I would like to thank you for this. I do not see these recordings as definitive, of course, but now that the "entry examination" is over, maybe good things might come out. I will surely take a more relaxed attitutde to recording!
I make no pretence to be as good a pianist as most of you here are (Monica, Adrienne, David, Alexander, Eddy, Chris, Andrew and others whose name escape me now) but I do hope my association with you will help me to improve. Your nitpicking as you call it is at times essential. I am sure I would not have reached the modest levels that I have reached if it were not for your criticism and suggestions. I just hope now I will able to work on other pieces and that these will give pleasure to visitors to the site and to offer encouragement to other pianists who might be too afraid to try their luck. It is remarkeable the progress one can achieve if only there is an aim and here the aim is to give pleasure to others and maybe encourage my small daughter to move a bit further than just going boing boing boing on the keys.
I hope to get a better piano when circumstances here change, as they will soon. I cannot say I will get that Fazioli 6' but anyway.
Chris' comment to Richard:
My only remaining concern is how you handle bars 10 and 20. Not only do you not slightly hold back here, as I think would be appropriate but you actually shorten these bars by almost 25%. One thing that helps in bars with longer note values is counting the shorter values. Tap along with the 16ths until you get to bar 10 and you'll see my point. The longer the notes are, the greater the temptation to move on prematurely, and the more important the internal counting becomes. A lesson I'd had to learn the hard way accompanying the church singing on organ. I know that some professial players still do that counting as a matter of principle.
You know what I say: Try a metronome!
Chris says... Tap along!
I actually stopped the clock to record, to avoid tick tack tick tack cuckoo in the background! And yes, I was counting, but it seems not enough and surely I did not want "one and two and three and...." to be on the take! Or I ended up counting some bars at the speed of the first recordings and the others at the speed of some of the later ones.
Your suggestion is good, Monica and Andrew. I do go now and then. One shop keeps its pianos in a big underground vault. What a noise! I went there once and tried a Kawai but was not tempted to buy.
I have a biography. Will this do?
Richard Willmer was born in a family where music was in the order of the day. While his parents played no instrument, there were plenty of recordings and concerts at hand. Whereas the some of the classics might have been missing, there was plenty of out-of-the-way repertoire.
At the grand age of 8 Richard decided that if parents and similar liked classical music and that if brothers and friends liked popular it was a sure sign classical music was for old-timers and if you were young you were pop. Passing years brought wisdom and at the venerable age of 12 he decided to give classical music a try. After a month he was seen at school selling his collection of pop to the highest bidder.
Encouraged by an older brother who began learning the guitar and by the presence in the house of the first flautist of the local symphony orchestra, he took up the treble recorder. His repertoire included Loeillet, Telemann, Marcello, Handel and Pez.
When he was 18 another brother bought a 19th century Pleyel which proved impossible to tune. To cut a long story short, a teacher was found, a graduate from the Paris Conservatoire, and in a few months he was reading Mozart’s sonatas. A home was found for the Pleyel and a Baldwin was bought instead. A small but steady repertoire began to be built, including Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Grieg, Schubert, Albeniz, Gershwin, Shostakovich and Granados.
After graduating in Law Richard left home and travelled extensively, living for a time in Florence, Paris and London. No piano was available, though there were periods when he could practise here and there and for a time he rented a Baldwin. He tried to maintain his repertoire but neglected to learn any new pieces.
In 2007 he married, rented a piano and began dusting his repertoire. In 2010, after hearing for the first time the works of Sergei Bortkiewicz, he decided it was time to learn something new and has since then become acquainted with the works of Galuppi, Field, Tcherepnin, Glinka, Mareo Albéniz and many others. He is at present struggling to master some of these pieces and hopes to be able to share them with the world in the foreseeable future.
When not practising he works for a language school, designs Internet sites and runs a landscape design school.
He and his wife have a small daughter, who sometimes helps to play the piano or sings a countermelody.