Hi again, Bruce. I had a little time just now and felt like nitpicking something so I came back to your mazurka!
And I am honored that you took the time to do so, Monica. You raise some great points!
First of all, it's not your rubato that I was talking about earlier. It's definitely those pauses. Yes, the most obvious one is at the first repeat. But also at bar 16 you hold the RH third beat E too long - like you are thinking about if you should go on or not. That's the same impression I got at your pauses in the repeats - like you were trying to figure out where to play next.
My approach to matters of tempo and timing is this—I trust what my body tells me. I really wouldn't know what else to do. But I do understand that the results will not always be everyone's cup of tea!
By the way, as I record these pieces digitally, I do a lot of manual adjusting of dynamics
, but virtually none of timing. And I'm fairly sure there are no edits in this Mazurka in the sense of stopping and restarting—it was all one take.
And even the background sound goes out, so I think you may have taken a cut there and edited in sections.t
As I said, I'm pretty sure it was all one take. And there is
no background noise in a MIDI recording, so I'm not sure what you're hearing.
Which brings me to the fuzzy sound: It is quite obvious to me.
OK. I just listened again with headphones and I do know what you mean. I really need to consult a technical expert about this.
maybe you can play the repeats at a softer dynamic to give them a little more interest. In your recording here - all repeats sound exactly the same.
Very good point. I confess to not always knowing what to do on repeats. Sometimes I do, but sometimes not. Repeating a section softer often works well, but sometimes that strategy can get tiresome. Do you think you always
need to vary a repeated section?
One more thing - I have three mazurka books with op. 67 included and all of them show trills at two places in the first section and again when it comes back at the end. You don't play any of them.
someone might bring that up! And I've given this a great deal of thought over the years, and my answer won't be to everyone's (anyone's?) liking: I leave 'em out if the music sounds better to me
I can play these ornaments quite well, so it's not a technical thing in this case. But every period of music has its own taste in ornaments, and what sounds great to one generation, can sound awfully corny or inappropriate to the next.
Here's an example. Think of those pop singers from the 1930's and 1940's—Bing Crosby comes to mind. (I'm older than you Monica, so I hope I'm not losing you here!) They used to frequently add this little turn to a melody—you go to the step above and then return to the main note.
People LOVED it in the 40's. Then in the 50's, with the advent of rock, you suddenly have melodies reduced to their raw simplicity. Just imagine Elvis for example—not the later Las Vegas Elvis!—using one of those turns. Or better yet, the Rolling Stones. The notion is pretty ludicrous, right?
Another example—I think that trills in the baroque period may sometimes have been inserted in keyboard pieces to give the illusion of sustain, something harpsichords just can't do.
Anyway, there are many pieces—often baroque, but sometimes even Chopin—that I simple would not enjoy playing if I had to use all the ornaments. To me, the music often simply sounds cleaner and more expressive without that distracting filigree.
Which is not to say that I always leave out ornaments. Sometimes they can be quite lovely.
I just hope you will find it interesting to learn what other people hear and how they listen to your recordings.
100% absolutely yes! Thanks again for taking the time to listen and comment.