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 Post subject: Bach - Liadov
PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 3:57 pm 
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Recorded today :

Bach - Prelude and Fugue Nr. 7 in E flat Major, BWV 852 from WTC I

Liadov - Prelude Op. 10 N0.1

Comments welcome.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 4:42 pm 
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I think you played both pieces well, but I liked the Liadov piece better only because it sounds so much like Chopin. I know Bach is good to learn because of the work involved in bringing out the melodic lines, but some of those longer pieces, well, I can just imagine men in those long ago times falling asleep in their chairs, and their wives nudging them to wake up. Sorry, that has nothing to do with how you play. Again, your playing is fine. I simply prefer music in the classical and romantic periods and thanks to you, I've been introduced to Liadov's music. Is there a piano book publisher of Liadov you would recommend?


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 Post subject: Liadov
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 5:13 pm 
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Very good! Just a couple of comments, I think you played this well but I would have liked a bit more "lift", it has good forward motion but I felt it was moving on the ground, not in the air, if that makes sense. There was a pedal blur in there somewhere that stuck out. Good melodic phrasing and overall shaping, I can tell that you love this this music and that is most important!

About the piece; I'd never heard this piece before, and the first thing I thought was that I was listening to a transmogrified version of Chopin's Impromptu in Gb Op.51. Did anyone else hear that? The melodic contour and harmonic prograssion of both pieces are very similar; no matter, this is a good piece in it's own right. Thanks to you and Koji I'm getting to hear Liadov, it's good piano music worth playing. For years all I knew was the piece "A Musical Snuff-Box", but from what I read about him I knew there was more to his music than that, that he was more than a mere musical candy maker. Keep the Liadov coming, it's good stuff!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 5:23 pm 
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Liadov publishers. Heheh, where to start :wink:

There is an album from Peters and one from (I think) IMP, compiled by Oxana Yablonskaya. Neither of them are satisfactory - but I never agree with someone else's selection anyway, as much out of principle as well as because I am an inveterate completist. Individual pieces are (or were) published by Beliaeff, the famous publisher-patron of Liadov, Glazunov, Scriabin and others of the time. Seems to be part of Peters now but I can't find any of the Belaieff catalog at Peters. Hm.

What I have is the complete edition in 5 volumes - this must be a reprint from the complete Russian edition - by Hungarian publisher Koenemann.
They are now defunct so not sure if that is still available. Cheap volumes, and yet excellent good quality paper and binding, surprisingly. I am very pleased to have them, it's a real treasure trove for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Well I hope you can find something. You could always have my Peters Album, as I don't need that anymore now.

A shame though that you don't seem to warm to Bach much ! It will come, with age :P

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 6:24 pm 
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I agree Chase, much more can be made of this little piece, which I will probably re-record as I am not very satisfied with it yet, and not technically on top of it.

Funny you should mention Chopin's 3rd impromptu, as I am always forcibly reminded of the first impromptu when playing this. Indeed it has something of the third as well.

But we should not like Liadov just because he (sometimes) sounds like Chopin. Actually he shamelessly apes not just Chopin but also Balakirev, Tchaikovsky, and even late Scriabin. But he does it so well as to get away with it. And he always has his own, unmistakenly Russian, voice. He has that intrinsic instinct for piano sonority and technique that so many Russian composers seem to have - as if it comes totally natural.
And most important, Liadov knew when to stop. None of his pieces is ever too long (sometimes a bit too short, to be honest). What is that saying, in limitation one shows the art, or something ?

I am now working on the Variations on a Polish Theme. One of the best variation sets I have come across, and I'm deeply in love with it. Needs rather a lot more work before I can record it though.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:27 pm 
Nice attempt. But for me both the recordings didnt capture the nuances of the pieces u attempted to play. Bach could have been definitely better.
As far as Liadov, after 10 seconds or so the piece was so loud, u played like there is no dynamics to the piece and the subtle left hand notes didnt come out well. May be its the recording but I do think its a nice attempt but in a way it left the listener unsatisfied and I think there is definitely more room for improvement here.....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:57 am 
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Yes, definitely.

U know, as an amateur pianist I am all too aware there is ample room for improvement. Isn't there always ? But thanks for so tactfully pointing it out. Nothing quite as motivating as a helpful critique !

As for dynamics - imdeed you don't hear them sufficiently here. If you have ever recorded yourself, using non-professional equipment, you may know how difficult it is to capture dynamic nuances.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 6:14 pm 
ok, Chris. I think its the recording too that might have muffled up the dynamics in the Liadov piece. But anyway I do think its a nice attempt and thanks for sharing.
Do keep them coming...

Thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 12:54 pm 
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Bach e flat major WTC1:

The prelude you played with firm rhythm, and the run in bars 8 and 9 comes out very well. In general the right hand is louder, maybe due to your recording tool placement. However, the first bars are like answer and reply to me for right and left hand, and the left hand could come stronger to enhance that effect. Beside some minor slips, like in bar 40, the prelude sounds very well to me.

The fugue: my first impression was that you play it very lively and I asked myself whether you are able to come through that piece with that tempo. Yes, you managed it, congratulations for that! Not an easy thing - one should not think that 3 voice fugues are easier than 4 voice fugues. Sometimes quite the opposite. The 2 voice e minor fugue I find more difficult than the 5 voice b minor fugue e.g.

However, what was no big issue for the prelude, I have to niggle that the right hand is almost always in foreground in the fugue. The fugue theme has some nice accents, and the goal should be of course to remember that theme throughout the piece, regardless whether right or left hand. If the theme is in the left hand or inner voice, you should try to put the right hand more in the background and let the theme shine. I recognize that you do it sometimes, but it can and should be even stronger.
I know that I give an advice what I am mostly not able to realize myself in my Bach fugue playing attempts. Nevertheless, maybe it would be better to play the fugue a little bit slower but with strong emphasis at least on the fugue theme going through the 3 voices.
To give every voice an own distinct color is in my opinion something wat even the best piano players don't do. But at least, if the theme appears, it should come out clear, regardless whether played with right or left hand or feets or nose (I have the feeling that all body parts which are able to hit a key are needed sometimes on those fugues...)

But hey, you don't go through the complete WTC1, don't you? Please take the WTC2 first and give me a chance for WTC1... :D

Liadov: Nice romantic piece, and I disagree with the opinion that it is too loud. I also heard lots of dynamics. Maybe exxageration towards loud, but even more towars soft here and there would turn the piece from very well to beautiful playing. Of course, professional recording technique helps too, and sometimes I have the opinion that they manipulate the dynamics after the recording. Have you heard Barenboim's WTC1 recording? There must be something artificial in that regarding dynamic enhancements.

Thank you for sharing!

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