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 Post subject: Chopin - Impromptu no. 2 in F sharp major
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:59 am
Posts: 264
Got into the dance studio with the nice Mason & Hamlin to make a recording, now that the semester is over :)
I would appreciate comments on this as I will be performing it at a little event this weekend, and would like to keep it in permanent repertoire. I fell in love with this piece last fall and it's been a lot of work -- one of those pieces that gets 80% learned in the first couple weeks then the last 20% takes months -- but well worth it.
Heather

Chopin - Impromptu no. 2 in F sharp major, Op. 36


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Impromptu no. 2 in F sharp major
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:45 pm
Posts: 380
Location: New Jersey, USA
Heather,
First, a couple of recording criticisms: It would be great if you could have kept another half-second of silence at the beginning of the track; it starts rather abruptly. Also, the volume should be turned up a little so the listener does not have to do that. It's not a huge difference - maybe 10% - but makes it hard to put this MP3 in a playlist with others from the Society.

I don't know this piece, but it certainly sounds "ready for prime time" to me. I especially enjoy the clarity of the faster runs - you give the listener the individual notes as well as the shape of the phrase. And the balance between the hands seems very good - you're not hitting anyone over the head with anything.

The transition at 3:10 seems a little abrupt, but I do not have any suggestions. Perhaps it was just a recording problem. It will be interesting to see if anyone else comments about mic placement; I'm wondering if you had the mic(s) very far from the instrument.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Impromptu no. 2 in F sharp major
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 1:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:59 am
Posts: 264
Hi Stu,

Thanks for the kind comments on the performance. Yes, the mic was a good distance away, in a very reverberant room. I never know how to gauge ideal volume level -- I know where to set the gain on my mic for maximum volume without distortion or clipping, but once I get it into Audacity what should I look for?

Heather


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Impromptu no. 2 in F sharp major
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
Posts: 732
Location: Edinburgh, UK
It sounds in good shape, and as Stu said, good balance between the hands. One suggestion I would have is that the opening section could be more expansive, with a little more rubato etc. I appreciate that such details (in Chopin, in particular) are a personal thing, and that one person's "expansive" is another person's bad taste! I'm making the suggestion purely in terms of increasing the level of character delineation between the languid opening and the almost march-like D major. Nice playing.

Re the volume, I too thought it was on the quiet side. Better though to record with the levels too low, then boost them in Audacity, than end up with clippping (which can be tidied up to some extent but is much better avoided in the first place).


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Impromptu no. 2 in F sharp major
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 11:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:45 pm
Posts: 380
Location: New Jersey, USA
To answer your question: It's an "Effect", and the "Effect" menu's "Amplify" is probably what you want. I think I tried this once and did not like the result, but once you have a good take (or you don't want to raise the mic level for some reason), you might have to play with this. It's one of those things to play with when you have time.

Audacity has a wiki: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki, which will probably take you to http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Audacity_Wiki_Home_Page. I've used this page for advice on Reverb, but not for Amplify. It might be worth a visit.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Impromptu no. 2 in F sharp major
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 12:39 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8506
Nicely played, Heather! Except there is a bad edit at 3:01 that jarred me. Other than that, it's a nice recording and I've put it on the site.

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

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Impromptu no. 2 in F sharp major
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 12:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:59 am
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Thanks Monica! Sorry about the edit. I get a little click there sometimes when I play it but not other times? Anyway perhaps I can fix it. I am glad to hear you do not think it interferes with being ready to put on the site.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Impromptu no. 2 in F sharp major
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 5:36 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:57 am
Posts: 312
Location: New York City
Hi Heather,

The performance is good in many ways. I would however suggest
a bit more melodic shaping and a bit more subdued singing to create
a bit of a glow in the melodic phrases. Perhaps your wrists could be a bit more relaxed and
your fingers more into the keys during some of the runs.

I think you are on your way to a better comfort zone and will, as you get more comfortable
with the piece, express more dynamic range, both subtle and dramatic.

The Mason and Hamlin is such a beautiful piano. Thanks for sharing.

Regards,
Kaila

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Impromptu no. 2 in F sharp major
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 1:39 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:59 am
Posts: 264
Thank you Kaila -- I think you're absolutely right about what the piece needs next.


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