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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Preludes and Scriabin Preludes Op. 11 -- Part I
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:41 am 
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Hi Andrew,

Thanks for listening!

Quote:
C maj: seems a bit imbued with Rachmaninovian thoughts; I don't think it's agitato enough.


Interesting. I would indeed interpret the melody itself as a bit grander than some pianists have done, perhaps even "Rachmaninovian" :wink:

Quote:
E min: interesting! Whether people would agree with it is another matter. It seems to me that you are imparting the little swells in the music not just through cresc and descresc, but through tempo fluctuations also.


I think that's a good way of putting it. I think the rhythmic fluctuations impart interest to a rather uniform bassline in this case.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Preludes and Scriabin Preludes Op. 11 -- Part I
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:47 am 
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techneut wrote:
pianolady wrote:
@Chris - do you want to split these up? I'll do the Chopin and you do Scarlatti?

Ayup. I'll do the Scriabin as well :lol:


Oh, haha...Well, they're are about the same... :mrgreen:

So Joe, what are we doing here with your Chopin recordings?

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Preludes and Scriabin Preludes Op. 11 -- Part I
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:48 am 
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techneut wrote:
No.5 - For this one I got the metronome out. My Peters score says 40 to the quarter, I think you play it almost twice as quick :shock: I hope you're no in a hurry to complete this set :)

Chris, mine (Russian edition reprint) has that too but it has to be a mistake as the work is in 4/2 meter. I'm sure it is 40 to the half-note. Boy! Two metronomic speed mistakes in only 6 pieces; sloppy editing/publishing!

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Preludes and Scriabin Preludes Op. 11 -- Part I
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:54 am 
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musical-md wrote:
Chris, mine (Russian edition reprint) has that too but it has to be a mistake as the work is in 4/2 meter. I'm sure it is 40 to the half-note. Boy! Two metronomic speed mistakes in only 6 pieces; sloppy editing/publishing!

Well interesting that two scores have this and you are sure it is wrong :P Isn't there a Scriabin Urtext that would prove you right ?

If this is indeed so, then Joe's tempo here is about correct. I find it unbearably fast though and would happy ignore the composer's mm mark here. Are we even sure these are the composer's tempi and not some editor's ?

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Preludes and Scriabin Preludes Op. 11 -- Part I
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:06 pm 
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Quote:
So Joe, what are we doing here with your Chopin recordings?


Please hold off. I am going to redo these. Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Preludes and Scriabin Preludes Op. 11 -- Part I
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:10 pm 
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jlr43 wrote:
Please hold off. I am going to redo these. Thanks.

The Scriabins as well ?

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Preludes and Scriabin Preludes Op. 11 -- Part I
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:15 pm 
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Quote:
The Scriabins as well ?


Yes.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Preludes and Scriabin Preludes Op. 11 -- Part I
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:51 pm 
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techneut wrote:
musical-md wrote:
Chris, mine (Russian edition reprint) has that too but it has to be a mistake as the work is in 4/2 meter. I'm sure it is 40 to the half-note. Boy! Two metronomic speed mistakes in only 6 pieces; sloppy editing/publishing!

Well interesting that two scores have this and you are sure it is wrong :P Isn't there a Scriabin Urtext that would prove you right ?

If this is indeed so, then Joe's tempo here is about correct. I find it unbearably fast though and would happy ignore the composer's mm mark here. Are we even sure these are the composer's tempi and not some editor's ?


The proof is in the pudding. The tempo is "Andante Cantabile." Try playing it as indicated at 1/4 = 40 and it becomes a mired turtle in Moltissimo Largissimo Boringssimo tempo and the structure becomes lost in a microscopic analysis of nuts and bolts (sort of like looking at the Eifel Tower while your nose is touching it). I'll give you this, the recording/performance is faster than 1/4 note = 80 (1/2 note = 40), and so I agree with you that it is faster than it should go, but no where near twice as fast.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Preludes and Scriabin Preludes Op. 11 -- Part I
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:13 pm 
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Quote:
The proof is in the pudding. The tempo is "Andante Cantabile."


Yes, I think this is right. Well, I'm glad we've finally resolved this earth-shatteringly important issue.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Preludes and Scriabin Preludes Op. 11 -- Part I
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:18 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
I'll give you this, the recording/performance is faster than 1/4 note = 80 (1/2 note = 40), and so I agree with you that it is faster than it should go, but no where near twice as fast.

I had the metronome clicking along and it sounded like it was like about twice as fast as the mm. I could be wrong there. In any case it sounded way too fast to me.

Certainly following the printed mm number would sound molto boring. I guess as often, the Truth will be somewhere in the middle.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Preludes and Scriabin Preludes Op. 11 -- Part I
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:22 pm 
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jlr43 wrote:
Yes, I think this is right. Well, I'm glad we've finally resolved this earth-shatteringly important issue.

Hey now. Sarcasm is my department :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Preludes and Scriabin Preludes Op. 11 -- Part I
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:29 pm 
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Quote:
I guess as often, the Truth will be somewhere in the middle.


I think there indeed is much truth in this statement. Very Aristotelian.

Quote:
Hey now. Sarcasm is my department


Wel HTH, you said it yourself :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Preludes and Scriabin Preludes Op. 11 -- Part I
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:28 am 
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Hi jlr,

I think you play these Chopin preludes beautifully. Just a few brief comments:

No. 1: This piece is the curtain raiser for sure. In line 2, starting in measure 11: I believe you can more prominently etch with the RH thumb the inner scalar line, G, A, B, C and C#. It would enhance your rendition there.

No. 2, the catipiller as I call it: In measure 17, I suggest that you maintain forward motion in tempo. Then when you play the slentando in measure 18, it will occur as written and will be much more differentiated, meaningful and effective.

No. 4: This is a lament, and I like how you handle the sigh motif throughout. Likewise with the variable harmonic "voicing in the LH chords. You've made an "emendation" to the score in measure 17 by playing the B octave one octave lower than written with a fairly big crash as well. The problem as I hear it is that the effect is simply too much given the character and context of the rest of the piece. It seems like the anomaly of cracking a nut with a pile driver. :lol: I play the octave as written and it seems to fit better.

No. 6: The RH slurs are very good, as is the dynamic contour of the melodic line. Very nicely played.

I hope this is helpful.

David

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Last edited by Rachfan on Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Preludes and Scriabin Preludes Op. 11 -- Part I
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:32 am 
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jlr43 wrote:
Hi Eddy,

Thanks for the comments!

The subject of rubato is indeed a tricky one and I can hear where you're coming from here. I plan to do more experimentation with this aspect of the slower preludes in the coming week. I would, however, challenge what your overall notion of rubato appears to be as you expressed it in this comment:

Quote:
I have to admit that my forehead went into a perplexed frown trying to comprehend what you are doing rhythmically, and then again with #6. You may want to call it rubato, but I wouldn't because it follows repetative patterns. I have to say plainly that you are simply not keeping time well in these slow lyric works of classic simplicity.


Two things. First, you seem to contradict yourself a bit by saying that you're "trying to comprehend" what I'm doing rhythmically yet also stating that my rubato follows repetitive patterns. The latter comment would imply to me that you are in fact making a statement about what you perceive me to be doing rhythmically. As I see it, the problem lies in trying to "comprehend" it at all. Even the traditional definition of rubato (i.e., a speeding up or slowing down, followed by its exact opposite to restore "robbed" time) is problematic, for it is not really possible to accurately do so and this would indeed be impossibly mechanical. In the end, of course, there is really an ineffability to the concept of rubato that defies description and results from the performer's individuality.

Now for the second point regarding keeping time. Of course, I could play everything exactly in time or even mostly in time and throb out the melody over a mostly consistent bassline the way so many pianists seem to interpret this piece, but that IMO would be rather flat and rhythmically monotonous. As here, Chopin tends to write in rather constant recurring figurations, which demand, I think, a rhythmically flexible and spontaneous use of rubato to work. It's hard to argue that one is distorting the rhythm when the figurations in question are unvarying. Stretching or expanding too much for one's taste, yes, but not distorting or failing to keep time. I believe my overall tempos are basically consistent, even though within them there are many internal fluctuations, and that this is the spirit of rubato.

Anyway, just my two cents on a very interesting topic you raised.

Joe


Joe, I'll see your bet and now raise you. Here is how I would explain rubato to a class of college freshman taking a required Intro to Music course (and I'm not implying any lack of knowledge on your part, its just that I often like to teach (or in this case argue politely) with analagies and object lessons). Take a baloon and blow it up moderately. Now take a marker and draw 4 beats worth of rhythm on it (any rhythm at all). Now observe how the drawn-rhythm speads out when I squeeze the other side of the baloon: that is rubato. Further, we don't have to squeeze it such that all four beats expand uniformly (this is where the engineer types in the class wish they took art instead). The rhythm, however, stays the same. So rubato affects tempo NOT rhythm (except in the context of said tempo). If you play "rubato" on the first beat of three consecutive measures, or in a figure that is featured repetitively then what you're doing (I would argue) is not rubato, its dissruption of the rhythm. I agree with you that the works in question can and should have rubato, but then what work shouldn't? It would be unbearable to hear almost any music played sans rubato (that's Fretalian). Now you've got me very curious as to what you would do with the "Raindrop" prelude.

I'ts good discussing such abstractions.

Sincerely,
Eddy

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Preludes and Scriabin Preludes Op. 11 -- Part I
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:36 pm 
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Hi Eddy,

Interesting analogy, though frankly it seems a bit vague to me (I never was one for applied science :P ). I'll zero in on the primary musical statement:

Quote:
So rubato affects tempo NOT rhythm (except in the context of said tempo). If you play "rubato" on the first beat of three consecutive measures, or in a figure that is featured repetitively then what you're doing (I would argue) is not rubato, its dissruption of the rhythm.


Again, I don't think this is quite right, or at least an oversimplification. The rhythm with a uniform pattern is not really being substantivelyaltered because its internal pulse is consistent and the same and you can't completely alter that when applying rubato, just change its internal consistency. It's different than playing an entirely different rhythm that indeed would result from one's negligence in keeping time. The end of the exposition of the late Haydn E-flat Major sonata is one example that popped into my head; I've heard several professional pianists incorrectly play the last two shakes as rests followed by sixteenths rather than eighths, which mathematically and unambiguously alters the duration of the measure. That, in other words, is a completely different rhythm. You're correct in saying that the effect of rubato is one of overall tempo, but in altering that, one cannot help but make slight to moderate alterations in the rhythm of a consistent figuration, for indeed even if we mechanically follow the traditional definition of the term, the speedings up and slowings down do just that to both the tempo and the rhythm. In other words, tempo and rhythm are inextricably linked and rubato by necessity affects both (which is why your "except in the context of said tempo" doesn't really make sense to me -- because rubato always affects both tempo and rhythm to some degree, however small). The notion of whether you find the rubato repetitive is, I think, irrelevant. Speedings up and slowings down that occur repetitively change the tempo, and internal rhythm to some degree, the same mathematical amount as speedings up and slowings down that occur with greater variation (assuming we could replicate the same amount of change in both places in the passage). You can argue that you don't find it aesthetically pleasing or that you would want to hear it applied in a different way, but "rhythmic freedom" is in fact part of the universally accepted meaning of the term.

Joe

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