surprised at how well the Tchaikovsky sounded without the pedal.

    When a performance's opening is weaker than the rest, it's frequently easy to clear up the problem just by singing the opening to yourself (silently, of course) - just a couple of measures - before starting. In a way, it makes the first bar "feel like" the third bar; like you're joining the performance in progress.

    (My best teacher described this as "warming up your mind", which she was always insisting that I needed. (She was right.))
     
  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    That's interesting, Stu. My flute teacher taught me that if you 'imagine' a note that's hard to hit cleanly and in tune in a certain passage, then it comes out much better. Same with singing. Also, if you imagine that your fingers will have no trouble in a tricky run or passage, then you will simply fly through that spot with no problem. I'm still working on that....mostly I forget to imagine that the spot will be easy, and instead worry about it coming up.
     

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