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#2237366 - 02/25/14 12:06 PM Grieg Sonata Op.7
joe80 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 2137
This piece has become more central to the repertoire in the past ten years or so. Here's a version I recorded back in '08, on a nice Steinway in a nice hall. Anyway the piece is interesting and I hope those who don't know it, enjoy it.


#2237516 - 02/25/14 04:06 PM Re: Grieg Sonata Op.7 [Re: joe80]
Hamburg-D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/13
Posts: 513
Polished playing. What kind of Steinway is this? Any clue on what types of microphones and if memory recalls on placement? The recording quality is fantastic!

#2237803 - 02/26/14 05:18 AM Re: Grieg Sonata Op.7 [Re: joe80]
joe80 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 2137
Hi Noam,

The piano is a Hamburg Steinway D, new in 1984. It has been voiced for the concert hall it's in, which is a 2000 seater, hence the bright tone.

Now, I think they were Schoepps microphones (is that the right spelling?) and they were about 6 feet away from the piano, the stands were on the floor and the piano was on the platform above, and I think the mics were on a stereo bar about a foot apart, and they were just pointed around the area of the curve of the piano.

I can't remember exactly.

#2237955 - 02/26/14 01:07 PM Re: Grieg Sonata Op.7 [Re: joe80]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 19049
Loc: Victoria, BC
I very much enjoyed this performance to the point that I might be inspired by it to consider this as a future repertoire project. This was clear, solid playing and had a decidedly "northern" feel to it, as so much of Grieg's music does.

The recording quality, too, is exemplary.

Many thanks for sharing this.

- - - - -
Estonia 190

#2237966 - 02/26/14 01:21 PM Re: Grieg Sonata Op.7 [Re: joe80]
joe80 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 2137
Thank you Bruce! I am a northerner, from Dundee and my family are from Aberdeenshire on my mother's side - in fact Grieg's family were also from Aberdeenshire a couple of generations before Edvard was born, of course he considered himself Norwegian through and through.

I'm glad you appreciate the playing. I like to take things at a considered pace and give them a full blooded sound where I my capabilities permit.

#2237971 - 02/26/14 01:29 PM Re: Grieg Sonata Op.7 [Re: joe80]
Dwscamel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/22/13
Posts: 622
This is absolutely spectacular. I almost forgot about the performer entirely and only focused on the music; I forgot how gripping the third movement is.

Thanks for sharing.
Beethoven - Op.49 No.1 (sonata 19)
Czerny - Op.299 Nos. 5,7 (School of Velocity)
Liszt - S.172 No.2 (Consolation No.2)

Dream piece:
Rachmaninoff - Sonata 2, movement 2 in E minor

#2238297 - 02/27/14 04:31 AM Re: Grieg Sonata Op.7 [Re: joe80]
Ganddalf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 821
Loc: Norway
This sonata isn't often performed even here in Norway. You performance is beautiful. Almost listening to a "new" piece. I greatly value you clarity and delicacy. Thanks for sharing!

#2238300 - 02/27/14 04:53 AM Re: Grieg Sonata Op.7 [Re: joe80]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5997
Loc: Europe

Thank you so much for sharing!

#2238302 - 02/27/14 05:00 AM Re: Grieg Sonata Op.7 [Re: joe80]
joe80 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 2137
Dwscamel, and Ganddalf, that is really very very kind of you to say so, and thank you for your comments.

I was wondering about changing the tempi, maybe making the Andante move forward a little, and having a more 'unified' feeling in the first movement, but actually I quite like this as a recording, because I feel these speeds make people listen.

Also, when I was recording this, a friend of mine was listening to each performance as an extra pair of ears. He'd done this a few times before - including for Felicity Lott's recording of Strauss Four Last Songs done in the same venue with the RSNO in 1987, so although he wasn't a professional musician, he had insight and I valued his opinion.

Anyway the point is that at the time he was 72 and had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, and I was a young artist (well, 28, it's young) trying to produce what has become a CD that I sell at concerts or to anyone who is interested. During those sessions I was pretty much aware that this was one of the last performances he would hear, and it was certainly the last time he sat in that hall (the Caird Hall in Dundee, beautiful venue) listening to anyone play, so I played TO him. I actually found myself giving every note that I could to him, to make him listen.

It all sounds very sad but actually it wasn't, we had a really fun time producing the CD, there was a lot of laughing, a lot of socializing, he didn't seem ill at all, except he got tired quickly because of the drugs. I think the only thing that really made me wobble a bit at the time was when I played 'Last Spring', and I knew that he wouldn't see spring (we recorded in August '08, he died 15th march '09), and I sat down and played it in one take, but it was really very, very slow. Much slower than I would do for a concert or ordinarily, but it wasn't that I MEANT it to be slow, it was that somehow, in the process of giving him every note, that was the tempo that came out. Does that make sense? I can put Last Spring up for you later if you want to hear it. It's the same piece as for string orchestra but transcribed for piano.

I also recorded Four Pieces Op. 1 and the Holberg Suite.

#2239061 - 02/28/14 01:53 PM Re: Grieg Sonata Op.7 [Re: joe80]
Carey Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 7230
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Joe - I really enjoyed listening to your interpretation. You have an excellent understanding of the piece - and you play beautifully !!
Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai CA-65
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo


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