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#967874 - 05/05/05 07:50 AM Gershwin Prelude II
cathys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/03
Posts: 917
Loc: Virginia
I've been working on this one for a while and have also been trying to get better at recording so even though there are things I'd like to improve on this piece I'm going to go ahead and post it. Let me know what you think. I used two dynamic mics (I know not the optimal type for recording piano) and a 4 track cassette recorder/mixer and then used a USB to AV contraption to get it into the computer.



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#967875 - 05/08/05 02:22 PM Re: Gershwin Prelude II
Horace Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 505
Nice! I love that disonance and syncopation. Very well played and I thought the piano sounded good too.

#967876 - 05/09/05 03:26 AM Re: Gershwin Prelude II
Nicko124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/08/05
Posts: 4
I have also learnt Prelude 2 (it took me two weeks) but as you know it takes longer than that to make it a really good performance. I am going to be performing all of Gershwins Three Preludes in June.
I have to admit that this prelude is a little trickier than it sounds yet it is the easiest out of the three. Prelude 3 is the most difficult followed by Prelude 1.

Anyway onto your performance, you have stated that it isn't perfect yourself so you will be prepared for criticisms.

I have noticed that you are making the C Sharp to E Natural Stretch using your right hand to help out in the first few bars. Yet later on you are breaking the chord which is definately noticable. I couldn't reach the stretch at first but after constantly practicing that Chord my hands have become stretchier and i can reach it fine now. I am not saying that this will definately work for you but you could try it.

You are playing the piece very slowly compared to it's metronome speed - 88. i have to admit that a slow performance of this piece can sound very nice however i think you need to search for the rubato and be prepared to speed up in sections to stop it from dragging.

Back to the stretching though there will be times with the left hand chords that you will undoubtably have to break them (see bar 10 , G Sharp to B Sharp)..Even G Natural to B natural may need to be broken. Don't worry about this too much just make sure it is as subtle as possible.

I take it that you are using your right hand to help the left hand make the chord in bar 9 ( 5th Finder C Sharp R.H stretch to 1st finger A Sharp on Bass Clef Chord.

Make sure you look for all oppurtunities where your R.H can aid in the L.H stretches. Unforutnetely it probably won't be possible to do this in the second section where the right hand has octaves and middle voice to worry about. In my opinion this is the most difficult section of the piece.

For the section where the bass clef takes the tune it is dragging a little bit so try and make it flow better. I never use pedal for this section as it sounds messed up.

Accelerate the ending and make sure that it gets quiter and quiter almost as if the last three bars are fading out: once again be very subtle. The last note you play is quite loud in Comparison to how it is written in my copy (PPPP). I think this is a little extreame it can still sound ok played loud but i prefer it being very quiet and subtle at the end.

I hope i have helped in some way with this prelude. I stil have a few things that i need to iron out on it.

Good Luck

#967877 - 05/09/05 07:11 PM Re: Gershwin Prelude II
cathys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/03
Posts: 917
Loc: Virginia
Thanks to you both for taking the time to take a listen. I really appreciate the feedback and I agree about the pace I've been trying to work up the pace and keeping it going, especially in the section where the bass takes the melody. I have fairly small hands, just reach a 9th, but can't quite swing the 10th. Your also correct on the RH helping out, my teacher helped me work out that alternate fingering. Don't have the score with me so not sure exactly which measures those are but it happens in that first section and then again in when that motif (not sure that's the right term) repeats. Again thanks so much for the feedback, this is one of the pieces I'm playing in my conservatory exam in a couple weeks.


#967878 - 05/22/05 11:34 PM Re: Gershwin Prelude II
markjpcs Offline

Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
Wow Cathy!

I love it!

You play wonderfully and the recording is very good.

Thank you for sharing this with us!

Visit us at:
The Piano World Practice Club

#967879 - 05/25/05 09:29 AM Re: Gershwin Prelude II
Kevin_dup1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/03/02
Posts: 343
Loc: Illinois

I just listened to the recording and enjoyed it a lot. Very nicely done -- I really liked the dynamics and control. I'm not sure if it's really too slow -- maybe you just played it "cautiously." A couple of ticks faster might be good, but I wouldn't go too fast since right now it seems well controlled. I also liked the "swingy" section. I have a good recording of Gershwin's piano music on CD by Bolcum (I think). If you don't have it, you might like it.


#967880 - 05/25/05 08:17 PM Re: Gershwin Prelude II
cathys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/03
Posts: 917
Loc: Virginia
Thanks I'll have to check out that recording. My teacher had really encouraged me to keep it slower; he had me thinking of lazy summer days in New Orleans.


#967881 - 06/06/05 02:11 PM Re: Gershwin Prelude II
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2913
Loc: idaho
I play this piece as well - I think it is wonderful played slowly. When I learned it, Andre Watts was my listening model. My teacher had me think of day-dreaming. I can't reach the 10th either and I use my right hand to help in the beginning measures and break it later when I need my right for other things. A 9th is a cake-walk, but no way short of a transplant will I ever be able to do a 10th! It was fun listening to you play it and compare with how I do it. We do much of it very much the same. You have a little different tempo and rhythms in some sections than I do. Nice playing. I thought the levels were a little low though. I'll listen to it at home and see if I can get more volume. I love this piece! I never get tired of playing it.
You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany

#967882 - 06/06/05 09:35 PM Re: Gershwin Prelude II
markjpcs Offline

Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
ooh! Teachum! We must hear a recording of this one from you!

Post it on eWorld OK?


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#967883 - 08/07/05 07:15 AM Re: Gershwin Prelude II
SamSamPianoMan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/04/05
Posts: 1
Loc: Newcastle
I really liked the recording. I know that you posted it in may, but i have just learned this piece this week ago, i a B Mus Ed student and am doing this for my assesment at the conservatorium. Yours sounds really good. if there is just one thing that i can offer, its those large gaps that you are breaking, C#-E for instance. in your recording they sound very broken, but try to play them as though they are not even though you are breaking them. The effect that gershwin wanted was not to break them so try to get the notes in as quick as possible with the use of the pedal. Other than that it sounds great. good luck and keep up the good work!!

#967884 - 08/07/05 09:56 AM Re: Gershwin Prelude II
***musical princess*** Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 537
Loc: Newcastle, England
I just listened to this for the first time and i loved it! Im not the biggest Gershwin fan but you played it really well and i thought it was fab! Well done! And Sam, are you Newcastle, England or Newcastle, America or Newcastle somewhere else? If you're England then howdie neighbour, we're the only two.


x Caroline x

#967885 - 09/07/05 06:40 PM Re: Gershwin Prelude II
cathys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/03
Posts: 917
Loc: Virginia
Thanks Sam & mp haven't been around for a bit so missed your comments. Thanks for listening and the feedback I do appreciate it.



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