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 Post subject: Re: Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata, op.78
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:14 pm
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Location: Germany
Hi Andrew, I watched your performance of this Fantasy on Youtube. I could understand why you like this paraphrase. I think Thalberg catched the sad and intime atmosphere of that opera very well. With more concentration - you wrote about the annoying surroundings - this piece would sound more convincing. I watched the other video clip, too, where you recorded your practicing the ending of the piece: That was fantastic! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata, op.78
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:13 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:14 pm
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Location: Germany
I forgot to comment on the sound!
Under the reservation that I know the YT compressed the sound data a lot and had no time to listen to your mp3 file, it sounded to me a bit too distanced and wet. I would prefer more close and crispy sound, especially on such a piece filled with thousands of notes :) Besides I could hear the pedal noise well.
But overall good sound, I must say.

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"The love for music. The respect for the composer. The desire to express something that reaches and moves the listener." (Montserrat Caballé about her main motivation for becoming a singer)


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 Post subject: Re: Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata, op.78
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:00 am 
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
Posts: 750
Location: Edinburgh, UK
hyenal wrote:
Hi Andrew, I watched your performance of this Fantasy on Youtube. I could understand why you like this paraphrase. I think Thalberg catched the sad and intime atmosphere of that opera very well. With more concentration - you wrote about the annoying surroundings - this piece would sound more convincing. I watched the other video clip, too, where you recorded your practicing the ending of the piece: That was fantastic! :D


I think the middle A min section is very nicely done. There is a certain classicism about the approach which you don't find with Liszt. Whether it was strictly necessary to force the l.h. to do all the work during the r.h. trill section is another matter!
I'm in retrospect glad I posted the practice run - it at least proves I can hit (almost) all the jumps!

hyenal wrote:
I forgot to comment on the sound!
Under the reservation that I know the YT compressed the sound data a lot and had no time to listen to your mp3 file, it sounded to me a bit too distanced and wet. I would prefer more close and crispy sound, especially on such a piece filled with thousands of notes :) Besides I could hear the pedal noise well.
But overall good sound, I must say.


I must listen for the pedal noise! I didn't catch it at all when listening but wasn't looking for it. When setting up the recording equipment, I couldn't get the pair of mics at my intended usual distance from the piano. The stage was a rounded rectangle with steps on the rounded edge, and with there being two pianos on the stage, I deemed it safer to put the mic stands at the bottom of the steps rather than closer to the piano, but when they would have to be on the edge of the stage instead. I didn't take distance measurements; perhaps it would have been useful if I had. Picture attached (reduced size) to clarify my explanation! The mic stands ended up situated at the r.h. side of the picture (middle) where you can just about see some bits of equipment lying around at the base of the steps. I'm no expert on this sort of thing, but I would rather have placed them closer to the piano.


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 Post subject: Re: Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata, op.78
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:14 pm
Posts: 844
Location: Germany
I know barely a thing about recording, but you seem to have put the recorder too far from the piano, esp. from the strings.
I just listened to your mp3 through a cheap headphone which I have in my locker of the library and at this time cannot hear the pedal noise :?
But I'm sure that I heard that noise as I used my Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro for listening yesterday at home, since your feet movements were exactly synchronized with that noise.

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"The love for music. The respect for the composer. The desire to express something that reaches and moves the listener." (Montserrat Caballé about her main motivation for becoming a singer)


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 Post subject: Re: Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata, op.78
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2003
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Andrew

I find that one of the factor in sound quality is YouTube itself. There are times when I do uploads and the sound is as good as what I submitted on the mp3. At other times their "processing" seems to murder the sound. There is one upload on there now that seems as if it's being played underwater. (I should resubmit that one.) You can never tell with them.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata, op.78
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
Posts: 750
Location: Edinburgh, UK
hyenal wrote:
I know barely a thing about recording, but you seem to have put the recorder too far from the piano, esp. from the strings.
I just listened to your mp3 through a cheap headphone which I have in my locker of the library and at this time cannot hear the pedal noise :?
But I'm sure that I heard that noise as I used my Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro for listening yesterday at home, since your feet movements were exactly synchronized with that noise.


Yes, agreed, I would have preferred it closer in, but not only was there the position of the steps to worry about, it was a student recital and there were two-piano pieces being performed, so it was decided to err on the side of further away so as to try to equalise the levels of both pianos.

If you heard noises at the same time as foot movements, I think that's pretty conclusive! I didn't notice noises when playing but then again it's probably the last thing I was thinking about.


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 Post subject: Re: Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata, op.78
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:01 am 
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
Posts: 750
Location: Edinburgh, UK
Rachfan wrote:
I find that one of the factor in sound quality is YouTube itself. There are times when I do uploads and the sound is as good as what I submitted on the mp3. At other times their "processing" seems to murder the sound. There is one upload on there now that seems as if it's being played underwater. (I should resubmit that one.) You can never tell with them.


Indeed, Youtube sound quality is very variable. I find it quaintly amusing that technology has advanced so much, and now we often find ourselves listening to music through a sonically completely inferior medium!


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 Post subject: Re: Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata, op.78
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Hi Andrew,
Nice work on this piece! I don't know this literature, and know just a few arias from La Traviata to begin with. I think the work is an effective one and you played it very well. I followed your melody as it switched between hands, and your linked-octaves came off quite well. I think if it were me, someone walking up and down the main aisle and all would have caused me to lose my composure! :evil: Kudos to you for keeping it together. One technical question based upon watching the YouTube: It appears that you play the rapid octaves from the elbow (arm-octaves); have you thought about/tried playing them from the wrist (hand-octaves)?* Once you have the knack of it, it facilitates speed.


*You may be doing this already, but I can't tell for sure given the image quality on the YouTube.

Regards,
Eddy

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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: Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata, op.78
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:08 am 
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
Posts: 750
Location: Edinburgh, UK
musical-md wrote:
Hi Andrew,
Nice work on this piece! I don't know this literature, and know just a few arias from La Traviata to begin with. I think the work is an effective one and you played it very well. I followed your melody as it switched between hands, and your linked-octaves came off quite well. I think if it were me, someone walking up and down the main aisle and all would have caused me to lose my composure! :evil: Kudos to you for keeping it together. One technical question based upon watching the YouTube: It appears that you play the rapid octaves from the elbow (arm-octaves); have you thought about/tried playing them from the wrist (hand-octaves)?* Once you have the knack of it, it facilitates speed.


*You may be doing this already, but I can't tell for sure given the image quality on the YouTube.

Regards,
Eddy


Glad you like the piece! The melody with the octave accompaniment is followable, but ideally I would have liked it to be more prominent. Better still, the octaves quieter..

I've never actually thought about the technical aspect of octave playing! You're probably right that mine come from the elbow. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgJNe3c3Yy4 is the best view angle I can find of my octaves (in particular introduction and coda). I'm not worried about octave speed per se (I've played the relevant Moskowski etude (op. 72 no 6?), Alkan Allegro barbaro, and the first page of the Cziffra Flight of the Bumblebee moreorless at the required tempo), but I should perhaps think about my octaves as my unaccompanied left hand octaves aren't as good as the right (there is a tendency for things to become locked and the elbow to get stuck against the body). Bizarrely the l.h. is fine when it's in unison or alternating with the r.h. but not nearly as good when on its own e.g. Liszt Funerailles.


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 Post subject: Re: Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata, op.78
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:10 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:07 pm
Posts: 697
Location: Carbondale, IL
Hi Andrew,

I had a listen to your Thalberg Fantasy, it sounds nice! I haven't heard much Thalberg but know he and Liszt used to compete for fans, with both being excellent virtuosos.

I liked your use of pedal and range in dynamics, and if I could offer you feedback I would say space the phrases out slightly as it seemed they were sometimes too close together.

I also watched your piano duet performance of pt. 1 of your piano concerto on YT, to you and your duet partner I say bravo ! :D The fleet fingered arpeggios and orchestral accompaniment made it a sight to see, nice work there.

~Riley

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 Post subject: Re: Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata, op.78
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:14 am 
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
Posts: 750
Location: Edinburgh, UK
pianoman342 wrote:
Hi Andrew,

I had a listen to your Thalberg Fantasy, it sounds nice! I haven't heard much Thalberg but know he and Liszt used to compete for fans, with both being excellent virtuosos.

I liked your use of pedal and range in dynamics, and if I could offer you feedback I would say space the phrases out slightly as it seemed they were sometimes too close together.

I also watched your piano duet performance of pt. 1 of your piano concerto on YT, to you and your duet partner I say bravo ! :D The fleet fingered arpeggios and orchestral accompaniment made it a sight to see, nice work there.

~Riley


It probably doesn't hurt to have a little "breath" type delay between phrases; after all the piece is vocally derived. There are a lot of places where I have used that approach, but I did relisten and hear a few spots where one would have been appropriate. Of course, with such things one has to be careful not to overuse the idea as it can become an irritating mannerism if overdone.

The piano concerto was good fun; a lot more relaxing than this piece for sure. There are things within the performance which could be better, but it's not bad at all, especially considering my duet partner (one of my teachers) isn't far off sightreading his part. It was probably only about the fifth or sixth time we had gone through the piece from start to finish. Thanks for listening!


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