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 Post subject: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 6:03 pm 
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Location: Germany
Chris has visited me from 27.4.-28.4.11 here in Germany and we have recorded the four hands version oft „Die Moldau (Vltava)“, arranged by the composer, Bedrich Smetana, himself.
We only had one day for practicing together and recording the piece, because the other day we wanted to make a nice trip together, on which I could show Chris something of Germany.
Unfortunately the treble of my grand has got a bit out of tune during the recording-session (which took a whole day), though it was tuned well before.

Though the sound-quality is not as good as you are used of my videos because of the lightly distuned treble, we think, the quality of our recording still is enjoyable.

Chris has played Primo, me Secondo. Recorded with my usual equipment: Neumann KM 184 etc.

Here is the link to the video (it contains pictures to the music!):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laOeg7T5 ... ideo_title

The mp3-file contains exact the sound-track of the video above:

Smetana - Ma Vlast - 2: Vltava (The Moldau) (12:21)

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Last edited by musicusblau on Tue May 03, 2011 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 2:36 am 
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Great job, guys! Sounded very good - thanks for showing it.

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 3:33 am 
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Location: Carbondale, IL
Hi Andreas,

Another duet! I watched the video of Die Moldau. I remember Chris saying in an earlier post that this was a difficult piece. And I can tell both you practiced a lot, as the music really held its shape. For criticism, the runs could possibly be more connected, in legato style, but I suspect the written tempo cannot afford it. Difference between loud and soft articulations were well crafted.

And the video editing was well done, the pictures were well lit and most were taken outdoors so it was nice to get the contrast of the indoor performance. the dissolves between the pictures to the performance subtle and complimentary to the music.

About the piano being detuned in the treble register, I thought I heard a note (one of the top 80) that sounded a little honky-tonky at the end of the piece, but it was barely noticeable and honestly, if you hadn't mentioned it I wouldn't have been able to discern it.

~Riley

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 4:37 am 
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Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Chris and Andreas,
This was a real pleasure to watch and listen to. Such beautiful music. You both did a very creadible job for such a short preparation. It looked like great fun too!

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 5:21 am 
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Location: U.S.A.
Hi Chris and Andreas,

Bravo! I thought this was a splendid performance and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Any slips in the tuning did not detract at all. The pictures along the course of the Moldau were beautiful too. This was a wonderful collaboration. Thanks for posting it.

David

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 7:25 am 
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Thanks all for the feedback !

I don't know about Andreas's part, but Smetana sure makes life difficult for the Primo player here. A lot of awkwardly laid out LH work and some Lisztian jumps in the finale. Practising this part is a bitch because the constant high notes do grate on the ear. Then there is the added difficulty of 4-hand playing where most of the time you are in each others' way, so that no matter how hard you practiced on your own, you have to practice again with the partner, and decide how to put the arms and hands and which notes to leave out (because sometimes you are required to play the same note at the same time).
Anyway the result was worth the effort. And my wife and me had a great time in beautiful Germany. It must be the best time of the year to do it, shame we had to sit inside for a whole day. I already miss my Bier und Bratwurst (see photo) ....


Attachments:
File comment: That is better than playing the Moldau :D
lunch.jpg
lunch.jpg [ 232.74 KiB | Viewed 1957 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 9:41 pm 
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Location: Germany
Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
Great job, guys! Sounded very good - thanks for showing it
.

Thank you for your encouraging words, Monica!

@Pianoman342:
Thank you for your detailed comment. :D

Pianoman342 wrote:
Quote:
About the piano being detuned in the treble register, I thought I heard a note (one of the top 80) that sounded a little honky-tonky at the end of the piece, but it was barely noticeable and honestly, if you hadn't mentioned it I wouldn't have been able to discern it.


I´m absolutely glad you say that :D , because I also think, that Chris exagerates a bit concerning the discant being too harsh and distuned!
It´s a nice Steinway-like sound with a brilliant character, which can be intonated a bit softer next time, but that´s a pure matter of taste, of course. There still were 2 distuned tones I retuned during our recording-session. I think, after having done that, the tuning was absolutely bearable. So, not a big deal concerning the tuning at all in summary.

musical_md wrote:
Quote:
It looked like great fun too!


Yes, in summary it was a great fun (at least for me)! Just when we had finished there was the message to read on my computer screen "not enough memory for the file" or similar and so we had to redo all parts from the "Nymphenreigen" on again. In that way our recording-session took onto nearly 9 hours or so and at the end we both were quite tired. Chris even was really "fed up" with the piece.

Rachfan wrote:
Quote:
Bravo! I thought this was a splendid performance and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Any slips in the tuning did not detract at all. The pictures along the course of the Moldau were beautiful too. This was a wonderful collaboration. Thanks for posting it.


Thank you, dear friend, for your encouraging words! :D I´m also glad you didn´t find the tuning detracting. I have enjoyed to play this piece very much and I have to admit, that Chris´ part at some places was a bit more tricky than my one, though also in my part are some virtouso passages.

Techneut wrote:
Quote:
And my wife and me had a great time in beautiful Germany. It must be the best time of the year to do it, shame we had to sit inside for a whole day. I already miss my Bier und Bratwurst (see photo) ....


I´m glad and I also think, we had a great time together. Have many thanks for the great collaboration! Yes, slurping Bier and eating Bratwurst in the Biergarten at the Neckar was one of the nicest moment on that day, but also having had a good meal in the evening in the restaurant! :)

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 11:46 pm 
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It looks to me like the "bier" was the biggest part of the meal! :shock: :lol:

David

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 12:11 am 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
Really enjoyed this - actually I've always wanted to find an arrangement of the original, any chance of uploading a pdf, telling me where you found it or the publisher?


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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 3:08 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:14 pm
Posts: 844
Location: Germany
My sincere congrats to both of the fine pianists! This is a really nice rendition which gives the listeners the chance of experiencing this special version and at the same time the collaboration out of the friendship!
Andreas wrote:
Yes, slurping Bier and eating Bratwurst in the Biergarten at the Neckar was one of the nicest moment on that day, but also having had a good meal in the evening in the restaurant! :)

BTW I visited your city (Köln) about a month ago, Andreas. I was agreeably surprised at the beauty and the vividness of that city. But why was the Biergarten named as "Neckar"? Not "Rhein"? The Neckar is the name of the river which is flowing across my city (Tübingen) :D
Chris wrote:
Practising this part is a bitch because the constant high notes do grate on the ear.

I could hear that, poor Chris :?
Quote:
Then there is the added difficulty of 4-hand playing where most of the time you are in each others' way, so that no matter how hard you practiced on your own, you have to practice again with the partner, and decide how to put the arms and hands and which notes to leave out (because sometimes you are required to play the same note at the same time).

You decribed the difficulty of four-hands-playing very well! But you guys seem to have prevailed over that difficulty :D

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 7:01 am 
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musicusblau wrote:
I´m absolutely glad you say that :D , because I also think, that Chris exagerates a bit concerning the discant being too harsh and distuned!
If everybody else thinks these high note are ok, then it must be me. I do have an ear problem in the sense that loud sounds in the middle and high registers make my ears do strange things inside (hard to describe, the ear specialist could not find anything wrong) so maybe I perceive them different from others. OTOH, I had to play all these frigging high notes, so I should well know how they sound...

musicusblau wrote:
Yes, in summary it was a great fun (at least for me)! Just when we had finished there was the message to read on my computer screen "not enough memory for the file" or similar and so we had to redo all parts from the "Nymphenreigen" on again. In that way our recording-session took onto nearly 9 hours or so and at the end we both were quite tired. Chris even was really "fed up" with the piece.
Not as much with the piece - who could get fed up with the Moldau - but with playing it. I was real glad to get out of that room.

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 8:55 pm 
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Posts: 2815
Location: Germany
Rachfan wrote:
Quote:
It looks to me like the "bier" was the biggest part of the meal!


Yes, that was a "Weizenbier", which is usually served in 1/2 litre glasses. :D :wink:

andrew wrote:
Quote:
Really enjoyed this - actually I've always wanted to find an arrangement of the original, any chance of uploading a pdf, telling me where you found it or the publisher?


I think, we had found it on imslp.org.

hyenal wrote:
Quote:
My sincere congrats to both of the fine pianists! This is a really nice rendition which gives the listeners the chance of experiencing this special version and at the same time the collaboration out of the friendship!


Thanks for the praise, Hye-Jin. I´m glad you enjoyed it! :D

hyenal wrote:
Quote:
BTW I visited your city (Köln) about a month ago, Andreas. I was agreeably surprised at the beauty and the vividness of that city. But why was the Biergarten named as "Neckar"? Not "Rhein"? The Neckar is the name of the river which is flowing across my city (Tübingen)


We visited a nice village with four old castles nearby Heidelberg and we were sitting at the Neckar, not at the Rhine. I have studied in Cologne, but I don´t live there since a long time.

techneut wrote:
Quote:
If everybody else thinks these high note are ok, then it must be me. I do have an ear problem in the sense that loud sounds in the middle and high registers make my ears do strange things inside (hard to describe, the ear specialist could not find anything wrong) so maybe I perceive them different from others. OTOH, I had to play all these frigging high notes, so I should well know how they sound...


Oh, yes, I have forgotten your ear-problem, sorry. May be having practised the treble-parts all the time before already has made your ears quite sensitive. I can imagine that quite well. So, I think, I have to intonate my trebles a bit softer for the next time...

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 12:00 am 
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Location: France
I enjoyed the music and the video a lot! (I'm curious about the plate on the floor under the piano... :?: :wink: )


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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 6:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:14 pm
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Location: Germany
Andreas wrote:
We visited a nice village with four old castles nearby Heidelberg and we were sitting at the Neckar, not at the Rhine. I have studied in Cologne, but I don´t live there since a long time.

:oops: I always thought you still live in Cologne... :? Where do you live exactly, Andreas? And what is the name of that place where the four castles can be seen? I think I could know the cities near to Heidelberg.

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"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)


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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 4:13 pm 
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Hyenal wrote:
Quote:
Where do you live exactly, Andreas? And what is the name of that place where the four castles can be seen? I think I could know the cities near to Heidelberg.

I live in a village in the Odenwald in Hessen and the place where are the four castles is Neckarsteinach. Heidelberg also is a nice city, isn´t it? (Nothing compared with Cologne, though! :wink: Cologne is really a good city of music, there is the WDR, the Kölner Philharmonie and the Musikhochschule Rheinland, where I have studied, and especially it is a centre of modern contemporary music!)

Didier wrote:
Quote:
I enjoyed the music and the video a lot! (I'm curious about the plate on the floor under the piano... )


Thank you for your kind comment, Didier. I´m glad you like it. :D
The plates under my piano are for isolation. I have a floor heater and my tuner highly recommended to me to put these plates under the piano, otherwise it would get distuned very quickly.

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