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 Post subject: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:32 pm 
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Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
It's high time I contributed some music and here offer one of my favorite works of the French Baroque. This is a theme and six variations (termed doubles) for harpsichord. The theme is titled Gavotte. The work is in A minor and has little harmonic interest and a simple melody, but I think Rameau does wonders with so little. The form for the Gavotte and all variations is: A (rep A) B (rep B).

Timings: (length 7'40").
Gavotte (0:00)
double 1 (1:45)
double 2 (2:51)
double 3 (3:58)
double 4 (4:57)
double 5 (5:52)
double 6 (6:44)

Details
Music Edition: from the Rameau Album, published by Edito Musica Budapest. This edition retains the actual ornamentation, unlike the two realized versions available at IMSLP.
Piano: Baldwin SF-10 (7') with lid on half-stick
Mics: Shure KSM 141 matched pair on cardioid setting and in ORTF configuration at 63" height and 5' distance
A-D Converter: Digidesign Mbox2
Recording SW: ProTools LE (on my HP Pavilion laptop)
Other: I have the treble down a bit and the bass pumped a bit with EQ and added some reverb.

It feels good to break the ice again. :)

Rameau - Nouvelles Suites, "Gavotte et Six Doubles"

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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 Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:48 am 
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That was very nice, Eddy. Sometimes I'm in the mood for Baroque music and this was just right for me tonight. And boy, no. 4 is really the most double of the doubles! :wink: Sound is good too. I'll put this up tomorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:49 am 
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Wow, the devil is in the details ! You forgot to mention the CPU speed of your laptop and the brand of your cables :P

Very nicely done indeed. The last variations sounds really tricky. I heard a couple of tiny little fluffs and one or two hesitations but it does not matter in such a convincing performance. I always seem to like Rameau better than Couperin and he certainly does a great job with very little material (even though it gets a bit monotonous after a while IMO, luckily he knew when to stop).

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:26 pm 
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Ok, this is up.

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:34 pm 
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Forgot to mention Eddy, I'm not entirely convinced about your bass boost. In some of the doubles the bass seems a bit too heavy, threatening to overshadow the theme in the RH. In others with a less busy LH, the balance is better.

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:01 pm 
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Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
techneut wrote:
I heard a couple of tiny little fluffs and one or two hesitations but it does not matter in such a convincing performance. I always seem to like Rameau better than Couperin and he certainly does a great job with very little material (even though it gets a bit monotonous after a while IMO, luckily he knew when to stop).

I agree with you totally Chris, and I wish that I had just done some more takes at those spots while I was at it. A blemishless performance seems always just beyond me - but I'm closing the gap slowly - it's probably asymptotic. :wink:

Try as I could, I could not identify any host collection that this may have been from using resources I had access to, but trust that you have better sources than me; certainly I would expect Francois to know to.

Monica and Chris, thanks for your complements and for posting it!

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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: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:58 pm 
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Location: Boston
Very nice Eddy! Even though these were written for the harpsichord, I like how it benefits from the expressiveness of the piano. I do agree that you need bass since you're using cardiod mics to tame the room response and counteract the low end roll off in cardiod designs. However, any perceived mid-bass boominess might be attributed to recording with a half-lid aperture. Everything is a trade off in recording. Nonetheless, there is nothing detracting from the music and These variations are wonderfully played!

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:01 pm 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
88man wrote:
Very nice Eddy! Even though these were written for the harpsichord, I like how it benefits from the expressiveness of the piano.


Completely agreed. I found this recording very enjoyable. I think good taste has been exercised regarding the piano usage; it would be easy to over-exploit its capabilities and end up with something rather unnatural sounding.


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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:45 am 
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Hi Eddy,

Baroque isn't my favorite genre, but I listened to these Rameau pieces and have to say I enjoyed them all. It's also good to get a break from Bach now and then. Your playing seemed meticulous, with only a few minor slips that didn't detract at all. You articulated with a nice evenness throughout. And your Baldwin SF-10 sounded fine and your recording set-up was well up to the task too. Overall, a wonderful rendition!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:27 am 
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George, Andrew and David,
Thank you very much for your supportive words. I hold each of your opinions very highly and have enjoyed your artistry! Thanks for listening and commenting.

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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


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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:48 am 
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Location: Connecticut, USA
Eddy,

Very interesting to hear these, especially played on the piano. As far as the French Baroque goes, I've never cared much for Couperin but Rameau is a different story (Wanda Landowska's harpsichord performance of Les Sauvages comes to mind).

Overall, this seemed very well played to me. Like Chris, I heard a few slips and hesitations but they did not distract at all since the playing is generally so clean. Very nice phrasing in general, especially some of the crescendos working up to the climaxes.The trills in the opening statement I'm sure are a bitch to bring off on the piano. A couple seemed a bit unclear and as if some of the notes are missing, but I'm sure you're probably aware of that (many were nevertheless very well executed). The only substantive thing I can find to criticize is that it could be a bit tighter in places, especially some of the left hand passagework seemed a bit flabby. Also too, sometimes the tempo seems to get lightly bogged down and a few notes become inaudible. Mostly though, it's quite clear, and I particularly enjoyed listening to a couple of the later ones (like the one with the repeated note figures).

The recorded sound seemed nice and mellow, sort of reminiscent to me of those golden-age 50s recordings.

I think this will make an excellent contrasting work against the Rachmaninoff in the program you are preparing (I assume these will be on the same program?). Indeed it is nice to hear a Baroque composer other than Bach and Scarlatti, and I think you show that these can work very well on the piano. Very nicely done in general.

Joe

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:13 am 
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A most beautiful recording! Loved every second of it and posted a tweet.

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:46 pm 
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Hi Joe,
Thanks for listening and commenting. I of course agree that I had some spots that were not smoothly clean. The LH gets its work out in the last variation, the RH in the penultimate one; both feature wide-leaping hand work. For me one of the most difficult is variation no 3, and one measure of the B section decided to give me a bit of hesitation (both times). With a recording, I can do more mental practice to improve it. Yes, this is part of a recital program I'm preparing, which I'm slipping to fall of 2013 now (but hope to start learning a new program this fall). The program for both halves is as follows:

French Virtuosity (this Rameau, then open part 2 with Debussy L'isle joyeuse)
[post-]Romanticism (Chopin Scherzo no 3, then 3 preludes of Rach's Op.23)
Sonata (Beethoven Op. 57, and close with Ginastera Sonata No.1)

A very demanding program (for me anyway) but by golly (better with God's help) I will do it.

Robert,
Thanks for tweeting about this (I don't do/follow/know about Twitter :oops: )

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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


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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:17 am 
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Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
I just found another edition at IMSLP that is nearly identical to the one I play from. The two (Gavotte and Variations) stand-alone editions are highly editied and changed in many places, but the Durand edition edited by Saint-Saëns of the Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin... is excellent. This piece begins at page 17 of same at http://conquest.imslp.info/files/imglnk ... _suite.pdf

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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


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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:58 pm 
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Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Beautiful and interesting! Simple on the surface but with increasing and well controlled agitation. And the piano sounds really nice. Congratulations!


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