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 Post subject: MacDowell - Woodland Sketches, Op. 51, No.1 and No.4
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:09 am 
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Location: New York City
Hi Everyone,

I have two pieces to present from the Woodland Sketches:
'To A Wild Rose' Op.51 No.1 and 'In Autumn' Op.51 No.4

I love MacDowell's lyrical quality and like to perform his work along with
Grieg in my stage programs.

-Kaila


MacDowell - Woodland Sketches, Op. 51 - 1: To A Wild Rose

MacDowell - Woodland Sketches, Op. 51 - 4: In Autumn

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 Post subject: Re: MacDowell - Woodland Sketches, Op. 51, No.1 and No.4
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:23 am 
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Kaila,

I had a listen to your two MacDowell pieces. Not a composer I'm very familiar with but I've heard the "To a Wild Rose" before. Interesting repertoire selection, and I agree that it will make for an apt pairing with something of Grieg (presumably some of the lyric pieces?).

Since I don't really know the music, I listened along with score. The "To a Wild Rose" seems nicely and sensitively played to me, with good attention to the subtle dynamic nuances. I also enjoyed your precise rendition of the "In Autumn" -- good execution of the sixteenth runs and dotted rhythms. Looking at the tempo marking in the score on IMSLP (132 for dotted quarter), I suppose it could go a bit faster, but frankly your playing seems pointed and spritely enough as is, so it's probably fine. The only small detail I noticed was in the figures that begin occurring in measures 13 and 14, where the first two eighths in the left hand are matched up with those in the right with a rest on the third beat. It sounded like you were dotting the first eighth (holding it too long). But it could be this is a score difference of course.

Anyway, very nice playing!

Joe

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 Post subject: Re: MacDowell - Woodland Sketches, Op. 51, No.1 and No.4
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:43 pm 
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Kaila,
Very good. I did not have time to follow in the score. I did listen through speakers and found these enjoyable.

BTW: Are you familiar with the MacDowell music clubs? There's one in my town of origin (Canton, Ohio) and I remember attending their recitals as a child. Probably one of the reasons I knew MacDowell early on and did *not* know Gottschalk (there was no "Gottschalk Club").

Hopefully you'll put up more of these.

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 Post subject: Re: MacDowell - Woodland Sketches, Op. 51, No.1 and No.4
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:48 pm 
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Joe,

Thank you for listening, posting your reply and offering performance suggestions.
You make interesting points.

-Kaila

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 Post subject: Re: MacDowell - Woodland Sketches, Op. 51, No.1 and No.4
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:51 pm 
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Hi Stu,

Thank you for listening. I do have another MacDowell to put up.

Now that I am retired from teaching in the public schools I hope
to relearn much repertoire as well. I want to relearn 'To a Water Lilly,'
which I think is an impressionistic masterpiece.

Meanwhile I will post 'Will o the Wisp'

Really interesting about the MacDowell Club.

Thank you,
Kaila

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 Post subject: Re: MacDowell - Woodland Sketches, Op. 51, No.1 and No.4
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:13 pm 
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I enjoyed these though I am unfamiliar with them. Very expressive use of dynamic nuances.

Joachim


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 Post subject: Re: MacDowell - Woodland Sketches, Op. 51, No.1 and No.4
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:12 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
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Hi Kaila,
I've always liked MacDowell. Your playing on these is very nice!! I've recorded a few from this set too, but now I am reminded that some of them are on my 're-do' list. I've uploaded the files and added the links here, but I can't put them on the site until tomorrow.
One other thing....your file name should have been: macdowell-51-1-rochelle. I corrected both files.

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 Post subject: Re: MacDowell - Woodland Sketches, Op. 51, No.1 and No.4
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:37 am 
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Hi Joachim,

Thank you for listening. I am glad you enjoyed the palette of dynamics.

Kaila

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 Post subject: Re: MacDowell - Woodland Sketches, Op. 51, No.1 and No.4
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:49 am 
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Hi Monica,

Thank you for listening, commenting, and posting the MacDowell pieces at the site.
Sorry for the mislabeling of the file.
I look forward to hear your MacDowell performances when they are ready.

-Kala

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 Post subject: Re: MacDowell - Woodland Sketches, Op. 51, No.1 and No.4
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:26 pm 
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Kalla,

Very nice, sensitive performance of 'To a Wild Rose'. Especially liked it when the third voice came near the end, with the right amount of deliberation and breadth to make it convincing. The flow of time and shaping was really lovely. Great job.

For "In Autumn" your interpretation feels a bit different from the ones I've heard, it kinda feels subdued and there are some rhythmic oddities. For instance, the ending of the phrase at 0:18 sounds a dotted rhythm rather than the duplet written, and the G# -> A -> A# sounds two semiquavers rather than the dotted rhythm. The middle section seems to start a tinge faster than your original tempo as well, resulting in a loss of breadth. You could probably use a bit more abandon (in articulation and tempo) and security in the transition from B to A for this piece. But other than these, it's pretty good (especially envy your semiquaver runs!).

Jon


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 Post subject: Re: MacDowell - Woodland Sketches, Op. 51, No.1 and No.4
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:22 pm 
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Hi Jon,

Thank you for your well thought out suggestions. I will take them
into consideration if I rerecord this piece.

Best,
Kaila

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 Post subject: Re: MacDowell - Woodland Sketches, Op. 51, No.1 and No.4
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:45 am 
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Most wonderful playing Kaila, especially in the Wild Rose. This ultra-simple piece, like Grieg's Arietta, is deceptive and often un der-estimated. It needs great musicality to bring off. Here, it has just the right amount of sweetness without it getting cloying, which is often a danger in slow MacDowell pieces. The only gripe I have (there had to be one of course :roll: ) is the two bars with half notes just before the end. They are too short, especially the first one. I too have that tendency of getting impatient over long notes. It's easy to cure by counting is the way, and adding a little extra time for good measure.

The Autumn could have been a bit more buoyant and assertive, the accents a little sharper. I too noticed some rhythmic issues, mainly triplets (note-note-rest) played as duplets (note--note). Perhaps your edition does not have these eight rests printed ? Anyway these are small niggles. It is still a very nice performance.

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 Post subject: Re: MacDowell - Woodland Sketches, Op. 51, No.1 and No.4
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:53 pm 
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Hi Chris,

Thank you for your insights. Now that I am retired, I can deal with my challenges at the piano.
Thankfully, I can now concentrate on both the physical and interpretive issues.
I know my problems with sudden movements and feel I can handle them now.

Being able to practice and concentrate is a new life indeed.

By the way, I hope to resubmit the Union by Gottschalk by the end of August, or early September.

Kaila

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 Post subject: Re: MacDowell - Woodland Sketches, Op. 51, No.1 and No.4
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:14 pm
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Kaila,

I didn't listen with the score. :wink: I am actually on a bit of a kick (at least for a first hearing) to just listen to the music as if it was brand new, never heard by anyone before, not being given a name that indicates its form or style, except maybe a descriptive name such as these two have. My goal is to just listen and judge the performance and decide whether or not it is convincing.

I am familiar with "To a Wild Rose". As a piano teacher that piece is a part of the standard student repertoire. I am less familiar with "In Autumn". All of that said, I loved your performance. They were totally convincing and sounded totally right. Your sensitivity with "To a Wild Rose" is fantastic. This "simple" piece can be deceptive to bring off. The notes can be sight read by virtually anyone on this site, but to take those notes and fill out the sound space with this simple, nostalgic memory is more difficult than most people think. It is very easy for many, who get so busy counting to turn it almost into a slow march with too strong of accents on the metric beats. Of course, you did none of that. And as someone above said, when you brought out that bass voice towards the end, it was absolutely lovely. When my next student is ready for "To a Wild Rose", I will certainly point her/him to your recording.

If there are any rhythmic discrepancies in "In Autumn", they did not affect the interpretation. One should also realize that still at this time the concept of rubato and performers freedom in interpretation were still in operation. This is still music that has more "written between the lines" than is actually indicated by the composer.

Again, absolutely beautiful.

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: MacDowell - Woodland Sketches, Op. 51, No.1 and No.4
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:55 pm 
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Scott,

Thank you so much Scott for your encouraging words and your perspective on
on these pieces.

Much appreciated.

-Kaila

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