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 Post subject: Bortkiewicz, Fantasy Pieces, "A Dream", Op. 61, No. 2
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:35 am 
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I’ve posted here another unpublished (although copyrighted) character piece composed by Sergei Bortkiewicz. The title is “A Dream”, drawn from his Fantasy Pieces, Op. 61, No. 2 composed in 1942. All of Op. 61, however, was not completed until 1943. As you would expect, this is a reverie, and it is in ternary form. Bortkiewicz had worked on this opus in an air raid shelter during the bombings of Vienna in WWII. Like his “Nocturne”, Op. 58, No. 5 that I posted earlier, this music was found in the Rahter publishing archive where it had gathered dust for many decades. The volume was never printed and distributed. So my recording will be the first hearing ever. I hope you'll enjoy hearing it.

David

Comments welcome.

Piano: Baldwin Model L Artist Grand (6’3”) with lid fully open
Recorder: Roland R-44
Mics: Matched pair of Earthworks TC-20 small diaphragm, omni-directional condenser mics in A-B configuration

Fantasy Pieces, "A Dream", Op. 61, No. 2

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


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 Post subject: Re: Bortkiewicz, Fantasy Pieces, "A Dream", Op. 61, No. 2
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:53 pm 
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Beautiful piece.
The performance and recording sound good through speakers.
It's really great that you're able to record these, David.

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stu kautsch


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 Post subject: Re: Bortkiewicz, Fantasy Pieces, "A Dream", Op. 61, No. 2
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:18 pm 
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Hi David,

Had a listen to this "dream" by Bortkiewicz, you play it very well, and count myself lucky to get this little secret of history. It's little known pieces like this one that make pianosociety such a cool place, a place to discover the lesser known repertoire :)

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Riley Tucker


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 Post subject: Re: Bortkiewicz, Fantasy Pieces, "A Dream", Op. 61, No. 2
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:05 pm 
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Hello, David,

A very attractive mystery piece this one is and this time even I had not heard it before in any shape or form. Very much of a salon piece and played up to your normal standards.

There is an elctronicky click between 16" and 17". I looked at it with Audacity, but could not see how it could be cut out (I have been of late remastering LP recordings that my father put on CD unwashed, so I know a thing or two about clicks). Is it in your recording or did this happen when you transferred it? At the same time I saw some hiss. How come your hardware is playing you these tricks? With your old setup it seemed non-existent.

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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 Post subject: Re: Bortkiewicz, Fantasy Pieces, "A Dream", Op. 61, No. 2
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:38 pm 
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Hi Stu,

Thanks for listening! The piece has great potential, and I did try to emphasize the beautiful turns of phrase throughout which you noticed.

Yes, I felt it a privilege to make the first recordings.

David

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


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 Post subject: Re: Bortkiewicz, Fantasy Pieces, "A Dream", Op. 61, No. 2
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:52 pm 
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Hi Riley,

I'm happy that you liked this piece, and thank you for your nice compliment on my playing. I readily admit that when selecting a next piece, if I can contribute something from the piano literature that exudes great beauty--yet is little known--I find myself more motivated than preparing the 4,681,539th rendition of Chopin's "Fantasie Impromptu" (as much as I love Chopin's music). And most often when working on "new music", there are challenges, especially when the early performance practices have vanished, meaning that if they cannot be rediscovered, then they must be reinvented.

When it comes to piano, there's always something new to learn about a lesser known composer and his music.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Bortkiewicz, Fantasy Pieces, "A Dream", Op. 61, No. 2
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:40 pm 
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Hi Richard,

I'm glad you liked this unknown piece by Bortkiewicz. I too thought of it as a salon piece, but in the very best sense of the word. As far as performance goes, I try to be my worst critic in order to meet my standards.

That click at 16 or 17 is a total mystery to me. As you know, I do full takes without editing. I listened to that click several times to see if I could identify the source. I was the only one home when I recorded, so I would surmise it was in the living room near enough to the mics to be recorded. I doubt that it came from the piano. Prior to converting from WAV to mp3, I added slight reverb as usual and boosted the volume a bit (but too much). I cannot imagine what the heck that click was. I have ascertained though that it is on the original recording, thus it transferred to the PC as well. I never noticed it until I just now.

As for the hiss, the noise ratio on the mics are slightly higher than some competitors. But it seems that the Korg MR-1000 could filter it better than the Roland R-44. The great thing about the mics is that they do not in any way color the sound--it's totally natural which is what I like.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Bortkiewicz, Fantasy Pieces, "A Dream", Op. 61, No. 2
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:59 am 
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Hello, David,

I was also thinking of a good salon piece, so we both agree?

How many pieces are there in this opus?

The noise is quite definitively caused either by the recorder or the microphones. Compare the noises before you start to play, which must be you sitting down or adjusting the chair, and that click. Sometimes, when I rip a CD i come out with a noise like that too, when on the CD there is nothing and a second rip is also clear.

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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 Post subject: Re: Bortkiewicz, Fantasy Pieces, "A Dream", Op. 61, No. 2
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:02 pm 
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That's a beautiful piece, and touching playing. You got the reverie aspect across well, I felt.

The click doesn't sound like an electronic editing or recording click; it sounds more like something caused by a physical object. I got the impression it's about a sixth of a second long, so cutting it out of the file by crude editing is a complete no-no. It could probably be removed with specialised editing tools that address specific segments of the audio spectrum but such things are not on the agenda for us mortals!

In any case, it doesn't really impact on what is a good performance and, excitingly, a world premiere!


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 Post subject: Re: Bortkiewicz, Fantasy Pieces, "A Dream", Op. 61, No. 2
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:09 pm 
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Hi Andrew,

That click totally baffles me. I guess it'll remain a mystery. I have three other recordings I made, but I adjudged this one to be the best of the lot. A substitution could be made, but I'm thinking that it might be best to leave it be. I believe I didn't hear it, as I was not expecting to hear it. I'll be listening more closely to submissions in the future. I sure hope it's not directly related to the Roland recorder.

Thanks for your compliment on my playing. I really appreciate it.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Bortkiewicz, Fantasy Pieces, "A Dream", Op. 61, No. 2
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:11 pm 
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I suppose all my editing has made me very sensitive to any minimal click! I would say that no one else would have noticed it and Maybe six months ago neither would I done so.

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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 Post subject: Re: Bortkiewicz, Fantasy Pieces, "A Dream", Op. 61, No. 2
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:21 pm 
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Hi Richard,

I agree. Last night I didn't lose any sleep over the nefarious click, that's for sure! :lol:

David

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


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 Post subject: Re: Bortkiewicz, Fantasy Pieces, "A Dream", Op. 61, No. 2
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:00 pm 
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Hi David,
That was so pretty! I like this piece a lot!! It's got elements of sweet yet melancholy that I like. Nicely played, as well. I've put it up on the site.

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: Bortkiewicz, Fantasy Pieces, "A Dream", Op. 61, No. 2
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:16 pm 
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Hi Richard,

To answer your question, there are six pieces in Fantasy Pieces. And yes, we agree on the salon music label in the best sense of the term.

I've never had a click seemingly originating from the mics. They are properly rigged (including those special rubber mounts to the mic stands that cushion earthquake, a heavy truck driving by, etc. and all connections are tight. So that would leave the Roland R-44, yet I've not found a click on any prior recording using the Roland. Maybe a ghost? I guess we'll just have to label this "The Click Incident" and let it go at that--an unsolved mystery.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Bortkiewicz, Fantasy Pieces, "A Dream", Op. 61, No. 2
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:23 pm 
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Hi Monica,

Thanks for putting this piece into the archive. And I'm glad you enjoyed listening. I too enjoy that melancholy touch in the composition as it adds a lot to the "Dream". The previous listeners liked it as well, so maybe it'll catch on.

Thanks again.

David

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