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 Post subject: Zipoli—my first video
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:51 am 
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Did I hear that we have videos here on PS? If so, can someone tell me where to find them? I'm trying to go that route myself. Here's a tiny one—I thought I'd present it for your feedback before I get any further into the process.

This is how I'm formatting it for YouTube, but if you need me to change anything about the credits, for example, I can do that.

I also want to point out that this is not exactly authentic because I've done some editing on the midi file. So what you're hearing is not exactly what I played. I actually played a Gershwin Prelude.

OK, not Gershwin. :) But I thought some of you might be interested in what the original midi file sounded like before I did any editing, so I've uploaded that, too.

Thanks,
Bruce


Well, I failed to upload the video here because the two file types I tried (mov and m4v) are both being rejected. What file type should I use?

In the meantime, you can see it here, on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_iUHy1oD4s


Zipoli - Fughetta in E minor

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Last edited by Bruce Siegel on Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Zipoli—my first video
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:59 am 
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Hey Bruce - we don't 'need' you to do anything regarding Youtube. That is strictly your business. Regarding videos - because of Youtube, we don't encourage people to upload videos to our site anymore. However, you are allowed to add Youtube links like what you have already done. Also, if you want people to listen to your audio-only file, then please re-upload it in mp3 format. Thank you! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Zipoli—my first video
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:07 am 
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Got it. Thanks, Monica!

Bruce

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 Post subject: Re: Zipoli—my first video
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:08 am 
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Zipoli was a very capable composer (I've posted some organ works by him) and this fughetta is what I like to call a great little piece.
Very well played, with nice bounce and dynamics. It works surprisingly well on the piano. A shame that is over too soon.

Not sure what you meant about the video credits. I don't think any of our pianists needs to credit PS if they post a YouTube video. We do expect it when
somebody rips a recording not played by themselves though.

I did not hear any difference between the mp3 and the video, except the video seems to have better sound quality.

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 Post subject: Re: Zipoli—my first video
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:04 am 
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Thanks, Chris! I'm so pleased that you like my playing AND the piece.

Quote:
. . . with nice bounce and dynamics.


Yeah, quite literally, actually, if you watch the video! I was pretty amused to see how I moved.

Quote:
Not sure what you meant about the video credits. I don't think any of our pianists needs to credit PS if they post a YouTube video. We do expect it when
somebody rips a recording not played by themselves though.


This is a misunderstanding on my part. I thought that PS hosts its own videos, and that there might be some standard way of doing the credits.

Quote:
I did not hear any difference between the mp3 and the video, except the video seems to have better sound quality.


I actually spent considerable time editing the dynamics. This is a new process for me, and I'm still always questioning its value, and when I was done, I thought to myself, Bruce you're a fraud. This is not an authentic performance because of all the doctoring.

Then I Iistened to the original unedited midi and was relieved to hear that it was actually pretty good from the start—the changes I had made were fairly minor.

So there was a self-esteem issue going on for me. And then I decided to post the unedited recording in case some of the other members were interested.

Anyway, since PS won't be hosting this as a video, here's the audio file I'd like you to use.

Thanks again, Chris!

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 Post subject: Re: Zipoli—my first video
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:24 pm 
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Sorry, but I do take issue with 'fixing' dynamics. I have gotten criticized for my lack of dynamics many times, and I sometimes argue back that the fault lies in my recorder, not my playing (I feel that all the dynamics are not fully captured). However, on the other side of that, getting told often that I'm not playing with all the dynamics has made me think about that A LOT, and I think I have actually improved that part of my playing (at least when I remember to concentrate on the dynamics :oops: :wink:) . So you see, I have had to work, and continue to work on improving this aspect of my playing, but really that is the way it should be. I would not feel right about using technology to do all this for me. And then also, one cannot 'tweak' dynamics when playing in public, so one should be able to play with dynamics for real!

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 Post subject: Re: Zipoli—my first video
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:16 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Sorry, but I do take issue with 'fixing' dynamics. I have gotten criticized for my lack of dynamics many times, and I sometimes argue back that the fault lies in my recorder, not my playing (I feel that all the dynamics are not fully captured). However, on the other side of that, getting told often that I'm not playing with all the dynamics has made me think about that A LOT, and I think I have actually improved that part of my playing (at least when I remember to concentrate on the dynamics :oops: :wink:) . So you see, I have had to work, and continue to work on improving this aspect of my playing, but really that is the way it should be. I would not feel right about using technology to do all this for me. And then also, one cannot 'tweak' dynamics when playing in public, so one should be able to play with dynamics for real!

I second that. Cutting out a flunked passage we've come to accept (I do that a lot, to be honest), fiddling with dynamics is over the limit. Though I'd be surprised if this was not done with commercial CD's - some dynamics you hear there are just improbable....

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 Post subject: Re: Zipoli—my first video
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:49 pm 
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techneut wrote:
I second that. Cutting out a flunked passage we've come to accept (I do that a lot, to be honest), fiddling with dynamics is over the limit.

I cut out bad parts too, but yes - it's the dynamics thing that I also think is over the limit. When I hear a recording made on a digital keyboard these days, I pay attention only to correct notes and rhythm. I certainly won't comment on dynamics because I can't trust that the player actually played them or instead just 'fixed' them, because I understand that it's easy to do with digitals.

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 Post subject: Re: Zipoli—my first video
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:45 pm 
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Quote:
Cutting out a flunked passage we've come to accept (I do that a lot, to be honest), fiddling with dynamics is over the limit.


I'd go so far as to say adjusting dynamics is out of the question. In this case, why don't we just all twiddle with electronic simulations of performances on a computer and pass them off as our own? Sure, it'll sound slicker to the untutored ear but these "professional" commercial recordings of today sound way over processed to me. Pollini is an example of someone whose recordings don't sound technically anything like his live performances. The only similarity is that I find it painfully boring in both venues. I also do some editing, particularly to cut in sections in long pieces when there is a mistake, but I'm beginning to agree more and more with David that's it's best not to edit performances at all and that things start to sound a bit careful and artificial when passages are cut in. Personally, I wouldn't care about mistakes, as long as it didn't become an overriding issue, if it didn't seem like everyone else cared so damn much.

Anyway, this piece I find about as important as a buffalo chip in the scheme of things. Why play it when you can play Bach, Scarlatti, or Handel? Regarding the playing, I'd say it's slick but also rather prissy and mannered. Baroque music doesn't need that. Also, in a video, I find such self-conscious face-making and gesticulating unnecessary at best and gauche at worst.

Joe

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 Post subject: Re: Zipoli—my first video
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:09 pm 
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You've all raised some interesting points, stuff I've thought about a lot. I have to say I find myself on the defensive here, which is never fun, but here goes.

Quote:
So you see, I have had to work, and continue to work on improving this aspect of my playing, but really that is the way it should be . . . one should be able to play with dynamics for real!


Hey—this stings a bit, Monica. I too have worked hard at improving my dynamics and am pretty darned good at it. If you listen to the unedited file I uploaded, you'll hear that there's not much difference in the before and after. And I attached it to make that very point.

Quote:
And then also, one cannot 'tweak' dynamics when playing in public


And when I play in public, I don't. But creating a recording can be—if you and your listeners wish it to be—a different sort of creative act altogether. As in making a feature film, for example, you can blend the spontaneous with the highly edited. Obviously, this isn't just my opinion.

Quote:
'Cutting out a flunked passage we've come to accept (I do that a lot, to be honest), fiddling with dynamics is over the limit. '


I don't get it, Chris. Why is it more of a sin to miss a dynamic and fix it, than to play a wrong note (and fix it)? I think it would be just as easy to make the argument the other way. What is absolutely genuine in my recording is the rhythmic continuity, because it was all one take. If you cut and paste in other takes, you're (potentially) messing with the rhythmic flow and sweep, and what's more sacred than that? (I was smiling a bit as I wrote that, because I was thinking of that signature quote at the bottom of all your posts.)

Quote:
"Also, in a video, I find such self-conscious face-making and gesticulating unnecessary at best and gauche at worst."


Joe, did you think I was consciously adding in those movements and facial expressions? Nothing could be farther from the truth. The truth is, were I to try to repress those motions and those expressions, that would be self-conscious.

Quote:
"Anyway, this piece I find about as important as a buffalo chip in the scheme of things. Why play it when you can play Bach, Scarlatti, or Handel?"


I can't believe you mean that. Would you like us all to limit our repertoire to the top tier of composers only? There's no composer I revere more than Bach, for example, but some of his works leave me cold. I take any composer's works on a piece by piece basis, and this piece by Zipoli has always thrilled me.

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 Post subject: Re: Zipoli—my first video
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:12 pm 
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Bruce Siegel wrote:
Hey—this stings a bit, Monica. I too have worked hard at improving my dynamics and am pretty darned good at it. If you listen to the unedited file I uploaded, you'll hear that there's not much difference in the before and after. And I attached it to make that very point.


Sorry, Bruce. I did not mean to imply that you cannot play with dynamics. Only that I have to work at being better with dynamics because I will not 'fix' them with editing. I don't think anyone should, that's all.

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 Post subject: Re: Zipoli—my first video
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:37 pm 
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Thanks, Monica. I do appreciate that clarification.

Bruce

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 Post subject: Re: Zipoli—my first video
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:43 pm 
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Quote:
Joe, did you think I was consciously adding in those movements and facial expressions? Nothing could be farther from the truth. The truth is, were I to try to repress those motions and those expressions, that would be self-conscious.


OK, then read it without "self-conscious." In my view, that makes it all the worse since that seems to imply it's an uncontrollable habit. In any event, it wouldn't in any way affect my opinion that it's unnecessary and distracting to look at. As Vladimir Horowitz once approximately said in reference to face-making in modern piano-playing, "I don't do those things. Music comes out through the finger, not in the face."

Quote:
I can't believe you mean that. Would you like us all to limit our repertoire to the top tier of composers only? There's no composer I revere more than Bach, for example, but some of his works leave me cold. I take any composer's works on a piece by piece basis, and this piece by Zipoli has always thrilled me.


Good for you! But to be honest, that's not what I meant, nor is it literally what my statement says above, which is limited to this particular piece. Personally, a good 95% of the time I can see why certain composers have fallen by the wayside and others have become part of the main canon. History tends to be pretty fair in its sifting. Not that it's completely fair, and that I don't think certain things deserve to be higher and certain lower. And it seems a redundancy for me to say this is only my opinion. Both you and I know it is. Great that you love this piece. I don't, and that's really all I meant.

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 Post subject: Re: Zipoli—my first video
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:19 pm 
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Bruce Siegel wrote:
I don't get it, Chris. Why is it more of a sin to miss a dynamic and fix it, than to play a wrong note (and fix it)? I think it would be just as easy to make the argument the other way. What is absolutely genuine in my recording is the rhythmic continuity, because it was all one take. If you cut and paste in other takes, you're (potentially) messing with the rhythmic flow and sweep, and what's more sacred than that? (I was smiling a bit as I wrote that, because I was thinking of that signature quote at the bottom of all your posts.)
I'll grant you half a point there. However this is the line that we draw, rather arbitrarily I admit. Seeing that getting the notes right is only the beginning, a means rather than an end, it seems to me more acceptable to 'mess' with the notes than to fiddle with the dynamics. But actually if I miss a note I redo that section and cut out the flunked one. I don't believe that ever messes up the rhythm or sweep. Very occasionally it has lead to a tempo difference, which is most always a reason for me to re-record the entire thing, rather than fixing it by other means.
I shudder to think what could be the next step after manipulating the dynamics... Change the tempo, insert pauses, cut out hesitations before jumps, add rubato ? The possibilities seem endless. As Joe says, that road leads in a direction we don't want to go.

Bruce Siegel wrote:
Joe, did you think I was consciously adding in those movements and facial expressions? Nothing could be farther from the truth. The truth is, were I to try to repress those motions and those expressions, that would be self-conscious.
Many people pull faces or make arcane movements while playing. Nothing bad here - though I found your final gesture, the looking-away, a bit over the top. It reminded me of our dear Sandro Bisotti :P The playing itself I found not at all affected.

Bruce Siegel wrote:
I can't believe you mean that. Would you like us all to limit our repertoire to the top tier of composers only? There's no composer I revere more than Bach, for example, but some of his works leave me cold. I take any composer's works on a piece by piece basis, and this piece by Zipoli has always thrilled me.
I side with you on this one. Joe does give the impression, though he may not mean it quite like that, of having no truck with any composers outside the top league. I see the point but I'm glad I (like so many others) don't subscribe to it. I say hail to those who bring us unknown and lesser stuff and not just more Bach, Chopin, Schubert and Mozart.

Wow, that such a small and "unimportant" piece could spark such a lively discussion :D

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 Post subject: Re: Zipoli—my first video
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:25 pm 
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Quote:
Many people pull faces or make arcane movements while playing. Nothing bad here,


Thanks for that! I'm glad to hear that I don't look that crazy.

Quote:
though I found your final gesture, the looking-away, a bit over the top


I was pretty surprised to see that head-pivot myself! Funny what we (or I, anyway) will do in the heat of musical passion.

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