First, welcome to Piano Society!
I've not studied Chopin's Etude No. 3, however from listening to your playing, considering that you're returning to the piano after a 14-year hiatus, I believe your playing is surprisingly good. If I may ask, how many years did you formally study piano?
thanks! I started learning the piano at age 4, so it'd make a total of 7 years. However as a kid, I quickly lost interest in the instrument, and consequently only achieved rank 4 by age 11. Unfortunately, that also means my music theory knowledge is no greater than rank 4. So please bear with me if my illiteracy in terminology shows. Looking back on it, it's unbelievable how much time I wasted on making no progress when I was young.
You might want to work on your rubato and some nuances (but don't exaggerate those things) to bring out the romantic melody even more. As you play it, in your mind think of it as being sung by a soprano.
I agree with that you said here, however I find it difficult to grasp all the finer details. Often times I think that I finally got the expression, only to play back my own recording and cringe. I probably just need more time to let this piece mature in my subconscious, before I can fully bring out the unbearable sorrow that should be present.
Second, playing the left hand accompanying chords as blocks of sound is the wrong approach there. What you do need to do is to voice the ONE note within those chords that represent a harmonic change when it FIRST appears. So bring out the changed note the first time it is played, thereafter letting it blend into the chords a bit more. Do likewise with the next harmonic note change, etc. These changes can occur in any note position within a chord, so you need to be alert. What is interesting to the ear of the listener are those harmonic changes--not the repetition of the chords per se. In music, change is appealing; pure repetition tends to be boring. This should enable you to "put the piece over" with greater impact.
This is exactly what I needed. I knew there was something bland about my interpretation, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I'll practice this piece some more with what you said in mind
if anyone else has feedbacks, they'd be much welcomed! =)