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 Post subject: Chopin Ballade no.1
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 12:26 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:45 am
Posts: 87
Location: New Zealand
Hey guys, this is my second time recording this piece. (I think you might remember me posting this piece a long time ago)
I don't want this recording to be up on the site because in a week, I'm getting a new grand piano so I'm going to post this again in that piano.
Meanwhile, I want you guys to tell me how much I improved so far and what I'm still lacking.
Thank you for listening. :D


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 Post subject: Ballade
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 11:44 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:26 pm
Posts: 829
Location: Miami, Florida, USA
I thoroughly enjoyed your playing. You did a beautiful job playing this difficult work. What kind of piano were you playing? It was a bit out of tune. I would like to hear you perform this on a nice grand piano. That would make a big difference. Good job!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 11:47 am 
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Dear Hunwoo,
You play this very well. The piano was pretty crummy, so it will be great when you get your new piano. I have only a few suggestions, and they are all a matter of interpretation, so please don't take offense. And most of them are in the beginning few pages.
1. The first measures are setting up the story, one which takes the listener on a dramatic ride full of every emotion there is. I would put a tiny break between measures 3 - 4 and also between 5 -6. This will tell tease the listener, suggesting that something mysterious is coming.
2. The Moderato section - I can't hear all the quarter notes. Don't know if it's the piano or not. You need to be careful with them and make them gentle but clear at the same time.
3. Another little break would be good right after the RH run and into the a tempo - or maybe just a little more rit.
4. Meno mosso section - about 7 lines in where the a tempo is. This needs to be softer - arousing the mystery once again.
5. the con forza section could be little 'bigger' sounding.

Overall, you have the notes and tempo down well, and you have the potential to make this really great. Can't wait to hear it later. It's already really good.

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:29 am
Posts: 692
Location: Germany
Hello Hunwoo,

you really did a great job!
I agree with what Monica and John wrote already, however it is more than a bit out of tune what John wrote. Let's say that are at least some bits :D

Beside what Monica mentioned, you corrected some wrong notes through repetition, like after the 2nd theme before it comes to the a part again, or after the ff part (you "exploded" there beautiful!) in the beginning of the piu animato part (a repetition of a complete bar or half a bar, I dunno). No big deal, since you know the notes. But technically seen you mastered especially the difficult passages inclusive the presto con fuoco part very well, congratulations for that.

I also look forward how it will sound on your new grand piano! Please rerecord it, not because of the little things we niggled but because of better piano sound (also recording quality - try 44khz and stereo instead 22khz and mono if anyhow possible). This great piece and your efforts would deserve that. I can also imagine that the pp and sotte voce parts will come out better on your new grand.

Your playing also never sounded strained or stressed to me, even not in the presto part! For that you have my deep respect!

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Olaf Schmidt


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 5:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
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Location: Netherlands
First of all, if you are getting a new grand soon, I wonder why you bothered to record this great work on this crummy out-of-tune piano. It sounds like sh*t, not to be too subtle about it.

You play it excellently though. Technically it is very proficient, there are one or two unlucky slips, but you have this piece solidly in the fingers. You certainly have improved considerably since your previois take (I do not remember all the details of that). A couple of things:

- In the introduction, your touch is a bit uneven - not all the notes inside the chords are audible.
- As pianolady said, the great climax needs to have more weight and power.
- You need to take care this piece proceeds in one big sweep instead of a number of contrasting
and disjointed sections. I find this hard to explain but it sounds a bit fragmented and lacking in
overall control.
- The coda could also have more power and sweep. You could take back the tempo a bit in favour of
in more weight.
- There is some clipping in the loud passages, which you need to avoid in your next recording.

But I agree with other posters, this is very good and has real potential. Keep going ! I am sure your next version, on the new grand, will be great.

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Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 8:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:29 am
Posts: 692
Location: Germany
techneut wrote:
- You need to take care this piece proceeds in one big sweep instead of a number of contrasting and disjointed sections. I find this hard to explain but it sounds a bit fragmented and lacking in overall control.


Chris, certainly you are right with all other things you mentioned. But especially this ballade I indeed find to be composed of a number of contrasting sections, several bars long each. They are of course jointed, nethertheless one clearly can see distinct sections. So proceed in one big sweep... beside the different sections it is also a bit too long for a 9 minute piece, so that's the one single thing I need to disagree. Instead, the different sections could be shown dynamically even in stronger contrast, but of course, just personal opinion (derived from more than a years long closer look at the piece however).

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Olaf Schmidt


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:45 am
Posts: 87
Location: New Zealand
Hello everyone,
thank you so much for your comments and suggestions.
I recorded this because I need to know if I'm doing well for the competition I'm entering in July.
Its National Competition in New Zealand so I'm really practicing alot for it.
The new Grand Piano I'm getting is the new Yamaha C2L version, and I hope it sounds much better than the one I have. (I haven't tuned my current Piano for over a year, sorry) :oops:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 9:27 pm 
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I have to agree with Olaf. There has to be some sort of break between the sections because of the emotional rollercoaster. In this ballade, I see the opening two bars as strong and positive. Then the f-sharp hits in the third bar and the mood changes. We’re not sure of our feelings, and the piece proceeds in a melancholy tone with touches of sunshine peeking through. The long RH runs lifts us up, then, and suggests something joyful, but the ‘a tempo’ tells us that all is not good, yet. In fact, it’s soon to be terrifying. Where did the sunshine go?
Ah, it breaks out of the clouds at the Meno Mosso and we are comforted. Peace gently drifts over us. But then the clouds sneak across the sky. Some are thicker and grayer than the puffy white clouds. It looks like things may be getting dark. Our hearts sink a bit, as we try to shake off the gloom that threatens to over take us. We fight - harder and harder and suddenly, by the grace of God, the clouds not only break away, but disappear completely, and we are bathed in beautiful light – all colors – our hearts soar. The scenery is magnificent – everything lush, blooming, birds singing. We run carefree in soft grasses, joy oozing out our pores. Our world is happy.
Oh, but the clouds return. Please not again, we say. What have we done that is so terrible? The skies darken, almost black, now. Nature’s beauty shrivels and turns brown. Our soul struggles to make sense but to no avail. Then the chromatic octaves at the end. The crushing, final blow. We realize that this is the world that is left to us. Darkness, despair, silence.

Sorry for being so long-winded, but I too have studied this piece thoroughly and have strong feelings about it. We are not zombies. It’s okay to let a piece of music ebb and flow with the various tones and moods. This is how music affects our hearts and minds.

Hunwoo, I hope you enjoy your Yamaha. I also have a C2. (not with the letter L, though)

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 10:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 6
Location: California -USA
Congratulations pianolady, I couldn't find the right words to the feelings of this music. I am too practicing, just 6 pages only, too advanced for me but I am a dreamer :), thanks for share your feelings about it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 3:00 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:45 am
Posts: 87
Location: New Zealand
pianolady wrote:
I have to agree with Olaf. There has to be some sort of break between the sections because of the emotional rollercoaster. In this ballade, I see the opening two bars as strong and positive. Then the f-sharp hits in the third bar and the mood changes. We’re not sure of our feelings, and the piece proceeds in a melancholy tone with touches of sunshine peeking through. The long RH runs lifts us up, then, and suggests something joyful, but the ‘a tempo’ tells us that all is not good, yet. In fact, it’s soon to be terrifying. Where did the sunshine go?
Ah, it breaks out of the clouds at the Meno Mosso and we are comforted. Peace gently drifts over us. But then the clouds sneak across the sky. Some are thicker and grayer than the puffy white clouds. It looks like things may be getting dark. Our hearts sink a bit, as we try to shake off the gloom that threatens to over take us. We fight - harder and harder and suddenly, by the grace of God, the clouds not only break away, but disappear completely, and we are bathed in beautiful light – all colors – our hearts soar. The scenery is magnificent – everything lush, blooming, birds singing. We run carefree in soft grasses, joy oozing out our pores. Our world is happy.
Oh, but the clouds return. Please not again, we say. What have we done that is so terrible? The skies darken, almost black, now. Nature’s beauty shrivels and turns brown. Our soul struggles to make sense but to no avail. Then the chromatic octaves at the end. The crushing, final blow. We realize that this is the world that is left to us. Darkness, despair, silence.

Sorry for being so long-winded, but I too have studied this piece thoroughly and have strong feelings about it. We are not zombies. It’s okay to let a piece of music ebb and flow with the various tones and moods. This is how music affects our hearts and minds.

Hunwoo, I hope you enjoy your Yamaha. I also have a C2. (not with the letter L, though)


Thats not so long winded at all, I enjoyed your description of this piece completely. :o

I'm using a MP3 recorder, I have a question to ask.
Where do you guys put your recorder when you are recording? behind the piano? next to the piano? or actually on the piano?
I put it behind the where I was sitting.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 3:44 pm 
Hi Hunwoo, great to hear you playing at last :D

You played very well, i just have a few ideas with your interpretation, though as you know this comes down to personal preference.

The opening 5 measures sounded a little unnatural to me, i hate when this section is played strictly in tempo, i believe most of Chopin's romantic music should avoid STRICT timing altogether IMO. The opening/main theme was played very nicely, especially since so many recordings i have of this piece, the pianist seems to heavily accent the first note of the phrase that is held down. With the 'run' in the right before the agitato section i thought you could have used some rubato, because it seemed merely like the execution of notes in that part. Also the following theme after the run, until the agitato section, i thought might sound nicer with a bit of rubato (particularly hesitation) to foreshadow the explosion of emotion that is to come. I thought the next passagework section followed very nicely and was very cleanly played. The meno mosso section, sounded a little too strong for me, i like it when it sounds like more of a whisper... The a tempo section was played nicely, and you avoided sounding too pompous in the grand section that follows. The presto con fuoco section was great, you played it very cleanly:D THe appasionato section before entering that section could have had more fire, hesitation (more ritenuto) to create suspense, and perhaps a little more fury throughout the sectio. However that may only be because of the piano...

All in all, excellently played, you seem to handle the technical side of the piece very well, my advice would be just to think about how you would like to interpret EACH bar, then how that fits into EACH section, and then finally the interpretation of the piece as a whole as in the end it needs to be your interpretation. Think about what emotion each section holds for you and try to express it fully.... Ha ive gone on, its late at night... so yeah.
I cant wait to hear your recording on a quality piano ;)

ps Post the waterfall etude as well, i am just about to begin trying to learn that piece after ive had a break from piano for a while :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 10:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:38 am
Posts: 647
Location: Sydney, Australia
[
I'm using a MP3 recorder, I have a question to ask.
Where do you guys put your recorder when you are recording? behind the piano? next to the piano? or actually on the piano?
I put it behind the where I was sitting.[/quote]

according to adelaide conser and professional recodings, the paino recording was the most difficult instrument to record. The best is to buy Kawais, pr1 recording, that has two microphones that sitick to the bottom of the sound board :roll: . Its cost 1300(australia $, thats before barganing.. :lol:

Good work and work harder and smarter to get some prizes...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 10:43 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:45 am
Posts: 87
Location: New Zealand
The prize money for the competion is $3000.
I might buy the recording equipment with it, or maybe even a high quality camera so I can record myself in video :)
Nevermind I was just dreaming hehe.
It is a national competion anyway.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 8:28 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:27 pm
Posts: 1842
Location: Sweden
Really well done and it is just a pity that the piano is out of tune. Your technique is very good and you handle to most demanding parts very good. A couple of notes that are not that well heard but this is just very small problems that a good grand perhaps would resolve with its double escapements.

I am really impressed and once you get that grand, re-record this and you will have an incredible good recording up on the site.

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