Piano Society
Free Classical Keyboard Recordings
It is currently Thu Nov 27, 2014 12:54 pm

All times are UTC - 1 hour




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Albeniz - "El Puerto" and a little Bach
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:24 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8532
Well, here is my rendition of El Puerto. This piece gave me some trouble, but it's sort of weird because the more I play it, the worse it gets. :shock: Actually, I think it's probably just fatigued - after playing it about a hundred times, I get tired and all those grace notes get jammed/stuck and the jumps and fingers get all mixed up. If you want a laugh, the recording is a video. The audio file here is the same audio as the video. And yes I know I made some slips and such, but this was the best take after many attempts.

here is the Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7jU5XPK60g

and here is just the audio: Albeniz - Iberia Book 2, "El Puerto"


The other piece here is one that I read through the other day and then could not get it out of my head. It's beautiful and sad and pretty and soothing and....
It's only 1 1/2 pages long but it's supposed to be slow and so I hope I played it slow enough. I don't really know the piece very well, so if anyone has suggestions on how to play it better, I would appreciate it - I could probably re-do it right away since it's so short.

Bach-Marcello - Transcription of Oboe Concerto, BWV 974, II: Adagio

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Albeniz - "El Puerto" and a little Bach
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:11 am
Posts: 489
Location: Lyon, France
pianolady wrote:
Well, here is my rendition of El Puerto. This piece gave me some trouble, but it's sort of weird because the more I play it, the worse it gets. :shock: Actually, I think it's probably just fatigued - after playing it about a hundred times, I get tired and all those grace notes get jammed/stuck and the jumps and fingers get all mixed up. If you want a laugh, the recording is a video. The audio file here is the same audio as the video. And yes I know I made some slips and such, but this was the best take after many attempts.

Hola Senora Monica,
Good to see that you dare to get into the great Albeniz pieces, after a number of small appetizers !
Congratulations for this very nice and spanish rendition of El Puerto. Since I have long practiced this piece - I even won a student competition with it, which gave me the opportunity to play it in front of 5,000 people - I'll do a little nitpicking, as an old and grouchy teacher (while I'm not a teacher, at least...).
I am referring to the Salabert edition, starting on page 1 (there are no measures numbers).
- First of all, I think your tempo could be more constant, apart from some particular parts: on p.4 ('très langoureux') but one line after, it is indicated "au Mt", which means "au mouvement = back to the first tempo". Same on the top of the next page. Finally, at the bottom of p. 7, it is indicated "meno Tempo", but you're doing well at this passage and the ritenuto, which is continuing until the end;
- then comes the dynamics. Albeniz is terrible in writing from 5p to 5f. Here we are lucky since he ranges 'only' from pppp to fff. You are doing more from p to f... However, I know this is very difficult to control the notes, the tempo AND the dynamics in a so wide range, and moreover your recording system may compress the music, especially the microphone. Likewise, on page 7, end of the 4th line, it is indicated 'perdendosi'. We expect to go to silent...
- a small reading error, I think, but since the note is repeated, it may be worthwile emphasizing: on page 8, second line, right hand: it's a fifth, not a fourth (D flat instead of E flat). On page 6, third line, last note at the RH: Alicia de La Rocha plays a D, while an E is written in the edition, and I think she's right. This is not a reading error, but rather an error from the publisher !

Finally I know what is to repeat trying to record such a difficult music... Some years ago I tried to mount 'El Albaicin', and the recording I ended up making is terrible (it was worse and worse at each take). The difficulty with this music is that you cannot rest in the depth of the keyboard. You have to fly smoothly on it, but with firm fingers (because of the appogiaturas and other ornaments) and the danger is to get tense, especially with modern pianos whom mechanics is heavier than early XXth Pleyel on which I imagine Albeniz used to play.

Anyway, this version is nice to hear, and I'm looking forward to listening your rendition of the rest of the suite :P !
Regards,

_________________
François
"Je préfère ce qui me touche que ce qui me surprend"
François Couperin (1668-1733)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Albeniz - "El Puerto" and a little Bach
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:49 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8532
Hola Señor Francois,

Thank you very much for the critique. I was a little worried about what you would think because I remember hearing you play this piece very well, and I knew I could not compete. Still, I really like this piece, although those ornaments sometimes drove me nuts!

Regarding the tempo changes: I thought I was making the necessary changes, but I do admit that I've been practicing this piece for quite a while and it now sort of plays itself, if you know what I mean? Like the way I play it here - the tempo in all the sections - is the way I just feel it. Regarding dynamics: I know I do not get down soft enough and not loud enough either. Like you said, it's very hard to do in this piece because of the ornamentation and super-fast little spots. It would be fun to try out a piano with a much lighter touch to see if could do those things better.

And now about that read-error. Arghhh!!! I'm so mad at myself. I always make these kinds of errors in the worst places - the most obvious. Good thing for technology, because I've just re-recorded that one place and edited the correction into the mp3 file. Too late for my dumb video though.... :x And that one place on p.6 - I wondered about that E but figured that maybe Albeniz was just changing things a little bit for more interest. Oh well...

Thank you again, Francois. I am going to try to record that Ravel "Forlane" sometime in the next week. I hope you will come back and nitpick me again... :)

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Albeniz - "El Puerto" and a little Bach
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:14 pm
Posts: 844
Location: Germany
Hi Monica, I just listened to these two recordings. About Albeniz I have nothing constructive to say, because this is my second exposure to this piece (the first one was through Francois' :roll: ). But to an unexperienced listener like me it's quite enjoyable. I listened with great interest and attention :D
About the second piece: I didn't know this transcription. I didn't know even the name of the transcriber (Could you spell the full name of him? Thanks). So my suggestion is just based on my listenings to the original piece in the past: I hear you end the phrasing of RH before trills several times. My suggestion is that you could give longer breathes concerning phrasing. And in aspect of tone colors this is slightly monotonous. It would be better to make some contrast between the solo part and the accompanying part by varying tone color. Just my humble opinion :) But these small things do not affect that this recording is beautifully and musically done.

_________________
Hye-Jin Lee
"The love for music. The respect for the composer. The desire to express something that reaches and moves the listener." (Montserrat Caballé about her main motivation for becoming a singer)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Albeniz - "El Puerto" and a little Bach
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:11 am
Posts: 489
Location: Lyon, France
pianolady wrote:
I've just re-recorded that one place and edited the correction into the mp3 file. Too late for my dumb video though.... :x And that one place on p.6 - I wondered about that E but figured that maybe Albeniz was just changing things a little bit for more interest. Oh well...
That's fine ! Another step toward perfection !

pianolady wrote:
Thank you again, Francois. I am going to try to record that Ravel "Forlane" sometime in the next week. I hope you will come back and nitpick me again... :)

Sure I will ! Regards,

_________________
François
"Je préfère ce qui me touche que ce qui me surprend"
François Couperin (1668-1733)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Albeniz - "El Puerto" and a little Bach
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:11 am
Posts: 243
Location: Adelaide, Australia
hyenal wrote:
About the second piece: I didn't know this transcription. I didn't know even the name of the transcriber...

Actually you do know the name of the transcriber: it's J.S. Bach. The original piece is by Benedetto Marcello. (Maybe the two names should be the other way round in the filename?)

Monica, this is beautiful playing! I've accompanied the original piece, so I have a good mental image of what is sounds like on an oboe. It translates surprisingly well to piano--and you can see where the second movement of the Italian concerto comes from. But it's hard to imagine what this would be like on harpsichord.

If I wanted to be very picky, I'd ask for more shaping of the left hand, in two respects. Firstly, you can lean a little on the main beats and lighten off on the rest. So in the very first bar, every second note should be slightly softer, so that we know from the start that the piece is in 3/4 not 6/8. (Imagine it played by an orchestral string section, perhaps doing two notes to a bow with a slight gap in between the first and second notes.) Secondly, the left hand can follow the contours of the melody a bit more, especially getting gentler towards the ends of phrases.

There are tiny gaps at the ends of some phrases, which sometimes come as a jolt. I can tell that you want the melody to breathe, quite rightly, but ideally the left hand should still be continuous. On the harpsichord this would be impossible, but on piano you can do it with some careful pedalling.

I think the tempo is fine. Some oboists might do it a shade faster, to help with breath control on the long phrases, but that's not an issue on piano ;-)

_________________
Alexander Hanysz, http://hanysz.net


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Albeniz - "El Puerto" and a little Bach
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:53 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8532
Thank you for listening and commenting, Hye-Jin and Alexander.

Sorry, Hye-Jin, Alexander is right - I made a mistake when naming the file (and I should know because I've reprimanded others for the very same thing!), it should be marcello-bach, since Bach transcribed Marcello's Oboe Concerto to harpsichord. And Alexander, the composer of the Oboe Concerto is Alessandro Marcello who is the brother or Benedetto. You were close. :) Interesting that you have accompanied an oboe player. That's neat. And I do also love the second movement of the Italian Concerto. Again, once I hear that one, I can't get it out of my head for a long time.

Thank you both for the suggestions. I recorded this about 2 minutes after I recorded the Albeniz and I was very wired up and nervous, and probably should have waited until I calmed down before playing/recording the Bach.

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Albeniz - "El Puerto" and a little Bach
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:56 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:11 am
Posts: 243
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Oops, wrong Marcello! Thanks for the correction.

_________________
Alexander Hanysz, http://hanysz.net


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Albeniz - "El Puerto" and a little Bach
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:30 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:14 pm
Posts: 844
Location: Germany
:lol: :lol: Actually I thought during listening "isn't it the Marcello concerto?", but on the title a BWV number is shown, and it never occurred to me that JS Bach did transcribe that!!! So I guessed there is a 18th or 19th century Italian pianist-composer named Marcello!!! :lol: :lol:

_________________
Hye-Jin Lee
"The love for music. The respect for the composer. The desire to express something that reaches and moves the listener." (Montserrat Caballé about her main motivation for becoming a singer)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Albeniz - "El Puerto" and a little Bach
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:09 pm
Posts: 367
Location: Athens, Greece
I'll just say a few words about the Bach piece which I find impressive. You only need to hear the chords in the opening bars to realize how modern Bach was 300 years ago!
You have done a very good job, Monica. Mood is right, tempo is right. I would only complain about the binding of the accompaniment especially where the chords change. These changes should be more smooth, in my view. Pedal to assist perhaps?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Albeniz - "El Puerto" and a little Bach
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:08 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8532
Hi Pantelis, I'm happy to see you again! :)
Thanks for the suggestion, I have a couple recordings that need to be re-done, so I may add this one to the list.

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Albeniz - "El Puerto" and a little Bach
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2003
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Monica,

Brava! I just listened to the festive "El Puerto". These Andalusian dances come across as being so energetic and colorful in your rendition. Your performance was beautiful throughout, taking in stride the intricate and difficult figurations, not to mention the rhythmic demands of the piece. Wonderful playing overall! I think this is one of your finest achievements. Congratulations!

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Albeniz - "El Puerto" and a little Bach
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:27 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8532
Wow, thank you, David! I'm a little speechless. Thank you!! :D

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Albeniz - "El Puerto" and a little Bach
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:54 am
Posts: 36
Location: Kentucky, USA
Hi Monica!

I enjoyed these two recordings. Saw your YouTube video of El Puerto, as well. I am not very familiar with this piece, but your performance was inspiring! Now I may have to find some Albeniz to learn.... HMMM.... Have you played Mallorca? Or Tango from España? I know you could recommend pieces. My oldest is in first grade, so I have some practice time in the morning now (amazing!).

The Marcello-Bach reminds me of the second movement of the It. Concerto as well. I will go back and listen again, now that my 3-year-old is not interrupting me. Hope to spend more time here this year, and looking forward to your Ravel! I played a few movements from Le Tombeau de Couperin in grad school, but not the Forlane.

_________________
http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=2314


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Albeniz - "El Puerto" and a little Bach
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:37 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8532
Hi Adrienne,
I'm glad to see you back here too! :) Thanks for listening to these recordings. Regarding Albeniz - I don't think I know Mallorca. I do know Tango and every time I see it in my book I think I will record it, but I never seem to get around to it. It would be nice if you do it!

Regarding the Bach - I just re-recorded it this morning and have uploaded it again. Now I think I have it up two times because I changed the file name...oh well...
If anyone who already heard my first attempt is reading this - I tried to make it sound like it's in 3/4 like what Alexander suggested. I also tried to make it smoother like everybody said. And I just realized that what Pantelis said about Bach sounding modern 300 years ago - actually this music was first composed by Marcello so it is he who should get the credit for that, right?

Marcello-Bach - Transcription of Oboe Concerto, BWV 974, II: Adagio

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Albeniz - "El Puerto" and a little Bach
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:13 pm
Posts: 218
Location: Brazil
Hello Monica,

What a wonderful rendition of El Puerto, congratulations!
This is one of Albeniz's most colorful pieces.

I also like your Marcello-Bach. This is such a profound piece. You can see that Bach learned a lot from Marcello and Vivaldi. A lot of influences on his music.

Best wishes,
Alexandre


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Albeniz - "El Puerto" and a little Bach
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:42 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:11 am
Posts: 243
Location: Adelaide, Australia
pianolady wrote:
...Regarding the Bach - I just re-recorded it this morning...


Yes, I prefer this version ;-) I hope you're happy with it too.

_________________
Alexander Hanysz, http://hanysz.net


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Albeniz - "El Puerto" and a little Bach
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:22 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8532
Thank you, Alexander and Alexandre! :)

@Alexandre - Colorful is a good way to describe this piece. And I do like Vivaldi's music a lot, and now I can say that I also like Marcello's, even though this is the only piece of his that I've played.

@Alexander - I am happier with this version, although I could probably re-record it a hundred times in an effort to get the trills just right. Ah well....but it is your suggestion to think in 3/4 that made me re-think this piece. Admittedly, I actually was thinking in 6/8 when I recorded it the first time. I did that in order to make sure I got enough beats in each measure because the piece goes so slow and I was afraid of screwing up the counts. It was a dumb idea - I have lots of those... :roll: :lol:

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Albeniz - "El Puerto" and a little Bach
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:09 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:50 am
Posts: 6
Location: Canada
Hi Monica,

Just listened to your Albeniz. The first thing that struck me is the need for more flow especially as you set up the LH ostinato at the very start. It is a two bar phrase, and your first two notes seem to remove themselves from the latter half of the phrase. If you are trying to emphasize the accent, do so in a manner that doesn't play so much with horizontal continuity of time. Especially true of this opening motive where the skeletal pulse of the piece is being founded. This becomes less of a problem when your RH melody is introduced, but in numerous points in the piece where the LH ostinato is called to the forefront this break in flow presents itself. Think of the phrase - think of how a vocalist uses breath support, or a string player draws the bow.

You have good control over the tone you use in this interpretation. It is always pleasant and sweet. However, the music does call for some contrasts and many moments of Spanish bite. These episodes of punctuated and brassy flourishes are hidden away in your dulcet tone. They add flavor and spice to the music, so do not be apologetic when they come about. Don't be afraid to make your tone more edgy when the music asks for it.

Some of the slight tempo changes sounded as if you were not exactly sure of where they should be placed. Make sure to keep the phrase and the structure of the music in mind when playing with the tempo, especially in pieces such as this where the ostinato sets up the expectation of a repetition. Changes in the consistency of the pulse are magnified. This can be put to interpretational advantage when the music is set up to break expectation. However, if slight changes in tempo are placed in awkward moments, it can cause a sense of instability. Place your tempo changes within the structure of the piece, and always know where you are going.

At the end of the piece be sure to map out the sempre rit. carefully. Because it occurs over a very long span, it is easy to loose steam early and not have anywhere to go before the piece is finished. In the same manner as terraced dynamics, one can also carry out terraced tempo changes.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Albeniz - "El Puerto" and a little Bach
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:59 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8532
Hi Neil,

It's been a long time. Good to see you! Thank you very much for the thorough analysis. I agree with some of the things you say - like that I could come down at places with more bite. Believe me, I want to do that and really I try to do so, but I'm a weakling and have wrist problems so maybe it's not coming off as hard and loud as I think it is as I am sitting right there at the piano.

No one has ever mentioned the phrase issues at the beginning - the LH ostinato. Very interesting, I'm glad you said all that and I'll surely think about that next time I play the piece. Regarding tempo - perhaps my tempo changes are not to everyone's liking, but I actually do like them.

Thanks again. Hope we 'hear' more from you one of these days. :)

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 1 hour


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group