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 Post subject: Re: Tchaikovsky - Berceuse, Opus 72 number 2
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:45 pm
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Location: New Jersey, USA
Thanks, Chris.

Actually, I do intend on doing more of opus 72 - as soon as I have 2 or 3 I'll get the instrument tuned and do some recording.

I'll try to find something to say about this opus. Currently, I know nothing despite having made a little effort. I found the collection simply because it has a piece titled "Berceuse" and I enjoy finding and learning new lullabies. Until the past couple of days I knew very little about Tchaikovsky.

BTW: If a PS member has a submission in the way of a composer biography or notes about an opus, on which board do we post it? I should probably already know the answer to this, but I don't.

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 Post subject: Re: Tchaikovsky - Berceuse, Opus 72 number 2
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:10 pm 
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Chris,
In case the answer to my previous question is "just post it here in the Audition Room", here is something to get us started on Opus 72. It's a paraphrase of material from the web site http://www.tchaikovky-research.net, to which I give credit in the third paragraph:

First published in September 1893 by Petr Jurgenson, the opus 72 was mostly written in 1893 (making this a very late work - immediately after the 6th Symphony), although musicologists feel confident that some of the material was from earlier sketches.

Each of the 18 has a separate dedication (thus fulfilling numerous dedication pledges to people), but the pieces were composed at the same time, written to "earn some money", as Tchaikovsky wrote to his brother Modest in February of that year. He also told his brother a few months later that he had written the 18 pieces in 15 days!

This work has also been catalogued as number 151 in "The Tchaikovsky Handbook, vol. 1 (2002)", by Alexander Poznansky & Brett Langston. That catalog ("TH" for short) is the main system of numbering used on the site http://www.tchaikovsky-research.net, which is the main source for these notes.

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 Post subject: Re: Tchaikovsky - Berceuse, Opus 72 number 2
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:14 pm 
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Location: Brazil
Hi, Stu!

I didn't know this piece before (Rachmaninov wrote a Tchaikovsky transcription for one of his lullabies, but I think it was another one), but the playing here is nice!

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 Post subject: Re: Tchaikovsky - Berceuse, Opus 72 number 2
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:27 pm 
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Thanks Luis.
There is a somewhat more famous lullaby (or "cradle song" - Berceuse) in Opus 16. I've heard that it was originally for voice and piano. There's recording on youtube of that one for Theremin and piano! (Clara Rockmore on the theremin.)

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 Post subject: Re: Tchaikovsky - Berceuse, Opus 72 number 2
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:16 pm 
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Sorry, I'm late here, Stu. I was on vacation
I just started working on this piece too, right before I left. Your playing is nice and pretty much the same tempo as I like to play it. The only little critique I have, and it's more of personal preference, is that short-ish middle part - it sounds a bit too detached and heavy-handed to me. I like a little more delicate touch there, but that's just me. And maybe I don't even know what I'm talking about because I don't remember the markings at that spot (I've only read through the piece a couple times). Another thing, I wish you wouldn't breathe so much..... :lol: Seriously though, the sound of people breathing heavily while playing really bothers me, and right there at the end was the worse time to do it. I know that's got nothing to with your ability to play piano, but to me it ruins the recording. Sorry, it's just IMO.... :)

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 Post subject: Re: Tchaikovsky - Berceuse, Opus 72 number 2
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:30 pm 
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I'm glad I'm half deaf and did not hear that breathing :D I do agree on the middle section, it is a bit brusque and out of character.

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 Post subject: Re: Tchaikovsky - Berceuse, Opus 72 number 2
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:19 am 
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Stu,

Good to hear some Tchaikovsky on the piano. His piano music probably is underrated since it's rarely played and probably should have more of a following, though IMHO I've always thought Tchaikovsky was a somewhat weaker composer than other Russians like Rachmaninov, Scriabin, or Mussorgsky. This particular piece seems to run out of thematic material and get a bit repetitive after a while.

As for your performance, I don't know this piece, but this seems very well played to me -- nicely and sensitively phrased. You seem more comfortable with this than with the Chopin prelude. Also, is it just me, or did you get your piano tuned between the two recordings? It sounds good here.

I don't hear any breathing but I didn't listen with headphones :P To my ears, your middle section seems fine too. I like that you play this lullabye simply yet musically and don't moon over it.

Joe

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 Post subject: Re: Tchaikovsky - Berceuse, Opus 72 number 2
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:48 am 
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Joe,
Thanks for listening.
I have to agree with you on the comparison between Tchaikovsky and some other Russians. It's just that he wrote a half-dozen really incredible works and they did not.
Also, that he was not the greatest keyboard composer of his age! But I'm having fun exploring his stuff because I knew *nothing* about it until recently.
This piece grew on me quite a bit while practicing it, and yes, the middle section confused me musically and I was not sure what to do with it. I'll come back to the piece someday.
Actually, the instrument was tuned just before the Chopin, but might have fallen out a little while doing the 25 'takes'. It's so much more chromatic than the Tchaikovsky that the tuning shortcomings are easier to detect.

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