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 Post subject: Bellini-Thalberg Casta diva
PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:22 am 
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From a recital last week, Thalberg's transcription of the famous aria. The arrangement is part of a larger collection, "L'art du chant applique au piano" where famous arias and songs are arranged in a manner far removed from his usual, much more showy, style.


Bellini-Thalberg - Transcription of "Casta diva"

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 Post subject: Re: Bellini-Thalberg Casta diva
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:33 am 
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Oh it is great! Thank you much for making me know this transcription. I guess that it shall not be so easy to make sound simultaneously the low, mid and high parts?

Very nice piano and recording. (I'm a bit frustrated with the 128 kbit/s mp3 compression. You should have used 192 kbits/s, the upper limit allowed here.)


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 Post subject: Re: Bellini-Thalberg Casta diva
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:45 am 
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The piano was a Steinway Model D; I only get access to it occasionally but it is a pleasure to play on. Re the compression - that was a little careless of me, I forgot the standard for this forum. I've uploaded it below in 192 kbits/s form.

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 Post subject: Re: Bellini-Thalberg Casta diva
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:38 am 
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This is up, Andrew. Sounded very nice.

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 Post subject: Re: Bellini-Thalberg Casta diva
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:17 am 
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Hi Andrew,

Bravo! This is a wonderful rendition. For this operatic transcription, you truly make the piano sing.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Bellini-Thalberg Casta diva
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:05 pm 
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Thank you for the new 192 kbit/s file: it sounds much better. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Bellini-Thalberg Casta diva
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:18 pm 
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This is very nice indeed. Thalberg did a great job here, treating this famous aria with restraint and respect.
Great playing too. The only possible thing I could suggest is to make the LH a bit more steady (I heard some slight rushes) and give the RH more freedom to weave and meander around the accompaniment. Like this true bel canto rubato that Chopin is said to have favored. Easier said than done, of course, I can't remember anyone actually doing that, except maybe jazz musicians.

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 Post subject: Re: Bellini-Thalberg Casta diva
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:37 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Thalberg did a great job here, treating this famous aria with restraint and respect.


Indeed: in my opinion it is a great pity that this arrangement, and others from the op. 70 set, are not better known. Thalberg certainly wasn't a great composer, but he was a skilled arranger of other people's music. (I would be happy to write up a bio of him for the site, should you wish, as I see there are now three arrangements from op. 70 on the site.)

techneut wrote:
Great playing too. The only possible thing I could suggest is to make the LH a bit more steady (I heard some slight rushes) and give the RH more freedom to weave and meander around the accompaniment. Like this true bel canto rubato that Chopin is said to have favored. Easier said than done, of course, I can't remember anyone actually doing that, except maybe jazz musicians.


That strikes me as a very constructive suggestion, thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Bellini-Thalberg Casta diva
PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:38 am 
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andrew wrote:
That strikes me as a very constructive suggestion, thanks.

I can be constructive once in a blue moon :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Bellini-Thalberg Casta diva
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:36 pm 
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This is really a good transcription - authentic to the original but very effective on our instrument! Thank you for posting this.
Maybe in the same direction of Chris' comments, some spots is lacking in something like boldness or sovereignty of a prima donna. However, your playing is very lyrical and beautiful. I really enjoyed it.

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 Post subject: Re: Bellini-Thalberg Casta diva
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:55 pm 
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hyenal wrote:
This is really a good transcription - authentic to the original but very effective on our instrument! Thank you for posting this.
Maybe in the same direction of Chris' comments, some spots is lacking in something like boldness or sovereignty of a prima donna. However, your playing is very lyrical and beautiful. I really enjoyed it.

I fully agree with you on the merit of the transcription. Re the prima donna aspect, it's an awkward thing to balance. I've always considered this quite a chaste arrangement - it's very unlike the big Liszt transcriptions or, for that matter, Thalberg's own virtuoso arrangements (such as Moses in Egypt, La Sonnambula etc.) Consequently, I may be a little inclined to introspection. I discussed some aspects of this with my teacher: we agreed that the first occurence of the theme (which is marked flauto) should be more reserved than the second occurence where the singer comes in. I think I got that across, but I might be inclined to play the piece slightly more demonstratively under different circumstances. (I had been playing for 50 minutes at this point, and wasn't all that satisfied with what had preceded it, so my attitude was on the cautious side.) This is a piece which ultimately I want to record in a studio environment, so I'm grateful for your comments.

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