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 Post subject: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:12 am 
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Recently I had posted four Liadoff preludes which many listeners enjoyed, so I decided to present more of these pieces. Anatol Liadoff (1855-1914) was a Russian late romantic composer who had studied piano at the St. Petersburg Conservatory and composition with Rimsky-Korsakov, and in 1887 joined the faculty teaching mostly composition. The principal influence in his music was Chopin.

Here are the next pieces I have submitted in this posting:

Prelude, Op. 11, No. 1 in B minor (1886) marked moderato;
Prelude, Op. 24, No. 1 in E (1890) marked lento and dedicated to A. Sergeeva;
Prelude, Op. 31, No. 2 in B flat minor (1893) marked largo and dedicated to Porfini Trifonov; and
Prelude, Op. 40, No. 3 in D minor (1897) marked lento.

These miniatures are very short, altogether approximately 8 minutes total listening time, so I hope you’ll want to hear and enjoy the entire group.

Comments welcome.

Piano: Baldwin Model L Artist Grand (6’3”) with lid opened on the singer stick.
Recorder: Korg MR-1000
Microphones: Earthworks TC-20 matched pair of small diaphragm omni-directional condenser mics in
A-B configuration



Liadov - Prelude in B minor, Op. 11 No. 1
Liadov - Prelude in E major, Op. 24 No. 1
Liadov - Prelude in B-flat minor, Op. 31 No. 2
Liadov - Prelude in D minor, Op. 40 No. 3

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:38 am 
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Hi David, these are up. Sounded very nice and played well.
I have a little favor to ask you: If you submit more Liadov, please use the spelling standard on the site = Liadov. It saves me some time from having to change everything in your file names.
Thank you! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:17 am 
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Hi Monica,

Thanks for putting those pieces up for me. Sorry about the nomenclature thing. :oops: Although "never say never", I probably will be moving on to a different composer for my next effort. I was glad to do eight of these Liadov preludes though, which will help a little to fill out his page in the archive.

***As one final detail on these, could you please add A. Sergeeva as dedicatee for Prelude Op. 24 and Porfini Trifonov as dedicatee for Op. 31? Thanks again.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:48 am 
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Good work David. I especially like your rendition of Op.31 No.2.
Op.11 no.1 I find a bit impatient, and the LH rather too dominant. This needs more repose. more ebb and flow, the LH seemingly coming out of nowhere at the beginning. I find it helps in some places to let the RH take the top notes of the LH chords.
Op.24 no.1 seems rather too fast and literal to me, your tempo being way above the metronome mark. Op.40 no.3 is nicely done but it seems a rather uninspired piece. Nice to have more Liadov on the site. I am currently preparing re-recordings of the Op.10 and op.11 sets.

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:03 pm 
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Ok, David, I will add those names when I get to work. (on the train now ) you might have to remind me, or maybe Chris can do it.

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:16 pm 
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Hi Chris,

Thanks for listening and your feedback. Yes, I think I most enjoyed playing Op. 31, No. 2 and it probably shows.

The Op. 11, No. 1 is marked moderato which I usually interpret as a quarter = 66+ (even passing 100 in some instances). I did notice a very nice rendition with many leisurely nuances, however it was being played largo where a quarter = 44 and considering that it's in 2/4 with the LH chords being two beats of triplets. I was astounded! As tempting as that was, I decided not to do it as it could lead to criticism on the tempo. I'm not sure why in this haunting, lyrical piece Liadoff wanted moderato. It made little sense to me, so I played it approaching 60, definitely the slowest moderato possible. So the brisker tempo I used probably made it sound more "impatient". The piece would have been more effective marked adagio in my opinion. Yes, I was careful to make the opening appear out of nowhere to achieve a dolce effect there. It's not an easy effect to create and takes several efforts. Your comment on the LH sometimes being dominant is interesting. When I was first working on the piece, it became apparent to me that it was essential for the LH to participate in the crescendos and diminuendos, even though given the figuration, the RH could have handled that chore nicely by itself against a quiet and subdued accompaniment. But by allowing the LH a greater role in those dynamics added much drama to the piece, so I went with it. By in large, I think it was successful, although there is one brief spot in particular where the RH melody did struggled to stay on top.

Op. 24, No. 1. This piece is marked lento with a quarter = 50. I just listened, then turned on the metronome. My playing is just a hair faster, but very, very close to the marking. I think that what Liadoff was aiming for here was to create a sense of occasion in the way that Schumann or Grieg could. The opening almost suggests Russian bells to me, and there is a certain hustle and bustle and sense of great expectation in the air there. I do believe this is really the way it should be played.

Op. 40, No. 3. Believe it or not, I found this little piece the most difficult to play of the lot! It's marked lento, a quarter = 42. It's immediately obvious that the character of the piece is a lament. But 42??? At a higher marking, this piece could be so much more expressive in my opinion. I was tempted to just disregard the marking entirely. But then I came to this conclusion: The piece has a thin texture and is very transparent indeed. The music is also very childlike. Perhaps the child lost a household pet, or something similar. That lead me to believe that simplicity needed to rank very high in the interpretation. Bringing in too many expressive effects in this little piece would have likely created excesses. So I left well enough alone and honored Liadoff's tempo. Perhaps I could have employed more pedal, although the figuration is all passing and neighboring tones, so it would be pedaling every eighth note. So I relied more on "finger pedaling" and other judicious uses of pedal as opportunities allowed. Overall, I don't think this composition is one of the best in the volumes, but I was glad to play it nonetheless.

Good luck on your Op. 10 and 11 sets.

Oh, could you please glance at Monica's comment above on the dedicatees? I think it important that they be shown. Perhaps you two could flip a coin on it? :)

David

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Last edited by Rachfan on Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:58 pm 
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Rachfan wrote:
It's marked lento, a quarter = 42

I think that is too slow David, for it leaves little room for tempos slower than lento: grave, larghissimo, lentissimo, gravissimo (a pulse next to death!). As I write this it is interesting to note the relationship to hear rate. A "normal" heart rate is 60-100 bpm. Faster is tachycardia (or worse flutter or fibrillation), and slower is bradycardia. But where a heart rate of mid-to-high 50's attracts my attention, anything in the 40's wins you 2-days with a Holter monitor. If symptomatic too, you get a nice new pacemaker implanted in your chest, or even without symptoms if you're in the 30's or flirting with the 20's. It would be a fascinating study (IMO) to study the tempos of music to see if there are some that are outside "physiologic." Can a pattern be too slow or too fast to fall within the scope of human appreciation? Certainly this is true with frequency of sound. Just because a metronome can go as slow as the 40s does that mean that music (a strictly human affair) does also?

Curious,
Eddy

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:25 pm 
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Rachfan wrote:
Oh, could you please glance at Monica's comment above on the dedicatees? I think it important that they be shown. Perhaps you two could flip a coin on it? :)

David

David


I just did it. But Chris - can you please take off the bold type? My computer at work won't let me do it.

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:51 pm 
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It actually turned out to be a team effort. I think Liadoff would be pleased having those names included. Thanks!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:17 pm 
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Hi Eddy,

That's an interesting explanation of the human heartbeat. And yes, your thought of a study to correlated tempo with physiolgics would be fascinating. I'm trying to think of another piece that I've played at M a quarter = 42, and it eludes me. I can't tell you how I "itched" to just disregard it, as I was really straining to appreciate the music playing it so slowly while desperate to make it convincing too. Maybe this piece is actually meant as an etude, not a prelude. :lol: But as I described in my explanation, I felt that I had thought of a plausible supporting rationale that might explain Liadoff's intention, thus decided to play it as he wished. Whether it will be appreciated remains to be seen. I would bet that over the decades many have taken some significant liberties with that tempo. It is fact, of course, that many composers, like Brahms, were careful to include metronome markings and then when performing the pieces themselves totally disregarded their own markings, and when asked about it, just casually brushed it off. Could Liadoff be in that same boat? We might never know.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:13 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
I just did it. But Chris - can you please take off the bold type? My computer at work won't let me do it.

Tell your boss you need a new computer. Do it now. Never mind the spreadsheets and word documents, this is important.
I also added the word Dedication: because just the names looks a bit funny to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:44 pm 
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Thanks Monica and Chris for adding those dedications. While we know who Markoff and Blumenfeld were, some of the other names on these scores might be more obscure to us today, but clearly they were very important to Liadoff. So it's fitting that we note them here. I appreciate it!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:12 am 
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Rachfan wrote:
Hi Eddy,

That's an interesting explanation of the human heartbeat. And yes, your thought of a study to correlated tempo with physiolgics would be fascinating. I'm trying to think of another piece that I've played at M a quarter = 42, and it eludes me. I can't tell you how I "itched" to just disregard it, as I was really straining to appreciate the music playing it so slowly while desperate to make it convincing too. Maybe this piece is actually meant as an etude, not a prelude. :lol: But as I described in my explanation, I felt that I had thought of a plausible supporting rationale that might explain Liadoff's intention, thus decided to play it as he wished. Whether it will be appreciated remains to be seen. I would bet that over the decades many have taken some significant liberties with that tempo. It is fact, of course, that many composers, like Brahms, were careful to include metronome markings and then when performing the pieces themselves totally disregarded their own markings, and when asked about it, just casually brushed it off. Could Liadoff be in that same boat? We might never know.

David


I have a theory, David: Maybe the metronome marking is wrong. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:38 pm 
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Hi Richard,

I thought of that possibility too. What drew me away from it though is that writing in metronome markings was not an occasional thing with Liadoff. He did it a lot, which lead me to believe that he gave tempos considerable thought and was more likely meticulous about his markings.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:43 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
Rachfan wrote:
Hi Eddy,

That's an interesting explanation of the human heartbeat. And yes, your thought of a study to correlated tempo with physiolgics would be fascinating. I'm trying to think of another piece that I've played at M a quarter = 42, and it eludes me. I can't tell you how I "itched" to just disregard it, as I was really straining to appreciate the music playing it so slowly while desperate to make it convincing too. Maybe this piece is actually meant as an etude, not a prelude. :lol: But as I described in my explanation, I felt that I had thought of a plausible supporting rationale that might explain Liadoff's intention, thus decided to play it as he wished. Whether it will be appreciated remains to be seen. I would bet that over the decades many have taken some significant liberties with that tempo. It is fact, of course, that many composers, like Brahms, were careful to include metronome markings and then when performing the pieces themselves totally disregarded their own markings, and when asked about it, just casually brushed it off. Could Liadoff be in that same boat? We might never know.

David


I have a theory, David: Maybe the metronome marking is wrong. :roll:

It wouldn't be the first time (or the last). Heck, sometimes they can't even get the notes right. And then there's the outlandish fingering suggestions and the very poor phrasing slurs as if they didn't even understand the language of music! What's a little numeric at the beginning going to matter? Thank God there are pianists to interpret composer scratch, otherwise we would all play everything the same (or strive to). :mrgreen:

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