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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:05 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
Eddy, have you followed other discussions where I speak about this piano? I realise all the things you say do help and are constructive, but when using a fine-quality piano. Here we are talking about making a rhinoceros dance a menuet with a butterlfy.

Why do I bother, you will say. Why do I not wait until a have a Fazioli 6' grand piano and a home studio that compares favourably with Deutsche Gramophon's? Indeed, maybe I am being foolish attempting to record with an Mp3 portable recorder and playing on an East-German ruin of an upright, which even the tuner will only touch after I have signed a document clearing him of all responsibility. It is a lot like that thing couples say: we can't have children now because it's too soon: no house, little money, careers to build... Then, when all these basic needs are met... The couple has passed 50.

Anyway, I have studied your ideas, which, by the way, are very good and which I had been attempting to use before, and recorded a faster version. With this it is already 5 recordings of the very same Arietta I place on the site. And I have not yet been admitted as a member.

This surely must be a record.

(I haven't heard the newest recording yet.) If simply for your posts, you must stay here; they are most entertaining to read. :lol: Did you ever see the movie The Pianist? Your words elicited a memorable seen from that for me. I salute you for your hard work. I had hoped to give you ideas on how to improve the musicality of the performance, even if on an ol' clunker. Take what you can ... and good luck on your quest to replace the Geyer. Have you thought of trying Debussy's Jimbo's Lullaby? With your piano it may be a match made in heaven? :wink:

Edit: BTW, maybe if you think of your piano as an elephant instead of a rhino, you may be able to get it to do much more!
• The trunk itself weighs about 300 pounds
• Can lift a 500-pound log but also can carefully and gently wipe its eye or remove an object from a child’s hand

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


Last edited by musical-md on Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:23 pm 
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I agree with Monica that it is "almost there." :D You have done really well to get the voicing improved! But Richard, IMO you're still playing it too "square." Let me use another way to get my point across.

You're first 8 bars:
1........2........3........4........5........6........7................1........2........3........4........5........6........7................

My suggesstion:
1........2.......3......4.....5......6.......7............___1........2.......3......4.....5......6.......7............___

Also, you mustn't play the last bar as if there is more coming (what you did, which leaves the listener thinking you've abruptly stopped playing because you don't want to play anymore), but rather as a memory of what has happened and with appreciable ritardando. If you can do this (I reallize others may have a different interpretation than I do) and correct the rhythm issues that Monica mentioned, I think there will be no question of putting this up for the whole world to enjoy ... despite the ol' Geyer!

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


Last edited by musical-md on Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:33 pm 
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I agree with Eddy that the Arietta is rather too literal, whereas by its name it should be a little song (ok, aria :wink: ).
Instead of a slight lingering at the end of a phrase, I sometimes heard you rushing into the next phrase. Can't blame the Geyer for that... in fact the old bastard sound quite presentable.

Rest assured you will be joining PS shortly. We just like to get that Arietta sorted out to everyone's satisfaction. If that takes a couple of takes (heheheh pun) then so be it. There's danger in re-recording to fast though, which is getting frustrated and only trying to please everybody. Maybe you should leave it be for a while, you may be amazed on how well you do it after that. All good things come to he who waits.

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:27 pm 
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Maybe this?

Yes, Chris, so anxious not to make a break between bars... Rush instead! I have tried to correct that.

Funny this, I have been playing this one for 20 years, Bortkiewicz 6 months, the Camilleri, 4 months. The less the better. I will buy a new score tomorrow and read it. Maybe I will sound like Horowitz. Horowitz reading a score in the dark with a sore finger, that is.

Actually, I came up with a baby grand recording of the Camilleri on YouTube. And I thought I was the one who could not count. And yet the pianist was giving a concert and I imagine someone was paying to see her. Or maybe it was family who was applauding.

Monica, the reason I like this Society is just that: It is not just the , "oh, how good! Do keep posting", and you know your playing compares badly with that of a linnet with toothache that you get in other sites, but rather, "Yes, yes, all very nice, but you can improve."


Grieg - Lyric Pieces, Op. 12, no. 1 "Arietta" (1:41)

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:39 pm 
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Hi Richard,

I have to chime in here and say that this latest recording you've just attached is far less "square" than the others. The balancing of the hands is noticeably improved. The phrases are handled more gently. You are more expressive in your playing, even with a few touches of rubato. And the ending tapers off quite nicely. I like it!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:27 am 
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Greetings Richard,

I have listened to some of your recordings, mainly the Gershwin and the Grieg...I'm not familiar with the others, except for the Gershwin which I also studied. The newest version of the Arietta is the best IMO, and even though I've only listened to the second version before it...but it's more relaxed and I see that you've taken everyone's comments into account as much as possible. Good job!!

To the Gershwin, I apologize for commenting on it as much as everyone has, but it's a well known piece in the pianist's repertoire and since I've studied it for a time as well, I'd like to add my 2 cents...
Upon first listening to it, it should be less metronomic in feel...it should be played more freely and have a jazzy mood to it. I read that Gershwin wrote this movement as a 'slow one in the middle of two fast ones...' Anyway, I think the main thing you can improve upon is getting the style of the piece right...as Monica said, for one to be 'seduced' (in a way), as it has its own mood and quality. There should be a bit of a swing to some of the rhythms, esp. the drag triplets-again, a jazzy feel. The piece should have a sense of movement-moving somewhere forward, and it seems that it's sort of trudging along. The best way to describe it is that it must tell some sort of story..(IMO) or at least convey something more...
Also, the contrasting section should be played with a bit more energy (personal interpretation, perhaps?) but I think it's just that: a contrasting section to what was previously heard before. It all kind of sounds the same, and there should be a difference, and even so, as the melody is now in the bottom register of the piano (crossed hands, too, if you'd like??)
And, I would check the last few bars of the piece, with the proper placement of the RH notes, (ascending two note chords) as I think you are off by one eighth note...
There are also some other details that could be taken cared of, but I think they have been addressed already...I think just getting the style right is a good start. I think this is one of the most popular movements, so it'll be judged a lot more critically.

Hope my little bit helps some!

Vcp

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:07 am 
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I am so glad that this is not a long piece. And I think I have it memorized even though I haven't played it in years - only just from listening to you... :lol:

Ok, now on to the chit-chat...I think this final version or at least what you are calling the 'newer' version is nice, except why do not play the bottom E-flat in the LH at the beginning? Is that key not working on your piano?

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:02 am 
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:shock: But I play it every single time! I have trouble keeping it from booming and drowning out the melody! Actually, the following Bb is even boomier. Could it be making the preceding Eb seem not to be there?

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:07 pm 
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Correction: I mean the Bb which is played by the left hand together with the Eb on bar 1.

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:48 pm 
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It seems to me that the bass pedal point note is missing in the first 4 bars, and a low note is left out/inaudible at 0:58. The very last top note is inaudible to me (I believe you do play it but it's really too feeble). Apart from that last note, the ending is very nice now. And generally, there's much more flow and feeling then before, even though you could hold back a bit more at the end of a phrase. I feel a bit mean nitpicking on a couple of inaudible notes, knowing how hard it is to play smoothly and softly and yet making every note sound, on an instrument that is not especially responsive.
But really, a missed or too weak note should be considered as bad as a wrong note. That's not a big deal when notes are being tossed off in spades, but in a sparse little piece like this one can't afford to miss any note, and it's best to start over when you hear one going awol. In a sense, easy and well-known pieces are the hardest to submit :D

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:29 pm 
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It is an eflat on the bottom. You play it on the first bar,tie it, and then again on the third bar.

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:08 pm 
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Exactly and it is there. I tell you, otherwise I would not have submitted it.

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:58 pm 
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Here you are. I bet a piece of cheese that now the melody is competing with the background.


Grieg - Lyric Pieces, Op. 12, no. 1 "Arietta" (1:41)

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:42 pm 
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Hi Richard and Everyone participating in this thread:

I just listened to this rendition and it sounded carefully played yet with some freedom too and with the requested corrections. And this was accomplished while maintaining a lyrical melodic line. The accompaniment isn't bad at all in this recording, yet might be still softer, but the Geyer is the Geyer. My sense is that this is about as good as it can be given the foibles of the instrument. I would vote to accept it.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:47 pm 
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I'm eating lunch right now and just ate some cheese! But you lost the bet, because the balance between hands is fine here. :) And maybe I'm going nuts, but now I hear that E-flat. I could swear I didn't hear it on the previous versions....

BUT...now have some rhythm glitches again. You take too long a pause at bar 12 and I lose the pulse at bars 10 and 20.

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:52 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
Here you are. I bet a piece of cheese that now the melody is competing with the background.

The LH is a bit more prominent than would be ideal, but not disturbingly so. Better this way than that you try to play so softly that you lose notes.
Personally I'd sooner put this up than the previous version. Nice ending, and a tasteful ritenuto at 0:58. Never be afraid to take your time between phrases. As long as it doesn't sound like a sudden hesitation.

My only remaining concern is how you handle bars 10 and 20. Not only do you not slightly hold back here, as I think would be appropriate but you actually shorten these bars by almost 25%. One thing that helps in bars with longer note values is counting the shorter values. Tap along with the 16ths until you get to bar 10 and you'll see my point. The longer the notes are, the greater the temptation to move on prematurely, and the more important the internal counting becomes. A lesson I'd had to learn the hard way accompanying the church singing on organ. I know that some professial players still do that counting as a matter of principle.

Now before you get totally frustrated with us I think we should accept this one now, along with the Bortkiewicz and Camilleri. Chances are you'll want to redo the Arietta after having put it to rest for a while.

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:00 pm 
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...which means time to get your bio and photo ready!

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:01 pm 
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Hi Richard,

That's a very good performance tip Chris gives on holding/counting long note values. I think I learned that principle early on, but later in life I relearned it big time in playing Debussy's Prelude from Book I, "Danseuses de Delphes" where as I recall you must count in 12's!

Welcome to Piano Society!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:54 am 
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Chris' comment to Richard:
Quote:
My only remaining concern is how you handle bars 10 and 20. Not only do you not slightly hold back here, as I think would be appropriate but you actually shorten these bars by almost 25%. One thing that helps in bars with longer note values is counting the shorter values. Tap along with the 16ths until you get to bar 10 and you'll see my point. The longer the notes are, the greater the temptation to move on prematurely, and the more important the internal counting becomes. A lesson I'd had to learn the hard way accompanying the church singing on organ. I know that some professial players still do that counting as a matter of principle.


You know what I say: Try a metronome! :mrgreen:

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:16 am 
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Rachfan wrote:
The accompaniment isn't bad at all in this recording, yet might be still softer, but the Geyer is the Geyer. My sense is that this is about as good as it can be given the foibles of the instrument.


I think that's fair comment. My suspicion is that it would take Michelangeli-esque touch to make the instrument sound good (no offence meant!) To Richard: I'd suggest that one day, just for your own amusement (nothing to do with this forum), take the same piece and go to a piano showroom, ostensibly to try out the instruments, record it and see how much better it sounds on a quality piano. Having put this much effort into playing on a questionable instrument, I think you will be quite pleased when you hear the results elsewhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:25 am 
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andrew wrote:
take the same piece and go to a piano showroom, ostensibly to try out the instruments, record it and see how much better it sounds on a quality piano. Having put this much effort into playing on a questionable instrument, I think you will be quite pleased when you hear the results elsewhere.
And bring your recorder with you! I remember one of our members went to a piano showroom with a video-camera and filmed herself playing three or four different pieces.

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:42 am 
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I would like to thank you for this. I do not see these recordings as definitive, of course, but now that the "entry examination" is over, maybe good things might come out. I will surely take a more relaxed attitutde to recording!

I make no pretence to be as good a pianist as most of you here are (Monica, Adrienne, David, Alexander, Eddy, Chris, Andrew and others whose name escape me now) but I do hope my association with you will help me to improve. Your nitpicking as you call it is at times essential. I am sure I would not have reached the modest levels that I have reached if it were not for your criticism and suggestions. I just hope now I will able to work on other pieces and that these will give pleasure to visitors to the site and to offer encouragement to other pianists who might be too afraid to try their luck. It is remarkeable the progress one can achieve if only there is an aim and here the aim is to give pleasure to others and maybe encourage my small daughter to move a bit further than just going boing boing boing on the keys.

I hope to get a better piano when circumstances here change, as they will soon. I cannot say I will get that Fazioli 6' but anyway.

musical-md wrote:
Chris' comment to Richard:
Quote:
My only remaining concern is how you handle bars 10 and 20. Not only do you not slightly hold back here, as I think would be appropriate but you actually shorten these bars by almost 25%. One thing that helps in bars with longer note values is counting the shorter values. Tap along with the 16ths until you get to bar 10 and you'll see my point. The longer the notes are, the greater the temptation to move on prematurely, and the more important the internal counting becomes. A lesson I'd had to learn the hard way accompanying the church singing on organ. I know that some professial players still do that counting as a matter of principle.


You know what I say: Try a metronome! :mrgreen:


Chris says... Tap along!! 8) I actually stopped the clock to record, to avoid tick tack tick tack cuckoo in the background! And yes, I was counting, but it seems not enough and surely I did not want "one and two and three and...." to be on the take! Or I ended up counting some bars at the speed of the first recordings and the others at the speed of some of the later ones.

Your suggestion is good, Monica and Andrew. I do go now and then. One shop keeps its pianos in a big underground vault. What a noise! I went there once and tried a Kawai but was not tempted to buy.

I have a biography. Will this do?

Code:
Richard Willmer was born in a family where music was in the order of the day. While his parents played no instrument, there were plenty of recordings and concerts at hand. Whereas the some of the classics might have been missing, there was plenty of out-of-the-way repertoire.

At the grand age of 8 Richard decided that if parents and similar liked classical music and that if brothers and friends liked popular it was a sure sign classical music was for old-timers and if you were young you were pop. Passing years brought wisdom and at the venerable age of 12 he decided to give classical music a try. After a month he was seen at school selling his collection of pop to the highest bidder.

Encouraged by an older brother who began learning the guitar and by the presence in the house of the first flautist of the local symphony orchestra, he took up the treble recorder. His repertoire included Loeillet, Telemann, Marcello, Handel and Pez.

When he was 18 another brother bought a 19th century Pleyel which proved impossible to tune. To cut a long story short, a teacher was found, a graduate from the Paris Conservatoire, and in a few months he was reading Mozart’s sonatas. A home was found for the Pleyel and a Baldwin was bought instead. A small but steady repertoire began to be built, including Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Grieg, Schubert, Albeniz, Gershwin, Shostakovich and Granados.

After graduating in Law Richard left home and travelled extensively, living for a time in Florence, Paris and London. No piano was available, though there were periods when he could practise here and there and for a time he rented a Baldwin. He tried to maintain his repertoire but neglected to learn any new pieces.

In 2007 he married, rented a piano and began dusting his repertoire. In 2010, after hearing for the first time the works of Sergei Bortkiewicz, he decided it was time to learn something new and has since then become acquainted with the works of Galuppi, Field, Tcherepnin, Glinka, Mareo Albéniz and many others. He is at present struggling to master some of these pieces and hopes to be able to share them with the world in the foreseeable future.

When not practising he works for a language school, designs Internet sites and runs a landscape design school.

He and his wife have a small daughter, who sometimes helps to play the piano or sings a countermelody.

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


Last edited by richard66 on Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:04 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:18 pm 
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Nice to 'see' you, Richard! I also like the second photo better. And your bio is fine, although some of the wording is quite different than what I'd use. But it is your bio so if you like it this way, then that's the way it shall be.

I'll probably be the one to put you up onto the site (unless Chris wants to), but it may take me a day or so...

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:28 pm 
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But we cannot all write the same, can we, Monica? The same as we cannot all play the same. Some are better than others. That is the way the world is. :D

Could I then take the chance to change the following:

Code:
When not practising he works for a language school and designs Internet sites.


To:

Code:
When not practising he works for a language school, designs Internet sites and runs a landscape design school.

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"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:34 pm 
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You can change whatever you like, but please put it all together for me so I can just copy and paste. I'm on a train now so I can't do any editing.

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:01 am 
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I had no time yesterday but I can do it tonight.

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:05 am 
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I have edited the biography then: all in one place!

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:13 pm 
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Chris, I uploaded the three recordings and the photo last night. If you want to finish up you can, or I'll finish it tonight-tomorrow. Either way is fine with me.

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:24 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Chris, I uploaded the three recordings and the photo last night. If you want to finish up you can, or I'll finish it tonight-tomorrow.

Cool, teamwork 8) I'll do the rest tonight.

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:55 pm 
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Ok here ye go then Richard : http://server3.pianosociety.com/cms/ind ... ction=2963
Do check if everything is ok and if you're satisfied with the bio.
For now, I've put the Camilleri in the _Various page, and the Bortkiewicz in the Miscellaneous page for that composer.

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:45 pm 
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Thank you! Everything seems in order with the biography and the picture. The Grieg is there and so is Bortkiewicz, but I cannot see the Camilleri on the various pages. In the new recordings it is there when one clicks Cantilena, but if one clicks Camilleri one goes to the home page.

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:22 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
Thank you! Everything seems in order with the biography and the picture. The Grieg is there and so is Bortkiewicz, but I cannot see the Camilleri on the various pages.

Pox ! Something had to be wrong, there always is. Must have forgotten to click on Save. It's fixed now.

richard66 wrote:
In the new recordings it is there when one clicks Cantilena, but if one clicks Camilleri one goes to the home page.

That is by design, because there is no page for Camilleri yet. We don't as a rule do that for one recording, unless it's an 'important' composer.
We may create one once there are more recordings of his music.

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:36 am 
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I shall check. This always happens to me too.

Let me get on to some new works!

By the way, I still have my good old broken ankle, so I cannot play anything that requires both pedals at the same time! :x

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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:40 pm 
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Just out of curiosity, I quote what someone not related to the site had to say about my recordings:

Quote:
I saw there were pieces played by you, but I made no comment because I hadn't listened to them. Now I have, and I'd like to emit an opinion, if I may?

First of all, I think you should try to find a better sounding piano for the recordings, because there is an enormous lack of bass lines on the works you're playing. And there I feel you're too worried about playing by the book, maybe you shouldn't do it that way, give it a more personal interpretation(?) Another thing, seems you made a mistake on B.

Something else, do you exercise your hands before playing? You seemed tense fingerwise, I don't know if you understand what I mean.

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He is doing his best."
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 Post subject: Re: Geyer diehard
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:31 pm 
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Hi Richard,

Let me be one of the first to congratulate you on passing your audition and attaining membership as an artist here at Piano Society! Welcome! I look forward to hearing your future recordings.

Best,
David

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