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 Post subject: Beethoven-Liszt, Symphony No.5, 1st &2nd mvts
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:38 pm 
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Dear All,
Please find attached the two first movements of this famous transcription. I have discovered some years ago the whole set of transcriptions by an athletic russian pianist (Konstantin Tcherbakov), who is in addition a great musician, and this gave me the (foolish) idea to try a symphony. I am not too satisfied of what I could reach with my limited technique, and I gave up in recording decent versions of the two last movements. As for the two first ones, I hope it gives a vague idea of how it could sound when properly played... For me it is really near the top of what can be written for our instrument, as well in terms of beauty as of orchestral writing. Not for us poor amateurs, unfortunately...
Merry Christmas, though !


Beethoven - Symphony no.5 - 1: Allegro con brio (7:44)
Beethoven - Symphony no.5 - 2: Andante con moto (10:15)

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven-Liszt, Symphony No.5, 1st &2nd mvts
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:49 pm 
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Well, wow... 3 times. Very convincing despite the little roadside accidents. I believe Beethoven would not have minded them too much. The spirit is very much there. The only real criticism I have is that you rather slop the triplets in bar 2, and from 6:08 to 6:13 you seem to play triplets where none are
written. These things should maybe have been corrected, all other mistakes are quite forgivable. For a Frenchman, not bad :P

I can imagine you giving up on the 3rd and 4th movements. The middle section of the 3rd mvt, and the entire 4th mvt, look like pure hell. Even Scherbakov leaves out a few notes here and there, and takes none of the even more devilish ossia's. I wonder what Alkan would have created had he decided to transcribe Ludwig's symphonies.

Congrats to your hard work and adventurous repertoire ! I think these could well go up on the site despite the fluffs. Anybody disagrees, please step forward.

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven-Liszt, Symphony No.5, 1st &2nd mvts
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:14 am 
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Hi François,

While I am admiring your performance, especially your large dynamics, I am much sceptical about the musical interest of such piano transcriptions, even played by great pianists, at our time when everybody can listen to orchestral performances. The piano sounds so small when compared to this.

However congratulations for your effort and have a joyeux Noël !

Didier


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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven-Liszt, Symphony No.5, 1st &2nd mvts
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:07 pm 
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A very respectable effort, considering the difficulties. As Chris says, the spirit is definitely there, and some of it is really quite exciting.

Katsaris is well worth hearing in these transcriptions, as is Giovanni Bellucci (live video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dASvRbn5Zwk)

techneut wrote:
I wonder what Alkan would have created had he decided to transcribe Ludwig's symphonies.


Take a look at the transcription of the first movement, third piano concerto (I'm especially reminded of it becase the cadenza quotes from the last movement of this symphony).


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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven-Liszt, Symphony No.5, 1st &2nd mvts
PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:41 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Well, wow... 3 times. Very convincing despite the little roadside accidents. I believe Beethoven would not have minded them too much. The spirit is very much there. The only real criticism I have is that you rather slop the triplets in bar 2, and from 6:08 to 6:13 you seem to play triplets where none are
written. These things should maybe have been corrected, all other mistakes are quite forgivable. For a Frenchman, not bad :P

I can imagine you giving up on the 3rd and 4th movements. The middle section of the 3rd mvt, and the entire 4th mvt, look like pure hell. Even Scherbakov leaves out a few notes here and there, and takes none of the even more devilish ossia's. I wonder what Alkan would have created had he decided to transcribe Ludwig's symphonies.

Congrats to your hard work and adventurous repertoire ! I think these could well go up on the site despite the fluffs. Anybody disagrees, please step forward.


Thank you Chris ! I am not at home, so I cannot check the triplet issue. Regarding the two last movements, I almost succeeded in playing the third one (in spite of the two pages you mention), but it is really linked with the fourth, which contains some unattainable peaks (for me at least). I guess they are hardly playable on Liszt's time Erard grands, who had a very light keys with a small depth, not like my Yamaha ! Also, you probably need to practice 6 hours per day including 2 of pure technique to be really at ease in such acrobatic pieces...

Didier wrote:
Hi François,

While I am admiring your performance, especially your large dynamics, I am much sceptical about the musical interest of such piano transcriptions, even played by great pianists, at our time when everybody can listen to orchestral performances. The piano sounds so small when compared to this.

However congratulations for your effort and have a joyeux Noël !

Didier


Your point is interesting. Actually, I purchased the scores 25 years ago during a trip in Poland (at this time the music scores was very cheap for us). When I came back home, I tried to read some parts, and I found the transcriptions overloaded with octaves, thirds; quite a decadent music, so I put them in a cabinet and forgot them during decades. But when I heard Tcherbakov at the radio, I was just caught: how such a wounded music like Beethoven 5th could be rejuvenated by a single man with our instrument that could evoke as well strings as horns, woods, timpanis... Then I have bought his integral (published by Naxos), and I played it many times - especially during long car trips - with always the same fascination.
Actually, the matter of piano vs. orchestra is like black & white vs. color for photos. Do you prefer Mussorgski's Pictures at an exhibition in the piano version or in Ravel's orchestral one ? For me it depends on the moments, but I am sure Liszt added to the world music heritage writing these incredible transcriptions. The only thing is that very few pianists have the ability of playing them...

@ Andrew: thanks for your compliments ! When I am back home, I will listen the other versions, and I'll tell you how I find them as compared to Techerbakov.

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven-Liszt, Symphony No.5, 1st &2nd mvts
PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:19 pm 
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Now here comes the conundrum. File this under Beethoven or Liszt ?

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven-Liszt, Symphony No.5, 1st &2nd mvts
PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:56 am 
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techneut wrote:
Now here comes the conundrum. File this under Beethoven or Liszt ?

I thought there was a general policy at PS, which tended to favor the composer (not the transcriber). Then I vote for LvB !

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven-Liszt, Symphony No.5, 1st &2nd mvts
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:10 pm 
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Chris, Andrew,
Being back home, I am responding to some details of your posts:

techneut wrote:
The only real criticism I have is that you rather slop the triplets in bar 2, and from 6:08 to 6:13 you seem to play triplets where none are
written. These things should maybe have been corrected, all other mistakes are quite forgivable. For a Frenchman, not bad :P


Actually there are no triplet in bar 2, but rather three eighth notes followed by a whole note. As for the section around 6:08, there are several series of four eighth notes (in octaves), but the jump is so large that I decided not to play the first ones. Hence I think it is more important to keep the tempo than to play four times the same note, wich does not add anything in terms of melody or harmony.

andrew wrote:
.
Katsaris is well worth hearing in these transcriptions, as is Giovanni Bellucci (live video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dASvRbn5Zwk)

Katsaris is brillant, but I find more 'grandeur' and nobility in Tcherbakov's rendition. As for Bellucci, I admire the pianism and the courage of playing such a piece in public, but I strongly dislike his rubatos, which seem to me over sentimental, bad taste and unbeethovenian...

Happy new year!

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"Je préfère ce qui me touche que ce qui me surprend"
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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven-Liszt, Symphony No.5, 1st &2nd mvts
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:31 pm 
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Francois de Larrard wrote:
Actually there are no triplet in bar 2, but rather three eighth notes followed by a whole note.

Sure, triplet was not the correct term here. OTOH it is a group of 3 notes, so.... Anyway I believe one of the 3 was missing, and this happening right at the beginning of the piece, I personally would have started over. The beginning and end of a piece are always the most vulnerable and important.

Francois de Larrard wrote:
As for the section around 6:08, there are several series of four eighth notes (in octaves), but the jump is so large that I decided not to play the first ones. Hence I think it is more important to keep the tempo than to play four times the same note, wich does not add anything in terms of melody or harmony.

Probably a wise concession here. I did feel it alters the rhythm a bit though.

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven-Liszt, Symphony No.5, 1st &2nd mvts
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:14 pm 
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Oh Boy! Had a listen to your performance of this famous Beethoven piece (known more in its orchestral arrangement ofc) This is quite a farcry from the lushness of Griffes and the Bell music of Mompou! (Not to mention Bach) :lol: You put a lot of fire into your performance, and though I think there are limits to what the piano can express, I truly enjoyed your playing. And 6 hours of practice a day :shock: I believe it. But the result is all the more worth hearing :D

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven-Liszt, Symphony No.5, 1st &2nd mvts
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:29 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Sure, triplet was not the correct term here. OTOH it is a group of 3 notes, so.... Anyway I believe one of the 3 was missing, and this happening right at the beginning of the piece, I personally would have started over. The beginning and end of a piece are always the most vulnerable and important.

Sorry Chris, there may be one note more piano than the others, but I play the whole series of three (my wife agrees, and be sure that she is the first to criticize when it is justified !

pianoman342 wrote:
And 6 hours of practice a day :shock: I believe it. But the result is all the more worth hearing :D

This is not my practice, unfortunately (I have also a job !). But it would be necessary to be able to play correctly the 4th movement....
Thanks for your kind compliments, otherwise !

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven-Liszt, Symphony No.5, 1st &2nd mvts
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:28 pm 
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Francois de Larrard wrote:
Sorry Chris, there may be one note more piano than the others, but I play the whole series of three (my wife agrees, and be sure that she is the first to criticize when it is justified !

As long as your wife agrees, you have nothing to worry about :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven-Liszt, Symphony No.5, 1st &2nd mvts
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:17 pm 
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Francois de Larrard wrote:
I thought there was a general policy at PS, which tended to favor the composer (not the transcriber). Then I vote for LvB !

Be that as it may, they are filed under Liszt, as are all of Liszt's transcriptions. They are now on the site, please check if all is ok.

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven-Liszt, Symphony No.5, 1st &2nd mvts
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:31 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Francois de Larrard wrote:
I thought there was a general policy at PS, which tended to favor the composer (not the transcriber). Then I vote for LvB !

Be that as it may, they are filed under Liszt, as are all of Liszt's transcriptions. They are now on the site, please check if all is ok.

Thanks Chris. However, it appears that there is a special section, classified in the Beethoven's section, dealing with symphony transcriptions:
http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=2016
while in the one you have put my 5th, there was no Beethoven before. Therefore, it seems to me that there are only two consistent solutions: either to migrate all the Liszt transcriptions under Liszt, or to group the Beethoven-Liszt ones under Beethoven, including mine. Also, the link with my page is missing.

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven-Liszt, Symphony No.5, 1st &2nd mvts
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:52 pm 
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Indeed, I forgot to link these recordings under your page. That is fixed. The rest I will leave as it is. All the Liszt transcriptions are under Liszt, but some Beethoven transcriptions by others are under Beethoven. So be it, I have long since given up on trying to reach consistency about transcriptions. In hindsight, the whole PS idea of trying to categorize pieces sucks, really.

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