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Written for piano, but seldom played on the piano ...

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by tpascale, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. tpascale

    tpascale Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hindemith's most popular work, the "Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber" has become a staple in the orchestral repertoire, but few people are aware that three of the four movements are based on some absolutely delightful four hand piano music by Weber. Weber wrote three sets of piano duets, which apparently Mr. and Mrs. Hindemith enjoyed playing together (says so on Wikipedia, so it must be true). My wife doesn't play the piano, so I played all four hands myself, two at a time, and mixed them together using the multi-track recording window in Adobe audition. I uploaded both the complete pieces and tracks containing just the second part for playing along. While Hindemith's work is a masterpiece and deserves to be heard often, the original pieces are pretty interesting in their own right and I'm surprised they don't get more playing time. ( some related commentary: http://www.salisburysymphonyorchestra.org.uk/hindemit ).

    Weber - Op.10 no.2, Andantino con moto
    Weber - Op.60 no.4, Allegro, tutto ben marcato
    Weber - Op.60 no.7, Maestoso

    Weber - Op.10 no.2 SECONDO, Andantino con moto
    Weber - Op.60 no.4 SECONDO, Allegro, tutto ben marcato
    Weber - Op.60 no.7 SECONDO, Maestoso
     
  2. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Cool! I've got them loading up right now...I'm really only familiar with the March from Symphonic Metamorphoses. I played that back in the day when I still played trumpet, and it's probably one of my favorite pieces for the large ensemble ever. :D Woo, that one just loaded! Interesting....

    As far as Weber goes, I've only heard some of his clarinet music - he's very popular with the clarinetists, for some reason...

    Ooh, I'm going to want to do a double recital with my teacher now! I had already considered asking her if she'd play Schubert's Fantasie in F Minor for 2 pianos with me....

    Thanks so much for recording these!
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Ah I just love these Hindemith metamorphoses. Appreciating Hindemith can be quite a task sometimes, and does not even always succeed, at least not for me. But this work is delectable and good clean fun. It is amazing how much interesting twists he adds to Weber's generally innocuous harmonies.

    As for these originals, they sound a bit tame next to Hindemith's cheeky, spicy and sparkling reworkings. Still very nice though, and they definitely deserve a place in the quatre mains repertoire.

    Your recordings are again quality products. I hear a little more synchronization issues than I can remember from your previous Schubert recordings, but hey, you'll have those when playing with a partner too. A shame you do not have a real partner - if I lived in NY I'd come and play with you :)

    I must say that I find your readings here a bit too timid and soft-spoken. The Andantino seems to hum rather than sing, the Maestoso is way too soft and slow (rather like a funeral march) and rather outstays its welcome at 9:30 minutes. Of course being used to Hindemith's ebullient versions, where there is never a dull moment, does not help. The Allegro fares better, but IMO still could do with a livelier tempo and a bit more abandon.

    All the same a job very well done !
     
  4. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    I had the same impression tbh, but I assumed that it had something to do with the difficulty of recording in this fashion.
     
  5. tpascale

    tpascale Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks for the comments - sorry about the synch issue - it is in fact very tough to get in synch with playback coming from speakers. It requires a lot of re-takes and never comes out quite right. Re the "funeral march", the notes I found (see link above) said that Weber meant it as a funeral march and that Hindemith doubled the tempo for effect. But I agree with Chris - it drags on too long this way. And Weber didn't actually make any indication other than "maestoso". I don't think I'll redo it, but if I did I'd omit the repeats & speed it up. These pieces are a recent discovery for me - I was very much surprised by their originality & wanted to share. Having piqued my interest in Weber, I also listened to his sonatas, Konzertstuck etc. at Naxos.com. His piano output runs hot and cold, but the stuff that's hot is really very, very good.
     
  6. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Extremely well played as always Tom. There is definitely a reason why so many people out of Piano Society ask to use your recordings in films and other various events.

    I loved to listen to these miracles. I have not heard them before (not sure if I should admit that in public as they seem pretty famous ;)) so they were fresh to my ears.

    I filed them as Four Hand Pieces under Weber and created two columns. One with the complete four hands pieces and one with only the "secondo" part for practice purposes. If you wish to have it in another way, just let me know.
     
  7. John Robson

    John Robson New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Weber

    Your musicianship is beyond reproach. This was another wonderful performance. However, I have to admit to finding Hindemith's Metamophoses much more exciting. :oops:
     
  8. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    arrrrggggghhh! I've been looking online trying to find the music to these pieces, and I can't find them anywhere (or the Schubert Fantasy in F Minor, for that matter)! Help!
     

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