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 Post subject: Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 7:34 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:13 am
Posts: 57
Hi everyone,
Here are my recent recordings of pieces by Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin. I intend for the Gigue to replace the one already on the site. I look forward to your comments and suggestions. Also, I really like the new forum.




Samuel Chetty


Chopin - Prelude in E Minor, Op. 28, No. 4

Chopin - Prelude in G Minor, Op. 28, No. 22


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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 2:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
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Location: Netherlands
I sampled two of these, the Beethoven 49.1 and the Bach Gigue. While mostly ably played, I have to say these recordings rather put me off for the following reasons:

1) The outsize reverb/pedaling, resulting in a wet wash of sound
2) The unpleasant (digital ?) sound - some notes seem particularly harsh and you seem to make the most of those
3) Your uncompromisingly hard attack and lack of dynamics
4) The many tempo fluctuations (especially in the Gigue, maybe this is because of using different takes ?)

There are also some little technical issues and misreadings but these don't disturb much, compared to the above points.

I hope you can identify with these remarks and use them to advantage. I know you can play well, but these just don't sound so nice to me.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 2:43 pm 
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I've listened to your Chopin and Beethoven. The Beethoven is okay, although in the mov't 1 I think you play some things too staccato - especially near the end between bars 96-102. That sounds too harsh to me. In mov't 2 your turns are kinda funny. But that's about all, everything else is fine.

Chopin - Out of the bunch I'd like to take only your E-minor, and G-minor and here's why: First of all, we have so many Preludes on the site so any additional ones we put up are ones we feel are very well played. G-minor - it's not bad but your LH is too clunky. C-minor - this is not bad either, but I really dislike the gaps between phrases. Breaks things up too much. A-major - There's a slip in that large chord/run near the end - too off-putting. Also, you should not play the bottom low E in the LH three times. It's only once. G-minor - this is okay although your LH could be a bit more legato. E-minor - this one is pretty good, especially your RH, which plays a nice line. D-flat major - I stopped listening after the first page because there are too many errors and inaudible notes. I don't mean to be such a naysayer - there is plenty of good stuff in your playing too. You just need some more refinement - especially when playing Chopin!

So okay, I'll put up your Beethoven and the Preludes no. 4 and 22. I'll leave it to other members to say whether your other recordings are to go up.

_________________
"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: Re: Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 3:55 pm 
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actually, I just noticed that the bitrate on your files is way too high. We request using lower than 220. I'll keep with what you have here since the recordings are relatively short, but in the future you need to convert your bitrate.

_________________
"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: Re: Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 4:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:13 am
Posts: 57
Chris and Monica,
Thank you for your feedback on my recordings. I look forward to continuing my practice of these pieces and incorporating your suggestions.

Samuel Chetty


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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:59 pm
Posts: 322
Location: toronto
Hey Samuel,

I also listened to the guige and the sinfonia. I also thought, especially in the gigue, the tempo fluctuations were a bit too noticeable (this gigue is a hard one....) I also think you accented the strong beats too much. A teacher I had when I was doing this said 'I was playing all hard'. I know some people do this in an attempt to imitate the percussive sound of the harpsichord, but really from what I understand harpsichord players would work hard at doing the exact oppoiste. Everything we do should be musical regardless of the period of music. I know I don't always do this myself but I thought it was something you could fix.

b.t.w. this seemed to contrast with the recording of the e minor perlude which seemed to have a very nice consistent tempo and beautifull phrasing.



In-Flight Piano wrote:
Hi everyone,
Here are my recent recordings of pieces by Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin. I intend for the Gigue to replace the one already on the site. I look forward to your comments and suggestions. Also, I really like the new forum.


Attachment:
Bach Sinfonia in A Major.mp3
Attachment:
Bach Gigue G Major French Suite.mp3
Attachment:
Beethoven Op. 49 No.1.mp3
Attachment:
Beethoven Op. 49, No.2.mp3
Attachment:
Chopin G Major Prelude Op.28 No.3 .mp3
Attachment:
Chopin Prelude C Minor Op.28 No.20.mp3
Attachment:
Chopin Prelude in E Minor Op.28 No.4.mp3
Attachment:
Chopin Prelude in A Major Op.28 No.7.mp3
Attachment:
Chopin Prelude in D-Flat Op.28 No.15.mp3
Attachment:
Chopin Prelude in G Minor Op.28 No.22.mp3


Samuel Chetty


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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 9:58 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:13 am
Posts: 57
I can tell my teacher to reduce the reverb/echo at the next recording session, but what do you think could have been the reason for the sound quality issues, causing harsh and unpleasant sounds, that Chris noticed? My piano teacher has several microphones set up at different locations around the piano, and he sometimes custom set the volumes for individual pieces. What should we try differently next time?

Stan,
Thank you for your suggestions and advice. Tempo unsteadiness has always been an issue for me, and it is very useful to have it pointed out for me given that I have trouble listening for tempo instability when I hear myself play.

Thank you all for your input,
Samuel Chetty


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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 4:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:59 pm
Posts: 322
Location: toronto
I actually find it not to hard to fix this type of thing by just using the metronome. That is I play once through with the metronome just for the purpose of identifying passages that shift tempo abruptly. If I sometimes practise certain passages in isolation, I find I might practise one passage at one tempo and another at a different tempo. When I then put it all together I end up with this type of inconsistent tempo (which can actually be rather jarring and uneasy.) I also like to sometimes use a subtle rubato but I like to try to stay in control if that makes sense.

I know some people say only a few people are born with a great sense of rhythm. While that may be true, I do not think a great natural talent is required to play something like this in a consistent tempo. Its something anyone can learn to do. It was a hard lesson for me to learn...

In-Flight Piano wrote:
Stan,
Thank you for your suggestions and advice. Tempo unsteadiness has always been an issue for me, and it is very useful to have it pointed out for me given that I have trouble listening for tempo instability when I hear myself play.

Thank you all for your input,
Samuel Chetty


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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 7:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9573
Location: Netherlands
s_winitsky wrote:
I also thought, especially in the gigue, the tempo fluctuations were a bit too noticeable (this gigue is a hard one....)

Isn't it just ! I remember spending lots of time trying to get some discipline into this irritating little puppy that likes to go this way and that instead of walking nicely. But there's no need to hit it so hard though. With some patience and a more gentle touch it will come along just nicely. This performance is technically very good except for one strange moment (I forgot where it was, it was the same on the repeat).

In-Flight Piano wrote:
I can tell my teacher to reduce the reverb/echo at the next recording session, but what do you think could have been the reason for the sound quality issues, causing harsh and unpleasant sounds, that Chris noticed?

I find the sound itself not very nice, and your touch is too forceful in the Gigue (less so in the Beethoven). In the Beethoven 49.1 it seems like you hit certain keys consistently harder than the others (the G and E-flat) making them stand out where they shouldn't. That e-flat doesn't sound quite in tune to me. Could be wrong about it.

Playing a piece with the metronome will be a good idea. You should notice the spots where you deviate from the tempo, and mark them in the score so you can avoid it next time.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 12:15 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:13 am
Posts: 57
Hi Chris,

You're definitely right that I should practice the Gigue with the metronome some more. On my previous recordings, do you hear the same issues with problematic sound quality and hardness in touch? They were all recorded on the same piano under the same circumstances. My current recordings on this site are:

A previous recording of the Gigue
The Gavotte from the same suite
Bach Sinfonia #11
Bach Invention #15
Bach Menuet from B Minor French Suite Suite
Bach Menuet from C Minor French Suite

Samuel Chetty


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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:59 pm
Posts: 322
Location: toronto
I did not find the same for you're g minor sinfonia but of course the mood of that is different.

I also just thought it was you're touch that made it sound so hard. As my teacher would say you were playing all hard. At first I thought you were using an older version of pianoteq so I was surprised when I found out otherwise. Actually there isn't anything wrong necessarily with using strong accents in your phrases but I would save it for only a few spots in your playing. I personally wouldn't do it in Bach. Accents are sometimes required to differentiate between the voices but it should be very subtle.

It might not be for me to say but, I try not to look back too much on old recordings. otherwise we would be constantly rerecording :)


In-Flight Piano wrote:
Hi Chris,

You're definitely right that I should practice the Gigue with the metronome some more. On my previous recordings, do you hear the same issues with problematic sound quality and hardness in touch? They were all recorded on the same piano under the same circumstances. My current recordings on this site are:

A previous recording of the Gigue
The Gavotte from the same suite
Bach Sinfonia #11
Bach Invention #15
Bach Menuet from B Minor French Suite Suite
Bach Menuet from C Minor French Suite

Samuel Chetty


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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8514
I haven't forgotten to put up a couple of these recordings, Samuel. But it may not be until late tonight or tomorrow that I actually get around to doing so.
Also, I think the sound is fine. I happen to like it. Are you saying this is a digital piano? I swear I can hear the dampers lifting and lowering....


Stan wrote:
It might not be for me to say but, I try not to look back too much on old recordings. otherwise we would be constantly rerecording :)
No, please...

********************************************

**wow - I just made the 41,000th post!**

_________________
"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: Re: Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 3:01 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8514
You didn't answer my question. :x

Anyway, the two Preludes are up on the site. I've had second thoughts on your Beethoven. On listening again there are too many oddities and errors. For example - on the 1st movement, there is an error at bars 36, 48, and inaudible note at 49 and bar 94 the 2nd RH note is a high G. 2nd movement - I don't hear the slurs between bars 20 and 25. Also the turns at bars 54 and 62 - the first note in the turn should be a C, not a D. Another thing - I still think you play too staccato on the places where there is a slur over staccati. You have a good handle on most of this Sonata, so maybe you can re-record after you've checked out these things I mentioned.

_________________
"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: Re: Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 5:56 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:13 am
Posts: 57
Hi Monica,
I am sorry about not answering the question about the piano. It is not a digital piano.
Thank you for your critique of the Beethoven sonata. I'll spend more time working on the passages that you pointed out.

Samuel Chetty


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