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 Post subject: A couple of recordings
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 7:41 am 
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Recorded a couple of pieces yesterday with my newly bought Edirol R-09. Pretty much the same thing that Chris uses and I think the sound quality is pretty good and the use is very easy.

Bach 2-part Inventions
Invention no.1 in C major
Invention no.4 in D minor
Invention no.8 in F major

Ravel - Prelude
Prelude (1913)

Wilhelm Peterson-Berger, Op.16 no.2
II. Sommarsång

Rachmaninov - Prelude
Prelude in C-sharp minor

Not very revolutionary set of pieces but for perhaps the Swedish composer Peterson-Berger. A bit unsteady here and the well, kind of lost it a bit at the repeating A-part at the Rach. Will probably re-record that.

Well, any comments?

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Last edited by robert on Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 3:05 pm 
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I cannot open any of the files. When I click on a piece, I get the message:

The page cannot be displayed
The page you are looking for is currently unavailable. The Web site might be experiencing technical difficulties

Robert, Techneut, is it my computer or the site?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 3:56 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
this is what I get:

" The page cannot be displayed
The page you are looking for is currently unavailable. The Web site might be experiencing technical difficulties, or you may need to adjust your browser settings. "

:cry:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 4:41 pm 
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:lol: Definititely not your computer pianolady ! Wonky as it may be.
A dot was missing in each of the links, I've corrected that. Enjoy listening !

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 5:19 pm 
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Not bad, considering you just sat down and recorded after a long time of not playing much ! I bet you have played all these for a long time. I have some observations:

In the Ravel Prelude you take some liberties with the score. I recommend you re-read bars 3 and 6, 12, and 23. In bars 11 and 13 you play more like a 5/8 rhythm instead of 3/4. The rallentandi and p/pp markings should be observed more. In general there could be more impressionistic wonder. It's all a bit too literal and workmanlike now.

Peterson-Berger: Nice to make that acqaintance, I did not know either the name or the music. A charming piece, sort of Mendelssohn/Schumann in spring mode. I think I heard 2 or 3 wrong notes bit otherwise it sounds good. A bit more poetry and contrast could make it even more attractive. How about the complete set ?

Rachmaninov : A solid performance, but you need more drama here, the climax is a bit underpowered. The chordal sections are a bit sloppy, and more can be made of the closing bars if you allow them more time.

Last but not least: Bach !
There are note-perfect and solidly played, but all three are much too slow to my taste. IMO it is important to make these inventions dance a bit, so as not to make them sound like student excercises. At a slowish tempo that gets all the more difficult. You may want to take note of the 'historic' way to play trills and mordents, as laid down by Bach in his Clavierbuchlein for WF Bach. That long LH trill halfway down nr. 4 is a bit problematic, I am always in doubt whether to keep trilling or not - have now decided it sounds better if you don't. It could be different on a harpsichord. In the famous nr. 8 there is some ill synchronization beteen the hands (quite tricky is this little toccata).

As an impromptu recording these are pretty impressive. But they could be much better with some careful preparation.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 7:48 pm 
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I kind of liked your tempo on the Bach pieces. That's about the way I play them too. And about that left hand trill in No. 4. Your playing is fine, but Techneut is right in that maybe it sounds better on a harpsichord. I wish Bach didn't put it in. Oh well, he’s the boss.

The Peterson-Berger piece is nice. Never heard it before. Thanks for introducing it to us.

I remember the first time I read through the Rachmaninoff and at bar 45 where the double lines begin, I thought, “how am I going to get another set of hands? Did this just turn into a duet?” Dumb, I know. But I was young and stupid. The only comment I have on this prelude is the chords on the first page, right hand. I like a little more emphasis on the top note. I hear too much of the middle note. Still, nice job on all pieces.

This Edirol R-09 that you and Techneut use, I looked it up in a catalog. Here in the U.S. it costs $400.00. It looks like a very small machine. Do you place in under your piano, next to your piano, across the room? And does it pick up other noises in the house if people are not quiet?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:45 pm 
pianolady wrote:
I kind of liked your tempo on the Bach pieces. That's about the way I play them too. And about that left hand trill in No. 4. Your playing is fine, but Techneut is right in that maybe it sounds better on a harpsichord. I wish Bach didn't put it in. Oh well, he’s the boss.

The Peterson-Berger piece is nice. Never heard it before. Thanks for introducing it to us.

I remember the first time I read through the Rachmaninoff and at bar 45 where the double lines begin, I thought, “how am I going to get another set of hands? Did this just turn into a duet?” Dumb, I know. But I was young and stupid. The only comment I have on this prelude is the chords on the first page, right hand. I like a little more emphasis on the top note. I hear too much of the middle note. Still, nice job on all pieces.

This Edirol R-09 that you and Techneut use, I looked it up in a catalog. Here in the U.S. it costs $400.00. It looks like a very small machine. Do you place in under your piano, next to your piano, across the room? And does it pick up other noises in the house if people are not quiet?


Well I am still young and stupid, because I don't think I've yet figured out what that whole split systems is about...course I've never studied the piece, save for playing through it once or twice and it's not even fresh in my memory what exactly goes on there...can someone enlighten me?

As for the playing I only listened to the Rach and the Peterson-Berger which I really enjoyed. Just based on the one listen (being unfamiliar with the stylistic intentions of the composer and all) I would think I'd've preferred some rubato to be steadier(?), I'm not sure if that's the right turn, it wasn't completely elasticy I thought at times, a little sudden. Would love to hear more of those works!

Jeff.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 5:13 am 
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pianolady wrote:
This Edirol R-09 that you and Techneut use, I looked it up in a catalog. Here in the U.S. it costs $400.00. It looks like a very small machine. Do you place in under your piano, next to your piano, across the room? And does it pick up other noises in the house if people are not quiet?

Actually I use the R-1, the older model. It was close to 500 euros last year, which is about the same in dollars I believe. After some experimenting I now place it on a bench right next to me, and keep the lid of the grand closed. Seems to sound best and is easy to operate. If you go and buy one too maybe we'll get group discount ;-)

I noticed some hiss in Robert's recording as well as in Arensky's. Not sure where that would come from, I never had that as far as I can hear. But yes it will pick up other noises. We have a washing machine in the room next door and when it's centrifugeing you'll hear it rumble in the background. I had to use cut-and-paste to get rid of that on one occasion. It must be sort of quiet to record. I now also switch off my computer which is about 1.2 m from the piano.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 7:27 am 
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I will ty to give feedback for all of your comments on one post ;). Sorry about the dot!

First the Edirol. This was the very first recording with it and I will probably manage it better soon. The hiss and the continuous noice is probably because of it. It clipped several times during the Rach prelude for instance and I put it underneath for the first recording. Will try another position next time. Perhaps some distance away from it as from a listeners perspective.

Overall, I have played all of them, but for the Rach prelude, a long time or rather, learned them a long time ago. I actually had a recital including the Sommarsång when I was 11 (perhaps 12). And Chris know that I have not played much as he know what I have been doing ;). Unfortunately, I have not really played much the last 1 1/2 year or so. Will try to change that when the autumn arrives in Sweden and the garden and outide house work close down.

Bach
I made them deliberately slow. Like to play them like that as I want the melodies to come out better and the mood of the pieces fits better. I got a plan with them and will probably record the entire set one day. They did not come out quite as I wanted them to and I perhaps got a bit too careful when I made the recording. I tend to get a bit stressed when I know I am recording something and become a bit too safe if you understand what I mean. Trying to not play a single key wrong (which I do not think I did).
For no.1, I made a tempo mistake in the end. Stupid mistake and the magic did not really get there.
No.4, I do like to trill them all the way through and it is actually a bit tricky as you need to find the steady 32:th beat and keep it all the way through. I used to have a much faster version of this one and perhaps do that some day. But this will probably be the last recording I replace of these three.
No.8. Not very happy about it. As Chris said, lot of bad syncings between the hands and this is actually an invention that could be played faster.

Ravel
I am not sure what you mean by taking liberties with the score Chris. I play the keys exactly as in my score. If this is wrong, my score is wrong but I doubt it as I got it from a teacher who enjoys Ravel a lot and have studied in Paris. I got the version which is adjusted for left/right hand. About rhythm, it is marked d`un rythme libre for a reason isn't it?

Peterson-Berger
This is actually not so good and I believe I knew this better than I did when I recorded it. Tried to look at the sore and play it along but as I cannot sight read very well, this was rather confusing so I played it from memory with a couple of bad fingerings here and there. It is from bad fingering you hear the mistakes. Not happy with it and it will be re-recorded for sure after some study of the score.
About recording the whole set, not impossible but I have never played a single piece of the others. Not too difficult though.

Rachmaninov
A-part is rather well, the B-part good enough even though I miss here and there but that is not really audible as you accent the first key in each triplet (one mistake is obvious though). But the repeating A-part is not good. Wrong notes, hesitations and loss of tempo in the large chord section (don't you just love these eight key chords!). Play it from memory and have not really studied (not even read it actually) the score here.
But as you point out, there should be more distinct changes in dynamics but also, this is kind of my way of playing. Will re-record this for sure as I have not really learnt it properly yet. Pianolady, you are right about the top key of right hand is not accented well enough. I have heard that before when I played it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 12:09 pm 
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Quote:
It clipped several times during the Rach prelude for instance and I put it underneath for the first recording. Will try another position next time.

You can avoid clipping by using the level display. In record standby mode, press the 'Display' button, strike some ffff chords and adjust the input volume so that the level display does not run off the screen.

Quote:
I am not sure what you mean by taking liberties with the score Chris. I play the keys exactly as in my score. If this is wrong, my score is wrong but I doubt it as I got it from a teacher who enjoys Ravel a lot and have studied in Paris. I got the version which is adjusted for left/right hand. About rhythm, it is marked d`un rythme libre for a reason isn't it?

Hehe, blame it on the score.. Thought I'd heard them all :wink:

No, it's just what I believe are some reading errors, unless perhaps your score is different from mine (I have the Durand, which I think is the 'Urtext' for Ravel).

Specifically: In bar 3 you play the last 2 RH quarter notes as eights. In bar 6, the two low RH notes should (according to Durand) be d and then d#, you play d twice.

In bar 11 and 13 you play the first quarter notes as an eight, creating a 5/8 bar. And in bar 23 you leave out the c in the RH. These were the 'liberties' I meant. Not sure know what problem I had with bar 12... there's nothing wrong with it :oops:

The last 2 bars are neither pp nor 'Tres lent' and there should certainly be no accents in there, especially not on the last chord. Accenting the last note or chord in a phrase is a bad habit of mine too, a continuous point of attention during lessons.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 2:56 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Hehe, blame it on the score.. Thought I'd heard them all :wink:

No, it's just what I believe are some reading errors, unless perhaps your score is different from mine (I have the Durand, which I think is the 'Urtext' for Ravel).

Specifically: In bar 3 you play the last 2 RH quarter notes as eights.

Oh yes I do. You are right.
techneut wrote:
In bar 6, the two low RH notes should (according to Durand) be d and then d#, you play d twice.

No I do not. I definitely play first d and the d#.
techneut wrote:
In bar 11 and 13 you play the first quarter notes as an eight, creating a 5/8 bar.

I agree in bar 11 but not in bar 13. Perhaps not a pure 4:th but it is something in between a 4:th and an 8:th
techneut wrote:
And in bar 23 you leave out the c in the RH.

Yes I do. A pure mistake.
techneut wrote:
The last 2 bars are neither pp nor 'Tres lent' and there should certainly be no accents in there, especially not on the last chord. Accenting the last note or chord in a phrase is a bad habit of mine too, a continuous point of attention during lessons.

It feel like I play the entire piece as p but for in a couple of instances so the difference does not show much but I have the bad habit of accenting the top key but for in the Rach prelude where I really should do so ;).

Must thank you for your careful listening and your sensitive ear. I have never heard a "professional" recording of it and it has been a huge time gap since anyone (I mean with knowledge about the piece) heard me play the prelude.

Back to the piano but you will have to wait at least to sunday evening before I put up a cleaned version.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 5:34 pm 
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Quote:
No I do not. I definitely play first d and the d#.

Well if it's definitely then there's no point in argueing about it :wink:
I rest my case.

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 Post subject: Prelude in C-sharp minor
PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 6:41 pm 
When I think of Rachmaninov I think big and heroic sounding pieces. I don’t know what you wanted to portray thought the piece, so I will tell you how I think I would play this piece.

The first page (13- 14 bars “lento”) First of it says to play Lento (slow) and I found it a bit to fast for my taste. I think playing it just a tiny bit slower would cause the way you play to sound more dramatic and heroic! Which is what you want in an Rachmaninov piece. Also I thought this part a bit mechanical for my taste, and I agree with Robert in that the top keys are shrivelled out by the harshness of the middle notes.

But I think if you work just work a little bit more on this piece you will sound great! it’s the little things that make a big difference.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:16 pm 
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Replaced the Invention no.1 and no.4 with far more personal interpretations. Perhaps not as technical correct but I chosed to put in my heart in it to see what came out.

Got a LOT better sound quality this time. Moved the Edirol about 5 meters away from me.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 1:47 am 
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These sound near perfect to me, Robert. Only a tiny little slip off the keys at the very end of No. 1 at 1:08. If only these Edirol machines could do some editing magic. :wink:
And yes, keep putting your heart into your music. That's what makes everyone's playing special.

p.s. the sound is good on my computer.


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