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 Post subject: Beethoven Ecossaises WoO 83
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:58 am
Posts: 21
Location: Utah
Recorded on a 1941 Steinway AIII, Beethoven's Ecossaises WoO 83.

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven Ecossaises WoO 83
PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:06 pm 
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I've always enjoyed this piece, but sorry, I have some reservations about this recording. Mainly I do not like how you changed the tempo so often. Also I think you got a little carried away with speed - e.g., in part 2 your turn in the RH is sloppy and you then miss some RH notes in one of the descending runs. Contrary to that - part 5 is way too slow and you also completely changed the rhythm. Yes, it is your prerogative to play your music any way you want to - I'm just not crazy when pianists make changes like this. Just my opinion, though, and you do also do some nice things with your playing.

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven Ecossaises WoO 83
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:17 am 
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Posts: 21
Location: Utah
Dear pianolady:

Thank you for your feedback. I agree that my technique could be better :) although I don't think it is quite as bad as the comment makes it sound.

I certainly don't mind the criticism - I've received such without complaint on pretty much everything I've ever posted here, and, for the most part, agreed with it... but this time I think it is worth a reply regarding the "hesitation" about my recording primarily due to interpretation. I can completely understand that you don't like the way I play it (and again, you pointed out some minor technical flaws) - but to stifle somebody's art just because of opinion seems very much against the true spirit of music and pianism.

I'm disappointed in the Piano Society as I am realizing that the group here is not what I expected. I'm disappointed not because this recording (as have been several others of mine) was rejected, but because of the grounds upon which it was rejected. This indicates to me that this website is geared towards describing music and not discovering it. I find many recordings on this site that are technically decent but seem half-hearted musically, but an enthusiastic and daring rendition is rejected because of too much freedom with tempo.

To me, music is about creativity and discovery - not about dictation. You can program a computer to play music and it will be technically perfect; but then we've lost the life that music brings to the human soul. When I hear a musician alter a piece of music to his or her liking, I embrace it - regardless of whether or not I prefer to hear or play it the same way. I embrace such deviations because to me it leads the musician on a path to discovery. A thousand poor, but unique and creative performances are worth finding that one gem that would otherwise be lost due to scrutiny over the score.

Please don't take offense at my reply, as none is intended. I am stating my observations and personal conclusions. There is certainly nothing wrong with the Piano Society being a place where music is dictated and where the focus is on stylistic correctness. It is similar to the Encyclopedia Britannica - facts, facts, and more facts - but no personalization or pizzazz. Obviously that is a bit exaggerated as the Piano Society does have some excellent recordings – just as long as the interpretation is within the bounds that the adjudicators have set :) The world still needs the Encyclopedia Britannica, just as the world benefits from your website and forum. I'm merely disappointed as I was under the impression that it was something different. I opened the "book" looking for a story and instead am finding a documentary. Documentaries are fun too 

I still very much value the work that you've done and support this wonderful cause.

All the best...

P.S…. I appreciate that you mentioned that I do some “nice things” with my playing… I wonder if that really means that there are a couple of places where you finally breathed a sigh of relief because I play a few bars “stylistically correct” ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven Ecossaises WoO 83
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
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I am not taking offense, and I did not mean to sound offensive. You have to understand a couple things, though: Yes, what I said is only 'my' opinion; it's not a secret around here that I prefer recordings that stay true to the markings and notations. I strongly believe that many people listen to our recordings to learn how a piece is 'supposed' to sound. What if someone just started working on a piece and decided to search around on the internet so as to listen to how it goes, and the very first recording they find is on Piano Society and the interpretation is rather unusual? Then there is the risk that 1. the person thinks that is how the piece goes, or 2. they wonder why Piano Society has a recording that is not true to the composer's intentions, and maybe they should not bother or trust listening to any other PS recordings. So yes again - what you said about " Piano Society does have some excellent recordings – just as long as the interpretation is within the bounds that the adjudicators have set” is right - and for good reason, I believe.

And usually we here on the forum do not shy away from offering our personal opinions about someone's playing - technique or interpretation. Lately, it is a little quiet which usually happens this time of year due to summer vacations, etc. Obviously, I am here and much as I try to, I can't listen carefully to everybody's music and give detailed critiques. I could have given you more comments regarding the 'good' things in your playing - I just did not have the time to get that thorough. However, I gladly do that for members who take their own time to listen and comment on other members' recordings. As far as I can remember, you have never offered any comments on any of our members' music! You only come around here when you have a recording to submit. Maybe this is another reason why you have not received any other comments from our 'regulars'.

So, no hard feelings. It's fine with me if you want to stay on Piano Society as a contributing member. If you want to leave Piano Society, then that is fine too. It's your decision.

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"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: Beethoven Ecossaises WoO 83
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:32 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:58 am
Posts: 21
Location: Utah
Your reasoning makes sense - and as I indicated, I was certainly not discrediting the Piano Society. I suppose I just hadn't thought it through that thoroughly before posting some recordings. I thought it would be fun to share something a little "different."

You are correct that I do not comment on other's recordings (not to say I don't listen - I often drop in just to hear the latest and to put a smile on my face). I have only commented on one other recording. There are several reasons for that, but primarily, in settings such as this, I leave the public critiques up to those who have specifically been asked to contribute and to those who are more qualified (such as yourself and the other moderators). If somebody were to ask me directly, I would not hesitate to offer my honest feedback - but I typically prefer that sort of interaction to be held privately... I suppose that is just my nature.

The name of your organization is the "Piano Society" so it is sensible that you would try to cultivate not only a setting of musical contribution, but one of social contribution as well. It is an excellent endeavor and if I had more time dedicated to my musical passions and hobbies then I would certainly contribute in some of the other topics/forums that the site offers.

I should have just kept my nose down like I usually do... I guess I just had one of those moments :) I apologize for my original "flaming" reply.

Thanks again for the wondeful service that the organization provides to the public!

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven Ecossaises WoO 83
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
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signmypiano wrote:
Thank you for your feedback. I agree that my technique could be better :) although I don't think it is quite as bad as the comment makes it sound.

The comment did not say anything bad about your technique, which is generally fine. Just that in some places things are a bit smudgy which could probably have been cured by a couple more takes and/or a little more practice.

This is an interesting interpretation, with some nice inner voicings, but I have to agree on the seemingly random tempo fluctuations - I find them
a bit nauseating. The discussion on whether or not artists are allowed to push and pull the music any way they see fit is an endless one, let's not rake that up again here (done that enough with Sandro Bisotti, to name one). But it's rather unusual, and probably not a good example of idiomatic Beethoven playing, if there is such a thing.

Funny that you suggest the moderators are in any way (more) qualified to comment on recordings. Speaking for myself, I don't think we are, being amateurs without much formal training. Yes we do often make a point about textual and stylistical correctness, call it quality assurance. You know how the saying goes : Those who can, do, Those who can't, criticize.

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