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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 5:12 pm 
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I do not wish to comment on the performance, which has already been done here and which seems unanimously positive. To my mind the coordination here is wonderful: that you both can practise in your own countries, then come together and even change fingerings on the very day you record! (I refer to deciding which one of you plays which note).

For me, however, this is and will forever remain a piece for orchestra and the piano will never be able to recreate the effects that an orchestra can achieve. Imagine a Chopin piano piece transcribed for orchestra and you will see what I mean. It is like seeing a Turner in black and white or watching Casablanca in colour.

Liszt transcribed some of Beethoven's symphonies for the piano and these I understand were done for study. What better way was there to learn the works of the great masters than by studying them in piano reductions before recordings became widely available? Was this Smetana's idea too? Or was it to make a popular piece of his available to a large public before the age of vinyl and CD? Was it a way to earn an honest penny?

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 8:37 pm 
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I agree with that. Few transcriptions/reductions, if any, are as good as the original. The piano, whether with 2 or 6 hands, can try to imitate the orchestra, but an imitation it will remain. I guess this is why so many great pianist take up the baton.

However I don't think that every piano piece is automatically better when scored for the orchestra. Few things irritate me more than the endlessly played orchestral versions of piano pieces (Ravel, Debussy, Grieg, etc). Having said that, Dvorak's orchestrations of the Slavonic Dances to pip the 4-hand originals to the post, however much I love them (which won't stop Andreas and me from completing the set however :D ).

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 9:20 pm 
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Andreas wrote:
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!)

Yes, Heidelberg cannot be compared to Cologne concerning the music, never!!! I was burned with envy of inhabitants of Cologne, as I saw the placards of the entire Beethoven symphonies cycle played by Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker and of a duo recital of Piotr Anderszewski and Frank Peter Zimmermann...! Where else in Germany can you experience such concerts except in Berlin?!
And thank you for the information about the Neckarsteinach. I have been already several times in Heidelberg and its surroundings, but never heard of that place. If I had a chance, I will go there :)

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 9:30 pm 
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techneut wrote:
However I don't think that every piano piece is automatically better when scored for the orchestra. Few things irritate me more than the endlessly played orchestral versions of piano pieces (Ravel, Debussy, Grieg, etc). Having said that, Dvorak's orchestrations of the Slavonic Dances to pip the 4-hand originals to the post, however much I love them (which won't stop Andreas and me from completing the set however :D ).


I think we are saying the same thing. I was saying with the example that Chopin orchestrated is not a good thing. I suppose most composers realise this and keep the piano for the piano and the orchestra for the orchestra.

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 10:05 am 
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@richard66:
Of course, the Moldau for orchestra has other "colours" of sound than the piano-version. (I have performed Die Moldau in Dezember 2010 with my school-orchestra.)
But the piano-version for me is not minor. Of course, such four hands versions have their sense in studying the great orchestral works, but they also are piano pieces of full worth, with their own artistic and sound-colour refered quality. If a four hands arrangement of a famous orchestral work is "only" used for studies it very often isn´t played too well, mostly played just by site with many mistakes and slips. For me the arrangement of Smetana is worth to be played decently and with the full respect like for a normal piano original work. Further it´s a possibility to experience that great orchestral work alive and may be in a more direct way than as a conductor.
And what does it mind, if Smetana perhaps has tried to earn a small honest penny with it, at least he had to live from something like we all have, isn´t it?!

@hyenal:
Yes, you should have a trip to Neckarsteinach, if you can, it´s really very beautiful there.

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 11:08 am 
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musicusblau wrote:
@hyenal:
Yes, you should have a trip to Neckarsteinach, if you can, it´s really very beautiful there.

Yes, we should meet up one day, record a 6-hand piano piece, and have some more Bier und Bratwurst at that same Biergarten (so I can ogle the pretty waitress again :P )

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 11:36 am 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
techneut wrote:
I agree with that. Few transcriptions/reductions, if any, are as good as the original. The piano, whether with 2 or 6 hands, can try to imitate the orchestra, but an imitation it will remain. I guess this is why so many great pianist take up the baton.

However I don't think that every piano piece is automatically better when scored for the orchestra. Few things irritate me more than the endlessly played orchestral versions of piano pieces (Ravel, Debussy, Grieg, etc). Having said that, Dvorak's orchestrations of the Slavonic Dances to pip the 4-hand originals to the post, however much I love them (which won't stop Andreas and me from completing the set however :D ).


It depends (imo) on the skill and pianistic knowledge of the transcriber and the level of colour in the original. In my main area of interest (i.e. transcriptions and paraphrases from opera) I've always felt that arrangements from Italian opera work better than arrangements from Wagner, simply because there's more orchestral texture in Wagner. The orchestrations (for example) of the Alkan concerto for solo piano and the Chopin Allegro de concert simply don't work for me.

musicusblau wrote:
@richard66:
Of course, the Moldau for orchestra has other "colours" of sound than the piano-version. (I have performed Die Moldau in Dezember 2010 with my school-orchestra.)
But the piano-version for me is not minor. Of course, such four hands versions have their sense in studying the great orchestral works, but they also are piano pieces of full worth, with their own artistic and sound-colour refered quality. If a four hands arrangement of a famous orchestral work is "only" used for studies it very often isn´t played too well, mostly played just by site with many mistakes and slips. For me the arrangement of Smetana is worth to be played decently and with the full respect like for a normal piano original work. Further it´s a possibility to experience that great orchestral work alive and may be in a more direct way than as a conductor.


Agreed in every respect!


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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 11:39 am 
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musicusblau wrote:
@richard66:
Of course, the Moldau for orchestra has other "colours" of sound than the piano-version. (I have performed Die Moldau in Dezember 2010 with my school-orchestra.)
But the piano-version for me is not minor. Of course, such four hands versions have their sense in studying the great orchestral works, but they also are piano pieces of full worth, with their own artistic and sound-colour refered quality. If a four hands arrangement of a famous orchestral work is "only" used for studies it very often isn´t played too well, mostly played just by site with many mistakes and slips. For me the arrangement of Smetana is worth to be played decently and with the full respect like for a normal piano original work. Further it´s a possibility to experience that great orchestral work alive and may be in a more direct way than as a conductor.
And what does it mind, if Smetana perhaps has tried to earn a small honest penny with it, at least he had to live from something like we all have, isn´t it?!


But here again I was saying this was a wonderful way to study a piece (and consequently, to experience it) in the past.

As for earning the honest penny, why not? Is Stravinsky the lesser because he banked on the Firebird or should we be grateful? I am for the latter.

What Andrew says is true and hence my reference to Chopin.

I feel that I said nothing negative but that does not seem to be the message I conveyed. I am sorry.

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 8:49 pm 
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Techneut wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
musicusblau wrote:
@hyenal:
Yes, you should have a trip to Neckarsteinach, if you can, it´s really very beautiful there.

Yes, we should meet up one day, record a 6-hand piano piece, and have some more Bier und Bratwurst at that same Biergarten (so I can ogle the pretty waitress again :P )

Yes, that would be a nice idea, especially to have the Bier and Bratwurst! :D (Though nothing to say bad about the pretty waitress, too, of course. :wink: )

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 11:07 pm 
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Location: Illinois
musicusblau wrote:
Techneut wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
musicusblau wrote:
@hyenal:
Yes, you should have a trip to Neckarsteinach, if you can, it´s really very beautiful there.

Yes, we should meet up one day, record a 6-hand piano piece, and have some more Bier und Bratwurst at that same Biergarten (so I can ogle the pretty waitress again :P )

Yes, that would be a nice idea, especially to have the Bier and Bratwurst! :D (Though nothing to say bad about the pretty waitress, too, of course. :wink: )


Just make sure that you record the six hand piano piece BEFORE the Bier und Bratwurst or you will have 176 keys and too many hands (let alone room on the bench) to record anything. :lol:

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 9:53 am 
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Is there also pieces for 6 hands? Wow, just sitting (of three persons) in front of the piano properly wouldn't be simple! Even though I cannot drink Bier, I love the Bratwurst :)

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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: Mon May 09, 2011 6:30 pm 
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hyenal wrote:
Is there also pieces for 6 hands? Wow, just sitting (of three persons) in front of the piano properly wouldn't be simple! Even though I cannot drink Bier, I love the Bratwurst :)

http://www.some-handsome-hands.de/
I bet they don't eat Bratwurst though :P

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 5:27 pm 
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Techneut wrote:
Quote:
http://www.some-handsome-hands.de/
I bet they don't eat Bratwurst though :P


It seems so, their outline is quite the opposite of mine and all people under 18 here should close their eyes by regarding the cutout (opening) of the girl in the middle of the picture. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 6:15 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
It seems so, their outline is quite the opposite of mine and all people under 18 here should close their eyes by regarding the cutout (opening) of the girl in the middle of the picture. :lol:

Hey, since when are you looking at such things ? I had not even noticed that. Might have done, had the photo been better :D

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 Post subject: Re: "Die Moldau" four hands arranged by Smetana himself!
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 1:53 am 
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Chris and Andreas,

Very enjoyable performance. It is amazing that you practiced together for one day.
I felt the moodiness of the river throughout. Thank you,

Kaila Rochelle

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