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#1431209 - 05/07/10 01:08 AM G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique"
RachFan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 1341
Loc: Maine, U.S.
Continuing with Catoire's Op. 12 from 1901, here is No. 4, the "Etude Fantastique". I hope you enjoy it. Link:

http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=37224.0

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#1431805 - 05/07/10 08:49 PM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: RachFan]
Horowitzian Offline
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Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Downloading now...
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Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1431890 - 05/07/10 10:59 PM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: Horowitzian]
RachFan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 1341
Loc: Maine, U.S.
Hi Horowitzian,

Enjoy! Let me know what you think.

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#1431916 - 05/07/10 11:50 PM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: RachFan]
Horowitzian Offline
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Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Roger that! Haven't gotten around to listening to it just yet. I will in a bit. smile
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Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1432182 - 05/08/10 11:56 AM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: Horowitzian]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas

I've been playing 33/9. it's very romantic and I'm surprised I like it so much... I'm not a romantic type.

this piece sounds very difficult.. but it's easy to listen to. I am really drawn to the music that you happen to like David.


Edited by apple* (05/08/10 11:58 AM)
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1432310 - 05/08/10 03:01 PM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: apple*]
RachFan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 1341
Loc: Maine, U.S.
Hi apple*

On Sergei B's 33/9, I think the piece straddles a line between late romanticism and impressionism. Therein lies its magic.

Yes, this Catoire etude is difficult indeed. It definitely taxed me! I haven't declared victory yet. I'm going to let it simmer and re-engage it in the future. There are some things I'd like to polish more and also to include some more nuances in my playing. It's an extraordinary piece though, isn't it?

Thanks for listening!

David

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#1432325 - 05/08/10 03:15 PM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: RachFan]
Horowitzian Offline
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Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Very much enjoyed this. I do feel that it is stretching your technical resources more than the previous pieces in this set, but nevertheless you managed to bring it off nicely. Let us know if you re-record it at any point, once you declare 'victory'. smile

[edit] I was familiar with this piece already thanks to Koji's recording.


Edited by Horowitzian (05/08/10 03:16 PM)
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1432352 - 05/08/10 03:51 PM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: Horowitzian]
RachFan Offline
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Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 1341
Loc: Maine, U.S.
Thanks for listening and commenting. Yes, it's certainly a difficult piece to play, and as you point out, definitely the hardest of Op. 12. Nevertheless, I believe I was able to put it over convincingly to the listeners. That's always the final test.

Koji's live performance is excellent. Hamelin also made an earlier fine recording of the etude.


Edited by RachFan (05/08/10 03:53 PM)

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#1432422 - 05/08/10 05:01 PM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: RachFan]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: RachFan
[...] Hamelin also made an earlier fine recording of the etude.


Hmmm, ya know I happen to have some iTunes gift cards left over...grin Would you happen to know the album?
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1432532 - 05/08/10 07:29 PM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: Horowitzian]
RachFan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 1341
Loc: Maine, U.S.
Yes--it's on Hyperion CDA67090 "Catoire Piano Music". Hamelin makes it all sound so effortless, of course, which I admire. While the amateur might, naturally, envy the professional's "big technique", he actually has one advantage over the professional in a piece such as this forbidding etude. In his playing the amateur reveals the edge of the dark struggle which adds an element of excitement to the unedited performance. Nothing there can be assumed to be effortless. Just my own perception and opinion though.


Edited by RachFan (05/08/10 10:58 PM)

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#1432551 - 05/08/10 08:10 PM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: RachFan]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Thanks! Normally, I prefer to buy CD's for my classical music library, and only use iTunes for popular music, but I think I'm going to make an exception here.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1433588 - 05/10/10 01:05 PM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: RachFan]
elecmuse3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 304
Loc: Cincinnati

Thank you, very much, for making this composer's music known more widely.
_________________________
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www.theplayerpianoshop.com

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#1433700 - 05/10/10 03:48 PM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: elecmuse3]
RachFan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 1341
Loc: Maine, U.S.
Hi elecmuse3,

The pleasure is all mine. I feel a strong affinity to this wonderful music of Catoire, so really enjoy sharing it with others. I'm delighted to know that you enjoy hearing it. Thanks!

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#1440059 - 05/20/10 12:53 AM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: Horowitzian]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Thanks! Normally, I prefer to buy CD's for my classical music library, and only use iTunes for popular music, but I think I'm going to make an exception here.


Just downloaded the Catoire 'Piano Music' title from iTunes. Great stuff, I think I shall purchase this on CD as well. smile
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1441365 - 05/22/10 01:09 AM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: Horowitzian]
RachFan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 1341
Loc: Maine, U.S.
Hi Horowitzian,

You're a true Catoire fan! I'm glad you enjoy this music so much. smile

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#1441390 - 05/22/10 02:00 AM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: RachFan]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: RachFan
Hi Horowitzian,

You're a true Catoire fan! I'm glad you enjoy this music so much. smile


Hehe, I love it! And I can't help but marvel at the ease with which Hamelin throws this music off. I wish more pros would play this kind of thing. smile
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1441552 - 05/22/10 10:13 AM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: Horowitzian]
ChrisKeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1277
Loc: Dallas, TX
Hi RachFan,

Well, I finally had enough free time in one sitting to give this the listen it deserves. (In fact, all your recordings deserve my full attention.)

The complexity and difficulty of this piece makes it clear why you haven't been posting stuff lately. smile

You perform this quite well, I think. Yes, I caught the few passages where there was a little flubbing, but I don't think those are particularly important because, when you revisit this piece, you'll iron that out. You controlled the dynamics well, but even more importantly I think you controlled the melody lines very nicely. With all the interleaving arpeggios, emphasizing the melody without being harsh is a real accomplishment. For all its soaring major harmonies, this piece has a kind of shadow haunting its background, surfacing in its augmented intervals like the recurring "sigh" and the similar arpeggio passage. I like the play between the two moods, and I think I got that readily from your performance.

This was certainly a major undertaking and accomplishment on your part. Contrary to your comment on the other web site, I think you're quite up to the athletics of this piece in spite of your age. smile

Congratulations!

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#1441571 - 05/22/10 11:03 AM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: ChrisKeys]
RachFan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 1341
Loc: Maine, U.S.
Thanks Chris!

You're right--this is a piece that one could revisit many times in the future, finding ways to enhance performance even more. And I love the piece so much, I'm positive I'll be doing that when time allows.

In playing the piece, it almost seems as though it requires three hands. The RH contains melody and its own busy accompaniment, while the LH adds accompaniment and some strategic harmonies. But there are frequent melodic hand-offs between the hands as well. Thus, as you point out, etching the melody at all times is paramount. There are a few places where I think I could have brought that out even more. But the good news is, I know exactly where, so when I revisit the piece, those situations could be focal points of improvement.

Ah, that persistent sigh motif... do you know, as I listen even now to the recording I discover sighs in the textures that I missed? They're buried all over the place in that score!!!

You make an interesting point about that shadow lingering in the background. There is another composer who does something quite similar, Frank Bridge. In his piano pieces, on the surface things always seem quite normal, yet there is often a feeling of something more sinister lurking just out of sight.

Age, ha-ha! My final motivation, actually, was to show the younger pianists that I still have the grit and spunk to play a piece like this. :-)

Thanks for listening, Chris, and for your perceptive and very kind comments too. I appreciate that from a fine pianist like yourself as well as someone who shares the Baldwin piano passion.

P.S. In addition to Piano Street, the recording is also hosted at Piano Society.

David







Edited by RachFan (05/22/10 11:06 AM)

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#1441588 - 05/22/10 11:57 AM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: RachFan]
ChrisKeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1277
Loc: Dallas, TX
Originally Posted By: RachFan
Age, ha-ha! My final motivation, actually, was to show the younger pianists that I still have the grit and spunk to play a piece like this. :-)

I know what you mean. Occasionally I have the urge to revisit the Chopin Scherzo in B minor for the same reason.

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#1441882 - 05/22/10 10:26 PM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: ChrisKeys]
RachFan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 1341
Loc: Maine, U.S.
Hi Chris,

You should probably do it. As Anton Rubinstein used to say, "Just will it!" There's actually a lot of power in that.

David

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#1441885 - 05/22/10 10:31 PM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: RachFan]
ChrisKeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1277
Loc: Dallas, TX
OK, I'm gonna add that to my list-within-this-year.

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#1444016 - 05/26/10 12:55 PM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: RachFan]
David Burton Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1759
Loc: Coxsackie, New York
Apparently (following Mary Apple), RachFan's first name is the same as mine. So David, may I congratulate you on a splendid performance of an obviously quite difficult work. I had to look up the composer as I'm not familiar with him. We also need to restore many of the lesser known composers to greater prominence, after all how many would have known about Alexander Scriabin if it hadn't been through the efforts of his many friends and associates long after he had passed from this earth? How many people know we are indebted to Johannes Brahms for the survival and resurrection of Scarlatti? There is so much piano music out there, such a treat to hear something that may sound like something else but is its own unique thing. Best of luck to you.
_________________________
David Burton's Blog
http://dpbmss041010.blogspot.com/

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#1444092 - 05/26/10 03:10 PM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: David Burton]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: David Burton
[...] after all how many would have known about Alexander Scriabin if it hadn't been through the efforts of his many friends and associates long after he had passed from this earth? [...]


Horowitz in particular helped bring Scriabin's music back from the dustbin. smile
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Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1445352 - 05/28/10 09:53 AM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: Horowitzian]
RachFan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 1341
Loc: Maine, U.S.
Hi David,

Thanks so much for listening and for the nice compliment!

Yes, Scriabin was fortunate to have champions after his death. His conservatory classmate, Rachmaninoff, even took on tour a memorial recital series of Scriabin's piano works following the composer's death.

The main influences on Catoire's idiom where Tchaikovsky, Faure, Scriabin and Wagner. But Catoire had a way of combining late romanticism, impressionism and expressionism, sometimes simultaneously to achieve stunning results. So although there were those influences, his composing idiom is very individualistic too.

Catoire never promoted his own music in recital, the Rimsky-Korsakov clique in Moscow opposed and blackballed Catoire due to his enthusiasm for Wagner, and later the Soviet Ministry of Culture refused to reprint his scores. So following his death, not only was his music neglected (except for the violin/piano pieces played and recorded by Oistrahk and Goldenweiser), but it fell into near obscurity. I've posted many Catoire (and Bortkiewicz) pieces here to try to raise awareness of these extraordinary but virtually unknown composers. I'm glad you enjoyed Catoire's "Etude-fantastique so much! It's a gorgeous piece.

David


Edited by RachFan (05/28/10 10:55 AM)

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#1445376 - 05/28/10 11:05 AM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: RachFan]
David Burton Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1759
Loc: Coxsackie, New York
I listened to you playing this Catoire etude again this morning. Yes, it also reminded me of some of the harmonies and phrasing in music by another Russian composer with a somewhat more Franco-Germanic sounding name; Reinhold Glière, who wikipedia claims as of German-Polish descent. Their activities were part of the great bloom in Russian culture following the freeing of the serfs by Alexander II in 1861, which was very quickly snipped off by World War I and the Revolution, only to survive in approved academic forms (mostly hidden from the authorities too) thereafter (the views of Lev Navrozov and son, whose books I have read and with whose views on the subject I am in much agreement). I'll have to scan through the rest of Piano Forum to find other Catoire pieces you have recorded, if they are there. I'm interested in the period just before the great political upheavals as one can hear a kind of emotional yearning and stretching of harmonies many times unresolved as they become one episodic passage after another. Was this an expression of futility as a few critics maybe cynically suggested? (those who championed a return to classicism during that period and after the war)? I have viewed these harmonic yearnings differently, simply as natural expressions of the human spirit desiring a better and more fulfilling life. In a way, in that spirit, passages such as occur in this piece might be played. Yes, it's a little bit of "too profound" maybe, but that's what this piece is saying to me.
_________________________
David Burton's Blog
http://dpbmss041010.blogspot.com/

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#1445749 - 05/28/10 11:37 PM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: David Burton]
RachFan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 1341
Loc: Maine, U.S.
Hi David,

Yes, you can go through the back pages of this forum to find my Bortkiewicz and Catoire recordings. But here is the easy way! Go instead to Piano Society (www.pianosociety.com). On the home page click on Composers. Once there, just scroll down to Catoire and Bortkiewicz and enjoy the recordings. That way you have them all collected into one place instead of digging through back archives.

As you listen to "Quatre Morceaux", Op. 12, "Four Preludes", Op. 17, and "Chants du crepuscule", Op. 24, you'll be surprised at how different they sound from one another, I'm sure.

Yes, I can see your point of view on the characterization of the etude. Some things that strike me are the many changes from minor to major mode and major to minor throughout the piece. It seems like vacillation between optimism and pessimism, or the presence of the glorious and the sinister, or feelings of ecstasy and despair. There's also a balance between the delicate and the formidable. And constantly and in many forms there is that ever-present sigh motif. It's all very intriguing indeed. Catoire was a professor of composition at the Moscow Conservatory. I wish he had left us some notes about this piece.

As I've said before, Catoire was not at all superficial, but instead a deep thinker. To play his music I rely as much on instinct as logic, and read between the lines as much as I read his musical notation. He totally fascinates me. Bortkiewicz is more at the surface, urbane and sophisticated, more direct and discernible. But he gives us that lush late romantic sound that is so extraordinary.

One thing that Bortkiewicz and Catoire shared in common was that despite the trend for the return to classicism (e.g., Prokoviev, Saint-Seans, etc.), Catoire and Bortkiewicz ignored it (as did Medtner and Rachmaninoff). They were uninterested in the flavor of the day, and doggedly pursued their own ideas, continuing to do what each did best.

David


Edited by RachFan (05/28/10 11:42 PM)

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#1499582 - 08/19/10 10:14 PM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: RachFan]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
I am ready for another piece David!
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1500885 - 08/22/10 10:51 AM Re: G. Catoire, Op. 12, No. 4, "Etude Fantastique" [Re: apple*]
RachFan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 1341
Loc: Maine, U.S.
Hi apple,

Me too! Actually I'm working on one now, and it's a difficult one to play well. I always try to maintain a high personal standard of performance, so never rush into a recording until I believe the piece is truly ready. And if I'm unhappy with a recording session, then I return to practicing until the problems are fixed. But I think I'll have it posted in the reasonable near future--perhaps just a few more weeks.

I'm glad you enjoy my playing and appreciate your patience. Thanks! :-)

David

P.S. If you haven't already visited the Unsung Heroes E-cital in Pianists Corner, you should. There are a number of lesser known composers and pieces to be heard there. Great stuff!


Edited by RachFan (08/22/10 10:54 AM)

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