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 Post subject: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:36 pm 
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I thought I had never played Bartok before, but turns out that I have. I found some old piano books from when I was taking lessons as a little girl and this book was among them. And you know what? I really like this set!! Hope I played it all right - I tried following the faded pencil markings on the score from my former teacher. Comments appreciated. :)

Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances, Sz.56

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:21 pm 
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Hi Monica,
I followed with score and I know these piece quite well. You play them perfectly, notewise and musically. My only suggestion of improvement could be to make more accents here and there. Bartòk is full of temperament and could stand a bit more dynamical contrasts here and there. But on the other side you still do nice dynamics in your interpretation. I didn´t know, that the repeat of the second piece is with the higher octave. Is it in your edition like that?
In summary a very good recording of this nice and well-known set. Bravo!

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:47 am 
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Hi Andreas and thank you.
Believe it or not, I really tried very hard to bring out the accents. Oh well, next time I'll eat more protein. :lol: And you're right about the no. 2 piece. There is no marking for playing octaves on the repeat. I got the idea from someone else. I wonder if you or anyone can guess?????

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:52 am 
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What a spirited set! I didn't have a score of this set with me when I listened, so I can't give any specific comments, but I felt like you quite captured the spirit of these folk dances. I could just see the peasants prancing around in their full skirts or coarse linen pants... ;) Like Andreas, I thought the little works could be made even better with accents and more dramatic dynamic contrast. Maybe a little more phrase shaping, too? But those suggestions are small, pedantic things - I fully enjoyed listening to these, and you played them so well! Some more Bartok in your future, maybe? ;) :D

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:54 am 
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Oh - one more thing. I loved your recording sound on this one. Just right amount of reverb, not too dry. I don't know how you achieved that, but it's really nice. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:40 pm 
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Thanks for listening and commenting, Sarah. I'm glad the sound is okay - I fool around with that a lot but think I may finally have things figured out.

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:11 pm 
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Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
Oh well, next time I'll eat more protein. :lol:


Yeah, do it like me and go to a fitness-studio and your Bartòk will sound still perfecter than it already sounds. :lol:

Quote:
And you're right about the no. 2 piece. There is no marking for playing octaves on the repeat. I got the idea from someone else. I wonder if you or anyone can guess?????


:?: :o :?: Wasn´t it your own creative idea? No, sorry, I have absolute no idea. :oops: Such an idea could have come from myself (that´s meant without any self-praise), but we never have spoken about these pieces as far as I remember...

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:08 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
Oh well, next time I'll eat more protein. :lol:


Yeah, do it like me and go to a fitness-studio and your Bartòk will sound still perfecter than it already sounds. :lol:


haha - yes, that was a little inside joke with myself. I actually did go to my gym (fitness-studio) before I recorded this. I worked out on the heavy weights and then went and had a hamburger (protein) and three diet cokes. All that pretty well pumped me up (which I needed to play fast! :lol:).


musicusblau wrote:
:?: :o :?: Wasn´t it your own creative idea? No, sorry, I have absolute no idea. :oops: Such an idea could have come from myself (that´s meant without any self-praise), but we never have spoken about these pieces as far as I remember...

No, I've never spoken to anyone about these pieces before. I got the idea from Bartok himself! 8) I heard him play it like that so I copied him.

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:06 am 
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Hi Monica,

I like your spirit and exuberance with these pieces. Nicely done!

I agree with Andreas and Sarara that a likely area for improvement would be to make more of the dynamics in some places. In the first piece, for example, the 4th measure from the end, you can get a more dramatic crescendo by remembering to start that measure more softly, than you'll have more room to grow.

I enjoyed hearing you playing the octaves in the second piece, which makes for a nice contrast the second time around. (Seems to me you and I have talked a bit about varying things on a repeats :wink: ) To confirm what Andreas said, my edition says: "In his Welte recording of ca. 1920, Bartok repeats this piece playing the the right hand (with the exception of the 16th notes) in octaves."

NIce clear turns on the 3rd piece. I actually like those ornaments, by the way. :)

(Woops—just submitted this before I finished).

You nicely captured the excitement of the 4th and 5th pieces. Way to go!

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:57 pm 
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Hi Bruce and thank you. I'll keep working on dynamics, although I did try very hard here. Oh well, there is always plenty of room for improvement (in my case).
And haha -I like those ornaments in no. 3 as well. Actually I really like that whole piece - sounds exotic and sexy (like belly-dancing music)and a lot like another piece by Espla and also a Granados piece. And it's impossible not to dance around when you play it. That's why I'll never video-record it. :lol: Bartok also changed no. 4 on that recording. He repeated it with octaves in both hands.

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:38 pm 
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Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
No, I've never spoken to anyone about these pieces before. I got the idea from Bartok himself! 8) I heard him play it like that so I copied him.


Very good! Bravo! For me that´s again a proof, that componists mostly have a very open and creative handling with their own compositions. So, why shouldn´t we as interpreters not have the same way to handle their works. I´m quite sure, that in times of baroque it was the same, f.ex. to operate with "registers" like playing the repetition with a higher or deeper octave or change from forte to p (in Germany we call that "Terrassendynamik") and it encourages me again to do similar things in my Bach-interpretations.

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:15 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
So, why shouldn´t we as interpreters not have the same way to handle their works. I´m quite sure, that in times of baroque it was the same, f.ex. to operate with "registers" like playing the repetition with a higher or deeper octave . . . and it encourages me again to do similar things in my Bach-interpretations.


I'm so glad you said that, Andreas, because it's given me the courage to make a little confession. :twisted:

When I play the second movement of this Bartok Suite, I take it pretty fast. (And that's partly because I take both the first and third movements relatively slowly.) That makes it too fast for octaves, so for contrast, I just play the RH an octave higher. But I also play the LH an octave higher. I love that effect! (Particularly at the quick tempo I use.)

In the last few measures, I return to the normal register.

So glad I got that off my chest. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:29 pm 
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this is a lovely piano set.

my piano teacher says a lot about the "bulgarian accent" while playing Bartok... but as I have never understood that, I can't say anything about it. so I think you played them well, regardless of any accent! hehe

the third piece is very spontaneous in your hands!

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:37 am 
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Thank you, Felipe. Although I don't quite understand that last thing, but that's ok....

@Andreas - Good that you are encouraged to apply some things like this in your music. I remember you telling me about how you like to change the ornaments in your Bach playing and when I was learning the Aria, I 'experimented' with a few ornaments myself. However, I don't feel like I can change other things in music like going up or down an octave unless I've actually heard the composer do it. Or one of the pros. I'm too shy do take the initiative and do things like that on my own.

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:55 pm 
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I don't know this Bartok, but a cursory listen, particularly the octave-playing and the runs, shows that this is (in my humble opinion) playing at a very high level. I particularly like the tone of this instrument. I also like the "reverb," which is about as perfect as one could wish for: not too much, not too little. Just right.

JG


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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:04 pm 
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Thank you, John. And I'm so glad to hear another person say that my sound is okay. Only took me about five years to figure out this stuff... :roll: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:35 pm 
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Monica,

The opening has really great articulation and a lot of spirit
The second piece is very well stated and
I would recommend playing the third piece more quietly.

The fourth has a lot of expression. I love the differentiation of musical ideas.
The fifth piece is very well articulated. I feel that the tempo will pick up with a little time.
The sixth piece I feel with a bit more time will have a bit more drive.

Thank you for sharing a performance full of new twists and turns for me.
You play this with original and subtle insights, your phrasing is absolutely spot on!

-Kaila

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:34 pm 
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Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
I'm too shy do take the initiative and do things like that on my own.


Well, that´s o.k., everyone has to decide that for oneself, of course. But I have studied music (and from this I can be called "professional" in some way, because I have my pianistic "State examination" after having studied for 10 semesters, though my profession is "music-teacher" at a high school and not giving concerts and living as a professional pianist, who has to earn his money with that) and I trust myself to know, where it could be adequate in a stylistic sense or not to do such things. Concerning that I have enough self-confidence and I think, it´s adequate. :D
I´m glad, by the way, not to have to earn my money as a pianist of profession by giving concerts and so on. It gives me more freedom to fulfill my own creative ideas of interpretation!

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:14 am 
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Yes, Andreas, everything you play is much more than adequate. I, however, have still so much to learn - I doubt I'll live a long enough time to learn and finish my current projects, though.

@Kaila - I should properly thank you for listening/commenting here, instead of my other thread. So thank you and if I ever play and record this set again, I will first drink much more coffee!

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:47 pm 
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Quote:
I, however, have still so much to learn - I doubt I'll live a long enough time to learn and finish my current projects, though.


I have exactly the same feeling for myself, Monica! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:18 pm 
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I have finally given an ear to these and have found out we are old friends! I have known these ever since I was so tall or high or whatever, as my father owned (and hopefully still does) a recording of these, albeit for string orchestra. I recenly acquired a copy of this in the piano version and have actually stried to learn it.

Having downloaded it I notice it to be, at 4' something, 2' shorter than a string orchestra version I have, which is a lot. I want to listen to it again with the score, but I have noticed, as others have, the octaves in No 2, which are not written in my score. No. 3 I feel should be a shade slower, while No 4 I would have make it a bit quicker. Otherwise I wish I were able to play like this.

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:21 am 
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Thanks for listening/commenting, Richard. That's the way it was for me too - I didn't think I had ever played Bartok before, but then I learned that I had way back when I was 12 or 13 years old. Anyway, as far as the timing of each piece - I tried to follow Bartok's metronome markings. Regarding no. 2 - yes, I played octaves on the repeat. I took that from Bartok, himself! I think it's neat and adds a nice little change for the repeat. Wonder why he didn't just write that in the music....

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:30 pm 
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I have tried the octaves on the repeat of No. 2 and it seemed familiar. It seems that the string version I mentioned ealier does the same. I wonder why Bartok did not write it out on the piano score. A late thought?

I have just checked the string version: the melody is repeated an octave higher, but is not doubled.

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:01 pm 
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This is the third time I have heard this piece (piano solo). Nicely played, in my opinion, although it sounds a bit reserved to me. Particularly at about 3'2" until the end, I think you could have let it go a bit more. Very nice nevertheless.

I played this piece in a concert with a violinist several years ago. This makes me want to learn the original solo version now :)

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:41 pm 
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Thank you for listening and commenting, Dave. And welcome back! :) This is a neat set of pieces, isn't it? I have never heard it with piano and violin before.

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:59 am 
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pianolady wrote:
This is a neat set of pieces, isn't it? I have never heard it with piano and violin before.


Here in Australia the violin version is on the syllabus as a grade 8 exam piece, and it's very popular. I must have played it with about twenty different violinists. Number 3 is entirely in stopped harmonics: it sounds very spooky!

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:06 pm 
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hanysz wrote:
pianolady wrote:
This is a neat set of pieces, isn't it? I have never heard it with piano and violin before.


Here in Australia the violin version is on the syllabus as a grade 8 exam piece, and it's very popular. I must have played it with about twenty different violinists. Number 3 is entirely in stopped harmonics: it sounds very spooky!


Well, I really need to go find that version with violin on youtube or something and hear what it's like.

For me, number three is not spooky, but rather very, very seductive. So is no. 4. I love the harmonies!

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:21 pm 
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Monica:

Here is a recording of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th dances with the violin. I cut the other dances out because I am not satisfied with how they came out. I think you will agree that the harmonics are spooky, or at least other-worldly.

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 Post subject: Re: Bartok - Romanian Folk Dances
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:20 am 
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Wow, Dave, that was very interesting! Thank you for letting me hear it. And ok I admit that the 3rd one sounds very spooky played on the violin. It would make a nice soundtrack if you are tip-toeing through an old house in the middle of the night - complete with creaky floors, a cat yowling nearby, cobwebs brushing across your cheek, a sense of feeling cold air, the fleeting dark shadow of a figure you think you just saw, something touched your shoulder, the hair on the back of your neck stands up....

Boo!

Image

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