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 Post subject: Falla and Ravel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:52 pm 
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I still don't know if I should write de Falla, or just Falla....

Anyway, I really like this Serenata Andaluza piece. Thank you, Chris, for giving me the last page, otherwise this recording would sound sort of weird... :lol:

I'm not real crazy about this mazurka. Sounds to me like a hodge-podge of things thrown into one piece, including cowboy music :shock: . Oh well, I just wanted to try out another mazurka by someone else for a change. Sure reminds me that nobody can beat Chopin!!

I included this Ravel recording because it's too short to be in a separate thread. It's only two pages long but I think very beautiful. Sounds sort of jazzy and also reminds me a little of Scriabin. This is the only Ravel piece I've ever played (I think), so I may look into more of his music one of these days. Or if anyone has any suggestions for me (not super-hard ones), please let me know. :)


Falla - Serenata Andaluza

Falla - Mazurka

Ravel - Prelude

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 Post subject: Re: Falla and Ravel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:15 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles
Hey Monica, what is that Ravel!? What a pretty piece! I love Ravel, and am so happy to find this little miniature that I can play and give to less advanced students. Where did you find it?

I have to say, too, that though I haven't heard very much of your playing yet, this shows me a side of you I haven't yet heard. You play this truly poetically, with nice shadings of dynamics and tempo, even a delicate pianissimo at 00:30 that is stunning. Are you making an attempt to do more with dynamics?

I'll listen to the rest later when I have more time, but had to respond this one right away!

Bruce

PS Boy, do I envy the beautiful sound of your acoustic grand.

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 Post subject: Re: Falla and Ravel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:40 pm 
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Thank you very much, Bruce. And yes, with all our talk about dynamics, I knew I had to pay extra attention to them while making these recordings this week! :lol:

Regarding the Ravel - Supposedly, he wrote this piece for a site-reading competition for his students. I agree, it sure is sweet! Here is a direct link to the score on ISMLP: http://imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/c ... __lude.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: Falla and Ravel
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:11 am 
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Hi Monica,

You played this unusual prelude of Ravel very well. Also listened to Falla's "Serenata", a very pleasant piece. I enjoyed listening to both.

I too recorded the Ravel "Prelude for Piano" but posted it elsewhere years ago. Here's what I wrote at that time:

"Ravel composed his "Prelude" for a Paris Conservatoire sight-reading competition in 1913, which was, incidentally, restricted to women pianists only. So who sight-read the piece best? It was Jeanne Leleu (1898-1979), a pupil of Long, Cortot and Widor. When Ravel later sent the piece to the publisher, he dedicated it to Leleu, who also, with Ravel, premiered his duo-piano suite Ma Mere L'Oye. Leleu went on to concertize, next became a pedagogue at the conservatory, and later was a composer of symphonic and ballet works."

David

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 Post subject: Re: Falla and Ravel
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:54 am 
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Location: Brazil
Hi, Monica! I love Ravel, but I find this prelude too difficult to understand (and therefore play it convincingly, despite the technical demand of two hands the same register).

I must say I think you have greatly improved your playing! I noticed something different in my last listening of some of your recording... and it was confirmed in this post!
You're playing flows considerably better, more expressive and more natural!

What have you done?
You've been with no teacher yet?
Sometimes a teacher is good, but sometimes I think not having a teacher makes us more spontaneous (and therefore we play it more convincingly).

PS: I myself play to my teacher one way, in order to please him, then I record it and post to PS in a different way! hehe
This is not always, of course.

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 Post subject: Re: Falla and Ravel
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:29 pm 
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Thanks, David and Felipe! :)

@David - Thanks for the interesting information. I am a bit surprised to learn that the competition was for women only.

felipesarro wrote:
I must say I think you have greatly improved your playing! I noticed something different in my last listening of some of your recording... and it was confirmed in this post!
You're playing flows considerably better, more expressive and more natural!

What have you done?
You've been with no teacher yet?
Sometimes a teacher is good, but sometimes I think not having a teacher makes us more spontaneous (and therefore we play it more convincingly).


Gee, I really don't know. Maybe you are on to something about playing without my teacher's guidance. Hmmmm...interesting...thank you for saying this! And actually - I agree. I always played more controlled for my teacher because I wanted to hit the right keys, etc...At home, I let my hair down and just play like there is nobody around (which is usually the case).

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 Post subject: Re: Falla and Ravel
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:24 am 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
pianolady wrote:
I'm not real crazy about this mazurka. Sounds to me like a hodge-podge of things thrown into one piece, including cowboy music :shock: . Oh well, I just wanted to try out another mazurka by someone else for a change. Sure reminds me that nobody can beat Chopin!!


Kinda agree with you. I suspect it's just not terribly good music (and it's too long as well). I can't fault your playing; you've brought the same crispness that I've heard in your Chopin mazurkas.

The Serenata is a much nicer piece, and the sound of your piano really suits it. You handle the minor section with the acciaccaturas with admirable clarity. Excellent!


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 Post subject: Re: Falla and Ravel
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:09 am 
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pianolady wrote:

I included this Ravel recording because it's too short to be in a separate thread. It's only two pages long but I think very beautiful. Sounds sort of jazzy and also reminds me a little of Scriabin. This is the only Ravel piece I've ever played (I think), so I may look into more of his music one of these days. Or if anyone has any suggestions for me (not super-hard ones), please let me know. :)


Really great job on this piece! I've never heard it before, but you captured the style well, although I sometimes can't tell between Ravel or Debussy with their similar sounding piano pieces (pentatonic scales/gliding/dreamy qualities, etc.) but you got the effect right. I enjoyed it!

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 Post subject: Re: Falla and Ravel
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:56 am 
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Location: Los Angeles
Monica, I printed out this piece and having been messing with it a bit. It's tricky to play, with the LH playing those parallel thirds right in the middle of the RH's register. Unusual!

In your recording, I was thinking how well you bring out the melody, which can be difficult to do in a pp situation. And I see that Ravel makes that a bit easier by writing the melody in octaves. Very effective arrangement.

Love those minor ninth chords! So typical of Ravel.

It's really a pleasure to hear you play this, and so nice to hear you explore those softer and softest ranges.

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 Post subject: Re: Falla and Ravel
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:11 am 
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Thank you Andrew, John, and Bruce.

@Bruce - I know, you really have to lift your RH wrist up high in order for the LH to fit underneath.

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 Post subject: Falla - Mazurka
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:45 pm 
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Location: New York City
Thank you for sharing this piece. I have never heard it before. My impression of your interpretation is that it is still developing
and that with a bit more time you will play it with more of a 'guitar like sound' for some of the chords.

You bring out very many beautiful aspects of the piece. The performance on the whole seems excellent
and very solid with nice subtle shifts in mood. There is a vivid direction in the melodic lines that I really enjoy hearing.
Your articulation is really excellent and the changes in texture are very apparent.

Kaila

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 Post subject: Re: Falla and Ravel
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:20 pm 
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Location: Germany
Hi Monica,
I have listened to all pieces, but only to the Serenata Andaluza and the Prelude by Ravel with score. Alas, I couldn´t find the score of the Mazurka, neither on imslp.org nor on Mike Hawley´s site.

To the Serenata Andaluza: Bravo! Very spanishly played, with good little rubati and nice expression. My only small suggestion of improvement would be to make more ritardando before the pp-part in d-major quite at the end. The pp could be much more silent IMHO.
In summary really a very good rendition!

To the Mazurka: Sounds rhythmically very precisely and it is played with some temperament. The dancing character comes out very well and you demonstrate nice dynamic contrasts.

To Ravel, Prelude: Here your pp is really excellent. You have a good feeling for the impressionistic sound, Monica, (and also for the brooding site of the music :wink: ). I like that piece very much and you play it simply excellently!

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 Post subject: Re: Falla and Ravel
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:45 am 
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Thanks for listening and commenting, Kaila (and also on my Bartok).

@Andreas - Image
(I'm trying to keep up with your fun signs! :lol: )

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 Post subject: Re: Falla and Ravel
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:28 pm 
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Love that Ravel piece Monica. I've never heard that one before.
You play it really convincingly and the sound quality of your recordings is very impressive (as I believe I've mentioned to you before).

Not struck on the Mazurka as a piece (as opposed to your playing of it). Don't think I'll be downloading that score. Love the ending of the other de Falla piece.

One minor point - the volume of these recordings seem a little lower than the other piano music I've been listening to today. Do you amplify / normalise your recordings before posting them?

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 Post subject: Re: Falla and Ravel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:45 am 
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Thank you, Peter. It's okay - I don't care much for that Mazurka either. I just wanted to see what it was all about. In Falla's case - you win some, you lose some....

Regarding my sound - no, I do not amplify or normalize. Sometimes I think that maybe I should amplify because I know that I do record at a sort of low level because I'm always trying hard not to clip (get in the red zone with too loud sound). Did it bother you that you had to perhaps turn up your speakers in order to hear my recording? I hope you come back and tell me, since this is very interesting and important to me.

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