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 Post subject: Chopin - Etude op10no3
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:06 am 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbJ-5xQwqdY

hello PS, this is my first post here. I've been lurking since januarary, and have had the pleasure to listen to some truly skillful performances by the members. I was inspired by everyone's enthusiasm, and amazed by how many of you guys are normal folks who share a singular passion. This in turn re-ignited my own desires. And so, for the first time since I was 11, I procured a keyboard and started practicing again.

I haven't posted in the last 6 months because...well, I found out that frankly I sucked. It's been 14 years of absence from classical music (oh the teenage years), and my hands lost much of their dexterity. I started over from scratch, and 6 months later, I feel that at least I have something presentable.

If this recording is not up to par, I would completely understand. However, since I don't have an instructor, any and all criticism would be greatly appreciated. Hit me as hard as you can, I'd rather be informed of my shortcomings than bury my head in the sand =)

PS:
I also recorded prelude no4, which I'm not submitting(I think there's enough on the main page). But if anyone has the time, please take a few mins and critique
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOA3s8n_bek


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Etude op10no3
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:11 am 
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Posts: 2012
Location: U.S.A.
Hi breakfastshark,

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?

In this etude you separate foreground from background and play the legato cantilena melody well. And you handle the stormy middle section of the piece with confidence, drama and accuracy. Dynamics are fairly well controlled too. I'd say that given the short time you had to develop some musicianship, you've been able to study this etude remarkably well on your own, and play it in a thoughtful way with musicality throughout. 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 did listen to your Prelude No. 4, a melancholy piece. I believe you've got a solid control over the notes which is good. Here are two suggestions for improvement:

First, the left hand accompaniment, which is background, is too loud, competing with the melody for dominance (and you're playing those "sigh motifs" in the right hand really well too.) This calls for more effective balancing of the hands. To do so, do NOT increase the volume of the right hand in an attempt to drown out the left hand, as the left hand will likewise become louder against your will to continue competing with the right hand. Instead do the reverse--see if perhaps you can tone down the left hand so that it's more subdued, leaving the right hand melody to prevail.

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 represents 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.

I hope this is helpful to you. Most of all, I want my critique to encourage, not discourage you. You're doing really well studying on your own there, and I commend you for that!

David

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"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Last edited by Rachfan on Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Etude op10no3
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:20 am 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 7:11 am
Posts: 4
Rachfan wrote:
Hi breakfastshark,

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.

Rachfan wrote:
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.

Rachfan wrote:
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! =)


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Etude op10no3
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:08 am 
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 10:37 pm
Posts: 45
I've studied this piece a little, so I can give you a little advice without repeating what Rachfan said. You played very nicely, but I think you could probably make the middle section a bit better. When the middle section starts with those awful stretches (They're a pain, even with big hands!)you played very quickly. You should start them at a much slower pace and slowly build the speed and volume as the panic begins to rise. Just a thought! You played that well coming from a 14 year hiatus and on a keyboard, to boot :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Etude op10no3
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:35 am
Posts: 1418
Location: Gulfport, MS, USA
Hey, great job working on this piece! The middle is far from easy, and you really did handle the technique nicely. I don't know if the admins will bother posting to tell you, but they do not accept youtube videos as auditions; you have to upload the mp3 file here (and I believe 3 pieces are necessary for an audition, and they probably won't accept the 4th prelude, as it is so easy and submitted so often). A few things:

1. In the climax of the middle with the 6ths in both hands, I would recommend a little elbow/wrist rotation, especially in the RH. That might make it a little less stiff (not that it is very stiff to begin with really).

2. In both occurrences of the main melody in the outer sections...for instance, the first note of m. 2 in the RH should be tied from the previous measure, but you articulate it both times IIRC.

3. In the measure preceding the Poco piú animato, you play one beat too long.

4. In the retransition to the A melody, try to loosen up just a little; your triplets and such came off as being too literal sometimes. Let it flow together; keep the pulse and play the rhythms correctly, and keep your fire, but soften the edges a bit.

_________________
"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Etude op10no3
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
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I listened to the etude. Solid playing, all clean except for one of two tiny blotches in the central uproar. The 'carillon' is a real difficult passage, kudos for bringing that off so well. Seems like you have put considerable work into this, and it shows ! Technically, you will be mostly fine on your own, with the help of our good members who already offered their suggestions.

Musically, there are things to be improved in terms of e.g. creating a singing tone, using rubato, and building an effective climax. If you are really serious about playing again, I would strongly recommend taking lessons from a good pianist, even if it is only once a month or so.

Should you want to be a pianist on the site, we would require at least 3 different mp3's, preferably not of overplayed easy pieces like the 4th Prelude :wink:

If I can suggest one thing for your Youtube videos, it is to get that headphone chord out of the way. That looks really daft.

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Chris Breemer


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Etude op10no3
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:53 am 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 7:11 am
Posts: 4
thanks everyone. Instead of replying to each feedback line by line, it'll have to suffice to say that I will everyone's advices to heart and work on the musicality and further details I've missed. Hopefully when I'll soon be able to produce recording I'm truly proud of.

Quote:
If you are really serious about playing again, I would strongly recommend taking lessons from a good pianist, even if it is only once a month or so.

I've no idea where to start looking. There are certainly piano instructors in my area, "music academies" and the like. But I wouldn't know how to pick out the good teachers from the bad. Are there resources on this site to provide guidance?

Quote:
Should you want to be a pianist on the site, we would require at least 3 different mp3's, preferably not of overplayed easy pieces like the 4th Prelude

If I can suggest one thing for your Youtube videos, it is to get that headphone chord out of the way. That looks really daft.

Thanks, I will return to this thread in a few months time, after I have 3 pieces to show for my efforts. As for the headphone cord...well umm...my current setup is less than desirable. You'll notice from the video that I have no piano stand nor bench. I set the keyboard on my computer desk and sit on a wooden barstool. Since I pipe the audio to my mini-tower's line-in port, the headphone cord is unfortunately unavoidable.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Etude op10no3
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:40 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
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Location: Netherlands
breakfastshark wrote:
thanks everyone. Instead of replying to each feedback line by line, it'll have to suffice to say that I will everyone's advices to heart and work on the musicality and further details I've missed. Hopefully when I'll soon be able to produce recording I'm truly proud of.

You can be proud of this one already. It just needs a little more work on the musicial side.

breakfastshark wrote:
I've no idea where to start looking. There are certainly piano instructors in my area, "music academies" and the like. But I wouldn't know how to pick out the good teachers from the bad. Are there resources on this site to provide guidance?

Many concert pianists offer lessons, and you may be lucky to find one near you whose name, and perhaps recordings, you know.

breakfastshark wrote:
As for the headphone cord...well umm...my current setup is less than desirable. You'll notice from the video that I have no piano stand nor bench. I set the keyboard on my computer desk and sit on a wooden barstool. Since I pipe the audio to my mini-tower's line-in port, the headphone cord is unfortunately unavoidable.

I see. It does look daft, though... I'd say get a longer one so you can have it go behind your back.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Etude op10no3
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:35 am
Posts: 1418
Location: Gulfport, MS, USA
I agree with Chris; you can already be proud of this recording.

To Chris...that is a strange usage of the word 'daft'. I don't believe anyone uses it to refer to inanimate objects. I guess you used it because you wanted an alternative to 'stupid' but it doesn't really transfer so cleanly. :lol:

_________________
"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Etude op10no3
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:32 pm
Posts: 499
Location: Connecticut, USA
Quote:
To Chris...that is a strange usage of the word 'daft'. I don't believe anyone uses it to refer to inanimate objects. I guess you used it because you wanted an alternative to 'stupid' but it doesn't really transfer so cleanly. :lol:


Actually, I believe Chris's usage here is correct, in the sense of "silly" or "foolish." I too often use it in this way (I don't think there's any stipulation that it can't refer to inanimate objects), and Webster's seems to confirm. As an editor/writer by profession, I thought I'd offer my two cents. :wink:

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Classical Music Web Site: http://www.critics-ear.com
Youtube Piano Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/Chopin849?feature=mhee


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Etude op10no3
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:35 am
Posts: 1418
Location: Gulfport, MS, USA
jlr43 wrote:
Quote:
To Chris...that is a strange usage of the word 'daft'. I don't believe anyone uses it to refer to inanimate objects. I guess you used it because you wanted an alternative to 'stupid' but it doesn't really transfer so cleanly. :lol:


Actually, I believe Chris's usage here is correct, in the sense of "silly" or "foolish." I too often use it in this way (I don't think there's any stipulation that it can't refer to inanimate objects), and Webster's seems to confirm. As an editor/writer by profession, I thought I'd offer my two cents. :wink:

There's not a stipulation against it, but it's normally used to indicate that someone does not have the mental capacity to understand something. That is consistent with the etymology of the word, since it was originally (besides an Old English meaning of 'gentle' with a progression to 'mild' or 'dull') used to refer to someone who was either insane or mentally retarded. Of course, 'stupid' also originally had that meaning; it began to pick up its wider connotations about 200 years ago. 'Daft' didn't, really. Besides, there's no point in having different words for things unless they have distinct connotations; I don't particularly care if it's kosher to use 'daft' in this way, but there are other words that would make a better synonym for 'stupid' in this case. And also, I read quite a bit, and I am not in general all that impressed with either writers or editors; quite a few such things fall through the cracks. :wink: Although I never paid attention to grammar lessons in school, I considered going into editing before deciding to go back to school for music after all. I would probably be better at editing, but I don't love it as much as I love music. I also write fiction in my spare time occasionally (I even have gushing fans in my little niche, despite the fact that I am too busy to be all that prolific), and I'm known among my professors as one of the best student writers at my university; I have even written for my school's sociology textbook because my 101 prof was so impressed with my writing that she requested it. So there.

Edit: I didn't mean to hijack the thread for a semantics debate. Sorry about that! I am reminded of another Dutchie who often uses the word 'handy' in really weird places. She seems rather fond of the word. Example:

Me: I hijacked a perfectly good Chopin thread for a semantics debate.
Her: That's not handy, Terez.

_________________
"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Etude op10no3
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:01 pm 
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Posts: 499
Location: Connecticut, USA
There's not a stipulation against it, but it's usually used to indicate that someone does not have the mental capacity to understand something. That is consistent with the etymology of the word, since it was originally (besides an Old English meaning of 'gentle' with a progression to 'mild' or 'dull') used to refer to someone who was either insane or mentally retarded. Of course, 'stupid' also originally had that meaning, it began to pick up its wider connotations about 200 years ago. 'Daft' didn't, really. Besides, there's no point in having different words for things unless they have distinct connotations; I don't particularly care if it's kosher to use 'daft' in this way, but there are other words that would make a better synonym for 'stupid' in this case. And also, I read quite a bit, and I am not in general all that impressed with either writers or editors; quite a few such things fall through the cracks. Even though I never paid attention to grammar lessons in school, I considered going into editing before deciding to go back to school for music after all. I would probably be better at editing, but I don't love it as much as I love music. I also write fiction in my spare time occasionally (I even have gushing fans in my little niche, despite the fact that I am too busy to be all that prolific), and I'm known among my professors as one of the best student writers at my university; I have even written for my school's sociology textbook because my 101 prof was so impressed with my writing that she requested it. So there.

Edit: I didn't mean to hijack the thread for a semantics debate. Sorry about that! I am reminded of another Dutchie who often uses the word 'handy' in really weird places. She seems rather fond of the word. Example:

Me: I hijacked a perfectly good Chopin thread for a semantics debate.
Her: That's not handy, Terez.
jlr43 wrote:
Quote:
To Chris...that is a strange usage of the word 'daft'. I don't believe anyone uses it to refer to inanimate objects. I guess you used it because you wanted an alternative to 'stupid' but it doesn't really transfer so cleanly. :lol:


Quote:
Actually, I believe Chris's usage here is correct, in the sense of "silly" or "foolish." I too often use it in this way (I don't think there's any stipulation that it can't refer to inanimate objects), and Webster's seems to confirm. As an editor/writer by profession, I thought I'd offer my two cents. :wink:

There's not a stipulation against it, but it's usually used to indicate that someone does not have the mental capacity to understand something. That is consistent with the etymology of the word, since it was originally (besides an Old English meaning of 'gentle' with a progression to 'mild' or 'dull') used to refer to someone who was either insane or mentally retarded. Of course, 'stupid' also originally had that meaning, it began to pick up its wider connotations about 200 years ago. 'Daft' didn't, really. Besides, there's no point in having different words for things unless they have distinct connotations; I don't particularly care if it's kosher to use 'daft' in this way, but there are other words that would make a better synonym for 'stupid' in this case. And also, I read quite a bit, and I am not in general all that impressed with either writers or editors; quite a few such things fall through the cracks. :wink: Even though I never paid attention to grammar lessons in school, I considered going into editing before deciding to go back to school for music after all. I would probably be better at editing, but I don't love it as much as I love music. I also write fiction in my spare time occasionally (I even have gushing fans in my little niche, despite the fact that I am too busy to be all that prolific), and I'm known among my professors as one of the best student writers at my university; I have even written for my school's sociology textbook because my 101 prof was so impressed with my writing that she requested it. So there.

Edit: I didn't mean to hijack the thread for a semantics debate. Sorry about that! I am reminded of another Dutchie who often uses the word 'handy' in really weird places. She seems rather fond of the word. Example:

Me: I hijacked a perfectly good Chopin thread for a semantics debate.
Her: That's not handy, Terez.


No need to be defensive about it by bringing up completely irrelevant information about yourself. Roughly half of your response contains superfluous information. All I said was Chris's word was acceptable. Not the best perhaps; that's arguable. The primary definition of daft now is "silly" or "foolish," clearly connotatively different from "stupid." Words evolve. Get used to it.

_________________
Movie Blog: http://www.criticsloft.com
Classical Music Web Site: http://www.critics-ear.com
Youtube Piano Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/Chopin849?feature=mhee


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Etude op10no3
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:10 pm 
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Terez wrote:
To Chris...that is a strange usage of the word 'daft'. I don't believe anyone uses it to refer to inanimate objects.

I do. You are such an unbeliever :D

Terez wrote:
I guess you used it because you wanted an alternative to 'stupid' but it doesn't really transfer so cleanly. :lol:


CB to headphone chord: You look stupid.
Headphone chord to CB: That is daft. I am inanimate.

Darn, now I can't remember what this thread was even about... Thank you Terez :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Etude op10no3
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:35 am
Posts: 1418
Location: Gulfport, MS, USA
Any time. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Etude op10no3
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:11 am 
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Location: Germany
Terez wrote:
Me: I hijacked a perfectly good Chopin thread for a semantics debate.
Her: That's not handy, Terez.

:lol: :lol: I love it, Terez.

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