Thank you for your interest and valuable comments about this recording. This is the good point when you post a famous piece: more (mostly justified) criticism, but finally more reactions
Congratulations on adding this great work to your repertoire! Ignoring some scattered minor blemishes, your interpretation was at times more "careful" than I prefer; I would have hoped for a bit more elan, but your performance is IMO entirely worthy
of representing Mendelssohn's creation to listeners over the web. I hope this is selected for inclusion in the library. I know many will enjoy it!
Thank you for your indulgence, Eddy. Regarding the lack of elan, you're right. The thing is that I am not equipped to drive as fast as I would like in such a winding road, and I have to care about difficult turns, trying not to jump in the precipice !
Francois, I admire your capability to regularly submit quality recordings of large and important works.
Thank you, Chris. Well, for a number of decades, I have been practicing my piano most evenings (when I am not travelling or having parties or other social events), and my way of practice is to sight-read a piece, then to try to play it as well as I can, then to record it and finally to go to another one. Until some years ago, these recordings were poor cassettes that had for only career to collect dust in my attic, but now, thanks to PS, I have found a more motivating goal !
I agree with Eddy that this is a worthy performance, despite the numerous small slips. So I'm putting it up on the site as we speak.
But IMO this rendition is not quite without its problems. Indeed it is a bit cautious in places, but despite that the faster variations seem a bit ragged and sometimes choppy. A little bit more polish could have cured that I think. The slower variations are beautifully done. Is there a bad edit just before the middle of variation 6 ? One point of critique is the dynamics which you sometimes not seem to observe, or even do them contrary to what's written (I noticed a sudden forte where piano was indicated, this could be a matter of scores though).
The numerous defects of this rendition have at least two origins: the first one lies in my technical limitations (especially for the faster parts), and the other to my poor reading ability, in which originates my preference to play by heart. This is good for delivering more personnal and sincere renditions, but tends to alter the rigor and the exactitude regarding the display of the original score. When I come back to the score after many (partly wrong) executions by memory, I have difficulties to correct my interpretation. Sometimes it is better to keep both the errors and the energy and movement...
However, as for variation 6, I cannot hear any edit... Maybe your computer made a random bad noise when you have listened it ? Mine does that from time to time...
There are a fearsome number of notes in this piece, and you're getting most of them! I don't mind the slower-than-usual tempos. Most of the excitement in this work comes from the articulation and the dynamic contrasts. Your articulation is very clear and crisp. But where dynamics are concerned, as Chris points out, you could do a lot more. Generally the fast passages can be lighter and quieter.
Have you listened to many of Mendelssohn's orchestral works? He wrote some of the most exciting pianissimos ever!
Another thing you can consider is the connections between variations. In particular, at variation 7 the excitement is really building--to me it seems like a shame to take time before going on to variation 8.
Yes, I make a majority of right notes, so this rendition is democraticly acceptable
. But if art deals with absolutism, then only Benedetti Michelangeli, Maurizio Pollini and a few others are eligible...
Hanysz, I agree with all your points. Yes my play lacks dynamics; however, when I compare my recent recordings with the ones I did thirty years ago, I think I have made some progresses, but there is still road ahead. Regarding lightness, maybe I have an excuse with my piano, which is quite heavy and difficult to control in the pp range (according to various professional pianists who played it).
Finally, the silence before variation 8 probably originates in my anxiety before accessing to this dangerous zone ! And I should definitely listen more orchestral Mendelsohnn... Regards,