Piano Society
Free Classical Keyboard Recordings
It is currently Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:27 am

All times are UTC - 1 hour




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Verdi-Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:05 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
Posts: 681
Location: Edinburgh, UK
Revisited.

Firstly, I'd like to replace the version which already exists on the site (http://pianosociety.com/protected/verdi ... wright.mp3) with this one which is a lot tidier.

Secondly, this is the first full test from my recent recording session. I'm almost sure it's the hardest piece and I truly hope to not spend as much time on any of the others. I would be grateful for thoughts on the sound, how the editing holds up, possibly even on the playing. :wink:

Piano: Steinway Model D; mics: Rode NT5 pair, Rode NT4 stereo and U87 pair.


Verdi-Thalberg - Fantasy on La Traviata, Op. 78 (8:24)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Verdi-Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:58 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 1958
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Andrew,

Bravo! This is a great paraphrase and an inspiring rendition too. Congratulations on your wonderful recording!

You get a very nice sound out of the Steinway D, and the Rode mics seem to serve the effort well too.

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Verdi-Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:50 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
Posts: 681
Location: Edinburgh, UK
Thanks - in particular I'm glad you like the overall sound. Other than possibly doing some very minor cosmetic editing, this is now in the form where I'd intend to put it on CD: the mics and sound levels are balanced to my satisfaction.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Verdi-Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:57 am
Posts: 280
Location: New York City
Hello Andrew,

Your performance shows a tremendous amount of hard work. Thank you for posting.

Kaila Rochelle

_________________
musicrecovery


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Verdi-Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:45 pm
Posts: 338
Location: New Jersey, USA
Andrew,
I listened to this with the score yesterday and enjoyed it - very good recording. I was waiting until I had something intelligent to say.

I had a difficult time finding this work's home on Piano Society. (I did not know of the "various" page.) There is, I suppose, a line between something like "Verdi-Thalberg" and, say, Vaughn Williams' "Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis", the latter always being listed as a work by Vaughn Williams.

But it's too bad, really - I looked up Thalberg online and it looks like much of his work was variations, etc., on others' compositions. But he was so prolific I'd think he would deserve his own page.

Anyways, again this was very enjoyable and a real throwback to another era. Gives us a hint to the audience experience of 100 years ago.

_________________
stu kautsch


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Verdi-Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:06 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9479
Location: Netherlands
This is replaced(but please check).
Excellent playing and demonstration quality sound !

_________________
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Verdi-Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:21 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
Posts: 681
Location: Edinburgh, UK
musicrecovery wrote:
Your performance shows a tremendous amount of hard work. Thank you for posting.


Thanks - I have indeed put a lot of effort into this piece; it's probably one of the hardest things I've ever played and some parts are deceptively difficult - looking fairly palatable on the score, but once you incorporate attempting to balance lh/rh (or individual voices within the hand) they become much harder to control.

techneut wrote:
This is replaced(but please check).
Excellent playing and demonstration quality sound !


Thank you, good to hear another vote for the sound quality. I've checked and the correct file is now on the site.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Verdi-Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
Posts: 681
Location: Edinburgh, UK
StuKautsch wrote:
Andrew,
I listened to this with the score yesterday and enjoyed it - very good recording. I was waiting until I had something intelligent to say.

I had a difficult time finding this work's home on Piano Society. (I did not know of the "various" page.) There is, I suppose, a line between something like "Verdi-Thalberg" and, say, Vaughn Williams' "Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis", the latter always being listed as a work by Vaughn Williams.

But it's too bad, really - I looked up Thalberg online and it looks like much of his work was variations, etc., on others' compositions. But he was so prolific I'd think he would deserve his own page.

Anyways, again this was very enjoyable and a real throwback to another era. Gives us a hint to the audience experience of 100 years ago.


Nomenclature with such pieces is always a little bit of an issue. There is maybe an argument for having Thalberg on the site as a separate composer with his own page, and I would be happy to write a bio if the admin felt it necessary, but on the minus side only a small amount of his output was truly original works as opposed to paraphrases and transcriptions. (Re the original works, it wouldn't be a bad thing if someone were to look into recording extracts from his Soirees de Pausilippe, incidentally).

It seems that variations etc on other compositions were practically de rigueur for virtuoso pianists in Thalberg and Liszt's era - even Chopin (Variations brillantes on "Je vends des scapulaires"!) and Alkan succumbed. Although history and critics have not been kind to Thalberg's compositions, I believe this to be one of his finest virtuoso fantasies and think it's head and shoulders above the more run-of-the-mill 19th compositions in a similar vein (see Herz, Czerny, Dreyschock and others). Glad you enjoyed it!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Verdi-Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:29 pm
Posts: 141
Location: Brazil
Hi, Andrew!

Nice playing! Specially those right hand octaves, which were played very softly, despite the tremendous difficulty.

_________________
Luís Sarro


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Verdi-Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:23 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
Posts: 681
Location: Edinburgh, UK
Thanks, Luis. I must admit to thinking the octaves should be even quieter. Difficult though!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Verdi-Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:17 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8407
Sorry I'm late here, Andrew. I was on vacation.
Anyway, this sounds very well played! Great job!!
Regarding the sound, seems the mics pick up the swooshing sound of the pedals a lot.

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Verdi-Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
Posts: 681
Location: Edinburgh, UK
Thanks for your comments, Monica - and in particular for drawing my attention to ambient noise. Any particular places where you hear pedal movements, or is it endemic? I've listened to it on my computer using (admittedly pretty cheap) headphones, looking for such problems, but not heard anything. I heard a few spots, not primarily in this particular piece, when listening in the editing studio - mostly in quieter passages. I'll certainly be mentioning this to my engineer. It's possible to do some level of manipulation to deal with these noises, through adjusting the level of the close mics, but I wouldn't want to be doing it throughout the piece as it will surely affect the overall sound.

Also, what are you using for listening? You're the first person to pick anything like this up - I even sent the test recording to my teacher and he didn't mention anything of that sort. I'm not doubting you are hearing the noises, but I've not picked them up en masse, even in the editing studio - though I've only listened through studio speakers rather than headphones.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Verdi-Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:26 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8407
I listened earlier on ear plugs that I carry around with me in my purse. They aren't the cheapest kind, but not the most expensive, either. Just now I listened at home on my computer speakers using a different pair of ear plugs, but I still hear the noise. I have not listened to the entire recording, but the sound I hear is clearly heard at the beginning - the quieter part. It's a swooshing sound, obviously the sound of the dampers lifting off the strings. I know this sound well because when I first got my new piano, I thought there was something wrong with it; when I lifted the lid all the way I heard that swooshing sound so loudly that I thought there was something wrong with the piano. I even called Yamaha and tried to explain what was wrong....the person on the end didn't quite know what I was saying and probably thought I was nuts. Eventually, I got used to the sound and it has even dampened (haha..pun intended) over time and now I don't hear the swooshing sound.
Anyway, Andrew, the sound is like that of a snare drum - a light strike on the snare drum and you get that sort of fast, fuzzy/buzzy lingering sound afterward. That's what I hear on this recording.

(I wish I was a sound engineer.....)

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Verdi-Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:36 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
Posts: 681
Location: Edinburgh, UK
Ok, thanks, I'll double-check this. I've heard something similar to what you describe in a pp passage in another piece I recorded There have also been a few miscellaneous string noises picked up by the close mics.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Verdi-Thalberg Fantasy on La Traviata
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:32 pm
Posts: 468
Location: Connecticut, USA
Andrew,

I don't know this piece, but IMHO you play this transcription with a combination of Old World charm and delicacy in the slower parts and bravura and nobility in the more expansive passages. Great leggiero, portato octaves! That's no mean feat. Any of my nitpicks would be down to more specific details (little points of polish that struck me as a listener, not knowing the piece). A few comments:

1. A couple of the more contrapuntal passages seemed as though they could be slightly crisper/more even, notably near the beginning.

2. The trills in that one part were nice and clear, but seemed a bit prominent against the bass, which seems to be carrying the tune more in that one place. It goes without saying that such passages (which seem to appear a lot in Liszt too) can be a bitch to sustain, so this is pretty picky.

3. There were one or two places nearer the end (where it breaks out a bit) where you seem to slightly struggle with the tempo, though maybe some retention was intended.

4. Regarding the sound, I think it's nicely balanced overall, but to my ears it seems just a tad brittle in the upper registers. Could be my speakers though, which tend to sound that way.

These are very nitpicky things, though. One thing I'm very impressed by is your dynamics and sense of balance. Regarding the piece, I think you make it about as interesting as anybody could. It seems rather meandering to me, very much in the manner of Thalberg's solo works, not lighting a candle to those by Liszt or Rachmaninov. Speaking of which, since you're a transcriptions guy, do you plan to do any of the Rachmaninoff? IMHO those are the very greatest of all transcriptions, great creations in themselves. Given your impressive chordal technique I'd be curious to hear your performance of the Liebesfreud :)

Again, great style on this Traviata transcription. A pleasure to listen to your playing as always.

Joe

_________________
Movie Blog: http://www.criticsloft.com
Classical Music Web Site: http://www.critics-ear.com
Youtube Piano Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/Chopin849?feature=mhee


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 1 hour


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group