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 Post subject: Brahms - 4 Klavierstücke Op.119
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:04 pm 
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Here is the next set of pieces in my ambitious Brahms project of this year. Differently from Brahms' other late opuses, this time I've decided to record all the 4 pieces, since they build up a wonderful progression, though offering a noticeable heterogeneity of compositional styles. If you want learn more about this set, the wikipedia page is very informative: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Pieces_for_Piano,_Op._119_(Brahms)

Comments are very welcome as always.

Brahms - Klavierstuecke Op.119, No.1: Intermezzo in B minor(3:40)
Brahms - Klavierstuecke Op.119, No.2: Intermezzo in E minor(5:53)
Brahms - Klavierstuecke Op.119, No.3: Intermezzo in C major(2:13)
Brahms - Klavierstuecke Op.119, No.4: Rhapsodie in E flat major(5:32)

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 Post subject: Re: Brahms - 4 Klavierstücke Op.119
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:51 pm 
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Perfect as always. It strikes me how the opening of the first sounds just like a harp.
These are up. Thanks for doing the ID3 tags right. Even so, my id3tags program didn't want to read them, I wonder why :-/

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 Post subject: Re: Brahms - 4 Klavierstücke Op.119
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:25 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Perfect as always. It strikes me how the opening of the first sounds just like a harp.
These are up. Thanks for doing the ID3 tags right. Even so, my id3tags program didn't want to read them, I wonder why :-/


Thank you, Chris.
I noticed that in the table you've just made on the main site the timings of the four pieces are scrambled (while in the opening message above they are correct).

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 Post subject: Re: Brahms - 4 Klavierstücke Op.119
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:27 am 
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Hi Alfonso,

I very much enjoyed listening to your full set of Brahms' Op. 119. The only piece I've played in 119 is the Rhapsody. You play it very well indeed, and it's not an easy one to play! Oftentimes Brahms thought orchestrally rather than pianistically as was the case here. Nevertheless you overcome all the challenges and achieve its intended heroic sound. This was actually the last piece Brahms ever composed for solo piano. I also enjoyed the three intermezzi just as much. You have a fine sense for the music of Brahms, melding his ardent lyricism with the cooler elements of classicism. There is much to admire in your performances.

Congratulations on your complete set of Op. 119 and thanks for sharing it with us here. Excellent playing!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Brahms - 4 Klavierstücke Op.119
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:17 pm 
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alf wrote:
I noticed that in the table you've just made on the main site the timings of the four pieces are scrambled (while in the opening message above they are correct).

Ok, fixed that.

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 Post subject: Re: Brahms - 4 Klavierstücke Op.119
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:20 pm 
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Rachfan wrote:
Hi Alfonso,

I very much enjoyed listening to your full set of Brahms' Op. 119. The only piece I've played in 119 is the Rhapsody. You play it very well indeed, and it's not an easy one to play! Oftentimes Brahms thought orchestrally rather than pianistically as was the case here. Nevertheless you overcome all the challenges and achieve its intended heroic sound. This was actually the last piece Brahms ever composed for solo piano. I also enjoyed the three intermezzi just as much. You have a fine sense for the music of Brahms, melding his ardent lyricism with the cooler elements of classicism. There is much to admire in your performances.


Thank you very much for the praise, David. Yes, there are pitfalls in that Rhapsody and I had to work them out. All the four pieces require to face up to different musical/technical problems. In the Rhapsody for example the treacherous jumps in the last page, combined with the unconfortable left hand arpeggios, but even the A flat major section is no joke. About the last piece Brahms composed for solo piano, we don't know for sure. A few of the late pieces were composed or derived from music composed earlier than 1892-3. According to some scholars the Rhapsody could be one of them, as well as the middle section of the Capriccio 116/3. In fact it's very likely that Brahms gathered and revisited previously unused or just sketched material.

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 Post subject: Re: Brahms - 4 Klavierstücke Op.119
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:01 pm 
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Sorry for this delayed response to your recordings, Alfonso. I've listened to them the day before yesterday, but was distracted by the digital sound too much to concentrate myself to your interpretation of this set (Strange, since I play on a digital, too :shock: ). And yesterday South Korea came to the last 16 :!: Today I listened to them again, this time with the score. And I must say it was pure enjoyment! I didn't know the set before, but your interpretation is so clear that I could completely emerge in this wonderful music. Everything in your playing seems perfect - perfect timing, perfect voicing, perfect intergration between the sections...
I'm just curious if your score has arpeggios in bar 48-50 on the RH chords. Mine doesn't. Anyway even that was appealing to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Brahms - 4 Klavierstücke Op.119
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:45 am 
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hyenal wrote:
Sorry for this delayed response to your recordings, Alfonso. I've listened to them the day before yesterday, but was distracted by the digital sound too much to concentrate myself to your interpretation of this set (Strange, since I play on a digital, too :shock: ).


Sometimes I too get really put off by how my recordings sound. But after checking them over, before the submission to AR, I very seldom happen to listen to them again.

hyenal wrote:
And yesterday South Korea came to the last 16 :!:


Congratulations. Soccer leaves me quite cold. Yesterday I went hiking and then I had dinner in a pizzeria. You know, in the afternoon Italy had played a decisive match, but nobody in there would talk about the match. :lol: Anyway, it seems that azzurro and bleu are not the coolest colors in 2010 World Cup...

hyenal wrote:
Today I listened to them again, this time with the score. And I must say it was pure enjoyment! I didn't know the set before, but your interpretation is so clear that I could completely emerge in this wonderful music. Everything in your playing seems perfect - perfect timing, perfect voicing, perfect intergration between the sections...
I'm just curious if your score has arpeggios in bar 48-50 on the RH chords. Mine doesn't. Anyway even that was appealing to me.


Thank you, HJ. As an afterthought, the second Intermezzo is the least successful of the four, in particular the outer sections, I'm not totally happy with the phrasing. I found it difficult to bring out well (but I dedicated comparatively less time to it than to the other ones).

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 Post subject: Re: Brahms - 4 Klavierstücke Op.119
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:13 pm 
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All four movements are wonderful recordings as we are used by you, Alfonso! I have to admit, I have only played the two rhapsodies by Brahms (and his 55 exercises were part of my daily studies in former times), but I never have played these beautiful Intermezzi until now, I even could find the score in my shelf, and imslp didn´t work today somehow.
So, there is nothing else for me but to lean back and to listen to your little masterworks and I have to say: It was a pure joy!
You play them with a congenial romantic feeling and a perfekt balance and with wonderful nuances and details, so that it would be possible to make a whole list again of all that enjoyable elaborations and detailed musical interpretations.
Bravo (also to the last one, which seems to be quite virtouso)! I´m sure, that I will listen to your recordings many a time.

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 Post subject: Re: Brahms - 4 Klavierstücke Op.119
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:01 am 
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Quite a lot of quality work here, Alf. Perfect for my Saturday morning.
Amazing music by Brahms, excellently played. You have the sense of it in every corner, in every detail. The B minor intermezzo has to be my favourite, I guess. Bravo for this masterful performance.


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 Post subject: Re: Brahms - 4 Klavierstücke Op.119
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:50 am 
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hyenal wrote:
Sorry for this delayed response to your recordings, Alfonso. I've listened to them the day before yesterday, but was distracted by the digital sound too much to concentrate myself to your interpretation of this set (Strange, since I play on a digital, too :shock: ).

Yes, both of you need real pianos. :cry:

I must admit that I haven't ever heard much by Brahms that I actually liked. The only thing I can even call to mind is a song that I accompanied for a female vocalist once, and I can't even recall the name of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Brahms - 4 Klavierstücke Op.119
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:22 pm 
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Thank you Pantelis, now I've switched to Op.118 (1 & 2, then 3 & 5)

Terez, I like when you chime in, if even only to complain about my digital piano. :lol: :P

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 Post subject: Re: Brahms - 4 Klavierstücke Op.119
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:30 pm 
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hyenal wrote:
I'm just curious if your score has arpeggios in bar 48-50 on the RH chords. Mine doesn't. Anyway even that was appealing to me.


Forgot to answer to this. I made them up, that passage tastes so tenderly waltzish (in a very melancholic Brahmsian way, of course).

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 Post subject: Re: Brahms - 4 Klavierstücke Op.119
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:56 am 
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alf wrote:
Terez, I like when you chime in, if even only to complain about my digital piano. :lol: :P

I am starting to sound a bit like a broken record aren't I? I even complained about Brahms again. At least I didn't say anything about your perfect-as-usual playing this time. :wink: I figured Chris had handled that already.

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 Post subject: Re: Brahms - 4 Klavierstücke Op.119
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:39 am 
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Terez wrote:
alf wrote:
Terez, I like when you chime in, if even only to complain about my digital piano. :lol: :P

I am starting to sound a bit like a broken record aren't I?


Yes, you are.


Terez wrote:
I even complained about Brahms again.


Not a problem, but since it's Brahms you probably should be a bit more knowledgeable about his music before evaluating it.


Terez wrote:
At least I didn't say anything about your perfect-as-usual playing this time. :wink: I figured Chris had handled that already.


Yes, you didn't and I'm grateful to you for that! There is no such thing as perfection as a perfect cliche.
If you want to comment on my submissions, please talk about the music, talk about the shortcomings and imbalances in the performance, as the more attentive and dedicated members often do. Talk even about the weather or the breaking news, if relevant, but please, leave that poor, so abused little word alone. :lol:

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