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 Post subject: The same old Chopin Prelude!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:27 pm 
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Here is my re-recording of Chopin's prelude in e op 28/4 done this morning. I expelled wife and child and recorded it PDQ.

I have accepted your suggestion, Monica, and have saved the mp3 in 192 whatever-they-ares. I am sure that I have not hit two keys anywhere, so I hope no smudges are to be heard.

I have also played with David's suggestion and, to my ears at least, the piece has gained a lot in expressiveness. (EDIT: Another unitended pun! :oops: )

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 Post subject: Re: The same old Chopin Prelude!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:06 pm 
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Wow Richard, sorry to say this, but you still/again have an extra 8th note at around 36-37 sec :( . The sound quality and voicing are very good however. Earlier you had mentioned that yours was one of the slower performances of this work. Have you considered carefully the matter of its meter? This is so often the same case with the 1st movement of the Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, where folks play it in 4/4 when it is written in 2/2 instead. If you were to mark your two beats [to the bar] as if conducting, would your gesture represent the tempo that you are after? For me your tempo is one of playing "in the wrong gear" (a bad analogy I'm sure). But the point is that the melody is written to play out (pun intended) in 2/2 (cut-time) not 4/4. I believe this work (like the referenced Beethoven) requires that one first mold the melody in the tempo that is "correct" for your interpretation of the tempo-meter relationship (here of "Largo" in 2/2) and then make the LH correspond. Otherwise the end result is an elevation in importance of the relatively unimportant (the background layer of the music) with the important (melody) pushed off the sound stage. Anyway, regarding those 8th notes, I guess you could use the good-ole "1-ee-&-ah, 2-ee-&-ah" method to make sure you get them correct (but don't actually speak them aloud or Monica will get you :twisted: ). I salute your tenacity to get this done well.
I hope this helps.

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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: The same old Chopin Prelude!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:50 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
I expelled wife and child and recorded it PDQ.
eeww, gross.... :lol:

Sorry, Richard, but Eddy is right about that extra 8th note. I think your sound is better here, though. :) The only other thing is that it sounds like your left-hand is rolling the chords instead of a straight-on/downward press of the keys.

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: The same old Chopin Prelude!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:32 am 
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Hi Richard,

You've improved the sigh motifs tremendously. Good work! They sound far better now. The voicing of chords sounds with fine clarity too. Be sure though not to break any of the LH chords. Playing them inside the keys shortens the distance for depressing them down to the keybed and assures better accuracy in keeping them intact as opposed to the increased risk of playing them from above.

On tempo and meter, perhaps some more specific guidance might be helpful. Largo on the metronome could fall into a range of a quarter = 40 to 60 or thereabouts. That will sound controversial to some people, as there are no set standards in the matter of the relationship of tempo markings to metronome settings. Nevertheless, I believe this would be a reasonable approximation. Whereas the character of the piece is a lament, certainly we're not off to the races here, so that must be factored in as well, meaning you would likely want to play at the low end of largo. What I would suggest then is that you set the metronome at 40, no more than 42.

Now the next step: As indicated in the previous posts, the piece is in cut time. If it were not for that, the meter would be 4/4, or the usual two 8th notes being equal to a quarter note. But with the cut time, there are only two beats to the measure. So, of course, looking at the LH, the first beat covers the first four 8th notes, and the second beat the second group of four 8ths in each measure. That noticeably speeds up the tempo. What I would do then is play it through with the metronome a few times at 40 in order to set up the structure of tempo and meter. Once that were in place, I'd shut off the metronome and maintain the cut time tempo, but would pay much more attention to musicality and expressiveness including nuances, and allowing the piece to breath and be fluid in the execution.

I hope this helps.

David

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 Post subject: Re: The same old Chopin Prelude!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:42 am 
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Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Richard,
As David anticipated, I think that 1/2 note (or any note for that matter) = 40 is almost beyond ability to keep a steady rhythm (without subdividing). The assignement of tempo designations to the metronome is totally arbitrary. Having said that, if you want to practice at that tempo, I would recommend that you do so marking the half beat, i.e. the 1/4 note, at pulse=80. Personally, I think Largo = 40 doesn't leave much slower room for Grave and Larghissimo but that's just my opinion and there's no question that David is a fine musician. You won't get any complaints from me if you play it successfully that slow. Good luck.
Eddy

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"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: The same old Chopin Prelude!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:30 pm 
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Nothing less than perfection is acceptable and yet, when I listen to some of the recordings of this same prelude by those who are greater than I...

Let us not lose our hair and get on with life.

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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 Post subject: Re: The same old Chopin Prelude!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:18 pm 
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Hi Richard,

Here's another approach. Why not simply play it just a little faster, while ensuring that you can still maintain accuracy and proper effect? That is, just find a tempo that is doable and still within your own comfort zone and preference.

David

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"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


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 Post subject: Re: The same old Chopin Prelude!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:08 pm 
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I can only echo what others said, this has indeed improved a whole lot. If you get that rhythm glitch out (and don't introduce any others in the process *lol* ) and take care all chords are even and not rolled, this will be fine for the site. Also take care to play the chords not too loud, inflexible, and insistent, like towards the end where they get a little overbearing. They're accompaniment after all, not the main thing. You may benefit from a slightly more lively tempo. Though it is not too slow perse, IMO, you make it hard on yourself by playing so slow.

But it is true, for an easy prelude of which we have so many recordings already, you need to be very close to perfection. That is the peril of choosing such popular repertoire.... But you are almost there now.

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 Post subject: Re: The same old Chopin Prelude!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:45 pm 
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Hi Eddy,

I agree with you that subdividing is a good idea. I had thought of that too in this instance, but when I set the metronome at 40 rather than subdividing at 80, it worked for me, and I knew that I could practice the tempo that way. But everyone is different, and I recognize that. Subdividing is an absolutely indispensable and hugely helpful tool sometimes. A piece that comes readily to mind is Debussy's "Danseuses de Delphes". I believe that few pianists could learn and play that piece well without subdividing!

David

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