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 Post subject: Re: Bach - Italian Concerto
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:50 pm 
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Location: Germany
Alf wrote:
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Andreas, did you know that Schiff lives in Italy now (near Florence, I think)? Some years ago he founded a small ensemble, called "Cappella Andrea Barca, after the Italian translation of his name.


No, I didn´t know that, but it´s very interesting. You know, I feel a little bit connected with him, because I have met him between 1985 and 1990 every year in Prussia Cove (Cornwall/England) during the "International Musicians Seminar" (directed by Sandor Vegh/Yehudy Menhuin). (I don´t know, if he would remember me, even I made him an own composition as gift then. There were so much students then and he seemed not to be too much interested in my composition.) There I have met also Ferenc Rados, Tamas Vasary and Giörgy Kurtag. So, I´m really influenced a bit by the Hungarian direction. :D It was really a great time then and I miss it somehow. Later I saw him again several times in Cologne (Köln, where he played in the Philharmonie) and one times in Neuss (my old home, where he played the whole WTC I in one evening by heart in a little barn on "Museumsinsel Hombroich").
"Andrea Barca" is funny, because it´s the word-by-word translation of his name. He could have named it "Andreas Schiff" for a good german sound and to remember his namesake on PS. :lol: Btw, did you know, that "Andrea" is a female prename in german? I have met an Italian as a child, who was called "Andrea" and first I really thought, he was a girl (he also looked a bit like a girl).

Quote:
I'm referring to musical ideas, so they're more easily shown at the piano than verbally explained. For me it's enough that you, Andreas and others notice them and enjoy. Music making should be just about that.


I second that and I enjoy your musical thoughts very much.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - Italian Concerto
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:45 pm 
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Location: Germany
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HJ, I'm referring to musical ideas, so they're more easily shown at the piano than verbally explained. For me it's enough that you, Andreas and others notice them and enjoy. Music making should be just about that.

I admit my question could be regarded as foolish. But I'm very interested in the process or the genealogy of an artist who realizes her/his interpretational ideas on the own performance. And thought an artist could - if necessary - explain the ideas also in verbal form like the artist statements in the field of visual arts. Or like the conductors who must explain their musical ideas verbally to their orchestras. Recently I watched the film of Bruno Monsaingeon (who filmed many artists including GG) about the music making of the French pianist David Fray "Swing, Sing & Think". I found the verbal explanations of Fray about his interpretation very interesting and had such a thing on my mind as I raised that question.
Anyway you presented a performance which made me curious about your music making itself, Alf. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - Italian Concerto
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:51 pm 
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Andreas wrote:
Btw, did you know, that "Andrea" is a female prename in german? I have met an Italian as a child, who was called "Andrea" and first I really thought, he was a girl (he also looked a bit like a girl).

:lol: The name "Andrea" had been known to me as the first name of that blind singer (with a very poor voice) Bocelli. So I was very surprised at the many girls called Andrea in my first years in Germany.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - Italian Concerto
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 10:07 pm 
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Location: Piemonte, Italy
hyenal wrote:
Quote:
HJ, I'm referring to musical ideas, so they're more easily shown at the piano than verbally explained. For me it's enough that you, Andreas and others notice them and enjoy. Music making should be just about that.

I admit my question could be regarded as foolish.


There was nothing foolish at all about your question, HJ.

hyenal wrote:
But I'm very interested in the process or the genealogy of an artist who realizes her/his interpretational ideas on the own performance. And thought an artist could - if necessary - explain the ideas also in verbal form like the artist statements in the field of visual arts. Or like the conductors who must explain their musical ideas verbally to their orchestras. Recently I watched the film of Bruno Monsaingeon (who filmed many artists including GG) about the music making of the French pianist David Fray "Swing, Sing & Think". I found the verbal explanations of Fray about his interpretation very interesting and had such a thing on my mind as I raised that question.


In Bach's music, much more than in other composers', my choices are usually made by intuition and by experimentation, so it's really difficult for me to explain why i do something in one particular way rather than another. Certainly what I see going on in the score stirs up some ideas and, at the same time, I don't feel like sticking to some abstract principles (eg no pedal, mostly legato, mostly staccato, strict tempo or rubato). It's important to gain knowledge about the way things should be done (performance practices, historical background, composer's aesthetics, and so on) but too often we forget that interpretation requires a personal relationship with the composition.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - Italian Concerto
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 3:12 am 
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A very engaging performance. I especially like your sharp rhythmic drive, generally consistent tempo, polyphonic and contrapuntal texturing, dynamic shadings, and subtle highlighting of certain melodic motifs. A few specifics I noted:

Ist movt: Good rhythmic retention and drive in the opening salvo. Base is a bit heavy perhaps, but I know it's hard to get what one wants out of basses on a digital instrument. The theme with the thirty-seconds has a wonderful feathery lightness to it, though perhaps two or three of the figures are unclear. Overall, excellent polyphony. The bass in particular I thought had a wonderful dialogic quality about it. Absolutely excellent extended trills: light, yet pointed and clear. A couple of minor problems with sync between the hands here and there. Not quite so convinced about the ending perhaps. Seems like it should be more assertive and forceful, particularly given the tone you set in much of the rest of the movement.

2nd mvt: Exquisite dynamic control and shading. Something to listen to in a darkened room, to borrow the old cliche. Very little, if anything, to criticize here IMHO. The only thing that bothered me a little is the hand breaking, though the rubato is wonderful.

3rd mvt.: I find this movement perhaps the least convincing of the three. Tempo seems a bit on the slow side for a presto, and it seems somewhat heavier than the others. I do admire your relentless tempo though.

Overall, an excellent performance in my opinion.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - Italian Concerto
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 7:07 am 
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Location: New York
Hi Alfonso - This is a piece that I know very well having performed it several times. I enjoyed your very professional sounding recording of this work. You have a nice, clean technique. Very interesting ornamentation and voicing.

Helene

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - Italian Concerto
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 10:21 am 
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Quote:
:lol: The name "Andrea" had been known to me as the first name of that blind singer (with a very poor voice) Bocelli. So I was very surprised at the many girls called Andrea in my first years in Germany.


Yes, that´s confusing game. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - Italian Concerto
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:02 pm
Posts: 1167
Location: Piemonte, Italy
Helene and Joe, thank you for taking the time and listen and sorry for the late reply.

Joe, I agree to all you said about my recording. It's always a pleasure to receive a detailed review of our efforts in AR. In particular,

jlr43 wrote:
3rd mvt.: Tempo seems a bit on the slow side for a presto, and it seems somewhat heavier than the others. I do admire your relentless tempo though.


I agree with you about the third movement to be played a tad faster. I'm at my limits there, so your remark made me realize that I could trade off part of the "heaviness" against some more speed.

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