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 Post subject: Chopin Nocturnes: Eb, op. 55 no. 2; F#m op. 48 no.2
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:12 am 
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Hey there,
Here's a few nocturnes from my recital...there's a few things that I wish didn't happen in the performance, but I thought I'd post them. Hope you enjoy.
Nocturne in Eb, op. 55 no. 2
Nocturne in F#m, op. 48 no. 2.

Chopin - Nocturne in F sharp minor, Op. 48, no. 2

Chopin - Nocturne in E flat Major, Op. 55, no. 2

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Nocturnes: Eb, op. 55 no. 2; F#m op. 48 no.2
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:31 am 
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I listened to the E-flat.

Overall this is a decent performance, and kudos for having the courage to submit a live recording. The slips really don't bother me at all (they rarely do unless they become an overriding issue). But I do miss a bit the ethereal quality and dialogic structure of this nocturne, IMO one of Chopin's best. As a listener, I'm focusing on the left hand, and that's not a good thing in this genre (although it seemed better at the beginning and some other places). Some specifics:

1. Smoother connections between notes (and maybe just a tad lighter) may make the lefthand smoother and more flowing and the right hand able to sing more effectively. I was hearing almost a marchlike "da-da-da" in the accompaniment, which doesn't really work for a nocturne (IMO).

2. Some of the righthand's more florid figurations seemed just a tad awkward and uneven, particularly in the second half (around 2:25-2:45, and the trills around 3:35 that aren't bad but sound a bit struggly; there were incidentally though some very nice trills too earlier).

3. The ending had a nice lead-in but then the closing chords sounded a bit cumbersome to me rather than noble.

This is perhaps being pretty picky. You certainly had it well learned, and it's mostly solid, but as a performance it doesn't convince me musically and it may be connected with improving the technique in certain places. Have you listened to Ignaz Friedman's recording of it? IMHO the best recording of a nocturne that I've heard. That might be good for some ideas of phrasing etc. though of course in the end it should be your own. It just sounds to me as though you need to grow into the piece a bit more.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Nocturnes: Eb, op. 55 no. 2; F#m op. 48 no.2
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:59 am 
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I am short on time but just listened to your 48/2 because I know it well.
I think you did a very nice job on this! Really, I have nothing to pick on except perhaps your trills at the end were a little harsh-sounding. If you could make them a bit more delicate, your playing on this would be perfect. One other thing - I'm pretty sure it's just a difference in editions; I play the last note in the RH a third higher than you did here. Hmmm....I'll have to check my scores now (but I do prefer it with the higher note - it just puts that extra special finishing touch right there at the end. Ah, such beautiful Chopin...).

Overall, I think your playing in general has improved greatly from when we first heard you a couple years ago. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Nocturnes: Eb, op. 55 no. 2; F#m op. 48 no.2
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:14 pm
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Location: Illinois
I listened to both recordings and found both performances quite enjoyable. I really don't have anything to add that the others haven't said. Good job.

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Nocturnes: Eb, op. 55 no. 2; F#m op. 48 no.2
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:02 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:40 am
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Location: Muncie, IN
Thanks for the posts---I appreciate the feedback.
It's true---the LH is always where I find myself listening in his nocturnes...such tricky stuff.
Thanks for the comments---I will apply that to the next nocturnes I play (I'm thinking the op. 9 no. 2 in B and another one I haven't decided yet)
Rich

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Nocturnes: Eb, op. 55 no. 2; F#m op. 48 no.2
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:08 am 
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Richard,
Very nice playing! Excellent use of rubato, nice cantabile. Chopin would certainly be proud. Piano and recording very nice too. Thanks for posting.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Nocturnes: Eb, op. 55 no. 2; F#m op. 48 no.2
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:10 pm 
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Very nice indeed! The sound is good but the stereo image is weird because of time misalignment between L and R channel. I corrected that and did of few other modifications less necessary.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Nocturnes: Eb, op. 55 no. 2; F#m op. 48 no.2
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:21 am 
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Wow---thanks for the upload! It's not every day that someone posts a response of a nicely-edited copy of the original.
I greatly appreciate your time in doing this...I downloaded it and put it with my recordings.
Thanks again,
Rich

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Nocturnes: Eb, op. 55 no. 2; F#m op. 48 no.2
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:11 am 
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These are on the site.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Nocturnes: Eb, op. 55 no. 2; F#m op. 48 no.2
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:28 pm 
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I really enjoyed your playing of both of these nocturnes - you seem to have a touch that is made for Chopin, very sensitive, expressive, and above all fluid. The slips were for the most part no big deal because you have the ability to keep going (something I lack). The main thing I would have done differently in 48/2 (not that you should necessarily care) is to use more of a hands-separate rubato with the ornament in m. 41 and the similar ornament in the return of A. Most people play it just as you did, with the hands-together rubato, taking a lot of time, but I like it better when the tempo of the LH is persistent and the RH catches up as necessary, and I think that contrast of keeping time while at the same time ignoring it is one of the great beauties of Chopin, and one of the great challenges as well. Anyway, thanks for recording!

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Nocturnes: Eb, op. 55 no. 2; F#m op. 48 no.2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:52 pm 
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Right---about the rubato...I've heard it hands-separately, and really only one performer I heard really nailed it...unfortunately, yours truly can't pull that off (although, not for lack of trying).
Thanks for listening!
Rich

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Nocturnes: Eb, op. 55 no. 2; F#m op. 48 no.2
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:54 am 
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RichNocturne wrote:
Right---about the rubato...I've heard it hands-separately, and really only one performer I heard really nailed it...unfortunately, yours truly can't pull that off (although, not for lack of trying).

I sympathize. That was just the only thing that stuck out at me, and sometimes I think people don't even consider it because everyone plays the rubato hands-together. :( Good to hear you've at least tried. (tbh that's not surprising considering the general fluidity of your playing.) One thing I have tried that is helping a lot is playing rubato with the metronome. But you've probably done that too.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Nocturnes: Eb, op. 55 no. 2; F#m op. 48 no.2
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:14 am 
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Terez wrote:
I think people don't even consider it because everyone plays the rubato hands-together.
Maybe because most people (everybody?) think it sounds unmusical. IMO it is nothing more than MDD: Musical Dissociative Disorder. I think this has a certain mythical status. Consider that if it were a genuine musical virtue, it would not be associated with a single composer's piano works. Can anyone imagine Brahms, Liszt, Scriabin, Debbusy or Rachmaninoff played this way? Certainly I cannot. Has anyone every heard an orchestra doing this? Absolutely not! :shock:

Standing ready to Stand Corrected,
Eddy

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Nocturnes: Eb, op. 55 no. 2; F#m op. 48 no.2
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:36 am 
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musical-md wrote:
Terez wrote:
I think people don't even consider it because everyone plays the rubato hands-together.
Maybe because most people (everybody?) think it sounds unmusical. IMO it is nothing more than MDD: Musical Dissociative Disorder. I think this has a certain mythical status. Consider that if it were a genuine musical virtue, it would not be associated with a single composer's piano works. Can anyone imagine Brahms, Liszt, Scriabin, Debbusy or Rachmaninoff played this way? Certainly I cannot. Has anyone ever heard an orchestra doing this? Absolutely not! :shock:

Standing ready to Stand Corrected,
Eddy


It's reasonably common in opera, and works well in piano works that show operatic qualities (a lot of Liszt, some Chopin, occasionally in Mozart slow movements, but not Debussy or Rachmaninoff). In my opinion this sort of rubato is becoming rarer in piano playing because we tend to over-specialise: pianists don't listen to enough opera (and singers don't listen to enough instrumental music)! I haven't heard an orchestra alone doing this (at least, not deliberately), but I've heard it done by the the combination of orchestra plus voice.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Nocturnes: Eb, op. 55 no. 2; F#m op. 48 no.2
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:29 am 
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musical-md wrote:
Terez wrote:
I think people don't even consider it because everyone plays the rubato hands-together.
Maybe because most people (everybody?) think it sounds unmusical.

Oh, it can, depending on the pianist. Like Rich said, people rarely nail it. If you still think it sounds unmusical when it's nailed, then you'd have probably been in the Berlioz camp regarding Chopin's own playing. (A relatively small camp, but you're welcome to it. :wink: ) I think it sounds incredibly unmusical when people play Chopin too straight, and I think hands-together rubato often sounds tacky, and disrupts the pulse of the music.

Quote:
Can anyone imagine Brahms, Liszt, Scriabin, Debbusy or Rachmaninoff played this way?

Rachmaninoff did sometimes, IIRC. I will have to dig through some recordings later. Orchestras generally can't do it, unless there is a soloist involved (and the opportunities for this are probably rare). Typically the conductor follows the soloist, but it doesn't necessary have to be that way. The distinction is probably the root of Berlioz's issues with Chopin's playing; conductors are accustomed to both rigid tempo and compulsory synchronicity.

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