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#1053410 - 11/15/06 01:06 AM Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
Welcome to the place where critical discussion of the pieces from Recital #4 takes place. It is requested that only the pieces from performers who have requested critical feedback be discussed.

Please don't be shy about asking questions or offering constructive advice to the performers. After all, the goal is improvement of the playing.

General discussion and chit-chat should take place in the Recital #4 General Discussion room .

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#1053411 - 11/15/06 04:39 PM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
Copper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/05
Posts: 1043
Loc: Virginia
Once again nice work Bob!

Did you have to put S-H first? Now his head is all swollen again.
_________________________


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#1053412 - 11/15/06 05:01 PM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
funburger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 1417
 Quote:
Originally posted by Copper:
Once again nice work Bob!

Did you have to put S-H first? Now his head is all swollen again. [/b]
agreed and agreed!!! that s-h comment hilarious \:D hehehehehehehehehehehehe
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#1053413 - 11/15/06 05:09 PM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
Mr Super-Hunky Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4195
Loc: Arizona.
hmmm. (sitting here taking notes on who's been naughty and who's been nice).

Come on guys, give me a break huh!, okay, so the ego's a bit large, but I can still force it through a 3-foot wide doorway with some effort!! ;\)

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#1053414 - 11/15/06 09:34 PM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17699
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
I can tell people are being all bashful about critical discussion here, so I will start by asking for help on my piece. I had two problems with it:

1.) I never could get the pace up to snuff. I did everything I've read here to work on it, primarily starting off slow with the metronome and trying to ease it up a click at a time. I still just ran into a wall right aroud MM = 60 (and it was supposed to be played at 84), and repeated practice just wasn't helping. Part of the problem, I think, is that the sections I couldn't play fast involved a lot of octaves. Anybody got any hints for learning how to play octaves quickly?

2.) As Peyton pointed out, I overpedal like crazy on this piece. I realize that is a huge bad habit of mine. When I play, the pedal is either all the way down, or on the way to going all the way down. \:D How would people suggest that I pedal on this piece? (The music, by the way, calls for holding the pedal down for the entire first 3 lines, so that mushiness was supposed to be there.) But elsewhere, should I just pedal more often or not at all?
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1053415 - 11/15/06 09:43 PM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
Hi Monica,
 Quote:
Anybody got any hints for learning how to play octaves quickly?
Yep. Play them a lot! Pick a few Christmas tunes and play the melody in octaves all the way through lots of times. You'll get better and better. You can probably sightread at first, just playing the melody and then start adding in the bass note from the chord sheet. Then you can start arpeggiating the left hand. The next thing you know, you'll be improvising from a lead sheet! \:D

As for the pedal. I've watched several new-agey pianists like Nevue and they practically have the pedal glued to the floor! The only time they let up on it is when they change to a different chord. And that's just a quick up/down.

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#1053416 - 11/15/06 09:45 PM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
funburger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 1417
monica, i think your piece is great, but if you are worried about it, look for chord changes and clear it out then, but if it is supposed to be like this, then so it is. sorry i cant be of help...i think your piece is great!!!


mr superhunky= too hilarious!!!
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If it ain't fun I ain't doin' it:)

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#1053417 - 11/15/06 09:51 PM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17699
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Muir:
Hi Monica,
 Quote:
Anybody got any hints for learning how to play octaves quickly?
Yep. Play them a lot! Pick a few Christmas tunes and play the melody in octaves all the way through lots of times. You'll get better and better. [/b]
Okay, let me amend that: Anybody got any hints for playing octaves that will work instantly and doesn't require a lot of practice? \:D

Seriously, that is helpful advice, Bob. I don't have many pieces that require a lot of octaves (Cristofori's Dream is about it), so it's no surprise they throw me for a loop when they show up.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1053418 - 11/15/06 10:10 PM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
Peyton Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 2501
Loc: Maine
You know the thing I hate about being critical is that I know so little it's dangerous. Anything I say about someone else can probably be thrown right back at me. I tend to over pedal so i tend to hear when others do. I have a bitch of a time recording my grand so I tend to hear others recordings with a very critical ear.

Monica...I'd just pull back on the chord changes. Of course it the piece calls for a pedal to the metal for three measures then go for it. But as an experiment how about playing dry and then adding pedal slowly bit by bit.

As far as playing octaves fast... beats me how to do it other than just practicing over and over and over. I've been trying to play the Chopin prelude 28/3 for a year now at speed and just can't do it no matter how much I practice. Maybe some things just aren't meant to be? \:D :rolleyes:
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#1053419 - 11/15/06 10:47 PM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
Opus45 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 918
Loc: North Carolina
Monica, I would second Peyton's advice about "playing dry and then adding pedal slowly bit by bit". I used to over-pedal like crazy (think I was trying to cover up my problem areas). A former teacher of mine had me learn piece without using the pedal, then I added the pedal after I learned the piece well enough.

As for the octaves, I'm afraid Bob is probably right.

(by the way, I haven't heard your piece yet, I hope to be able to get around to listening to the entire recital this weekend)
_________________________
Jeff

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#1053420 - 11/15/06 11:03 PM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
Mr Super-Hunky Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4195
Loc: Arizona.
Monica, I've got a trick that I use to play "christofori's Dream" with. as you know, that piece has tons of octave changes and many spread out chords.

I don't know who I stole this idea from, but it really works as I do it all the time now.

It is using "pre determined" hand positions, (like having your fingers in a pre-set hard stiff position), and then practicing the "jump" or the "gap" over and over.

You can improvise all you want (note wise), but that is totally different than knowing exactly the distance to "jump" with your hand while having your fingers in a specific position.

I am talking about doing large finger spreads or chords and then "jumping" up or down and hitting the correct notes in the chord without a bunch of spillover notes being "crushed" at the same time.

I think someone may have some kind of practice method for this, I don't know. I figured this out on my own, but I'm sure I'm not the first one to do so.

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#1053421 - 11/15/06 11:32 PM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
icekid767 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 89
Loc: Orlando
Mr_super_hunky, I think I remember reading that thing about the jumps in Chang's book. After I read what Chang wrote, my scale work has improved dramatically. The thing of it is, I can't remember what he wrote, but it just made sense to me all of the sudden;) I'm as useful as a dead mule when it comes to advice on piano playing. The point is, it's a good read.
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#1053422 - 11/16/06 12:11 AM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
piano_deb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 787
Loc: Memphis, TN
 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica Kern:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Muir:
Hi Monica,
 Quote:
Anybody got any hints for learning how to play octaves quickly?
Yep. Play them a lot! Pick a few Christmas tunes and play the melody in octaves all the way through lots of times. You'll get better and better. [/b]
Okay, let me amend that: Anybody got any hints for playing octaves that will work instantly and doesn't require a lot of practice? \:D [/b]
Magic beans?
_________________________
Deborah
Charles Walter 1500
Happiness is a shiny red piano.

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#1053423 - 11/16/06 12:52 AM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
psychopianoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 608
Loc: Oklahoma
Monica, what part of playing octaves fast are you having trouble with??? If it is finding the keys quickly then you can fix it in a snap. Let me know.
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pianolessonaddicts.com

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#1053424 - 11/16/06 04:10 AM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
Ragnhild Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 1117
Loc: Norway
I don't know if I should be doing this, but I really would like some critical feedback myself \:\)

Mel (Dannylux): I 've been listening to your recordings since I first heard the "Pavane", I have wondered how you get tme to prepare all this and I also think you choose wonderful pieces that I did not know existed. You also play much better than I will ever do so my comments are as a listener:

The waltz has this Wiener-waltz rhytm that makes me want to dance and all the parts with the steady left-hand beat you play wonderfully and relaxed. But the in-between parts with the runs and the trill I completely loose the sense of the rhytm, especially at the end of the waltz. I don't think this is intended, the runs could be more even and more rhytmic.

But I'd like to be in your fan-club Mel !

And I hope I'm also a member of Peytons fan-club, but I prefer your Goldberg to the Silent Night improvisation, Peyton. it is clever done but to me it is like English cakes with too much icing on top ;\)

Ragnhild
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#1053425 - 11/16/06 05:01 AM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 1910
Loc: Netherlands
A quick fix for playing octaves? Sure... don't play them. Simplify. Play only the top notes. That almost sounds like octaves, with a lot less effort. Will anyone notice? Probably not. ;\)
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#1053426 - 11/16/06 05:21 AM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
Sii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/06
Posts: 49
 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica Kern:
1.) I never could get the pace up to snuff. I did everything I've read here to work on it, primarily starting off slow with the metronome and trying to ease it up a click at a time. [/b]
I'm in no position to give anyone any advice regarding playing, but I thought it would be worth mentioning that Chang writes about this specifically in his book.

Quote the Chang book:
"The most frequent abuse of the metronome is to use it to ramp up speed; this abuses the metronome, the student, the music, and the technique. If you must ramp up the speed gradually, use it to set the tempo, then turn it off and then keep on practicing; then use it again briefly when you increase the speed. The metronome is for setting the tempo and for checking your accuracy. It is not a substitute for your own internal timing."

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#1053427 - 11/16/06 08:06 AM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
gmm1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1674
Loc: Spokane WA
As some of you may remember, I had a little crash on my computer and have been spending the last few weeks restoring everything (you forget how many drivers/updates etc you download to get programs working - seems every program requires a reboot....). So, the deadline came and went before I even noticed.

Everone was just awful. Just because I am standing in the corner rubbing my faded recital III metal and looking on with envy at the bright shiny new awards has nothing to do with my review.

Great job everyone, really. I will be ready for V in Feb (I hope I am done restoring by then).
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"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro

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#1053428 - 11/16/06 10:04 AM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17699
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by Sii:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica Kern:
1.) I never could get the pace up to snuff. I did everything I've read here to work on it, primarily starting off slow with the metronome and trying to ease it up a click at a time. [/b]
I'm in no position to give anyone any advice regarding playing, but I thought it would be worth mentioning that Chang writes about this specifically in his book.

Quote the Chang book:
"The most frequent abuse of the metronome is to use it to ramp up speed; this abuses the metronome, the student, the music, and the technique. If you must ramp up the speed gradually, use it to set the tempo, then turn it off and then keep on practicing; then use it again briefly when you increase the speed. The metronome is for setting the tempo and for checking your accuracy. It is not a substitute for your own internal timing." [/b]
I guess this is where I should confess that I have the Chang book on my bookshelf but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. \:o

Thanks, Sii... that was very interesting. The ramping up method sure wasn't working for me, so I'll give this approach a whirl.

As for the octaves, the part that gives me trouble is when I have to move my hand a considerable distance on the keyboard. I don't have any trouble playing octaves cleanly, but if I have to go more than 3 or 4 notes away, it's hard to do it quickly and accurately enough. So I suspect your method of practicing the jump, hunky, is what I need to be doing.

I do appreciate all the great advice! And I'm going to head to the drugstore and buy me some of those magic octave beans! \:D
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1053429 - 11/16/06 10:14 AM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1547
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
This summer I had the same issue about making a jump on a piece. The notes were over an octave apart, forte, and fast, so I was always making the leap and wondering if I was going to land in the right place. Being forte, there was no hiding the mistake, which I made about 75% of the time.

My summer teacher noticed my consistent mistake there and really helped me get it right. He'd have me put my hands on the first notes, and then he'd shout "Jump" and I'd have to go right to the notes. We did it about forty times in a row with me not quite sure when he was going to tell me to go. He stressed that your fingers need to be on the keys before you press down--no diving into it wondering whether you're going to hit it or not, so the first times we did it I had to move without pressing the notes down. After doing that it became much easier to play-move-play.

I've been on jury duty and have not had a chance to listen to many of the pieces. I am looking forward to a pleasant few hours of music this weekend!

Nancy
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Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3

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#1053430 - 11/16/06 10:18 AM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 1910
Loc: Netherlands
In Piano Magic we first play the melody with a single finger (usually the index finger). This looks silly and people will ridicule you for it... but once you know how to make that finger jump all over the keyboard, playing octaves or more complicated right-hand stuff is absolutely no problem, and then it don't look so silly no more. \:D
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No idea what chords you are playing? Reverse Chord Finder Pro will tell you!

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#1053431 - 11/16/06 12:10 PM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
rockpeter Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/05
Posts: 607
Loc: Montreal Canada
I read the same thing that NancyM33 mentions.
Practise by having your fingers over the keys before you have to press them. Then when its time, you press the keys. Start slow with the metronome and then increase speed gradually...adding a little salt...oops sorry.
This advice if I recall is in the Chang book.

Peter
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#1053432 - 11/16/06 07:22 PM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
Nighteyes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/02/06
Posts: 104
Loc: Amsterdam
I decided to post this here because I have some suggestions and remarks that maybe wouldn´t really fit in the general discussion room. So, in random order:


Piano again:

My idea of a fugue is that it is supposed to be a kind of ‘flight’, if you like. It starts with a melody and then it just takes off and keeps variating on it and doesn't stop until the end (well, that’s generally the case with all music but I hope you get my meaning somewhat). I think your playing absolutely did justice to that idea. Your tempo is quite high and excellent for this piece, good job on keeping that pace constant as well. I also didn't detect a hesitation, which gave the piece the necessary flow. One thing I don't like so much about these 'Inventions' though is that there is so little repetition: you can't really get a grasp on the music (my ear that is, your fingers did quite well). But I suppose that's why it's called a fugue.

AdagioM:

Hmmmm, beautifully played and very relaxing. However, it is over much much too soon… the piece doesn’t really have a head and a tail, it sounds like it could be the intro to something more suspenseful, to finally resolve again in the end… You have a great rest in your playing of this piece, you don’t let yourself be rushed and keep the ‘feel’ throughout the piece. But I’d like to hear you play at the other end of the spectrum as well. I hope to hear more from you, maybe in the monthly bars or else in the next recital. Deal?


Balladeer:

I have to say I have a certain envy of the Pianomagic players around here. They can do things I can’t, but want to do, and maybe could, if I gave those elements of piano playing more attention. However, I have chosen not to do so (not at this time anyway), in favour of practising sheet music… and there just isn’t time enough to do improvisation on top of that…
But onto your recording. Well, with a piece with such a solid melody you can’t go wrong I would say. But wait, what have you done with it? You have completely turned it around, the intro sounded familiar to my ear, but from around 1:10 you take off and make it entirely your own. The piece has become utterly relaxing, however watch out that it doesn’t become too relaxing! Lazy listeners (like me) tend to lose where you’re going with the piece! So throw some tension in there, or jump up and down some octaves. That will jab that lazy audience back to focus again!

Bluemarine:

What an amazingly beautiful piece. Like with most good pieces, you constantly get the feeling you’ve heard it before… while you hear it for the first time. The main theme is so emotional and powerful and you played it very convincingly. I have to say I don’t like the bright interlude starting at 1:05, but I always think interludes generally are most beautiful when they stop! That’s their function, they break the main theme so that when you get back to it your ear is longing for it… good job on not getting carried away with the brighter melody, it was immediately back to serious again when you came back to the main theme. Very beautiful piece… could you maybe provide sheet music please?


Bob Muir: I think that melody was in some baby toy thing I had long long ago… all I know is that this melody goes back a long way in my memory, it’s been there for years and years… what is it known for? Can you provide me with some more details? (It’s probably something really well known but I don’t know what it is…)
Anyway, very subtly played, nice glissando’s, they sound quite smooth… and I liked how you kept a ‘low profile’ so to say, you generally keep the volume low (one or two mezzo fortes) and let the melody subtly work on the ear. One thing that struck me though, there is only so much you can do with this melody, after a while it gets to repetitive and there is nothing happening anymore.

Copper:

Hm, I have to admit I’m not a big fan of religious music. I can’t help but feel that this music is somehow preaching… and I don’t like that feel. It’s more like a command: joy to the world! Than it actually brings joy to me itself… maybe it should focus more on that. I know I’m criticizing an immensely famous piece, and maybe ridiculing myself in the process… but that’s just how I feel. Maybe I would even go as far as to leave out the amen at the end… I think it should be up to the listener to decide if it’s ‘amen’, but I realize that’s quite crude.
I liked your recording of the Petzold minuet for recital 3 better, but that’s mostly because I like the piece better as well. Your technique is good for these kind of pieces, so I would say it’s time to move on to something more daring!

Dannylux:

Wow, are you kidding me? This sounds like an incredibly difficult piece! But I have to say, you can definitely handle it and your practise time has been well spent on this. Besides that I think it is an amazing piece. It’s like some kind of psychedelic waltz, there’s so much happening there, all those gypsy’s are running around and bumping in to each other, or whatever it is that gypsy’s do, there’s lots of activity any way! Lot’s of dissonants being brought up and resolved too, my ear is constantly working at full capacity.
One thing I did have my doubts about however, and it has been expressed earlier in this thread, that those fast upwards runs sometimes sound arythmic (for example I’m talking about the one from second 12 to 16). First I thought it was intended that way, because you’re being consequent with them and the almost syncopated notes sound incredibly good. They are also in line with the psychedelic vibe this piece has. But as someone else brought it up as well, I want, no demand, clarification! Not that it really matters, I like the runs this way.

Dh:

Lol, you shouldn’t have said anything about those hammers in the background! Now I heard them, in fact I was listening and reading your comment, and the instant I read about the hammers, I started hearing them! No, but seriously, it’s not that bad at all.
Good to hear a more traditional silent night version in here, as the melody is just so good. Your playing sounds solid, you have this piece, simple as it may seem, down as good as you can get it. Don’t you think making a recording of your piece always seals it up nicely? I always have the feeling I’m really done with a piece when I made a solid recording of it. Then I can really let it go and stop worrying about it. It’s almost like a physical release of tension, hmm but more mental when I think of it. Ehm, sorry this isn’t really going anywhere anymore. I’m satisfied with your recording of this, and I hope you are too. I be hearing more from you.

Frycek:

{Edited]

Icekid:

When I listened through the recital the first time, I hadn’t really identified yours as a standing out recording, but when I saw lots of people in the general discussion room mentioning yours I decided to look what all the fuzz was about. And I have to admit, I got it wrong. Extremely smooth, extremely jazzy, you do your name justice this recording was ice cold. I enjoy listening to this kind of music (same goes for Balladeer’s for example). I found this piece to have a bit more structure though, the intro and ending really stand out from the rest of the piece, but fit to make a really solid whole. Good job.

McClellan:

Refined choice of music! It sounds really dark, while there is an high alt voice constantly overriding the bass chords… but while the chords are dark, the voice gives it a more sad connotation, I think this piece is food for analysts and I’m interested as well how this works from a theoretical point of view. I don’t know nearly enough of music theory though to work this out myself. Maybe you know more about what has been said about this piece.
I think you did a good job on bringing out the power of the low chords, while not letting the melody snow under so to speak. I’d like to hear a pianissimo in there somewhere though. Your ff’s are very convincing, but the rest is generally mezzo forte. I’d like more variation in there. Also good job on accenting the top notes of the melody, the melody is often working to a height and you did nice in recognizing and accenting that.

Kawaigirl:

One of the highlights of the recital for me. You say it’s more difficult than it sounds, I wouldn’t directly say that’s the case though. It’s more that the music is kept quite simple. The melody is beautiful and haunting and there’s some support in the left hand, and that’s it (and all it has to be). That doesn’t mean it’s easy to play though. I think this piece would be above my level currently, though with real dedication I could probably get there.
Compliments for your recording as well, the sound is so crisp and full. Also, I would almost say that you played it flawlessly, if you noticed any errors yourself, please point them out cause I could not find any! Great job.


Euan Morrison:

So, this Eunaudi guy really knows what he’s doing eh? This one takes my breath away. I want to play this as well. I don’t know if I can reach the level of expression you get in there, but I know it will still sound amazing! If you can provide the sheet music for this in any legal way, please do! I really enjoyed this one. You play it softly yet full, and at around 2:50 you go into an encore, it sounds even fuller and grander. You could have sustained this longer or done this more often in my opinion. I’m already drawn in by the melody but when you throw in that extra volume it really swoops me away.

Funburger:

Yes I know this as Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy as well… I think that title sounds more fairy tale like as well… dance of the candy fairy sounds so… well, american.
Anyway, I played this one myself a while ago in a different arrangement, one that was too difficult for me at the time, and now I read this one was too difficult for you as well. What is it with this piece, can’t someone make a simpler arrangement?! Anyway, I always enjoy listening to this. Few comments. Those low bass runs don’t sound entirely like I think they should (like the one in seconds 15 and 16), they sound a bit too rushed in my opinion. Also you had some hesitations, but that doesn’t really matter as they are more typing errors than grammar errors… (if you follow my meaning).

Mahlzeit:

Yes!!!! This is just amazing. You did an incredible job. Firstly, the idea is brilliant, to make a minor version of silent night. And the execution… really incredible. I was particularly amazed when I saw how simple it looks in sheet music form. It sounds so incredibly rich while all the tools you use are an alberti base and a melody which contains only a few notes. Nice going with the repeat in a lower octave, I couldn’t figure out what it was you did at first because the whole thing sounded even grander and more haunting all of a sudden. For me this is the best of the entire recital, for a number of reasons… the idea is brilliant, it sounds great, and it is simple so I can (and will) play it!!! And impress other with it… yess!!!!
What do you do with pedal? Refresh each measure?

Monster M&H:

This gave me goosebumps all over. I wouldn’t mind you singing a bit louder as well, I can hear it very faintly but still it fits great with the music. It has a nice effect because I can almost see you sitting there playing and absorbing the music… which gives the music an emotional charge.

Well that´s it for now, I hope I can spur some argument with this and get some answers to posed questions. More to come! (Note that Mr. S-H is put on hold in a blatant but probably futile attempt to deflate his head.)


Edit:


Dennis Turner:

I think you did a good job on getting this under you fingers that fast. However I’m sorry to say the piece doesn’t really work for me… I think it’s a bit too sentimental and slow, don’t know what it is but I don’t ‘believe’ in it. And that’s strange because I can’t deny that the melody has a certain beauty, but it just doesn’t click with me. You played it beautifully, very softly and subtle, but while accenting the high ‘dramatic’ melody notes. I have a feeling that that is the way it is presented on the score, but I personally wouldn’t mind if you tried to throw some more tension into it, maybe slow down on a critical point, or throw some more power into it just to disturb it a bit. The way it is now there just isn’t enough happening there to keep my attention.

LiztAddict:

Wow, I saw your excerpts of this piece’s sheet music and all I can say is… I’m not qualified to comment on this one! However, I’ve never let that deter me in the past and won’t start now…
Well, my disliking of religious music still stands, but this one I can handle a bit better. Like my comment on Joy to the world, I said it had to bring joy itself, not tell us to have joy. This works slightly differently, this piece actually sooths my nerves while I listen to it, which is more in line with the Ave Maria theme. But I’ve said this before in my comments, where is the head, where is the tail? This doesn’t work that well as a standalone piece, it’s subtle and soothing all the way, the most tension I hear starts at 3:30 but resolves fairly quickly, and I think that’s a shame. Particularly because this recital is quite laden with soothing Christmas songs, my mind tends to dwell to other things every now and then… I realize it maybe wouldn’t fit well to throw this piece around with lots of ff’s though so hey that’s just the way it is. Nicely played, and frankly I don’t know how you pulled it off judging from the score. I want to dub yours as least imitable performance of the recital, followed closely by the Valse Tzigane.

Loveschopintoomuch:

Hmmm, so where is the Chopin? I had hoped for something my ear could handle better after I heard Lullaby to Jesus… ah well this works well also, though I get the feeling you let the Christmas theme deter you a bit from playing your beloved’s music, but I could be way off here. However when I listen to it I don’t hear the emotion (“how do you hear emotion?” hm yes good question…), it’s more the association I have with you, and it doesn’t fit with this Christmas song! I’d like to hear you play things you really have a passion for, then automatically my mind tags all kinds of emotion to it giving the piece that extra something. Sorry, can’t be of more help with your playing, I hear some errors but don’t think they are structural so all I can say is… practice it more! Or rather, get back to Frederick!

Monica Kern:

Beautiful selection of music. Another laid back piece with not that much happening, but this one is just so beautiful. I would say this can stand alone excellently, I just have so much associations going on when I hear this, I think each person will have different thoughts when he listens to it. From thoughts of youth, or maybe a book you read or a film you watched. Good job on expressing this Monica, I can let my mind wander freely while listening to your music without fear of ‘losing’ where it is going, because in my opinion this piece is meant to make your mind wander!

Mr Super-Hunky:

Well, I also read your post about your utterly unique way of digesting music, your short attention span, etcetera, etcetera… I almost started to think, sheesh what a nutcase. But that’s certainly not the case. You say this kind of learning works for you, and all I can say after listening to your recording is: indeed it does! So keep on this track you’re doing great! I wonder though, how much of this is your own and how much you borrowed from the score? For example I really like the trills in the high section of the keyboard (seconds 39-41 for example), is that your own fabrication? If so, genius! I think I would go so far as to say I like those trills the most in this recording (of course in context with the melody otherwise it wouldn’t mean anything…). They are a sort of transition, before the melody is repeated there is some kind of bridge needed, and that is resolved in a beautiful way with these trills. You’re following the melody, then it stops, the trill comes, you’re breath is taken away… and then it continues. Thanks S-H for this music!

NancyM:

Now that’s what I’m talking about! Play this after the Lullaby and they form a nice pair. It’s like my ear gets ripped apart at first, and this puts it all together again. I constantly had the feeling I knew this from something, but I don’t think I ever heard it before. The sign of real quality! This is not just relaxing, it has great melodic content and suspense (2:20 to 2:40). You can play this suspense part even louder in my opinion. Make the listener sorry you ever departed from the main theme! Then mystery from 2:40… sounds really dark, nicely played. Finally after a little transition we’re back at the main theme at about 3:20. This piece has so much and goes through a variety of moods. Nice choice of music!

Raghnild:

Well, I think Bach can get a bit out of hand every now and then… the music may be brilliant from a theoretical point of view, but where is it going? This piece had that at times. Like 1:10 to (nice trill at 1:50) (listening as I type) to 2:20… what’s happening there? Beats me, I completely lose my sense of direction here… the theme is in there somewhat but Bach experiments with it and throws it around, however I’m not to sure about their emotional value! Would it be somewhat right to say this piece is more an excellent excersition piece, both for the composer himself in experimenting with the music, and both for the student? I think you can do much more however and like to hear pieces with more emotional, rather than theoretical, content from you. Like I seeme to recall that you said you could play the Grieg lyric piece I recommended in your Grieg thread a while ago? Wow, I’d very much like to hear that from you.


Well I think I’ll leave it at that… think I insulted enough people… no but seriously I enjoyed listening to this recital very much and have listened through the entire list 3 or 4 times already! Seriously, good job all, and to those I didn’t come round to commenting on, I want to express one sentiment I felt quite often during this recital… make sure your piece is going somewhere, has a head and a tail so to speak. I don’t know that much about music but I think that is very important for the listener. So make sure you do something with it, it’s your responsibility to translate the score to something beautiful, that just works all the way through! So try to think about that, about the structure in your piece. And errors… ah what do I care I make so much myself. That’s what I meant Funburger about typing errors vs. grammar errors… if you’d practice the piece a few weeks longer you could get those hesitations out, but what’s it to me? I don’t care. I just want the music to be right. However when you do things that break up the music, or using for example structurally wrong fingering making you hesitate every time you play a certain part, then I’m talking about a structural error. Those are less excusable… and it’s our job (the listener’s at ABF) to try and locate them. But that is quite hard! I’m not a music teacher!

Ok thanks all for reading and good luck in future enterprises!

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#1053433 - 11/16/06 07:41 PM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
Nighteyes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/02/06
Posts: 104
Loc: Amsterdam
Oh yeah and forgot to mention this... what is up with all the extreme self-underestimation that went on on these forums in the days before the recital?! Sure, we all (well most of us) make mistakes, but reading those post you wouldn't suspect such beautiful playing! Really guys, tone it down just a tad for the next recital, you don't do justice to yourself in the first place, because you put so much work into it. Secondly, you don't do justice to your listener. "Well the artist himself thought that it was bad but I like it, what's wrong with me?" Well that's a bit overexagerated but I hope my point comes across. Self-criticism is easy and nice because you can cover yourself ("don't expect to much from it etcetera...) but how can you take the praise after you bashed it yourself? So next recordings I want to see submitted with head raised proud and high, and take the 'fall' only after it has been received by your audience, not before!

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#1053434 - 11/16/06 07:59 PM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
funburger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 1417
Nighteyes, thank-you for your comments and honesty---love it!!! i know exactly where those hesitations are, and also one part where i slowed the piece way way down to make that left hand jump arpeggio--only the arpeggio never came out right because the keys were so darn far apart and i cant bend my wrist the way my teacher says will work because i broke my wrist years ago. i will work on slowing the left hand down though:)
although i wasnt sure what you meant by typing error versus grammar-- i missed something on that one. ah well. i am going to put this down for a while but i will definitly keep your ideas in mind when i get back to it:) thank-you!!!!
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#1053435 - 11/16/06 08:29 PM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
AdagioM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 723
Loc: Oregon
 Quote:
Originally posted by Nighteyes:

AdagioM:

Hmmmm, beautifully played and very relaxing. However, it is over much much too soon… the piece doesn’t really have a head and a tail, it sounds like it could be the intro to something more suspenseful, to finally resolve again in the end… You have a great rest in your playing of this piece, you don’t let yourself be rushed and keep the ‘feel’ throughout the piece. But I’d like to hear you play at the other end of the spectrum as well. I hope to hear more from you, maybe in the monthly bars or else in the next recital. Deal?

[/b]
Thank you! The piece is supposed to be andantino, and I'm definitely no faster than adagio. I'm not really comfortable with this piece yet (still thinking about the notes), but didn't have anything more finished. The biggest challenge is making the melody sing over the middle voice, even though they're both played with the RH.

This piece is only one page, and it's the first piece from a book of short works about childhood. They are all charming! I'm trying to learn several of the pieces this year.

I definitely plan to be in more of the ABF recitals.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
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#1053436 - 11/16/06 10:47 PM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
piano_deb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 787
Loc: Memphis, TN
 Quote:
Originally posted by Nighteyes:
Dh: Your playing sounds solid, you have this piece, simple as it may seem, down as good as you can get it. Don’t you think making a recording of your piece always seals it up nicely? I always have the feeling I’m really done with a piece when I made a solid recording of it. Then I can really let it go and stop worrying about it. It’s almost like a physical release of tension, hmm but more mental when I think of it. [/b]
Thanks, Nighteyes, for the kind review. Yes, I did feel very much "done" at the time, but I think it was really more of a turning point than an end. I still don't have the last third of the piece in hand so I'll continue to practice to solidify it. And I would like to play it with a lighter touch. I will certainly be playing it with a lighter heart for having come this far!
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#1053437 - 11/16/06 11:31 PM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
dannylux Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1815
Loc: Connecticut
Nighteyes,

I'm glad you liked Levitzki's Gypsy Waltz. Thanks so much.

With regard to the runs, the 1st one has four grace notes in it and the 2nd one has five grace notes. This definitely gives them a syncopated feeling, along with the syncopated chords in the left hand.

There is some uneveness in the way I play them, but certainly not enough to throw off the beat. I'll send you the sheets, and you can follow along and find all of my missed notes. Check your Private Messages.

As you point out, Levitzki had a wonderful sense of harmony, with his numerous dissonances that resolve in such satisfying ways. These remind me very much of Kurt Weill's music in Germany in the 1920's and '30's.

Mel
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#1053438 - 11/16/06 11:55 PM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
Kawaigirl1 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 989
Loc: Toronto
Thanks Nighteyes for your extensive comments. I personally thought there were sections that I had hesitated abit. Plus the pedalling could have been better.
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#1053439 - 11/17/06 05:22 AM Re: Recital #4 Critical Discussion Room
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 1910
Loc: Netherlands
Hi Nighteyes!

 Quote:
Originally posted by Nighteyes:
Yes!!!! This is just amazing. You did an incredible job.[/b]
Well, if you're going to start off like that, I'd better answer your questions. Thanks! \:D

 Quote:
I was particularly amazed when I saw how simple it looks in sheet music form.[/b]
Of course it's simple... I'm not good enough to play something more complicated. ;\) It sounds rich because of the pedaling, I think.

 Quote:
What do you do with pedal? Refresh each measure?[/b]
Refresh when necessary. I think each measure would be fine, or at least on each chord change. Sometimes you can keep it down for a while, other times you have to let it up more often because all the notes start to interfere. Use your own judgment!

Thanks for the nice comments, Nighteyes!
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