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#2042407 - 03/03/13 04:07 PM Schubert: Impromptu op. 90/1
pianovirus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 959
Loc: Basel, Switzerland
My next home recording project are the wonderful four Impromptus op. 90. Here is the first one. Any kind of feedback welcome!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcJSdYIyelQ
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#2042411 - 03/03/13 04:18 PM Re: Schubert: Impromptu op. 90/1 [Re: pianovirus]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20970
Loc: New York
Just starting to listen.....and a couple of things right off the bat.

I don't think you can wait that long after the first octave.
If perhaps there are some noted pianists who do it, I'd say the same to them. grin

Also: This is lovely, but I think that in the opening section, the short notes need to be shorter. They sound to me pretty much like triplets rather than dotted. We've had similar discussions about other pieces, including about the opening of Chopin's F minor Fantaisie where some actual oscilloscope data were posted to show what various pianists were doing, as compared to what we thought they sounded like. Be that as it may, I guess it's a matter of taste -- and to me, those short notes don't sound short; they sound like triplets. I'd guess that an oscilloscope would show them to be a tad shorter than triplets but closer to triplets than to dotted, and if anything I think such dotted figures should generally have the short notes shorter than written, a not a tad less short.

And interestingly, in some later sections, you do play those notes shorter! It's inconsistent and variable, I wonder if you realize it and whether it's at all intentional. I suspect not. It's not a must that this be consistent, but I think for the most part it would benefit from being much more consistent, and (of course) on the shorter side. smile

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#2042760 - 03/04/13 09:22 AM Re: Schubert: Impromptu op. 90/1 [Re: pianovirus]
Tim Adrianson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 1470
A very fascinating and compelling presentation, Pianovirus! I especially liked two things on the first hearing: your expert and judicious use of the pedal throughout, and your clear establishmen of the tensions in the restatement and development of the original material (the "march" theme), without too much increase in volume. For my taste, I'd prefer somewhat of a more melting, lyrical character in the "B" theme, but I understood what you were doing in context.

I tend to agree with Mark on the length of the first note -- I'm frankly not sure whether this is an "accepted" practice in performance of this piece, but for me it comes close to being ludicrous -- something Peter Schikele would do -- and I personally hear it being appropriate at roughly a quarter to a half the length that you used. I was not personally bothered by the slight rhythmic inconsistencies, but I do think the shaping of the melody in the "march" is slightly overstated at times. Here again, I tended to "get that" as your presentation developed, established in Schubert's just beautiful and complex writing in this Impromptu.

Thanks for sharing this!

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#2042826 - 03/04/13 12:20 PM Re: Schubert: Impromptu op. 90/1 [Re: Tim Adrianson]
Hakki Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3527
As always very good, detailed and thoughtful playing. Bravo!

Originally Posted By: Tim Adrianson
I especially liked two things on the first hearing: your expert and judicious use of the pedal throughout,


But, I have to disagree with this. To me there are many places where the sound is almost blurred.

In fact I would like to advice you to practice this piece with NO pedal for the moment being trying to play it as connected as possible without the pedal.

After, you are satisfied with your playing without the pedal, only then begin to add pedal little by little just to color the sound.

Also, I am with Mark C and TA on the opening octave and I too think that the dotted notes should be shorter.

Thanks for sharing.
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#2042847 - 03/04/13 01:16 PM Re: Schubert: Impromptu op. 90/1 [Re: pianovirus]
pianovirus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 959
Loc: Basel, Switzerland
Thanks Mark, Tim, and Hakki for listening and commenting!

I'll have to experiment a bit more with the opening, as it's a general feedback that the length is over the top. I understood these empty octaves as a call which vanishes into silence. So I also wanted to wait for (almost) silence. But now I'm back at step 1, reconsidering...

I'm really grateful for this kind of feedback. I also agree about the inconsistencies in dotted rhythm in the opening section that Mark and Hakki raised.

There's always more work to do... smile
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#2042851 - 03/04/13 01:27 PM Re: Schubert: Impromptu op. 90/1 [Re: pianovirus]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20970
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: pianovirus
....I'll have to experiment a bit more with the opening, as it's a general feedback that the length is over the top. I understood these empty octaves as a call which vanishes into silence. So I also wanted to wait for (almost) silence.....

That's a very good concept, but I think you then had the tail wagging the dog. smile

The whole thing still has to work. Maybe you got so into that one concept that you lost sight of the overall and weren't really hearing it for how it was. In fact, I'm sure you weren't hearing it for how it was! -- because I'm pretty sure you would have experienced it something like how Tim put it. You can keep that concept, but you need to adjust how loud you play the notes and/or how you hold and release the keys or how you pedal the sound, to make it fade sooner than an eternity -- and while it's a challenge, it's not really that hard.
(Edit: Upon further review grin ....it is quite a challenge, or at least it was for me. I went and tried to do it this way and it took a few tries to get it how I wanted.)

About the short dotted notes: Besides the idea of consistency, maybe think about what's your basic "philosophy" of such notes, including whether it's important for them not to sound like triplets. Some people think this doesn't much matter, but many do. BTW I'm putting this in technical terms -- i.e "triplets" or "not triplets" -- because that's the simplest way to discuss it, because it's about what is simply on the page. But IMO the technical aspect is just a small piece of the point. The main thing is what kind of feeling is intended for those notes, and to me the intended feeling is missed if the short notes aren't short enough.


Edited by Mark_C (03/04/13 02:08 PM)

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#2042865 - 03/04/13 01:44 PM Re: Schubert: Impromptu op. 90/1 [Re: pianovirus]
Michael Sayers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 2308
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
Hello,

I enjoyed listening and see no issue with holding the opening notes that long - especially as my interpretation begins very similarly!

To my ears it sounds like you are consciously holding back on the tone with the left hand where it has the dominant role deeper in the bass . . . maybe it shouldn't sound held back so if a specific performer can give more for it to not sound held back perhaps this is needed.

I wouldn't worry about the pedaling (sounds fine to me).

I look forward to the other videos!


Mvh,
Michael
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Mvh,
Michael

http://www.michaelsayers.com/

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#2042875 - 03/04/13 02:02 PM Re: Schubert: Impromptu op. 90/1 [Re: pianovirus]
Hakki Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3527
Starting from 4:44 and about 1 minute, this can sound totally blurred if played even on a small concert hall.
Even now, it is almost unacceptable, at least to my ears.

But everyone's taste about the use of the pedal is different of course. It is just my 2 cents.
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http://www.youtube.com/user/hakkithepianist

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#2042878 - 03/04/13 02:05 PM Re: Schubert: Impromptu op. 90/1 [Re: Mark_C]
pianovirus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 959
Loc: Basel, Switzerland
Thanks, Michael! And Mark:

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
[quote=pianovirus]About the short dotted notes: Besides the idea of consistency, maybe think about what's your basic "philosophy" of such notes, including whether it's important for them not to sound like triplets. Some people think this doesn't much matter, but many do. BTW I'm putting this in technical terms -- i.e "triplets" or "not triplets" -- because that's the simplest way to discuss it, because it's about what is simply on the page. But IMO the technical aspect is just a small piece of the point. The main thing is what kind of feeling is intended for those notes, and to me the intended feeling is missed if the short notes aren't short enough.


We're in full agreement on this one. Of course it makes a huge difference triplet or not, especially considering the importance that triplets vs. 16ths plays throughout the piece!
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