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 Post subject: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:57 pm 
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Here are some other recordings from today, done while our daughter took a nap on the sofa right behind me.

The Waltz is no great work, but I included it thinking of the Jewish joke about the unkown soldier. :D

The Scriabin is op 16/4

Schumann - Kinderszenen Op. 15, No. 1 "Von fremden Ländern und Menschen"

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:44 am 
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Ok, I'll bite: What's the Jewish joke about the unknown soldier?

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:38 am 
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Out of these three, I could possibly take your Schumann, but I wonder if maybe you might consider redoing it and making more with the ritardando there in the middle. I think it would help make the piece sound more lyrical - like you are telling a story. It sounds a little too perfunctory here.

Sorry, but I can't take your Scriabin because of a couple errors (I've recorded this one as well, so I know the harmonies). The first error is in bar 5 - the second chord on beat 2- there's a wrong note in there somewhere, I just can't say exactly which one because I'm not at my piano now. The second error is at bar 8 - at beat 2 - again, something is off there....Lots of flats to keep track of in this one...

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:23 am 
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Hi Richard,

I had a listen to your recording of Scriabin, sounds good. For criticism, I suggest try playing this piece against a metronome, it sounded at some parts like it was kind of loose on tempo, and this piece wasn't meant to have rubato?

For your Schumann piece, I don't know if I'm alone on this but I think you have managed to make the piece sound whimsical, which I think is appropriate given its a piece by Schumann

For the Waltz, it sounds like a nice piece, with an appealing motif. I wonder who the famous Unkown is? I don't know any composer by the first name famous and last name Unkown, but I assume you mean you don't know who wrote it? I usually get in trouble when I assume things, so as a replacement I ask questions :) ---> So how did you acquire the sheet music?

~Riley

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:16 am 
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musical-md wrote:
Ok, I'll bite: What's the Jewish joke about the unknown soldier?


A man goes to the Jewish cemetery and comes upon a tombstone that says:

The Tomb of the Unkown Soldier
Yehudi Ashkenazy (1890-1935), tailor, violinist and writer (or any other names, dates or callings), followed by a lengthly description of his life and in the end saying he was killed in one war or another soon after joining the troops.

The man is mystified and went to the warden to ask how such a well-recorded life could be attached to a tomb of an unknown soldier. The warden, unruffled, turned to the man and asked:

"Have you read it all?"
"Yes."
"What did he do in life?"
"Tailor, violinist, writer, father, husband..."
"Did you see any mention to his being a soldier?"
"Well... No!"
"You see," cried the warden in triumph. "He was known as a tailor, as a violinist, a writer, a model husband, but as a soldier? No one knew him as a soldier and you see the result: killed at the first engagement!"

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:25 pm 
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Thanks for the chuckle! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:15 pm 
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Thank you to Riley and Monica, the only ones who seemed to be at all interested in what I played.

I will concede that the Scrjabin can be improved, though I have read it again and am at a loss at which notes are wrong. No matter: listening again I am not too convinced about the triplets and this is duly noted by Riley.

The waltz was not really ment for insertion but I would have expected some curiosity about its author, only Riley saying something about it, and something positive, so thank you, Riley! It is a pity, because it was written by someone very famous indeed, but at this point I will let it pass.

About the Schumann I do not want to sound blunt or rude or anything like it, but it does seem to me, Monica, that if I do as you ask me to do it will no longer be my interpretation, but your interpretation through my fingers. Surely this is not what the Piano Society is about?

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:24 am 
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Hi Richard,

I just listened to all of your pieces. In general, I believe that your playing continues to improve noticeably! :)

The Schumann scene is lovely. This rendition is not at all meter-driven. It is pleasant, more relaxed, vibrant and touching. Great!

I also liked the Scriabin prelude. You played the piece with expressiveness. That is also progress--that is being less uptight about the mechanics of the piece and entering more into the realm of emotive musicality. I liked your portato touch at the ends of all the phrases. Just a couple of things for your consideration: First, sotto voce, as you know, is "in a low voice". It's not a whisper exactly, but it should sound like an undertone in the musical utterance. I would maintain that all the way to the cresc. in line three. I know that the Geyer can be quite contrary, but you're controlling your tone so much better now, despite the piano's shortcomings, that you might be able to muffle the sound a little more. The only other point I would make is in measure 8. The third beat rhythm in the RH sounds a bit awry to me. The only thing different about it as compared to similar preceding measures is that the figure contains the F-A flat double notes prior to the final 16th note. I'd try to fit it in better and iron out the figure a bit more.

Here is a trick your teacher probably mentioned, but I repeat it to be helpful, as this Scriabin prelude is a good illustration. At the end of each measure here you have in the RH a third beat group consisting of an 8th, a dotted 8th, and a 16th note. Visually the eye takes that in as a group where the last 16th is a solid, cohesive member. In fact it is. However, the ear has a different perception than the eye in that respect. That is to say, to the ear, in the aural-spacial sense, the 16th is closer to, or "belongs" more to the quarter note in the downbeat of the next measure. If you artificially think of the construct that way--the 16th actually being more proximate to and belonging more to the quarter note, it's easier to execute its value and timing more precisely. If you think of it that way with the metronome going, you'll see what I mean.

The waltz is easy listening and delightful in its way. I would lighten up the LH though to give the waltz a more lilting and less heavy feel to it. But you're the artist, so it's up to you. OK, as for the "Unknown", I will guess that he is actually the extraordinarily famous Anonymous who probably wrote more works than most known composers. Am I correct?

David

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:46 am 
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richard66 wrote:
About the Schumann I do not want to sound blunt or rude or anything like it, but it does seem to me, Monica, that if I do as you ask me to do it will no longer be my interpretation, but your interpretation through my fingers. Surely this is not what the Piano Society is about?

Sorry, Richard. I just saw this.

Piano Society is about hosting good-quality piano recordings of classical music played in such a way that represents and respects the composers intentions. This does allow for plenty of personal interpretation, as long as it's not way out there. Your Schumann recording here, although a little slow, is fine. I was just trying to help you when I made that suggestion. Also, you may want to use a compression rate higher than 128kbps. Your sound-quality will be a little better. Most common here is 192kbps.

The Schumann is on the site.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:42 am 
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Thank you for your comments latest comments, Monica and David, and I appreciate your suggestion, Monica. There is a little rubato on the Schumann and to you this could be more. Maybe it is my nature, I am not sure, or maybe it is the fact I am prone to add rubato to every single bar if left to my own devices (read: not counting time! :D). I had never bothered about compression rate. Is that something I find in the editing programme? To tell you the truth, I recorded with am mp3 recorder (I have no other), then expanded it to a WAV. Once satisfied with this, I converted it to an mp3. I am sure I will incur the ire of all sound engineers on the site. :(

Thank you for your suggestions for the Scrjabin. You mention bar 8. I do not have "sotto voce" on my edition. Is that missing or it it something that you are suggesting? On listening again I agree: it sounds snappy, and will try your suggestion, as this is a recurrent problem there. Here it is the left hand which is throwing me off balance.

The Waltz... Here the joke comes out: It was composed by Tolstoy the author of War and Peace, the Kreuzer Sonata, Anna Karenina and Resurection. We all know him as a writer, a social reformer, a polemicist, but as a composer? Completely unkown!

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:44 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
Thank you for your comments latest comments, Monica and David, and I appreciate your suggestion, Monica. There is a little rubato on the Schumann and to you this could be more. Maybe it is my nature, I am not sure, or maybe it is the fact I am prone to add rubato to every single bar if left to my own devices (read: not counting time! :D).

One should never confuse rubato with the inability to keep a steady pulse :!:

richard66 wrote:
The Waltz... Here the joke comes out: It was composed by Tolstoy the author of War and Peace, the Kreuzer Sonata, Anna Karenina and Resurection. We all know him as a writer, a social reformer, a polemicist, but as a composer? Completely unkown!

Hm, I thought the Kreutzer Sonata was by Beethoven :lol:
Now maybe you can try your hand at some Pasternak and Nietzsche.
I now remember that one bar in the Tolstoy waltz had a beat missing. Unless the author wrote it so.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:28 pm 
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techneut wrote:

richard66 wrote:
The Waltz... Here the joke comes out: It was composed by Tolstoy the author of War and Peace, the Kreuzer Sonata, Anna Karenina and Resurection. We all know him as a writer, a social reformer, a polemicist, but as a composer? Completely unkown!

Hm, I thought the Kreutzer Sonata was by Beethoven :lol:
Now maybe you can try your hand at some Pasternak and Nietzsche.
I now remember that one bar in the Tolstoy waltz had a beat missing. Unless the author wrote it so.


It is also an 1889 novella by Tolstoy.

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:11 pm 
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techneut wrote:
richard66 wrote:
Thank you for your comments latest comments, Monica and David, and I appreciate your suggestion, Monica. There is a little rubato on the Schumann and to you this could be more. Maybe it is my nature, I am not sure, or maybe it is the fact I am prone to add rubato to every single bar if left to my own devices (read: not counting time! :D).

One should never confuse rubato with the inability to keep a steady pulse :!:


Hence the smiley.

techneut wrote:
richard66 wrote:
The Waltz... Here the joke comes out: It was composed by Tolstoy the author of War and Peace, the Kreuzer Sonata, Anna Karenina and Resurection. We all know him as a writer, a social reformer, a polemicist, but as a composer? Completely unkown!

Hm, I thought the Kreutzer Sonata was by Beethoven :lol:


And then Janacek wrote a string quartet called the Kreuzer Sonata, based on the Tolstoy story inspired by the Beethoven sonata!

techneut wrote:
Now maybe you can try your hand at some Pasternak and Nietzsche.
I now remember that one bar in the Tolstoy waltz had a beat missing. Unless the author wrote it so.


Pasternak wrote three times more than Tolstoy. Too daunting a prospect! (2 preludes and a movement of a sonata!) :?

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:22 pm 
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Hi Richard,

In the Scriabin, the sotto voce appears as a marking right in the first measure, so it's not just a suggestion. I am reading from the Dover Edition which reproduced the Izdatel'stvo Muzyka edition (The Music Publishing House) in Moscow. I would probably continue sotto voce until the cresc. at the second beat in measure 7, as Scriabin does not indicate any change in the meantime. The loudest dynamic in the piece is one mf at the apex of that crescendo just mentioned followed immediately by a diminuendo. A very quiet piece!

The issue I mentioned for measure 8 is what sounds like a faulty rhythm in the 3rd beat in the RH. There is a pair of double notes added into the figure, lacking in all the similar figures. You just need to blend it in better.

I would never have guessed Tolstoy, although I recall that he was a music lover and knew a number of composers and pianists in his time.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:37 am 
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richard66 wrote:
I had never bothered about compression rate. Is that something I find in the editing programme? To tell you the truth, I recorded with am mp3 recorder (I have no other), then expanded it to a WAV. Once satisfied with this, I converted it to an mp3.


A lower bit rate produces a lesser sound-quality. You will get a brighter and clearer sound if you go with 192kbps. Just don't go higher than that because as well as a higher kbps number making a better sound, it also makes a larger file which uses up more of our bandwidth - something we are trying to control somewhat. Also, from what I understand, the more times you convert your file back and forth between mp3 and wav, the worse it will sound. You say that you record in mp3. Why do you convert it to wav? I know you have to then convert it back to mp3 for our site, but that is an extra conversion that you shouldn't have to do.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:19 am 
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Interesting, David, I have no sotto voce indication and on bar 8 I have mf followed by a crescendo sign leading to f. I shall need to check.

Why do I convert? Because I cannot edit the mp3 file directly and I seem to lose more sound quality if I open he mp3 and then save it directly. Remember that once converted into WAV there should be no more loss until converted back. y editing is minimal, but necessary, to cut out strange noises and the pedal that squeaks at times, usually during a pause!

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:26 am 
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Any decent modern MP3 recorder can also record in WAV format. Unless you do not need to do any post processing (which is unlikely) this is the way to go.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:51 am 
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If you absolutely have to record in MP3 format, you should still be able to edit the resulting file with Audacity, which is free.


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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:15 am 
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Yes, but that requires uncompressing mp3 to wav first. This is the step we are trying to cut out.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:58 am 
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techneut wrote:
Yes, but that requires uncompressing mp3 to wav first. This is the step we are trying to cut out.


I'm confused. Does Audacity do that behind the scenes? I can put an mp3 into Audacity and perform cut and paste and waveform alterations without seemingly involving wav files at any time.


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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:01 am 
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andrew wrote:
I'm confused. Does Audacity do that behind the scenes? I can put an mp3 into Audacity and perform cut and paste and waveform alterations without seemingly involving wav files at any time.

Yes that is what editors do when you load a mp3. By design, compressed data can never be edited. It must be uncompressed first.

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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:05 am 
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Ok, thanks for clarifying.


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 Post subject: Re: Schumann, Scriabin and the Famous Unkown
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:40 pm 
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It is partly my fault: when I went to buy a recorder I was not really aware of what I was buying. Add to that that the shop had only hand-held devices and the muddle was made. It is an mp3 recorder and no else, unless, of course, recording in WAV is stashed away under ST, STSP, STLP, SP and UP.

This is it: http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/sto ... 0#features

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