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It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!
Hello all! Here is a performance that I gave last summer of one of my finest warhorses. I felt more stress during this performance than perhaps any other, but distance has soothed my feelings, and now I feel comfortable sharing this technically imperfect performance because I feel that the tone quality - expressive OF something, of intensity and feeling, not merely beauty for its own sake (Fleisher is into this) - and attention to poetic structure, expressive rhetoric, and high drama outweigh the physical failures.
I'm not intending to work on this piece again in the near future, and I'm so taken with this performance (particularly the climax from 2:30-2:45) and totally surprised that I like it at all - I really felt like a mess on stage! - that I would like you guys just to enjoy my interpretation without making things teaching points; at this point, I've been told many, many things by a number of pianists, and I feel that I can objectively assess the flaws of my readings of it with great precision. If you disagree with my musical judgements, I encourage you to listen to my other recording of this on my Youtube channel and see if you agree with it more! I'm up for a discussion, but just know that I am well aware of most surface issues.
You already know the surface issues so I won't go there. Without judging the missing coda, you did a good job overall. Definitely don't stop working on this piece unless you just don't really like it that much anymore. You can still improve on it a lot.
Have you ever thought about taking the tempo down a bit? I've always felt that the hymn-like theme is commonly played too fast. It just sounds superficial to me when played that way. Listen to Pogorlich's recording from 1980. You can find it on Youtube. It's so gorgeous when played slower in my opinion. The slight tempo change is the difference from me liking this ballade and me LOVING this ballade.
Good job on the piece. Keep playing, keep posting!