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 Post subject: Chopin Polonaise Op.26 No.1
PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 7:52 am 
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Today's handywork : one of these Polonaises you hardly ever hear.

Chopin Polonaise Op.26 No.1

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 Post subject: Polonaise
PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 9:47 am 
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OMG :shock:

Guess what I've been playing all day and getting ready to record. Actually I recorded it two hours ago, but I want to try again, I can fix some stuff.

I'm listening to this, it's very good but I'm going to stop now, I have to finish my own. I will provide comments when I'm done with my recording.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 11:07 am 
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Thank you for sharing your "today's handywork"!

I never heard that Polonaise before, and I recognized no slip or mistake. Also, at the risk that it sounds boring, but I admire you for your sightreading and fast learning ability.

I had a look at the score from the sheet music archive. At the end you repeated the beginning, this is not marked there, so you must have another edition.

It can be because of a different edition you use, but there are places marked with ritardando, and I barely heard a ritardando. Also, the pp and sotto voce parts could be played softer. Sorry that I repeat it, but that is my impression. Chopin wrote lots of expression markings in that Polonaise, like "con anima", "dolcissimo", "con molto espessione" and so on, and I have no doubt that he meant what he wrote.

On the other side, the main theme and the melody you brought out very well, also the runs. By the way, I like that very decent reverb compared to sometimes heard overdosis of that (or no additional reverb at all here?).

Thank you for presenting this lesser known work!

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 11:51 am 
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Fast learning hehehe... I must have played this one forever. Yesterday ran thru it with my teacher, who had some good tips as always, and today decided to record it. Too hasty of course, it could still be much freer as you rightly say. I guess I am still too rhythmic a player. Working on it :roll:

Yes I definitely stick to the Light Concert Hall reverb now. It is just the right thing for me.

Sheet music Archive editions are not the best, to put it mildly (but hey, they're free :wink: ) I have the Paderewski Edition which says Da Capo al Fine at the end. So !

Sh*t Arensky, were you doing this one as well today ? Are we telepathic or what is it ? No doubt I'll have to re-record mine once you get yours out :D

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 2:54 pm 
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I liked this piece. I too have not heard this polonaise before. I think I'll start working on it too, since everybody else is. Don't worry, I don't have any recording equipment, not that it would matter since I'm not that great of a player.

As to your playing: You play the 32nd note arpeggios on the first page, third and fourth lines (I'm looking at the copy on sheet music archives) very fast. Which I think sounds great. I don't mean to sound mean-spirited, or anything like that, but are you using two hands? I'm not sure if I heard the low bass clef notes right there so that's why I'm asking. I think I will have to use both hands to make it sound that good.

Also, I have not looked in detail at all of Chopin's other polanaises, but I like when I'm able to pick out parts of his music that I recognize in his other pieces. Example: the second to the last measure of the Meno Mosso part has the little back and forth thing with whole steps and half steps, just like in the A-flat Polonaise op. 53 (measure 132 to be specific). I wonder if he puts this in all his polonaises?

Anyway, thanks for another enlightening experience. Do you ever sleep?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 4:50 pm 
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Fast learning hehehe... I must have played this one forever.

This might be my favorite Chopin Polonaise, listened to and read through it for years but didn't perform it until two years ago. Glad I waited, learned it as a "mature" musician. It wouldn't have been a good competition piece after high school anyway, it's overshadowed by it's larger brothers (sisters? :roll: ) I guess


Sheet music Archive editions are not the best, to put it mildly (but hey, they're free :wink: ) I have the Paderewski Edition which says Da Capo al Fine at the end. So !


My edition (Peters, edited by Herrmann Scholtz, with a beautiful old title page, bet this edtition's out of print, replaced with an urtext) has all of the sheet music archive directions Minden blues mentioned and directs the player to "D.C. senza repetizione sin 'al Fine." I polonaises work like Minuet and Trio form, where you repeat the minuet after the trio without repeating. It's interesting that Chopin writes out the initial staement twice, seems he wanted it reiterated. Time for some quick research, but first, to finish recording it...


Sh*t Arensky, were you doing this one as well today ? Are we telepathic or what is it ? No doubt I'll have to re-record mine once you get yours out :D :roll:


Perhaps this is telepathic, there's a lot of strange coincidences and energy in my life lately...

No, yours is very good! We play it differently, this will be very interesting! :D

I better get to it, there's a big thunderstorm moving in, good for atmosphere but bad for clarity of sound... [/i]


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 4:52 pm 
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Thanks, Pianolady !
These arpeggios I do RH only, as they should. For some reason these always came naturally to me, not sure why. If two hands were used, you'd probably hear it and it would actually be harder to make it sound smooth.
Interesting you mention that particular figure also occurring on the Op.53. I had never noticed that similarity ! Thanks for pointing it out. It must be coincidence, I can't think of any other place he does this but perhaps it's a typical Chopin thing and happens in more places.

Do I ever sleep ? Nope, only at work :lol:

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Last edited by techneut on Sat Jul 29, 2006 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Fast learning hehehe... I must have played this one forever.

This might be my favorite Chopin Polonaise, listened to and read through it for years but didn't perform it until two years ago. Glad I waited, learned it as a "mature" musician. It wouldn't have been a good competition piece after high school anyway, it's overshadowed by it's larger brothers (sisters? :roll: ) I guess


Sheet music Archive editions are not the best, to put it mildly (but hey, they're free :wink: ) I have the Paderewski Edition which says Da Capo al Fine at the end. So !


My edition (Peters, edited by Herrmann Scholtz, with a beautiful old title page, bet this edtition's out of print, replaced with an urtext) has all of the sheet music archive directions Minden blues mentioned and directs the player to "D.C. senza repetizione sin 'al Fine." I think polonaises work like Minuet and Trio form, where you repeat the minuet after the trio without repeats. It's interesting that Chopin writes out the initial staement twice, seems he wanted it reiterated. Time for some quick research, but first, to finish recording it...


Sh*t Arensky, were you doing this one as well today ? Are we telepathic or what is it ? No doubt I'll have to re-record mine once you get yours out :D :roll:


Perhaps this is telepathic, there's a lot of strange coincidences and energy in my life lately...

No, yours is very good! We play it differently, this will be very interesting! :D

I better get to it, there's a big thunderstorm moving in, good for atmosphere but bad for clarity of sound...


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 5:09 pm 
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Quote:
My edition (Peters, edited by Herrmann Scholtz, with a beautiful old title page, bet this edtition's out of print, replaced with an urtext) has all of the sheet music archive directions Minden blues mentioned and directs the player to "D.C. senza repetizione sin 'al Fine." I think polonaises work like Minuet and Trio form, where you repeat the minuet after the trio without repeats. It's interesting that Chopin writes out the initial staement twice, seems he wanted it reiterated. Time for some quick research, but first, to finish recording it...

Interesting you also use Peters Edition in the USA ! This used to be sort of like the "default" publisher here for the classics. I remember when I came in the music shop and asked for something, 9 out of 10 times it was Peters I got. The Chopin editions are mostly edited by Scholz-Pozniak, they seem to be not very good, my teacher keeps griping at them and says Paderewki edition is the 'best' for Chopin. I have some of these too, Polonaises is one of them. It says D.C. al fine, but not 'senza repetizione'. I took that for granted though, it seems common sense to omit repeats in the D.C.

Gee, a thunderstorm we could use that over here. We seem to have had no more than 10 mins. of rain in the last 3-4 weeks of heatwave..... It looks like the bloody Sahel here.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 7:28 am 
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Sh*t Arensky, were you doing this one as well today ? Are we telepathic or what is it ? No doubt I'll have to re-record mine once you get yours out

I am looking forward to some iterations of your both takes, will be interesting! :D

Interesting you also use Peters Edition in the USA ! This used to be sort of like the "default" publisher here for the classics. I remember when I came in the music shop and asked for something, 9 out of 10 times it was Peters I got. The Chopin editions are mostly edited by Scholz-Pozniak, they seem to be not very good, my teacher keeps griping at them and says Paderewki edition is the 'best' for Chopin.

Ok, I come out of topic, but why do you think that the Scholz-Pozniak Peters Editions seem to be not very good? I have the Waltz and Ballades/Impromptus Peters Edition from old East-Germany times (I regeret that I bought not everything in those old times since the piano scores were dirt cheap). Beside that it includes lots of fingerings I do not use, so that this bothers more than helps, I do not find anything wrong with it?

Now I take the Henle Urtext edition for Chopin, because it has critical remarks for every piece showing the differences between editions what I find very interesting.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 1:40 pm 
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Ok, I come out of topic, but why do you think that the Scholz-Pozniak Peters Editions seem to be not very good? I have the Waltz and Ballades/Impromptus Peters Edition from old East-Germany times (I regeret that I bought not everything in those old times since the piano scores were dirt cheap). Beside that it includes lots of fingerings I do not use, so that this bothers more than helps, I do not find anything wrong with it?

Can't say there is anything much wrong with them. But they are not particularly good either. Strange fingerings and metronome marks sometimes, and no critical comment (or no comments whatsoever). I have to agree with my teacher that the Paderewski Ed. is much better. Used to be dirt cheap too, and I regret no having bought them all then. But I had so many Peters already....

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 Post subject: different editions
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 5:33 pm 
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This is an important subject, the text we look at determines many of our musical choices when we play a piece. Imagine if actors mounted a production of Hamlet having learned their lines using different editions of the play; there would be extra work for the director, having to sort out all the differences. I've encountered this difficulty in chamber music, it's important for all the players to be working from the same script, so to speak, so everything matches up.

It's best to use an urtext edition, "ur" meaning original or genuine source; I believe this has to do with that ancient city in Iraq ( will I ever get to visit those Sumerian ruins? doesn't look like it... :cry: ). Anyway I think it's better to look at what Chopin wrote, than some editor. Now it gets complicated; some editors, such as Fontana and Mikuli studied with and knew Chopin, so their editions are valuble documents; we cannot know for sure how much of the directions in their editions is them and how much Chopin; but it's information we have to consider if we want to make a well informed desicion when we form our interpretation.

Of course,the printed notes are merely a blueprint for the "house", not the "house" itself. The actual structure we are supposed to appreciate is the sound that happens when we play. Many classical musicians get caught up in the printed page and neglect the sound. There's always more than one way to build a house; of course we have to consider the composer's plans, but if we want the kitchen to be a little bigger, so be it. As long as it is still essentially Chopin's kitchen..

You all know what I mean; but why am I using this old questionable edition? Well, it's what I'm used to. Heh, I assigned this pioece to one of my students a few years ago and she brought the Henle edition; there are some slight differences; I rememeber asking her "what are you doing, that's not right" then looked at her music; she was "ddoing what the paper says", as I tell all my students to, at first. She was indignant, and rightfully so. Bad teacher... :oops:

But this old Peters edition is what I'm used to, and I believe Horowitz, Rubinstein and Brailowsky used this edition as their guide, if you listen to their recordings with the score in hand, you can tell. But Chris' teacher is correct, the Paderewski (or Henle imo) edition is best.

Another factor to consider is which urtext typeset looks best to you. For Chopin, I like the Henle type, I can see it clearly. For Bach, I like the look of the new Peters editions, and my Beethoven Concerti are Peters, it's reliable (checked it out).

Our default publisher in the USA was Schirmer, and most of those editions are really terrible; often there are deliberate mistakes in the scores, for copyright purposes; much of the 19th Century literature was still under copyright 100 years ago, and this was their way of getting around it. And yet, they published the Mikuli Chopin edition, but the editions of Joseffy should be burned, and those of Fridheim approached with caution.

Well that was extensive! Please discuss, I must run :lol: , put this morning's recording into the computer (it better be good! :evil: ) shower before the monsoon thunderstorm hits :shock: and go record with a Jazz band I've been playing with.

I've heard the weather in Europe is quite hot; it is in most of the USA too, but here in the high desert of North Arizona the monsoon rains have finally come; it get's worrisome here in the summer, we're in a huge pine forest, but it's still the desert. If it doesn't rain the potential for a massive fire is considerable. So the rain is good, but my piano is creeping out of tune... :roll:


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 Post subject: another one!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:18 am 
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Well, here's my take on this one; some good things and not so good things in this performance. I guess it's good enough to go up, and I've got some other things I want to do; hey we can always do it over, right? Don't want to do too much of that, though... anyway please let me know what you think!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:12 am 
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Of course this is good enough to go up ! What are you thinking :!: :?:

As for comparison, we are not really different about this piece, only your tempo fluctuations are a bit more pronounced than mine. And perhaps rightly so, I'm not sure. Anyway I think neither of us should have to re-record this polonaise.

The only thing I do not like is the sudden silence after the arpeggio chords in the meno mosso section. But it's written without pedal so I guess Chopin might have intended that. Personally I like that chord to linger on a bit, and make no bones of being a bit liberal with the pedal.

I spotted one difference, in bar 79 you play the trill as bflat-cflat-bflat whereas I think it should be bflat-c-bflat. Nitpicking, I know..... Just tend to notice these things. I had a pageturn after that bar and goofed up a little there. Did you spot that ?

So, I'll put this one up tonight. Now on to the Polonaise Fantasie ?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:00 am 
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Of course this is good enough to go up ! What are you thinking :!: :?:

I'm thinking of the live Horowitz recording from 1947; maybe I'm too rough on myself...


As for comparison, we are not really different about this piece, only your tempo fluctuations are a bit more pronounced than mine. And perhaps rightly so, I'm not sure. Anyway I think neither of us should have to re-record this polonaise.

Your tempo (I prefer the jazz term "groove") is more dancelike and danceable, my groove is almost Lisztian. I love Chopin but I've been told many times that I overplay him and don't understand the dance character in his Polonaises and Mazurkas; maybe so, but I play what I feel. What else can I do?


The only thing I do not like is the sudden silence after the arpeggio chords in the meno mosso section. But it's written without pedal so I guess Chopin might have intended that. Personally I like that chord to linger on a bit, and make no bones of being a bit liberal with the pedal.

My edition (spurious, perhaps) has a fermata on a 32nd rest after them; since it's a fermata I hold it longer; you said the same thing about my a minor mazurka.I feel these are an operatic sort of gesture, I play them as a grand pause; it's what the fermata seems to indicate. I pedal through the rest in bar 4, don't remember if you do; I'll listen tomorrow, my head is quite full of this piece right now; ready to listen to some Clifford Brown! 8)

I spotted one difference, in bar 79 you play the trill as bflat-cflat-bflat whereas I think it should be bflat-c-bflat. Nitpicking, I know..... Just tend to notice these things. I had a pageturn after that bar and goofed up a little there. Did you spot that ?

Trill... hmmm, my score indicates a mordent with a flat sign (indicating Cb) over it; does your Paderewski score indicate that, or something else . I will listen to your recording tomorrow, I don't recall a screwup. Heh, my arpeggios in the A2 section and scales in the meno mosso are quite sloppy. Time for a hefeweizen and some jazz! And sleep...


So, I'll put this one up tonight. Now on to the Polonaise Fantasie ?

Uh, not just yet... maybe the companion eb minor or the "Military", which is what I paired this Polonaise with when I played iit a couple years ago; I'd never played the "Military" before either. Actually, Scarlatti :evil: and Albeniz are next, if the piano holds it's tuning, and probably some more Satie. I have to start working on my program for January, which will include Scriabin, Medtner and Shostakovich; summer's just about over for me, college starts a month from today... :shock: :)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:47 am 
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My edition (spurious, perhaps) has a fermata on a 32nd rest after them; since it's a fermata I hold it longer; you said the same thing about my a minor mazurka.I feel these are an operatic sort of gesture, I play them as a grand pause; it's what the fermata seems to indicate.

My edition has the same, so it must be intended. Guess it's just me being bloody-minded about it.

I pedal through the rest in bar 4, don't remember if you do; I'll listen tomorrow,

DOn't bother - I pedal thru everything. Consistent pedal use will never be my forte...

Trill... hmmm, my score indicates a mordent with a flat sign (indicating Cb) over it; does your Paderewski score indicate that, or something else . I will listen to your recording tomorrow, I don't recall a screwup.
My ed. does not have the flat sign, that explains the difference. But are you sure it's a mordent ? If it was (in the 'Bach sense') it should play Bb-A-Bb (or in your case Bb-Ab-Bb). I think it's s trillo, though not started on the upper note as in Bach. Seems like ornamentation is more difficult to interpret here than in Baroque music....

Heh, my arpeggios in the A2 section and scales in the meno mosso are quite sloppy.
Perhaps they could have been more slick, but there's definitely nothing sloppy. Give yourself some credit !

I was planning to do the Op.26 No.2 as well, just to have the pair of them (always felt they belong together).

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:16 am 
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Chase, I listened to your take too, and I like it very much!

Your "tempo fluctuations" (how Chris declared it) are for me tasteful musical driven, so it sounds logical to me. You play very musical and take care for phrasings, so it is for sure an enrichment to have it in the recordings section too.

Beside this I find it on one hand interesting to discuss about the manner how one performs the ornamentation (from upper note or not, or a mordent instead trillo and so on). However this goes more in the direction of personal interpretation (so I see it), so it is difficult to claim what is right or wrong here. What counts more to me is how does it sound to me, regardless if it is started from upper or lower or base note, e.g. the eveness and the speed.
I thought Chopin himself liked it in the Baroque way, starting from upper note? I will check the book "Chopi seen by his pupils" since there are quotations from primary sources about that. The theme is worth to discuss in the technique section deeper!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:33 am 
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[
My edition has the same, so it must be intended. Guess it's just me being bloody-minded about it.

Bloody minded is a good thing! What are we without convictions? I think it can go either way; the important thing is to do it well, however we do it.

[
DOn't bother - I pedal thru everything. Consistent pedal use will never be my forte...

So do I! You're good at it. Just a little less, sometimes.

My ed. does not have the flat sign, that explains the difference. But are you sure it's a mordent ? If it was (in the 'Bach sense') it should play Bb-A-Bb (or in your case Bb-Ab-Bb). I think it's s trillo, though not started on the upper note as in Bach. Seems like ornamentation is more difficult to interpret here than in Baroque music....

Man you know your ornaments! Must be really cool being a church organist in protestant Europe. you seem to be able to play all the Bach and Buxtehude you want. If you did that at most churches in the western USA you'd be considered archaic, they want white gospel and contemporary Christian music here; the "praise bands " have taken over...

I can never remember the name for all those squiggles, but I know this one goes uopbecause the flat sign is above the squiggle thing :D

.Perhaps they could have been more slick, but there's definitely nothing sloppy. Give yourself some credit !

Thanks. We hear things in our recordings that others don't hear, thank God! Clinkers are a sore spot with me; I'm afraid that I will always be one of those pianists who drops notes occasionally. Not acceptable in today's classical piano world. Maybe the esthetic will change (hah) or I will attain technical perfection! I feel that I'm getting better all the time, after a long stay on the same plateau. :)

I was planning to do the Op.26 No.2 as well, just to have the pair of them (always felt they belong together).

I have the most extraordinary recording of Cziffra (I know you don't care for him) playing the eb minor, it's very low-key and introspective (unlike him, generally) a perfectly paced performance.

Maybe we should both record it, maintain the tradition!

You go first; I have to learn all that Russian music, and over the next two weeks get some Scarlatti :evil: and Albeniz (Curranda and maybe Cordoba) and perhaps some more Chopin mazurkas or some waltzes recorded. Some Debussy... ? That giant list of pieces I was going to record has gotten smaller; no matter, we do what we can!

And now to sleep! My young students come back tomorrow, including a new 8 year old and a second lesson with a very bright 11 year old, who likes to play and plays well. :D 8)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:15 am 
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Well you have to know your ornaments if you want to play Bach (whether on organ or otherwise). Always refer to the famous list Bach drew up for Wilhelm Friedemann. This is the "ornament bible", find it e.g. on

http://members.aol.com/kjvisbest/jsb_ornm.htm

Having said that, things were different, and less well-defined, by the time of Chopin.

Ok, onwards to 26.2 now - another great and underrated Polonaise. The trio is just gorgeous !

And you need to dig into Medtner now... Be strong ! :twisted:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 1:22 pm 
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Man you know your ornaments! Must be really cool being a church organist in protestant Europe. you seem to be able to play all the Bach and Buxtehude you want. If you did that at most churches in the western USA you'd be considered archaic, they want white gospel and contemporary Christian music here; the "praise bands " have taken over...

That'll be the day when I leave. Fortunately this is an oldfashioned choir with a traditional repertoir, not always equally interesting but there's nice things among it. The Bach etc. is strictly for my own enjoyment and education, nobody ever listens to it. Except whem I make them and then they fidget because it is too long and too loud and too difficult.

Gee I wish I was able to play everything I want. As it is, I'm doggedly struggling with pieces far beyond my reach, like the 6-voice fugue on 'Aus tiefer not schrei ich zu Dir". Double pedal, arghhhhh... it is madness to even try. But I won't be happy until I can play it. Sigh.

Sorry for being miles OT. But arensky started it :P

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:25 pm 
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Arensky, your rendition is very nice. You and techneut do play the piece similarly. I don't have any details to talk about since I haven't been seriously into this piece like you guys.
Going off topic a bit - I wish Chopin would have put a different ending to this piece. It just seems to stop with no...I don't know...no finalty. You hardly know the piece is over until you realize that there is no more playing. Just my thoughts for the day - sorry, techneut, I'll try to keep my ramblings in check.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:32 pm 
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No, no, ramble on... that is what forums are for, and it's still on-topic. You're quite right in that it just 'stops' rather than have a properly climactic ending, and it's a bit of an anticlimax. Even so, it's a great piece.

I have just put Arensky's version on the site too. Sounds a bit brighter than mine but indeed the conceptions don't differ too much. Seems like we both intend to record more of the early Polonaises. What coincidence !

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Location: Arizona
Hmm, the quote function is not working, it says "error" and DEBUG MODE and a bunch of technical stuff; is it the site or me?

Anyway techneut's right, his Polonaise and mine are really very similar, we have a different rythmic conception but I don't think one is necessarily better than the other.

Pianolady, interesting your comment about the ending; I'll bet that's why this piece isn't played so much, in fact all the Polonaises except op.53 and the Polonaise Fantaisie op.61 have anti-climatic endings; the c minor op.40 #2 and the f# minor op.44 have forte endings, but they are not "decisive', they seem to be an afterthought or reaction to his standard dim. ending. Any thoughts on this? It must be part of the way the dance is danced. I'm also recalling something about the Chopin's use of the "feminine ending" in many of his nationalistic pieces. Anyone know more about that?

Heh just looked through the polonaises, don't think I can get one together for a decent recording what with everything else I have to do; however, I will go try the op. 40 #1 "Military", Nico-Morin Paul's recording has very bad sound quality, we should have a recording that isn't distorted. I will go try right now ( I did it 2 or 3 years ago), see if it comes back easily...


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