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#966577 - 01/20/05 07:44 PM New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
markjpcs Offline


Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
Op.28 No 15.

My first attempt at recording this one.

http://www.pcsincnet.com/music/ChopinPrelude15.mp3
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#966578 - 01/20/05 07:59 PM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
wldrumstcs Offline
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Registered: 05/17/04
Posts: 405
Loc: Chicago
Just finished listening to it. Very beautiful!!
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#966579 - 01/20/05 08:36 PM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
markjpcs Offline


Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
Thank you wldrumstcs!

I am still polishing this one.
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#966580 - 01/22/05 02:06 AM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
Alvin Offline
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Registered: 10/19/04
Posts: 29
Loc: Hong Kong
Good work! I think you can use more rubatos.

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#966581 - 01/22/05 02:38 PM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
markjpcs Offline


Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
Thank you Alvin!

Can you point out the measures/times where you think I could use more rubato or are you referring to the entire piece?

Thanks again!

Mark
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#966582 - 01/22/05 02:48 PM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2913
Loc: idaho
Again - I am in no position to critique - I just want to get to where I can play this one! Love hearing it, Mark. My only remark is that the thing I love about this piece is the tension which needs to really come through.
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#966583 - 01/22/05 02:53 PM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
markjpcs Offline


Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
Thank you Kathy!

Did I make the tension come through? ;\)

I love that about this piece as well.

Now it's on to #13.

I will be polishing #15 for a long time
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#966584 - 01/22/05 09:25 PM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
teachum Offline
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Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2913
Loc: idaho
Yes - but I think you can do even more. It's hard to describe, but I know you know what I mean. I can't give you exact measures, because I don't know the music that well, even though I have it. But there is a part where there is a real soft regular beat that you just have to make them beg for the left hand to come crashing in. Make 'em beg! And then just give it to em! I hope to play this piece within the year, hopefully! I love listening to your recordings. Very inspiring for me.
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#966585 - 01/22/05 09:41 PM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
SusieQ Offline
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Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 301
Loc: Bellevue, Washington
Markjpcs - you play this very beautifully - thank you for inspiring me. Teachum - how cool for you to be close to learning this one. I have only been playing a year and a half, so I have a lot longer to get there. I hope to one day be able to play this. Fortunately, I have an excellent teacher and I am a very consistent and diligent practicer.....

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#966586 - 01/22/05 10:14 PM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
markjpcs Offline


Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
Thank you SusieQ!
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#966587 - 01/23/05 11:38 AM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2913
Loc: idaho
SusieQ - I don't know that I'm "CLOSE" I can pick out parts of it and it runs in my head a lot. For me, that tends to be a precursor. I listen to it a lot and just love it. Right now I have my hands full (literally) with Venetian Boat Song #1 op. 19, no. 6. Mark - do you do that one? If you like Chopin, I find some Mendelssohn to be very Chopinesque.
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#966588 - 01/26/05 07:14 PM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
markjpcs Offline


Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
I do not know the Venetian Boat Song #1. I will look into it and see if it is sonething I might want to learn.
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#966589 - 01/27/05 08:27 AM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
twitchy Offline
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Registered: 11/18/04
Posts: 60
Loc: London
Lovely recording in all respects! You seem to have balance and control in your hands that I fear I will never achieve (after years of bad practice). I'll go back to square one....

...and yes, more rubato!

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#966590 - 01/27/05 08:47 AM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
Mikester Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/17/04
Posts: 1254
Loc: Minneesooota
Now that you've been hearing all praise, time for some criticism which I bet you've been waiting to hear:

in addition to the rubato comment that others are making ...

1. ease up a bit on the left hand. It's too loud.

2. don't ever "strike" notes in this piece. When you make the big chords roll into them to get a bigger and warmer sound.

3. your repeated notes need to be softer. They are too monotone. Make sure you are switching fingers on them 3-2-1 or 4-3-2-1.

4. never do sudden crescendos and decrescendos in this piece. Gradual crescendo, over the course of a long phrase, is the right way to do it.

5. when you keep coming back to the main theme, baaam-ba-dam, vary it up. I don't care if it's making it a little louder, or more dynamic contrast, or even more rubato, just do something. People are going to go, "uhh I just heard this exact same thing and now I'm hearing it again?"

There are some good things going for you. Overall I'd give it 7.5 / 10 =)

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#966591 - 01/27/05 09:11 AM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
markjpcs Offline


Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
Thank you twitchy!

Thank you Mikester! I will print out your critique and review with my recording and my teacher next week.

Most of what you say he is already trying to get me to do. I [/b]am trying to get me to do these things! It just takes time, dedication and practice to get to that level of control.

It is a level I hope to achieve someday.
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#966592 - 01/27/05 06:02 PM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2913
Loc: idaho
Mikester - I really like your No. 2 on suggestions for Mark. My sister plays this piece and I really like the way she "leans" into the music. It sounds big without being harsh. I can't wait to get to the point where I can do this one! But I know I'm not ready!
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#966593 - 02/15/05 10:41 PM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
Awakening Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/04
Posts: 93
Loc: Seattle, WA
It was interesting for me to listen to this piece, because I have recently learned it myself, and am still trying to perfect it.

It's a difficult piece to play well. That being said, I have a few criticisms concerning your playing.

Throughout the first section (a), you need a little more dynamic range. Bring the melody out more in the right hand, and let the left hand fade into the background more. There are a lot of dynamics in this piece that are implied through the phrasing, but are not necessarily noted with any dynamic markings. Though the entire first section is all supposed to be piano, it feels like there is not enough contrast between phrases and such. For example, in measures 12, 16, and 18, I think that the general effect should be an "echo," sounding dreamy and in the background. The way you play these sections, they are approximately the same in volume as the phrase to come before, which I do not think is the desired effect. Also remember that none of the rhythms in this piece are set in stone, because of Chopin's famed rubato. Instead of keeping such a constant meter, especially in the opening section, try to let the emotions and dynamics of the piece mold the timing a little more. Just a thought. It is also of my opinion that in the third measure (and all other measures where this motive is repeated) the first three notes of the melody should get louder, reaching their apex on the G-sharp, and then coming down in volume ever so slightly on the F. The way you are playing makes it sound like all these melody notes are roughly the same volume, which is a boring overall effect. Also, remember that every time you do something twice (there are many repeated ideas and phrases in this piece) you should always change something the second time through. The most common way of thinking of these repeated ideas is as an echo, which is quieter than the first time through.

On the second section, get RID of the pedal until measure 34, and then keep it off again until measure 40. I have the urtext version of this piece, and there is no pedal for the build-up part of the "storm." I think the intention is for it to sound very dry, and then a rush of sound/emotion with the pedal during the climax. I apologize if you are not using pedal--I can't tell for sure from this recording. If you are, get rid of it, if not, then my apologies. Also, during the climax, more BASS. I think that part of what makes this part so cathartic and gushing is the amazing, deep bass. This doesn't show through much in your interpretation, which I think is an error. I see you are stressing the bass, but not quite enough, in my opinion. The bass is always at a disadvantage in terms of being brought out, because the melody can be half as loud as still be the thing that a listener will hear most. Because of this, when I play this section, I lift my left arm up high in the air (6-12 inches) and really come down on the bass octaves. You might want to try this.

During the entire middle section, I think that the crescendos marked should be quite subtle, and then a large crescendo for the climax. It's better to save everything up, and then get rid of it all for maximum effect. The way you play it, you have already "wasted" a lot of the volume and powerw that could come from the climax (measures 40-42).

In measures 60-62, try to bring out the top melody more. Think of everything else as secondary to this top note, and bring it out above all others. Starting at measure 64, bring out inner voice, and then switch back again to the top, and back once more to the inner voice.

For the ending, starting at measure 77, user RUBATO. If there is one part in the entire piece when this is needed, it is here. Draw the B-flat out for a very long time, and then "rob time" from the other notes, as if the notes were made out of clay and you craft them however you choose. It is boring to play them all with the exact same rhythm as notated, so find out what you think works best. Shape each note as if it were its own word in a beautiful line of poetry--this is arguably the most beautiful part of the entire piece, and can be played to incredible effect if done correctly. Also, in the final few measures, don't come to such a sudden stop. It's as if you're blasting along, and then you start to slow down only in the final two measures. Start slowing down well before that, so that the process is gradual and relaxing.

There is no need to hold the final note as long as you did, that's just corny. It is awhole note with a fermata, but that doesn't mean you hold it for eternity.

Anyway, sorry if I was overly-critical. You have done a nice job, but there is almost always more that can be done.



In the middle section

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#966594 - 02/15/05 11:05 PM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
markjpcs Offline


Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
I am aware of most of what you critique in this recording and have been working on polishing most of these aspects.

You are correct that it is a difficult piece to play well.,


 Quote:
Originally posted by Awakening:

On the second section, get RID of the pedal until measure 34, and then keep it off again until measure 40. I have the urtext version of this piece, and there is no pedal for the build-up part of the "storm." I think the intention is for it to sound very dry, and then a rush of sound/emotion with the pedal during the climax. I apologize if you are not using pedal--I can't tell for sure from this recording. If you are, get rid of it, if not, then my apologies. [/b]
I will take issue with this. I have an edition that follows very close to the original autograph and there are pedaling indications from Chopin throughout this section. I will double check this against the autograph tomorrow.


 Quote:
Originally posted by Awakening:
There is no need to hold the final note as long as you did, that's just corny. It is awhole note with a fermata, but that doesn't mean you hold it for eternity. [/b]
Oh I agree! LOL! I do not normally do that! I don't know what I was thinking!

 Quote:
Originally posted by Awakening:
Anyway, sorry if I was overly-critical. You have done a nice job, but there is almost always more that can be done.

In the middle section [/b]
Not at all! I always like to hear how I can improve my interpretations. My teacher is my main guide but he also respects other ideas. I will definitely be polishing this one for a while. I have been concentrating on some required pieces for an upcoming festival next month so this piece has been put on the "back burner" but I still play it at least two or three times a day.
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#966595 - 02/16/05 08:10 AM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
Awakening Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/04
Posts: 93
Loc: Seattle, WA
Yeah. I feel sort of the same way about this piece. I've been working on it for a long time, and have played it in one recital so far. I have other pieces that have farther to go, so I make them my priority. But with the prelude, I still feel like it isn't quite where it should be, and my teacher agrees, so I still practice it a little bit each day. She tells me that once you're 90% finished with a piece (memorized, all correct notes, etc) and still have that final 10% to go, the final 10% takes as much effort as it did to learn the first 90%. Not sure if it's true, but this is one of those pieces where I feel like it has taken a ton of practice to shape the melodies and try to get all the dynamics right. Not technically demanding by any means, but to play it musically is a challenge.

And about the pedal markings...My version is a G. Henle Verlag URTEXT edition,And in the middle section, has pedal markings only on measures 35, 39-43, 51, and 55-59 (end of what I'd call the middle section.) I personally think it sounds better this way, and removing the pedal from these sections adds a lot of dimension to the piece. It also makes it more challenging, because pedal obviously makes single notes less obvious, therefore proper voicing and articulation is essential when there is no pedal. Going virtually without the pedal until the ff portion creates a strong build-up, I think. You should definitely consider playing without pedal here. I have heard it played on recordings with pedal, but it is of my opinion that this is incorrect and not true to the intent of the piece.

Anyway, discuss it with your teacher, I suppose.

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#966596 - 02/16/05 09:42 PM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
markjpcs Offline


Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
The pedaling stays.
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#966597 - 02/16/05 10:30 PM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
Allazart Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 389
 Quote:
Originally posted by markjpcs:
The pedaling stays. [/b]
lol...I find that I also have a very high tolerance for the sustain pedal. I think piano sounds way better 'wet' than it does 'dry'. I like your style and enjoyed your playing...very warm. Keep it up!

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#966598 - 02/16/05 10:38 PM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
markjpcs Offline


Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
Thank you Allazart!

I tried playing it without pedal in the places indicated. I did not like it.

Awakening, Do you have a recording of you playing this? I would like to hear it.
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#966599 - 02/16/05 10:58 PM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
Awakening Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/04
Posts: 93
Loc: Seattle, WA
Sorry, I do not. I haven't dabbled in any recording. I'd like to get into it at some point, but the only piano in my house is in the family room, and even finding time to practice in complete silence is difficult. I have a digital piano in my room that can record up to five minutes, which is just enough for most songs, but I only do this sometimes to get an idea of how I sound. The digital piano is not something I would want to use to record my own playing, because it doesn't do the same justice as an acoustic.

It's been interesting for me listening to you play this piece, obviously because I have been playing it as well, and there are lots of personal choices that the performer must make when choosing how to play this piece. I still say that the pedal should not be there...Not that it sounds bad with it there--I started out doing this until my teacher corrected me--but after hearing how good it CAN sound without pedal, I'd never go back. I think the dryness of pedal-free playing in these measures gives this sense of gloom and gravity that is somewhat glossed over with the use of pedal.

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#966600 - 02/18/05 08:47 PM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
Awakening Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/04
Posts: 93
Loc: Seattle, WA
I'm actually not so sure anymore about the pedal. I just had a lesson with a different teacher (my piano teacher recommended it so that I could get a different take and stuff before auditions) and this teacher, who seems to be a generally better pianist than my regular teacher, told me to play it with pedal. When I pointed out that there is no pedal marking in the score, she seemed somewhat baffled, but still witheld that it should be played with pedal. Maybe it does sound better, I'm not sure...I'm somewhat torn by the whole thing.

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#966601 - 05/18/06 05:34 PM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2913
Loc: idaho
Just listened to this again. It is so beautiful. I am playing it this Sunday in a recital. I only hope I can do it as well. I feel pretty confident about it, but there's always those dratted nerves to deal with!
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#966602 - 05/20/06 07:45 PM Re: New Recording - Chopin Prelude Db Major
johnn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/05/05
Posts: 51
It's pretty cool that earlier in this thread you are saying how far in the future it is for you and now, 17 months later, you're doing it!

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