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 Post subject: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:49 am 
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My first recording of this piece has a wrong note so I wanted to re-do it. Took me about a year, but I think I fixed it! :lol: Seriously, I had a personal goal to memorize this piece and then record it again, so now I've reached that goal. There are still some errors and a few other 'weird' things, but oh my gosh - I'm going to go insane if I don't put this away and play other music! So this is it - I think it's as well as I can play it. And probably nobody will listen to me anyway, but if you want a laugh, you can 'watch' me play this on the video I made yesterday. The mp3 up here is not the same audio file as on the video. I can't play this whole piece without becoming increasingly nervous as I go, and usually somewhere around the middle is where freaky things start happening and I lose control. So the video is actually two sections pasted together. The mp3 here is all the way through minus a few 'freaky things'. :lol: Comments welcomed!! :wink:


audio only file: Granados - Goyescas no. 2 "Coloquio en la Reja"


video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW_5yUdb6eg

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 Post subject: Re: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:45 am 
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This is very good now. Very convincing and with the right amount of freedom. Great job on the difficult 3-stave sections, the inner voice brought out nicely. Generally, in the apassionato/grandioso sections your RH could ring out a bit more, or the LH be a little less forceful. You need to take care not slowing down too much in the real hard bars.
Some little things I noticed, none of them disturbing in any way:
bar 18 - last LH note is C, not Cb
bar 103 - some of th eights playes as 16ths
bar 104 - this is twice too fast
bar 113 - this is too much slowed down
bar 122 - not sure what you do at the end, doesn't seem as written
bar 157 - marked 'lento e ritmico', you miss out on the lento
bar 172/173 - this should be played 2 against 3 (at least in my score)
bar 183 - the last 2 notes are not in my score. They sound good though.
All in all, well done. Mastering a piece like this is a real achievement.

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 Post subject: Re: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:55 pm 
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An honest-to-goodness nitpicking! Yay!! :D :D Thank you Thank you Thank you! :D

Ok, coming back down to earth now....

Of all the items you list here, it is the first one at bar 18 - the wrong note that totally wrecks my recording. OMG, I can't believe all this time I was so tuned in to making sure I corrected a wrong note in my previous recording and now I have a new/different wrong note in this one! :x Ohhh, I am so mad at myself!!!! Not sure what I'm going to do now....yes it's only one little note, but it changes the harmony in that chord substantially. Dang it, the idea of having to re-record again almost makes me cry...

As to the other items, I guess they are just my interpretation. Probably a few of them could be tighter or more straight forward, but well....And the last two notes in bar 183 are compliments of de Larrocha. Also a few low LH dropped down octaves, which I love!

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 Post subject: Re: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:02 pm 
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I agree with Larrocha's extra notes in bar 183. It actually sounds better like this (take that, Granados). I would not worry so much about bar 18. It doesn't sound bad and could well have been written like that. You'd be silly to re-record just because of this. Although, some people do that for one wrong note :P

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 Post subject: Re: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:37 pm 
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techneut wrote:
I agree with Larrocha's extra notes in bar 183. It actually sounds better like this (take that, Granados)


Funny! Yeah, Granados, you forgot a couple notes. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:58 pm 
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I got to listen to (and watch) this earlier this morning - it is a big achievement! It's obvious you put a lot of work into learning this piece, and, any comments aside, you did a fantastic job. :wink: You definitely have a gift for Granados.

I like the fact you didn't rush this piece - easy to do, and rushing destroys it! :D I think that you do have to watch slowing too much, though. I also liked how you voiced the lovely melody and brought out the exquisite LH countermelodies. If you used more arm weight, you could get the melody to sing more in parts and bring richer sonority to the "bigger" moments without harshness (which, again, would be so out of character for this piece). I did seem to have trouble with keeping the structure straight. Probably this has much to do with the improvisatory nature of the work, but I believe the structure might be more clear if you "weighted" the dynamics so that we know how the phrases build on each other and where the climax in each section is.

Thanks so much for sharing your work on this piece... it's probably only the second or third time I've heard it, and it seems to grow lovelier each time!

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 Post subject: Re: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:50 pm 
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Monica, you are the lady of spanish music! I haven't listened to this piece before, but already at this first listening it is really facinating. I think you draws a picture with your music. Very impressive! I'm going to watch the video, too :D

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 Post subject: Re: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:34 am 
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Sincere congratulations, Monica ! What a long, dense and difficult piece ! I have listened it watching the score and I admired how you manage all this huge groups of notes, with such complicate rythms. You seem to put priority on the correct rendition of all notes, which is a very respectable choice, not common within amateurs. If I may make a slightly more critical point, it seems to me that when you change the tempo, it is not always for musical purpose, but sometimes to ensure that all notes are correctly hit. In such a case, I generally practice the piece at a much lower tempo, but with a metronome, just to feel the strong and weak beats. The result is eventually a more "swinging" rendition, which goes ahead and gives a dance feeling. Of course, this metronomic tempo should not be kept at the end; the goal is to have a tempo which is both flexible (there are many indications of rall. and accel.), but musical and catchy. Anyway, you gave me the desire of learning some Granados music (I never played any piece of this composer, which is unforgivable at my age !). Thanks !

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 Post subject: Re: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 5:33 am 
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Thank you for listening Sarah, Hye-Jin, and Francois. :D I am glad to read your suggestions on how I can improve my playing of this piece. But I just have to say that I'm not sure what you mean about my 'slowing down'. I've listened to the pros (including Granados himself!) play this about a hundred times and not only that, but in the music Granados has very specific notation - not quite specifying tempo - but more like describing feeling, style and interpretation. So really the way I play it here is just the way it plays in my head...my story, so to speak. Maybe you are talking about that one page with the one-thousand LH arpeggios. I admit to slowing down a little bit on certain bars. :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:44 pm 
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I'm not familiar (shamefully) with Granados, but this strikes me as being well-controlled and atmospheric playing. One very small thing, not related to the music: (I only noticed this because my teacher made a issue of it with me) if you are playing from memory, put the music stand down.

Well done though, the piece is very nicely presented and I thoroughly enjoyed listening.

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 Post subject: Re: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:49 pm 
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andrew wrote:
I'm not familiar (shamefully) with Granados, but this strikes me as being well-controlled and atmospheric playing. One very small thing, not related to the music: (I only noticed this because my teacher made a issue of it with me) if you are playing from memory, put the music stand down.

Well done though, the piece is very nicely presented and I thoroughly enjoyed listening.


Thanks, Andrew. If I contribute anything to Piano Society - at least I'd be happy if I've turned a few people on to Granados. And good tip about the music stand. I should have done that. Looks sort of silly now that I look at my videos. Like I'm looking at a blank, black wall. :oops: Next time, I'll put it down and imagine a man standing at the end of my piano... :idea: 8) :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:22 pm 
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I would like to repeat my comment here, which I have left on YouTube:
Wow, what a great performance, Monica! There are many, many nice musical moments in it. And it´s a great achievement to play it all by heart. Bravo!

The only small suggestion of improvement I could give here on PS is, that some of the octaves in f could be played with a bit more force respective steadiness at some places.

That´s indeed a very expressive piece with great moments of forte and virtuosity and also more contemplative passages. You play it very expressively and musically and seem to have much affinity to it. I have enjoyed your performance!

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 Post subject: Re: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:59 pm 
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Thank you, Andreas. I wish I could make those RH octaves louder, but things are going so fast there and with my darn tendinitis and all that stuff... well...I just can't. Sorry, I'm know I'm using the same old excuse...:( Thank you for the suggestion, though. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:09 am 
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Hi Monica,

Congratulations on playing "The Maiden and the Nightingale"! Of all the pieces in Goyescas, for me this one is the finest. This music is lyrical and often passionate, and it has always struck me as being improvisatory, but I enjoy that, as it gives a sense of freedom and romance, which is sometimes lacking in the music of Albeniz in my opinion. This is certainly a very difficult piece to play, so your mastery of it is quite an achievement. My hat is off to you!

P.S. Of the pros' renditions, Cliburn's is one I've always liked a lot.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:49 am 
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Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
with my darn tendinitis and all that stuff... well...I just can't.


Oh, I´m very sorry about that. I think, the relatively weak octaves one can also see as a matter of interpretation, let´s say some kind of "female" or "soft" playing. That´s o.k. from my view. In every case you have done an excellent job on that piece. It´s a great achievement and I like it!

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 Post subject: Re: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:12 pm 
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Hi David,

This piece is my favorite Granados piece too. I'm talking about "Coloquio en la Reja" (Dialogue at the Window). I've played/recorded "Maiden and the Nightingale too but that's not the one on this thread. I'm sort of confused. Oh well....thanks anyway. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:32 pm 
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Hi Monica,

Sorry about that confusion! I hadn't listened to this Granados work for 5 years or more, and for some reason I thought No. 2 was the Maiden and the Nightingale, but I just looked it up and it's the last! :oops: It's probably a good idea, if pieces are titled, to include the title in the header. (I always do that where applicable.) OK, so let me switch gears a bit. My comments on Granados' style in this set still holds true, as do my comments about your fine playing. So I still maintain that you played this "Love Duet" very well indeed. All the pieces in this set are difficult to play, So my hat is still off to you!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:03 am 
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Bravo, Monica! Great musical outlook on such a conceptually difficult piece. Your interpretation was superb throughout and the deep understanding for the music was conveyed beautifully. Even the hidden melodies were clearly played. I like the recorded sound and reverb processing - it's fantastic! Everything gelled together seamlessly in this recording. Now the question is: What about No. 3??? :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:15 pm 
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Oh George - you just made my day! Thank you!!! :D

What about number 3? haha - that's your baby, remember? :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:59 am 
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I know little of Granados or of Spanish music in general, having never really studied any of it, so I thought I'd give this a listen. Concerning Granados, I've always liked what I've heard, though it also makes sense to me that, compared with the French composers, especially Debussy and Ravel, it's never enjoyed as secure a place in the "standard" canon of classical music. But I know how passionate you are about Granados, so I should probably keep my mouth shut about that :lol:

As for the performance, I really enjoyed it. Maybe in a few places, it seemed a bit rambling and unsure, but that could also partly be attributed to the music, which seems very complex and unpredictable rhythmically and harmonically. In the climaxes, I thought you displayed great lyrical sensitivity and brought out the orchestral sonorities well. You could perhaps aim for slightly greater rhythmic precision and retention, especially in the Spanish-flavored dance rhythms near the end -- in a word, a bit more freedom perhaps. There's some wonderful phrasing in here, which could benefit a bit more from a fluid finger legato. This might be in part due to the pedal usage, which is a tad generous in places (I do think your pedaling has improved tremendously over some of your earlier recordings I have heard though). Have you tried practicing the right hand separately without pedal? Great and very musical ending. The smorzando and ritenuto are very well timed.

Despite the nitpicks, a convincing performance. You make me really like this music :)

Joe

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 Post subject: Re: Granados - Goyescas no. 2
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:57 am 
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Thanks, Joe. I don't totally agree with your assessment, but I appreciate the feedback nonetheless. Now go and listen to some more Granados.... :lol:

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