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?