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 Post subject: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:36 pm 
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I thought I had never played Bartok before, but turns out that I have. I found some old piano books from when I was taking lessons as a little girl and this book was among them. And you know what? I really like this set!! Hope I played it all right - I tried following the faded pencil markings on the score from my former teacher. Comments appreciated. :)

Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances, Sz.56

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:21 pm 
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Hi Monica,
I followed with score and I know these piece quite well. You play them perfectly, notewise and musically. My only suggestion of improvement could be to make more accents here and there. Bartòk is full of temperament and could stand a bit more dynamical contrasts here and there. But on the other side you still do nice dynamics in your interpretation. I didn´t know, that the repeat of the second piece is with the higher octave. Is it in your edition like that?
In summary a very good recording of this nice and well-known set. Bravo!

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:47 am 
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Hi Andreas and thank you.
Believe it or not, I really tried very hard to bring out the accents. Oh well, next time I'll eat more protein. :lol: And you're right about the no. 2 piece. There is no marking for playing octaves on the repeat. I got the idea from someone else. I wonder if you or anyone can guess?????

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:52 am 
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What a spirited set! I didn't have a score of this set with me when I listened, so I can't give any specific comments, but I felt like you quite captured the spirit of these folk dances. I could just see the peasants prancing around in their full skirts or coarse linen pants... ;) Like Andreas, I thought the little works could be made even better with accents and more dramatic dynamic contrast. Maybe a little more phrase shaping, too? But those suggestions are small, pedantic things - I fully enjoyed listening to these, and you played them so well! Some more Bartok in your future, maybe? ;) :D

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:54 am 
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Oh - one more thing. I loved your recording sound on this one. Just right amount of reverb, not too dry. I don't know how you achieved that, but it's really nice. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:40 pm 
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Thanks for listening and commenting, Sarah. I'm glad the sound is okay - I fool around with that a lot but think I may finally have things figured out.

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:11 pm 
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Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
Oh well, next time I'll eat more protein. :lol:


Yeah, do it like me and go to a fitness-studio and your Bartòk will sound still perfecter than it already sounds. :lol:

Quote:
And you're right about the no. 2 piece. There is no marking for playing octaves on the repeat. I got the idea from someone else. I wonder if you or anyone can guess?????


:?: :o :?: Wasn´t it your own creative idea? No, sorry, I have absolute no idea. :oops: Such an idea could have come from myself (that´s meant without any self-praise), but we never have spoken about these pieces as far as I remember...

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:08 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
Oh well, next time I'll eat more protein. :lol:


Yeah, do it like me and go to a fitness-studio and your Bartòk will sound still perfecter than it already sounds. :lol:


haha - yes, that was a little inside joke with myself. I actually did go to my gym (fitness-studio) before I recorded this. I worked out on the heavy weights and then went and had a hamburger (protein) and three diet cokes. All that pretty well pumped me up (which I needed to play fast! :lol:).


musicusblau wrote:
:?: :o :?: Wasn´t it your own creative idea? No, sorry, I have absolute no idea. :oops: Such an idea could have come from myself (that´s meant without any self-praise), but we never have spoken about these pieces as far as I remember...

No, I've never spoken to anyone about these pieces before. I got the idea from Bartok himself! 8) I heard him play it like that so I copied him.

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:06 am 
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Hi Monica,

I like your spirit and exuberance with these pieces. Nicely done!

I agree with Andreas and Sarara that a likely area for improvement would be to make more of the dynamics in some places. In the first piece, for example, the 4th measure from the end, you can get a more dramatic crescendo by remembering to start that measure more softly, than you'll have more room to grow.

I enjoyed hearing you playing the octaves in the second piece, which makes for a nice contrast the second time around. (Seems to me you and I have talked a bit about varying things on a repeats :wink: ) To confirm what Andreas said, my edition says: "In his Welte recording of ca. 1920, Bartok repeats this piece playing the the right hand (with the exception of the 16th notes) in octaves."

NIce clear turns on the 3rd piece. I actually like those ornaments, by the way. :)

(Woops—just submitted this before I finished).

You nicely captured the excitement of the 4th and 5th pieces. Way to go!

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:57 pm 
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Hi Bruce and thank you. I'll keep working on dynamics, although I did try very hard here. Oh well, there is always plenty of room for improvement (in my case).
And haha -I like those ornaments in no. 3 as well. Actually I really like that whole piece - sounds exotic and sexy (like belly-dancing music)and a lot like another piece by Espla and also a Granados piece. And it's impossible not to dance around when you play it. That's why I'll never video-record it. :lol: Bartok also changed no. 4 on that recording. He repeated it with octaves in both hands.

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:38 pm 
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Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
No, I've never spoken to anyone about these pieces before. I got the idea from Bartok himself! 8) I heard him play it like that so I copied him.


Very good! Bravo! For me that´s again a proof, that componists mostly have a very open and creative handling with their own compositions. So, why shouldn´t we as interpreters not have the same way to handle their works. I´m quite sure, that in times of baroque it was the same, f.ex. to operate with "registers" like playing the repetition with a higher or deeper octave or change from forte to p (in Germany we call that "Terrassendynamik") and it encourages me again to do similar things in my Bach-interpretations.

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:15 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
So, why shouldn´t we as interpreters not have the same way to handle their works. I´m quite sure, that in times of baroque it was the same, f.ex. to operate with "registers" like playing the repetition with a higher or deeper octave . . . and it encourages me again to do similar things in my Bach-interpretations.


I'm so glad you said that, Andreas, because it's given me the courage to make a little confession. :twisted:

When I play the second movement of this Bartok Suite, I take it pretty fast. (And that's partly because I take both the first and third movements relatively slowly.) That makes it too fast for octaves, so for contrast, I just play the RH an octave higher. But I also play the LH an octave higher. I love that effect! (Particularly at the quick tempo I use.)

In the last few measures, I return to the normal register.

So glad I got that off my chest. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:29 pm 
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this is a lovely piano set.

my piano teacher says a lot about the "bulgarian accent" while playing Bartok... but as I have never understood that, I can't say anything about it. so I think you played them well, regardless of any accent! hehe

the third piece is very spontaneous in your hands!

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:37 am 
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Thank you, Felipe. Although I don't quite understand that last thing, but that's ok....

@Andreas - Good that you are encouraged to apply some things like this in your music. I remember you telling me about how you like to change the ornaments in your Bach playing and when I was learning the Aria, I 'experimented' with a few ornaments myself. However, I don't feel like I can change other things in music like going up or down an octave unless I've actually heard the composer do it. Or one of the pros. I'm too shy do take the initiative and do things like that on my own.

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:55 pm 
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I don't know this Bartok, but a cursory listen, particularly the octave-playing and the runs, shows that this is (in my humble opinion) playing at a very high level. I particularly like the tone of this instrument. I also like the "reverb," which is about as perfect as one could wish for: not too much, not too little. Just right.

JG


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