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 Post subject: Chopin Mazurkas
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 1:21 pm 
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Hi Everybody,
The seventeen-year cicadas are popping out in a few days, and they say the noise they make will be amazingly loud. So I don't quite know what to expect; even with my windows closed will it be too noisy outside to record? The last time they came out, I had just had a baby and was kind of out of it, and the time before that I was around 12 and remember riding my bike down the sidewalk and they would fly and get stuck in my hair. Eeewww, just thinking about that gives me the creeps. Anyway, that's why I had to get these pieces done now. Comments appreciated.

Chopin Mazurka Op. 7, No. 1
Chopin Mazurka Op. 50, No. 1
Chopin Mazurka Op. 68, No. 4

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 1:44 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
17 year Cicadas are worthless....what if I only came out of hiding every 17 years to eat and procreate....I'd be frowned upon by society.


Anyways, good playing. I am not too familiar with Chopin's Mazurkas, I only have Rubenstein to listen to and his recordings of the 51 Mazurkas. So the odds of impressing me are already stacked against you. :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 3:25 pm 
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Location: Germany
First: I can't imagine that your Cidadas are louder as my frogs in our pond. You can't believe how loud they are, especially during the evening time where I like to play. Should spill a bottle oil or fill it with concrete or drop a bomb into the pond, also the neighbours would appreciate that. :roll:

To your Mazurkas:

7/1: that's more on the slower side, but with precise accented notes. I also like your piano sound on the sotto voce place - with una corda pedal, so it seems.

50/1: clear and precise chords. I could imagine even stronger lyrical playing here and there, also to phrase the left hand melody in the last part even stronger so that it stands out more clearly above the right hand accompaignment. You do, perhaps only a bit more exxageration maybe. But completely personal taste!

68/4: Beautiful played! Especially that passage from bar 14 on you interpreted very, very moving. What for a sad piece - is seems the last piece Chopin ever wrote. My score dates 1849 and states in the critical remarks:
"last sketch Chopin wrote down before his death". There must be different versions of this - you played exactly as it is in my score (Henle Urtext). Not only here - you always play very accurate according the score.

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 Post subject: Mazurkas
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 4:37 pm 
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Location: Miami, Florida, USA
Thanks for another beautiful post, Monica. I have to admit that I've never studied any of the mazurkas and have only played a couple of the most popular ones in passing. So I can't give any meaningful suggestions.

However, you played them with your usual sensitive, lyrical touch. I particularly liked the 68/4, especially after reading the information Olaf provided about it. It seems even more melancholy to me realizing it was probably Chopin's last work. Being the amateur psychologist that I am, I read a lot into those descending harmonic and melodic patterns throughout the piece.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 5:52 pm 
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These are very good as usual. The 7.1 is nice and quirky. In bar 8 and similar, on the second beat in the RH, you play an eight and a 16th. My edition only has that on the first beat, not on the second. Not that it sounds bad. You don't seem to observe the "poco rall." at the end of the sotto voce section. I did not find this one too slow although it's not really Vivavce either. But seems like "vivace" in Mazurkas is to be taken with a pinch of salt.

The 50.1 is good too but there could be just a little more conviction and freedom.

The 68.4 is very/too slow IMO, so that it loses the Mazurka character and becomes more like a slow melancholy waltz. It is beautiful and convincing though.

They are up the site. It will be nice when we'll get Mazurkas with cicada backing vocals :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 9:54 pm 
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Thank you so much for listening Julius, Olaf, John and Chris.


Olaf, I pity your frog problem. We have them too down by the river but right next to my house are toads that make a soft croaking noise at night. It's actually a peaceful sound. They sing along with the crickets. Is your pond a natural one, or did you make it in your yard? That's a common thing around here.

WARNING: THESE QUOTE THINGS ARE ALL REVERSED. I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. THIS IS THE SECOND TIME I TYPED THIS. :x Sorry.


[/quote] 7/1: that's more on the slower side
Quote:

I know it sounds slow, but that's because I don't play that great. It's actually two whole seconds faster than Rubinstein.

50/1: clear and precise chords. I could imagine even stronger lyrical playing here and there, also to phrase the left hand melody in the last part even stronger so that it stands out more clearly above the right hand accompaignment. You do, perhaps only a bit more exxageration maybe.
Quote:
You and Chris are right about this one. I wanted to bring out the left hand more, but seems like it didn't work out. My only excuse is that yesterday, I worked outside in my garden all morning, planting flowers, transplanting rose bushes, etc. and then at the piano my arms and fingers felt like lead. I wanted to record the third mazurka then too but my fingers couldn't do a single trill, so I did that one this morning. Anyway, I think I can do this second mazurka better, so I'm going to try it again tomorrow.

What for a sad piece - is seems the last piece Chopin ever wrote. My score dates 1849 and states in the critical remarks:
"last sketch Chopin wrote down before his death"
Quote:

My book says the same thing. I can't think about it, though, when I play this or I don't make it to the end.

In bar 8 and similar, on the second beat in the RH, you play an eight and a 16th. My edition only has that on the first beat, not on the second
Quote:

My book has the same as yours. I don't know why I do that. I think it's because I got a certain way of playing the trill or mordent stuck in my head and now I can't play it correctly.

You don't seem to observe the "poco rall." at the end of the sotto voce section
Quote:

You're right. I have no excuses. :oops:

The 68.4 is very/too slow IMO, so that it loses the Mazurka character and becomes more like a slow melancholy waltz
Quote:
I think the tempo I play this is just how I feel. Like it's unnatural to play it any faster. (only me, I know) But FYI, Rubinstein plays it at 3:16 and I play it at 2:29. However, have you heard him play it? There's a whole section that I never knew existed in the piece. And even the other parts are quite different than my version. Still, subtracting the seconds of this 'extra' section, he plays it slower than I.

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 1:26 pm 
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You don't have to listen to this again. It's pretty much the same as the first one. I tried to bring out the LH more on the end. It's not perfect but I can live with this recording. So Chris or Robert, when you have time, can you please replace the first recording of this mazurka with this version? Thank you. :)

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


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 6:15 pm 
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Done !

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 2:44 am 
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Thank you!

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"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 19, 2007 2:41 am 
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Chris, I don't know if this matters or not, but I just went to the statistics page and at the very end it lists me recording Chopin 68/1, except I never recorded that one.

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"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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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 6:15 am 
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Cicadas! Had to look that up in Wikipedia as I had no idea of what it was but it does not sound too pleasant. Up in the north where I live we do not have much problems with any kind of animals as they would probably freeze to death if they tried to live here. My problems is rather cold hands when I play. But hm...we have the ravens in the mountains 100 meters from my house. But they most go like "kra kra" 100 meters up in the air and scares all the howling gulls away. So only for good then.

Your Chopin Mazurkas are very well executed and a beautiful listening experience. Perfect to set out a good mood from the breakfast table. Your playing sound confident and relaxed and there is noting more I want or expect. Very well done!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 6:29 am 
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pianolady wrote:
Chris, I don't know if this matters or not, but I just went to the statistics page and at the very end it lists me recording Chopin 68/1, except I never recorded that one.

Yes, this is because I had originally mistyped the 4 as a 1 one. One fast-fingered person managed to play it before I could rename it (see how popular you are :) ) and that lone event is now recorded in the access log forever. I can only correct that by hacking either the log or the stats program, and can't be bothered to do either...

If you look further up the list you see 25 downloads of the correctly named file.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 1:16 pm 
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Thank you, Robert.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Mazurkas
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 7:58 pm 
> The seventeen-year cicadas

Also here they are. In july-august there are also fire-flies.
Imho very well played th mazurkas. To find a thing I do not like very much (but obvious it's
question of tastes) : the chords are at a volume level too much near the melody. I prefer
more separation. Very good the phrasing and the grace-notes.

All best,
Sandro.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 9:35 pm 
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Thanks, Sandro. I just listened back to these and I see what you mean in the last one. I just get so nervous when I record that my hands don't want to do what my brain tells them.

I didn't know you had these cicadas in Italy. I saw the first one yesterday. I was watering my flowers in the backyard, when my eyes fell on something big and black. It was a giant cicada sitting on my pink geranium. Scared me to death, as that memory of them getting stuck in my long hair came rushing back. I don't know where all the other billion cicadas are right now. It's ok with me if they come out in somebody else's yard. And we also have fire flies, except we call them lightening bugs. Those are 'nice' bugs. When I was a kid we used to collect them in a jar, secretly carry them into the movie theater, and then release them. Great fun! (though probably not for the managers)

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"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: Sun May 27, 2007 9:17 am 
> Scared me to death, as that memory of them getting stuck in my long hair came rushing back. I don't know where all the other billion cicadas are right now. It's ok with me if they come out in somebody else's yard.

I'm both europeist and friend of USA. But .....Hold them, do not export these monsters!
Here there are only "regular" cicadas.

> except we call them lightening bugs.

mmm. I prefer the idea of flying fire.

All best,
Sandro


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