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 Post subject: Rachmaninov, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Tcherepnin
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 2:16 pm 
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Hello everybody,

Last week I recorded some new piano pieces which I loaded up on youtube. I will first post the links here. If you are interested in putting the recordings on your website, I could upload the videos or just the audio data file.
If you have some critique, feel free to tell me, I would be very interested in reading and thinking about it.

And just an other idea: How do you think about a rubric "new recordings" on your front page, like you have "new pianists" and "new composers"?
I think it would be nice to see what's new :)

As to my recordings:

Rachmaninov:
Etude e flat minor from op. 33
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjRN3BtmL0s

Bach:
Preludium and Fugue from WTC I:
F major
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOTr4tm4-NA
F sharp major
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbwzcsQHWko

Brahms:
Capriccio f sharp minor from op. 76
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXfbD_SfWCI

Mozart:
1st mouvement from Sonata KV 330 C-Major (I will record the rest in a few weeks after an importand piano-exam where I just need the 1st mouvement)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZmehwMsK4U

Tcherepnin:
10 Bagatelles op. 5 (Same as with Mozart, I will soon play the rest)
#1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6JIA3yzAJY
#2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiBX1u0oQy4
#3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmD8LTvdEqE
#6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MiYLCUVlvE
#7
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdYCCCDslPw

If you have come until here, thank you for listening!
Anne

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Tcherepnin
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 6:37 pm 
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l'art-pour-l'art wrote:
Last week I recorded some new piano pieces which I loaded up on youtube. I will first post the links here. If you are interested in putting the recordings on your website, I could upload the videos or just the audio data file.
If you have some critique, feel free to tell me, I would be very interested in reading and thinking about it.

I sampled some, and there is hardly anything to critique ! Will listen to the rest later.

I had wished for a bit more weight in the Rachmaninov, but it's incredibly well done especially how you bring out the melody in the LH.
Obviously we'll want all these recordings for the site in mp3 format.

l'art-pour-l'art wrote:
And just an other idea: How do you think about a rubric "new recordings" on your front page, like you have "new pianists" and "new composers"?
I think it would be nice to see what's new :)

We have a 'New recordings' page that is auto-generated every day. For some reason I don't know, this link is not directly on the front page, but is lurking in 'About Piano Society'. Yes a list of new recordings directly on the front page would be nice but it would have to be done manually, and that is too much work (unless we can get a volunteer to do it :mrgreen: )

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Tcherepnin
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 10:11 pm 
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techneut wrote:
I had wished for a bit more weight in the Rachmaninov

Tell me, what do you mean with this? I don't understand... Do you mean I sould play louder?

I'm sorry for the two keys that are out of tune...
Here the files. Thank you :D


Rachmaninov - Etudes-Tableaux, Op. 33, no. 5 in E-flat minor
Brahms - Capriccio in F-sharp minor, Op. 76
Mozart - Sonata in C major, K.330, I: Allegro moderato
Tcherepnin - 10 Bagatelles Op. 5, no. 1
Tcherepnin - 10 Bagatelles Op. 5, no. 2
Tcherepnin - 10 Bagatelles Op. 5, no. 3
Tcherepnin - 10 Bagatelles Op. 5, no. 6
Tcherepnin - 10 Bagatelles Op. 5, no. 7

Bach - BWV 856 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier I - Prelude and Fugue No.11 in F major (2:20)
Bach - BWV 858 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier I - Prelude and Fugue No.13 in F sharp major (3:53)

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Tcherepnin
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 12:42 am 
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Bravo! You certainly have great command of technique and musicianship. I particularly enjoyed your interpretation of the Brahms and Tcherepnin Bagatelles, Nos. 2 and 7. The Rachmaninov Op. 33, E-flat minor Etude is a favorite of mine.

I notice that you possess the power to successfully convey such pieces on a large scale, however I think the mics are placed too far away from the piano which is taking away the dynamic impact, and the focus of your performance. There's too much reflected sound from the room, and not enough direct sound from the piano. For a large room as the one you're recording in with concrete walls, there is hardly any absorption from the walls, so try placing the mics 3-4ft from the curve of the piano and about 6ft high pointing toward the strings as a starting point. I normally wouldn't say all this, but I am just offering my advice because I think that it can compliment your artistry. The piano has great tone and timbre; is it a Grotrian-Steinweg?...

George

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Tcherepnin
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 5:09 am 
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Hey Anne,
First off - please submit only a few pieces at one time; takes me a long time to process so many at once. Second - most of your recordings are up on the site. Please check the links. The Bach is not up, though, because I need for you to paste both the Prelude and Fugue together in one file. Third - I enjoyed listening to your Tcherepnin pieces. They were new to me, but I liked the music. And since you have submitted multiple recordings by a new composer to the site, then you get to write a biography on Tcherepnin for the site too. Post it here or email it to me when you are done. Thank you! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Tcherepnin
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 5:16 am 
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Hi Anne,

I listened to the Rachmaninoff Etude, the Brahms Capriccio, and the Tcherepnin Bagatelle No. 6 and greatly enjoyed your playing. All are fine performances. Brava!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Tcherepnin
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 7:17 am 
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@ 88man: Thank you for your ideas, I'll try to do better next time. It just was a bit difficult to find a place where I could put the microphone and camera, and there where it stands where some chairs and desks (but they weren't to move...)
The instrument was a Steinway-B, most instrument we have here are Steinways.

@pianolady: sorry for uploading so many pieces at a time, it was because I recorded them all together... :mrgreen: I uploaded Bach in four files with preludium and fugue. As to the Tcherepnin, I will try to find some information, but until now, I know nearly nothing.

Rachfan, thank you for listening, too.
A musician is nothing without his auditors...!

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Tcherepnin
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 10:23 am 
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I'm not sure what the issue with the Bach P+F's is. A P+F should be submitted in one track, and that's what you did to start with.

I have listened to all pieces now, and your playing is of the highest artisistic and technical level. A shame the sound quality is not so good, and the piano not optimally tuned. Your playing deserves better. The program is clevrly designed to show off your talents in the usual sections of repertoire.

In the Mozart, some of the ornaments near the end are a bit clotted, starting at 5:54. Otherwise that is a very nice performance, maybe the dynamics could be yet more pronounced.

The Brahms seems a bit slow but I have to say it works, it gives more opportunity to bring out all the voices. The piece now emerges as ruminative rather than fiery, which is very interesting.

I'm pleased you make a case for Tcherepnin - an exellent composer who should be more known. Wonderfully inventive and pianistic pieces with just the right amount of novelty, and very idiomatically played. But is this Nikolai or Alexander ?

The Bach are most excellently executed, though I find them a bit relentless and in-your-face. Some more give and take, some more elegance and humanity would help.

In Rachmaninov I always like opulence and weight, and initially I found your recording a bit short on this. But having listened to the mp3 with headphones it comes off much better than on Youtube on speakers. Your take on this is mercurial and fleeting rather than barnstorming, which seems a valid choice.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Tcherepnin
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 1:08 pm 
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I didn't know you had submitted two Preludes & Fugues. But I see that these are still broken up. Please combine the matching P&F's into one file and then resubmit. Chris, you can process them when Anne has done so, okay? Also, fyi - a quick search reveals that the Bagatelles are by Alexander Tcherepnin.

Anne, I want you to write the bio on Tcherepnin. It does not have to be long, but it would be nice if members contributed a little more around here than just popping in once in a while to submit their latest recordings. We administrators have other things to do too. Plus, you will get the benefit of learning about a composer whose music you play so well! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Tcherepnin
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 1:17 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
I didn't know you had submitted two Preludes & Fugues. But I see that these are still broken up.

They're not. At least not initially. Never mind, I'll put these up tonight.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Tcherepnin
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 8:12 pm 
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And the Bach items are up there now, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Tcherepnin
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 12:01 am 
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I don't forget the biography about Tcherepnin, I just have a lot to do this days - I'll send it in a few days! :)

Anne

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Tcherepnin
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 9:47 pm 
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I listened to the Rachmaninov, Brahms, and Mozart.

Rachmaninov: Nice full tone and fluid passagework. You seem to have chosen the particular Etude-Tableau that suits your pianistic approach. Could be just a bit clearer IMHO; not that Rachmaninov should ever sound "notey," but the triplet rhythm could be more pronounced. You also seem to struggle, though only slightly, in the passage beginning with the descending bass octaves.

One musical detail I wonder about is the ending. Seems as though there should be more mystery and aura about it. Though the ritard is marked over the interlocking thirds, I think it may sound better applied until the end. If you're interested, you might listen to Sviatoslav Richter's performance of it; his has more of a misty quality of finality, a real perdendosi.

Just a few observations really. Very impressive playing.

Brahms: Some nice dramatic dynamic contrasts. Your tempo seems to be in the right ballpark to me, but I don't know much about Brahms and have never played this piece. Seems like there could be a bit more balance and color in places; the sound seems just a tad thick.

Mozart: Generally clear and even, with a few exceptions such as the turns near the end. A bit too much tempo fluctuation IMHO. Also not convinced about some of the staccati, which seem a bit clipped to me. Very fluid playing; I just think there needs to be a bit more underlying rhythmic pulse.


Very good playing though, nitpicks aside. I also watched the videos and thought you had a very solid technique with a nice quiet hand.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Tcherepnin
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 10:17 pm 
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Just a short question for the bio: Is it allowed to quote from wikipedia?

@jlr43: thank you very much to your comment, I will answer to it when I post the biography about Tcherepnin :)

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Tcherepnin
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 4:54 am 
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l'art-pour-l'art wrote:
Just a short question for the bio: Is it allowed to quote from wikipedia?


We prefer an article written in your own words. But yes, it's okay to use text from Wiki as long as it is not verbatim. Best to take parts of text from several different sources and then change the wording somewhat to reflect your own style of writing. Remember, a couple paragraphs will suffice, and if you want any help in editing, perhaps I can help you or we can recruit another member.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Tcherepnin
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 12:45 pm 
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l'art-pour-l'art wrote:
Just a short question for the bio: Is it allowed to quote from wikipedia?

Quote, yes. Copy, no. We like to be our bios as least a little different from other ones, otherwise we would rip them from wikepedia ourselves and not ask members to help out.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Tcherepnin
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 3:45 pm 
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Alexander Nikolajewitsch Tscherepnin was born on 21. january 1899 in Sankt Petersburg, Russia. He was a composer and pianist.
He was teached first by his father, Nikolai Tscherepnin, then he studied on the conservatory of Petrogrand and in Tiflis and got also lessons from Isidore Philipp. After having toured as pianist, he moved to Shanghai in 1934 and married to a chinese pianist, Lee Hsien Ming. From 1938 to 1945, he was teacher for russian Music at the Conservatory in Paris, from 1949 to 1964, he had a professorship in Chicago, and after, he lived as a pianist in New York City.
Tscherepnin died in on 29. september 1977 in Paris.
Among other works, tscherepnin composed four operas, five ballets, four Sinfonias, six piano concertos, to pianosonatas and liturgical pieces.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Tcherepnin
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 4:22 pm 
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Hi jlr43!

Quote:
One musical detail I wonder about is the ending. Seems as though there should be more mystery and aura about it. Though the ritard is marked over the interlocking thirds, I think it may sound better applied until the end. If you're interested, you might listen to Sviatoslav Richter's performance of it; his has more of a misty quality of finality, a real perdendosi.

Imagine, I wanted to make more ritardando there, but I wouldn't have played the little notes of the right hand slower, only the pauses between.
But several piano profs told me that this would be confusing and strange, and I should either play tones AND pauses slower or I should stay in tempo. And I didn't like to slow down this little murmurous frazzles, so I didn't make a ritardando (almost)...
This doesn't make it better to you, it just explains :)

To the Brahms: This was (is) really a very difficult piece to me, maybe the most difficult, although I admit that the etude maybe is harder to play, but also this brahms is for me MUCH more difficult than it sounded to me before. It doesn't sound much more difficult than a Chopin-Nocturne, does it?
I talked to another piano student who told me that for her it is just the other way around: For her, Chopin is much more difficult than Brahms, she loves brahms and it is easy for her to play. I really can't understand that. We found out, that she is thinking in harmonys (she is studying this also) and I am thinking rather in melodys. And Chopin is very melodic, brahms isn't in that way, but it helps very much to know and remember the harmonys, what I can't very good.
And the other thing is, that the atmosphere and message of this piece is gloomy and gray and very discontent and nervous, with a big uneasiness.
The mood is changing, and one has to decide wether its a good ending or not, or what sort of ending it is.
And last but not least, what is "agitato" in this case? Does it mean "fast" or "hectically" or is it maybe an allusion to this interior imbalance (this is what I think)?
And this piece doesn't really fit to my fingers, I don't know... It was my teacher who told me to absolutely play brahms, and she also wants me to continue with it. I will see how this will end :D
Maybe the missing balance and thickness you heard belongs to this piece? I don't know.

Mozart: My teacher also tells me all the time that I have to work on my staccato. I'm doing, but it still isn't perfect :)
To the underlying rhythmic pulse - do you have an example?

You see I try to think a lot about what I'm playing, and anyway it is difficult enough to play really good. I always try to do better.

Anne

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Tcherepnin
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 5:53 pm 
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Thanks for the bio, Anne. I did some editing and it's up now.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov, Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Tcherepnin
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:50 am 
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Hello Anne,

Sorry for the delay in response -- been fairly busy these past couple of weeks. But I think you raise some very interesting points, so I thought I'd still reply :)

Quote:
Imagine, I wanted to make more ritardando there, but I wouldn't have played the little notes of the right hand slower, only the pauses between.


Though personally it doesn't convince me, I've heard many other pianists do it this way too. I definitely think it's a valid interpretation, and you certainly maintain the tempo very fluidly from beginning to end.

Quote:
I talked to another piano student who told me that for her it is just the other way around: For her, Chopin is much more difficult than Brahms, she loves brahms and it is easy for her to play.


Interesting discussion about Brahms vs. Chopin. I think the two composers are difficult in different ways, as you suggest. Part of sorting out Brahms's complex harmonic modulations lies in orchestrally balancing his rather lush textures. I think Brahms wrote exquisite melodies too, although in this regard he was perhaps not quite the equal of Chopin and arguably this aspect of Brahms is even better exhibited in his symphonies and chamber music.

Quote:
The mood is changing, and one has to decide wether its a good ending or not, or what sort of ending it is.
And last but not least, what is "agitato" in this case? Does it mean "fast" or "hectically" or is it maybe an allusion to this interior imbalance (this is what I think)?


I think you're right, definitely the latter. "Agitato" pieces are unlikely to be really slow, but I think the term refers to an inherent flexibility tempo-wise. Two examples of "agitato" that immediately come to mind are Chopin preludes 1 and 8. The passion of these pieces is in the rubato and rhythmic fluctuations.

Quote:
And this piece doesn't really fit to my fingers, I don't know... It was my teacher who told me to absolutely play brahms, and she also wants me to continue with it. I will see how this will end


Yes. Brahms, unlike Chopin, was not a great virtuoso, making the writing a bit more clumsy and difficult for the pianist to tackle; I too find that some of his figurations can be awkward.

Quote:
Mozart: My teacher also tells me all the time that I have to work on my staccato. I'm doing, but it still isn't perfect
To the underlying rhythmic pulse - do you have an example?


I listened to the Mozart again. I guess a couple of things I noticed are toward the end of the first section, the ritards seemed a bit too extravagant. I liked your general idea to rein in, but it seemed that it could have more subtlety. Some of the runs gushed forward a bit, and some of the melodies sounded a little mooned over IMHO. I personally like Mozart to have a bit more rhythmic bite. The return to the recapitulation also seemed slightly rushed to me, particularly the thirty-seconds leading into it. Taking more time might make it come across more elegantly.

Just a couple of quibbles really. Overall, everything you play in these performances is very cleanly and masterfully executed.

Joe

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