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 Post subject: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:25 pm 
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ABEGG Variations - one of my favourite pieces ! By playing this I really felt in love with Schumann :D

This is a live recording, from June last year, on Schumann's Birthday.

I didn't found any recording on PS...

I hope you like it :-)


Jana

Schumann - Variations on the name "Abegg" in F major, Op. 1


Last edited by Jana Marinova on Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:51 am 
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Jana, bravissima!! Truely excellent artistic playing, and the piano and the recording itself sound wonderful too. I can tell I'm really going to like your presence here. 8) (Not bad writing for an Op.1) :wink:
Best wishes and thank you!
Eddy

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:39 am 
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This is up, Jana. Very impressive playing!! And in case I didn't already say this, welcome to Piano Society. We hope you will hang around for a long time and submit recordings, but also listen and comment often on other members' recordings too. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:43 am 
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I have tried to listen, but the recording is truncaded right at the start.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:56 pm 
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I have not heard a great many performances of the ABEGG's, but it seems to me this is as good as they come. The stuff that can win you competitions (which you have done already, isn't it ?). Not saying that a top-flight pianist could not make even more of it, but to my amateur ears this is just perfect. Especially how you keep a keen eye on the theme in the LH whilst the RH is merrily frolicking about. True class.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:35 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
I have tried to listen, but the recording is truncaded right at the start.

I must say the same thing. Chris or Monica could fix it...

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:39 pm 
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hyenal wrote:
I must say the same thing. Chris or Monica could fix it...

I can't right now, while at work. I listened from the copy I get sent on my Gmail, and that was complete.
Probably something went wrong with Monica's upload.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:26 pm 
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Not sure what went wrong. And I uploaded it twice! I'll fix it tonight.

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 Post subject: !
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:48 pm 
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Thank you! I'm really happy about your comments here :-)

@Eddy: I agree with you! That's really not a bad writing for an Op.1 :lol:

@Monica: I think, I will hang around for a long time here :-)

@Chris: Yes, I'm already done with the competitions... don't really like them anymore :-) Chris, my last name above the bio text is wrong, It should be an R instead
of the L.


Should I upload the recording again? Don't know, what happened ...


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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:20 am 
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Ok, the link works now.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:11 am 
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Hi Jana

This rendition of the "ABEGG Variations" in most impressive. Fabulous!

David

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 Post subject: Re: !
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:36 am 
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Jana Marinova wrote:
@Chris: Yes, I'm already done with the competitions... don't really like them anymore :-) Chris, my last name above the bio text is wrong, It should be an R instead of the L.

Right ! It's corrected.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:26 am 
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Jana,

That is absolutely stunning playing.

I'm already looking forward to your future recordings.

Regards
Mark

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:08 pm 
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I seem to have a neighbour next door with his mobile in his hand. What interpference! I am happy to say, however, that the recording is pristine and complete. Very good playing. I have not followed it with a score, but how many people at a concert do? What is important is the quality of the playing and this is good.

I agree this is very good for an op 1, but do we know for sure this is the fisrt work he ever wrote?

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:02 pm 
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Indeed, very impressive playing for a live performance of what I consider to be one of Schumann's more difficult works technically. However, this performance fails to thoroughly convince me musically (and technically, to some extent).

IMO the most difficult aspect of Schumann's music generally is the tonal balance between melody and accompanimental figures. Lush orchestral sonorities abound, and the difficulty set before the performer is to differentiate these. No mean feat when the texture is as dense and the spacing is as close as it is here in many places.

In the theme, for example, I fail to hear the wonderful ascension of the bassline against the waltzlike accompanimental figures, most of which seem overly loud to me. Some nice phrasing, and I like the dimenuendo to end the thema portion, but the overall dynamic just seems a bit too loud and the texture too thick. The melody, for example, starts off with what to me sounds like a ff rather than a mf, so it has nowhere to go to be shaped.

The quasi-filigree figurations in Variation 1 are quite well done, but I think they'd be even better if they were just a tad lighter (i.e., more elegant) and then the "tops" could sing out more. The effect to me is more a string of notes rather than an airy, dancing lilt. The permutation on the primary theme around measures 10-14 should IMO be brought out better; I can barely hear it in the overall texture. Also, the sforzatos to start the repeat lack point to me because the overall dynamic seems too forte.

Variation 2 I thought was the best. Better treatment of the melody here. The only suggestion I would have here is that it seems rather too mired in pedal so that it sounds a bit muddy and turbid.

Variation 3 - I would personally favor less pedal and more point and clarity for the triplet figures. This variation, which seems an apt example of the French notion of "jeu perle," I find rather too enjambed. Again, the melodic statements in the bass appear rather lost in the overall texture.

In the finale, I very much like the pianissimo and the gradual crescendo that ensues. To be honest, though, I think this really needs to be less cautious. It needs to really move more in relation to the overall tempo as marked "Vivace" by Schumann.

Just my two cents. One certainly can't fault the professionalism here in any way, but the effect to me is a bit more of piano hammers and fog than of delicacy and dancing grace.

Joe

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:06 pm 
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Well, Joe, once again you leave me scratching my head. :? I couldn't disagree more with you regarding your evaluation of Jana's Schumann performance, though you have every right to express your opinion. You're becoming quite an enigma to me :?:

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:47 pm 
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Quote:
Well, Joe, once again you leave me scratching my head. I couldn't disagree more with you regarding your evaluation of Jana's Schumann performance, though you have every right to express your opinion. You're becoming quite an enigma to me


As indeed you are to me. What really is the point of your comment here? Just as I have a difficult time trying to discern your somewhat discursive points elsewhere, so do I here. Indeed, it's rather unusual for a commenter to do what you've done here. Does it threaten you that my position differs? It's odd that you would respond without even attacking the specific points I made. I'm not trying to be rude, but I have little interest in discussing music with people that are going to get all defensive about things and act like big shots. "You're an enigma to me." How utterly childish! The key word is the narcissistic "me." As if to say that I'm crazy not to see it your way. I notice that you're often speaking of yourself as a teacher and speaking with such condescension to me and others as if we're students and you're the teacher. Well I've done my time and I'm not the least bit impressed by people who assert and claim authority as I certainly do not do. I'm just a limited listener with strong opinions about what I want to hear, and frankly I don't give a rat's ass about whether you disagree with me or not.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:54 pm 
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Ok.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:17 pm 
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It was a matter of time before the two titanic musical minds of PS would clash. An accident waiting to happen so to speak :D

As a moderator, I'll try to hold a middle ground.
I side with Eddy in that Jana's rendition of the Abegg's is a masterful and very enjoyable one.
I side with Joe in that nothing is perfect, and that one can always find fault with anything.

Without wanting to take sides (seeing both sides of the coin) I'll say that whoever first loses his temper has lost the argument.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:31 pm 
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I'll say this: I do regret my post 4 above. I haven't had my medication in a week! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:41 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
I'll say this: I do regret my post 4 above. I haven't had my medication in a week! :wink:

I suspect Joe hasn't had his, either :P

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:48 pm 
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Quote:
Without wanting to take sides (seeing both sides of the coin) I'll say that whoever first loses his temper has lost the argument.


Hmm...not quite following this one, but I guess maybe it's a prompt to me to say "mea culpa."

Quote:
I side with Eddy in that Jana's rendition of the Abegg's is a masterful and very enjoyable one.


This could perhaps be better qualified as a Breemer opinion? Frankly, I found it neither, but such is the way of things: differences of opinion. Just the way that you said it here makes it sound factual: it IS masterful and enjoyable. I do seem to remember not too long ago you called Hofmann's playing of the Chopin 1st Ballade "banal and ugly," so I guess maybe Jana's playing to you is more masterful and enjoyable than that of one who is generally considered (and the huge difference comes across, to MY ears, after five seconds of listening to either person's playing) one of the piano titans of all time.

Incidentally, I listened to Richter's playing of this set (and not that it's quite fair to make such a comparison with an unknown, but I only want to make my case) after listening to this one, and he got most of what I would want or expect from a performance of this piece, but what do I know anyway?

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:48 am 
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I finally listened to this and I must say this is a brilliant rendition of this challenging set. Bravo! :D I learned it about 15 years ago but didn't look back to it at all after that. So I cannot say that I (still) know this well, but accidently I hear it played live several times and even though I have to admit that the players were not renowned pros, all of them were boring and disappointing. The difficulty of this set (and most works of Schumann) lies rather in letting the spirit of music speak out, than in technical things, I think.
Even though I don't have a firm idea, how this set should be played, and I think Jana played it very well, I still believe Jana could profit from Joe's elaborated suggestions. Personally I'm glad there are some very critical minds on this forum :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:33 am 
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jlr43 wrote:
Hmm...not quite following this one, but I guess maybe it's a prompt to me to say "mea culpa."

I was merely noting that you seemed to have lost your temper for a while there again. Wasn't even suggesting this is not allowed, just that I consider it losing the argument (insofar as there was one).

jlr43 wrote:
This could perhaps be better qualified as a Breemer opinion? Frankly, I found it neither, but such is the way of things: differences of opinion. Just the way that you said it here makes it sound factual: it IS masterful and enjoyable. I do seem to remember not too long ago you called Hofmann's playing of the Chopin 1st Ballade "banal and ugly," so I guess maybe Jana's playing to you is more masterful and enjoyable than that of one who is generally considered (and the huge difference comes across, to MY ears, after five seconds of listening to either person's playing) one of the piano titans of all time.
Yes it's an opinion, as is everything I say. As is everything ANYBODY says, unless it's actual fact backed up by Wikipedia. I've never understood what the big thing is about all these old pianists, except maybe that they often had a direct line with the composer, and why they were so much better than any pianist from our time. But we are in opposite corners of the universe on this, so let's not go into that again.

BTW I did not call Hoffman's playing ugly and banal. Just that he does some (to my layman's ears) ugly and banal things. A hair-splitting difference :P

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:20 am 
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Quote:
I was merely noting that you seemed to have lost your temper for a while there again. Wasn't even suggesting this is not allowed, just that I consider it losing the argument (insofar as there was one).


My only beef with you here is you came in and moderated where it wasn't really necessary and then tried to make out as if the blame was equally shared or maybe even that it was more my fault (could be wrong about this, but that's how it seemed to me). I think that any outside observer should find this matter clear-cut. Eddy was CLEARLY wrong on this. He wrote a review of this playing, and then I did. I didn't try to undermine his opinion of it. He did do so to me and in a rather nasty way by saying "You're an enigma to me." I think that that behavior was rude and uncalled for, and I believe I had every right to be irritated about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:00 am 
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Well maybe so. Eddy's not been here long enough to know that you get your heckles up more quickly than most here.
I'm sure he won't do it again :P
Now let it drop. No point in keeping arguing.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:47 am 
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Wow, what's happened here??? :shock: :mrgreen:


I like critical minds, that's the way we learn something...
We all need to say our points of view openly.
Joe, I agree with your comment, that the dynamic in the theme is a bit too loud. The Steinway in the concert hall was pretty loud und I needed some time to
check that. That's the risk of the live performance! :-)

@Joe: "Variation 2 I thought was the best" : I'm glad to hear it! This Variation was the most difficult for me. And I'm really happy about this comment :-)

I like the Richter's playing of this set, but that's not me. As an artist I'm searching for an individuality and wanna make things on my way.
We have different opinions and that's wonderful. This is my point of view of this set.
Just one thing sounds to me a bit unprofessional and not so nice: "but the effect to me is a bit more of piano hammers and fog than of delicacy and
dancing grace"...
But that's maybe because of my bad English :lol: That's your opinion and I'm ok with this.

So, like Chris already said: "Now let it drop. No point in keeping arguing."
This wonderful Schumann's piece doesn't deserve it :)


Last edited by Jana Marinova on Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:17 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:02 pm 
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So speaks a lady.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:30 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
So speaks a lady.

As the second time (after detecting the failure of the file) I must say the same thing with Richard again!!! :D How cool, Jana :)

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:32 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Well maybe so. Eddy's not been here long enough to know that you get your heckles up more quickly than most here.
I'm sure he won't do it again :P
Now let it drop. No point in keeping arguing.

This is true.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:54 pm 
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Quote:
Eddy's not been here long enough to know that you get your heckles up more quickly than most here.


This statement is absurd. I guess men can admit when they're wrong (I certainly can), not so for little hair-pulling girls.

As for Jana, yes very much a lady. Very courteous, professional behavior, as I suspected she would be.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:04 pm 
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jlr43 wrote:
Quote:
Eddy's not been here long enough to know that you get your heckles up more quickly than most here.


This statement is absurd. I guess men can admit when they're wrong (I certainly can), not so for little hair-pulling girls.

As for Jana, yes very much a lady. Very courteous, professional behavior, as I suspected she would be.


Wow. Joe, maybe you missed my post 12 above. Let me be clear: I'm sorry I offended you. Regarding the thread of your Chopin/Scriabin Preludes, will you be responding to my critique of your Sciabin works? (One day I'll be submitting more recordings and you can flay me then if you wish).

Regards,
Eddy

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:44 pm 
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Quote:
Wow. Joe, maybe you missed my post 12 above. Let me be clear: I'm sorry I offended you. Regarding the thread of your Chopin/Scriabin Preludes, will you be responding to my critique of your Sciabin works? (One day I'll be submitting more recordings and you can flay me then if you wish).


As I have pointed out, I have no desire to flay anybody. Only to be honest and call it as I see it. In this case, Jana's recording happened to be near the top of the list at the time; hence I reviewed it. Since you ask about the Scriabin preludes, the reason I didn't respond is I really didn't find your comments that helpful (Chris talked much more about the actual performance, so his comments were much more helpful to me). In other words, I felt you wasted a lot of verbiage analyzing rhythms and trying to appear authoritative rather than talking about the actual musical/technical aspects. Just my take on it, of course.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:59 pm 
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jlr43 wrote:
Quote:
Wow. Joe, maybe you missed my post 12 above. Let me be clear: I'm sorry I offended you. Regarding the thread of your Chopin/Scriabin Preludes, will you be responding to my critique of your Sciabin works? (One day I'll be submitting more recordings and you can flay me then if you wish).


As I have pointed out, I have no desire to flay anybody. Only to be honest and call it as I see it. In this case, Jana's recording happened to be near the top of the list at the time; hence I reviewed it. Since you ask about the Scriabin preludes, the reason I didn't respond is I really didn't find your comments that helpful (Chris talked much more about the actual performance, so his comments were much more helpful to me). In other words, I felt you wasted a lot of verbiage analyzing rhythms and trying to appear authoritative rather than talking about the actual musical/technical aspects. Just my take on it, of course.

Then I shall waste no more verbage regarding your future performance submissions, but I do hope perhaps others may have gained a modicum of benefit in considering what I wrote (one of my artist-professors had me pegged when he said that my basic approach to music was an Intellectual one: Apollo and Dionysus don't mix very well). I used the word "flayed" because I suspected that you felt that you had been flayed by some of the critical remarks regarding your recordings; it was never my intention to attack you (or flay you) personally ... but music is so personal to us all. Regarding my superfluous "analyzing rhythm," it is curious that you find objection to that given that it is unquestionably the most fundamental element of music (see Chris' sigiture block for von Bulow's take on same) and that this matter is what not just myself but others too have taken as an important issue with some of your submitted recordings. As you show no signs of molification (even with an olive branch extended), I will excuse myself from further irritating you. Good luck on your revisiting of the Preludes and future completion of this admirable project.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:45 pm 
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Quote:
I used the word "flayed" because I suspected that you felt that you had been flayed by some of the critical remarks regarding your recordings; it was never my intention to attack you (or flay you) personally ... but music is so personal to us all.


Not in the least...I couldn't care less. But the issue is quite otherwise. You're more than welcome to say anything you like, whether I agree with it or not. But then...so am I, and when I did you felt the need to come in and try to negate that when it was none of your business (i.e., Jana is quite able to defend herself if she sees fit, as we saw). Apparently, no one else really sees that as highly inappropriate behavior, but I do.

Quote:
Regarding my superfluous "analyzing rhythm," it is curious that you find objection to that given that it is unquestionably the most fundamental element of music (see Chris' sigiture block for von Bulow's take on same) and that this matter is what not just myself but others too have taken as an important issue with some of your submitted recordings.


I completely agree with you that rhythm is the most important element of music. Being "in time," this is what distinguishes it from the other arts and enables one to even play an instrument. Where I disagree is what seems to be your presumption that intellectualizing it can assist one with realizing it in a performance. This is hogwash. It's analogous to saying that because someone can analyze geometric proportions in painting, one can paint like Raphael. Those who can do, do, and those who can't tend to turn to musicology or Schenkerian analysis. Nothing wrong with that, and sometimes one can do both, but they are distinct musical pursuits. Both my parents being professionally trained pianists, and being around professional musicians my whole life, I've seen this difference time and again.

Regarding others taking rhythms as an important issue with my "submitted recordings," I assume you must mean just this one, since you weren't even on the site beforehand. The issue with "rubato" on this particular recording, yes; otherwise, this statement is completely false. Rhythm has never even come up before in the many recordings I have submitted on this site. I expected it would on this particular recording (given the beliefs regarding rubato in Chopin) as I alluded to in my initial post and that's just fine. But I still fail to see how a generalizing statement like this: "Though the meter is 2/2 and there are 10 8th notes and/or 6 quarter notes to the bar, we really see that in a measure's worth of time what he writes is two 5-note irregular groups per 1/2 note," is helpful. And of course that went on and on. I knew it already anyway, and it has nothing to do with my performance. "Pseudoscience," as another member termed the quasi-scientific parsing of rubato, is a bore when it comes to describing a performance.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:26 pm 
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Quote:
Regarding others taking rhythms as an important issue with my "submitted recordings," I assume you must mean just this one, since you weren't even on the site beforehand.

Of course.

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:17 am 
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musical-md wrote:
I used the word "flayed" because I suspected that you felt that you had been flayed by some of the critical remarks regarding your recordings;

Curious that a medical person should speculate on what it might feel like to be flayed... It doesn't even bear thinking of what that might feel like. It must be the most enormous agony ever possible, except maybe for being burnt alive or torn apart on the rack. I'd rather have my playing criticized, thank you :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:11 pm 
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techneut wrote:
musical-md wrote:
I used the word "flayed" because I suspected that you felt that you had been flayed by some of the critical remarks regarding your recordings;

Curious that a medical person should speculate on what it might feel like to be flayed... It doesn't even bear thinking of what that might feel like. It must be the most enormous agony ever possible, except maybe for being burnt alive or torn apart on the rack. I'd rather have my playing criticized, thank you :roll:

:shock: Just rhetoric, hyperbole to be sure.

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Schumann ABEGG Variations
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:19 pm 
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Posts: 26
Location: UK
What fantastic playing! I am now crazed with jealousy ;)

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