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#2073933 - 04/30/13 04:46 AM 4-27-13 Bach/Brahms, Feinberg, Szymanowski...
D. S. F. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 147
Last Saturday I had two different "public" performances, one live-er than the other. In the first I was volunteering to fill the background with pretty sound at Cheekwood's museum in Nashville, which I had agreed to do sometime last year. Thing is, Cheekwood's main draw is the outdoor gardens, and you don't get in the gate without paying...and it happened to be POURING down rain all day, flash flood warnings and all; so I had this beautiful old Steinway D in this very resonant space all to myself much of the morning. Test it out with a little Mazurka: https://www.box.com/s/wvcbc9um5u3hzz78htri

Early on when there were a few visitors listening I read through some of Liszt Consolations and made light of the rain with Chopin's op. 28 no. 15 which you may listen to here: https://www.box.com/s/qm42o06snsjp2n034vn5

Later when I sensed it was only me and the staff I opened the lid, and placed the Zoom out across the room and roared through the first movement of Szymanowski's 2nd Piano Sonata: https://www.box.com/s/7n6b8ufspw3b602g9cwt


And then to Huntsville. I was asked to accompany a soprano in her home town, and she wanted me to play 30 minutes of music myself. So I chose the Bach/Brahms Chaconne for the left hand: https://www.box.com/s/3ijtn9fytv5rnk0flc1u

Samuil Feinberg's Berceuse op. 19a (dedicating the performance to the memory of little Whit, a 6 year old with cerebral palsy who passed away late March): https://www.box.com/s/xj6dhpeo4m9je076bjwo

And again...first movement of Szymanowski's 2nd sonata: https://www.box.com/s/xofzakc3n2ajfs5tjlpa

All in all this was a strange way to introducing myself to these people who came to hear the soprano, lol.
Music does not have to be understood;
It has to be listened to.
- Hermann Scherchen.

#2073938 - 04/30/13 05:06 AM Re: 4-27-13 Bach/Brahms, Feinberg, Szymanowski... [Re: D. S. F.]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1993
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
THanks for posting all of this. It's a serious accomplishment to play the Szymanowski 2nd sonata - must be his most demanding piano work (and I know top pianists, including one who for example has performed the complete piano works by Beethoven, who consider it pretty much the most difficult they ever had to perform) and you are doing a very fine job. I especially like that there's also room for calmness in your playing, in the midst of all action-packed passages. My main suggestion regarding your playing (and this is usually true when playing Szymanowski) is to find room for more varied nuances, from pianissimo to fortississimo. Especially with a piano part as thick as this one, one never ends working on the balancing of voices, but in addition to that we must find many different layers of dynamics. Keep it up, you're doing great! Will listen more later.

#2073939 - 04/30/13 05:10 AM Re: 4-27-13 Bach/Brahms, Feinberg, Szymanowski... [Re: D. S. F.]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1993
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
By the way, you might be curios to see that we've had a discussion regarding this very sonata on the forum sometime ago, perhaps you didn't see it? Here:


#2080834 - 05/11/13 01:07 PM Re: 4-27-13 Bach/Brahms, Feinberg, Szymanowski... [Re: D. S. F.]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1993
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
I'm surprised this went by without comments from anyone else - very ambitious pieces you selected, especially the szymanowski! I'll get to the other ones too, soon.

#2081177 - 05/12/13 03:28 AM Re: 4-27-13 Bach/Brahms, Feinberg, Szymanowski... [Re: fnork]
D. S. F. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 147
Thanks for the comments, Fnork. I must admit I've not been on much to respond or comment, myself. The Szymanowski is very much a work in progress. It's a real terror to try even the first movement in public, much less that even more varied and intricate 2nd movement with that awesome fugue at the end (speaking of thick textures!). And yet it's all such wild, exquisite, super expressive music which alone motivates me to continue pursuing it (in spite also of the fact I can't comfortably reach a 10th).

I continue to be disappointed with the Bach/Brahms recording, which is in part due to hurried preparation, and in part to an inability to control the many degrees of ugliness in the middle register of that "gospel-rock" Yamaha C7 I had to play on. I had played it that morning on that beautiful Steinway at Cheekwood, but alas the recording is too marred by mistakes. Don't be surprised if you see me posting a new recording of it soon, for I absolutely adore the piece.
Music does not have to be understood;
It has to be listened to.
- Hermann Scherchen.


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