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#2085735 - 05/20/13 12:21 PM Piano&Violin sonatas
Arghhh Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 1165
These recordings are from my latest recital for my collaborative piano masters program. As usual, I wish it was better, and I was having difficulties focusing during the performance so a lot of things were on "auto-pilot" instead of me being engaged with the music.

Any comments/criticisms are welcome. I'd like to keep improving.


Here's the link to the folder with all the files in it (sort by name to get things in the right order).

Masters Recital #4

And here are the links to the individual files:
Beethoven Violin Sonata Op. 30 no. 3 mvt. 1
Beethoven 2
Beethoven 3

Debussy Sonata for Violin and Piano mvt. 1
Debussy 2
Debussy 3

Prokofiev Sonata for Violin and Piano op. 94b mvt. 1
Prokofiev 2
Prokofiev 3
Prokofiev 4

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#2085817 - 05/20/13 03:02 PM Re: Piano&Violin sonatas [Re: Arghhh]
D. S. F. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 144
I have memories of an old physicist with whom I played all the Beethoven Sonatas, the 1st Prokofiev (F minor), and volumes of other chamber music in his living room (I don't remember doing the Debussy with him, though we should have). It's been nearly a year since he past away at 90. He was an amateur educated by the love of music. In his house I learned much about collaboration, myself another one educated by the love of music who has casually wandered into the professional world. What sort of training do you get in a collaborative piano masters program?

I've been listening. Great violinist. Great music. Running commentary as I listen...

It takes real collaborative comfort and trust to get those Beethoven runs together. I've heard some amazing things with people retarding trills perfectly in synch, etc. 2nd movement is a gorgeous movement - tone is a little hard - now that is a nice trill at the end, the boths of you. I'm used to the last movement being a bit quicker, but we have to make these choices...it has a lot of character when its clicking, but I wonder if you really love the piece?

I adore this Debussy Sonata. You must love it too...I read your post and here you don't sound distracted. It nicely set along side the Prokofiev as well - good programming.

The Prokofiev is one of his sweetest pieces; I love that opening. Is it an advantage that we pianists cannot so easily adjust our tuning? Even as this sonata probably plays out more naturally on the flute, this violinist really has some nice moments of color and warmth. Great work on that second movement, it sounds like you were having fun. Woah...were you turning your own pages? That was an epic moment, and you didn't skip a beat! I wish I could come up with a good description of the unique richness found in certain of Prokofiev's slow movements such as this one...though again, I can see here some limitations in the violin version as apposed to the flute - it's just more natural...and then the last movement I hear the violinist digging in so deep, and I think can a flute do that? (Maybe I should just enjoy the music!) Your playing is very musical in this movement, and I think you do very well in the sonata as a whole. It's not easy stuff.

It was pleasure listening to your recital!
_________________________
Music does not have to be understood;
It has to be listened to.
- Hermann Scherchen.

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#2086328 - 05/21/13 03:30 PM Re: Piano&Violin sonatas [Re: Arghhh]
Tim Adrianson Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 1102
I just now listened to both the Debussy and Prokofiev -- very musical and solid; you both projected a good sense of style. Satisfyingly professional!

Considering that Debussy was dying of cancer while working on this Sonata, it is remarkable to me how sanguine and optimistic this Sonata is. For me, it comes off harmonically as something he might have written in 1900 - 05, when he was decisively breaking free from the 19th century salon style. It is not nearly as mysterious, complex, and abstruse as his Piano Etudes, for example. The only thing that betrays the fact that these are his final statements are the quirky, abrupt endings in all three movements -- to me, a deliberate nose-thumb to the "big ending", the "grand resolution".

I agree with D.S.F. that this is vintage Prokofiev, at his sweetest and sunniest. I thought the violinist played this especially well, but I'm still partial to the flute on this piece (for which I believe it was originally written). I agreed totally with the decision NOT to take things too fast; there was a nice centeredness to the pulse throughout as a result.

Great job, and thanks for sharing these!

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#2086356 - 05/21/13 04:16 PM Re: Piano&Violin sonatas [Re: D. S. F.]
Arghhh Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 1165
Thanks for listening and for the comments. Now for responding to them smile


D.S.F. - How fortunate for you to have found such a great partner to play all those sonatas with! Prokofiev F minor is on my wish list of sonatas to perform.

Tim - I think I'm responding to your comments in here too

Originally Posted By: D. S. F.
What sort of training do you get in a collaborative piano masters program?

Most of my time in the lessons as part of the program I was working on music for the 4 required recitals - 2 instrumental, and 2 vocal. About 4-6 weeks before each recital I started bringing my partners into the lesson. Most of that time was actually my teacher making sure that the other person knew their part properly and in line with his idea of how the sonata should be played, with a few comments for me. Other coursework specific for my degree included vocal literature classes, voice lessons, orchestral score reductions, vocal coaching, and conducting.

Originally Posted By: D. S. F.

I've been listening. Great violinist. Great music. Running commentary as I listen...


I forgot to mention that there was actually a different violinist for each of the sonatas.

Quote:

I'm used to the last movement being a bit quicker, but we have to make these choices...it has a lot of character when its clicking, but I wonder if you really love the piece?

I think it probably should have gone quicker - just because it goes on for so long. In this part I also felt limited a bit by the violinist - I wanted to make much more out of the dynamics, but if I did that, then I would end up drowning him out. I also wonder if it came out better when we played it on his recital, and I was more mentally engaged - but it probably doesn't sound much different there!

Regarding the Prokofiev sonata, I had weekly rehearsals/arguments with the violinist because he wanted it to be much more aggressive than I did on the 1st and 3rd movements. I kept insisting the that marking at the beginning of the movement was Moderato, not Allegro. Interestingly, I had the same difference of opinion with another violinist I had started playing the sonata with, but the flutist I also started it with agreed with me.

As part of my studying, I listened to some of the other works - symphonies, piano sonatas, concertos - that Prokofiev wrote around the same time and was struck by how different this sonata was than the rest of them (it made me temporarily reconsider my feeling that this is a mostly sunny sonata and that the violinists were right). I finally concluded that it reminded me more of his ballet music.

The sonata was originally written for flute, and then the violin part was composed when David Oistrakh requested it. A few things were changed to be more idiomatic for violin, and curiously, the second movement was changed from an Allegretto Scherzando (if I recall correctly) to Presto.

Quote:

Great work on that second movement, it sounds like you were having fun. Woah...were you turning your own pages?

I had a very short page turner who had to turn my pages from the bottom of the page. I suck at turning my own pages smile

Quote:

That was an epic moment, and you didn't skip a beat! I wish I could come up with a good description of the unique richness found in certain of Prokofiev's slow movements such as this one...though again, I can see here some limitations in the violin version as apposed to the flute - it's just more natural...

I love the third movement - but it's really hard to pinpoint what the emotion is. Some sort of longing, I guess, but intensely lyrical.

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#2086532 - 05/22/13 12:30 AM Re: Piano&Violin sonatas [Re: Arghhh]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
I'm listening to the Debussy! Cool! I love your opening tempo of the 1st movement! Perfect tempo. Some nice colours throughout! I think you should do the accel there into the tempo I on the first page (into the f minor chord there)
(btw what is the violinist doing in the beginning of the 2nd mvt with the repeated notes???????????) You guys can have even more fun in the second movement! Be more daring! A lot of these little episodes are so random and very comical.
Nice opening in the 3rd mvt! And nice catch of the violinist! It's very difficult to coordinate sometimes. I think the violinist took it a bit too slow after that, though! It needs to fly, I think. Think more "up" at those places, really helps the character.
Nice job! I think it requires an amazingly imaginative and virtuoso violinist to pull this sonata off, it's incredibly difficult for them, especially technically.

Thanks for sharing these! What a great program!
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#2086661 - 05/22/13 08:54 AM Re: Piano&Violin sonatas [Re: Arghhh]
Arghhh Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 1165
Thanks for the comments Pogorelich - I was hoping you'd stop by. If I manage to get the video from my violinist (we did it a week later at her recital) I will post it here too. We definitely took things faster in the 3rd mvt and fixed a few other minor things.

On the 2nd movement, the violinist was nervous and her bow started bouncing uncontrollably on the string. In her lesson later, her teacher showed her a different way to play that without having the problem. I would have liked to play more in the 2nd movement (2nd page especially), but my teacher didn't like what I did, or I did too much, so I ended up taking most of the rubato out of it.

The opening of the 3rd movement was one of the places I worked on after my recital to fix it because I didn't like it! And where the violinist came in - I never was comfortable with that spot because I always felt like I was "b.s.ing" the ensemble at that point.

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