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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:50 pm 
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Hi Richard,

I too really enjoy Op. 11, No. 1. It has a very beautiful, haunting sound. As for 31/2, the issue there, of course, is managing melody and accompaniment within the same hand (RH) while layering the dynamics appropriately including those in the left hand accompaniment. When I say "issue" it raises a larger and more interesting point. Quite often in the preludes of Chopin, Liadoff, and even Rachmaninoff what I've encountered and have come to appreciate is that often these "preludes" turn out to be small etudes focusing on particular technical problems. For that reason I've always looked at them as not only an introduction to the composer's idiom, intrinsically beautiful music, and a fine way to prepare for that composer's larger pieces, but also as a way to strengthen one's piano technique in general.

Thanks for listening to these pieces.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:40 pm 
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Rachfan wrote:
For me finding volumes dedicated only to Liadoff's preludes was a boon in preparing these pieces. The reason? I dislike mazurkas!

Huh :!: :?: :? :roll: :shock: :x :evil:

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:00 am 
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Hi Chris,

Yes, it's true, generally I dislike mazurkas except maybe two or three that Chopin wrote. When it comes to dance forms for piano, I do occasionally make an exception for a waltz, but only if it sounds sufficiently scandalous. :lol: Dvorak's dances are appealing too.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:39 pm 
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Rachfan wrote:
For me finding volumes dedicated only to Liadoff's preludes was a boon in preparing these pieces. The reason? I dislike mazurkas! Otherwise, I would have had to comb through every opus on the IMSLP, including the mazukas, trying to find, separate and extract the preludes. Worked fine for me given my purpose! :) I can also understand that for other pianists taking a broader view of these pieces, that a mixed edition would be more suitable.

David

But then a Mazurka is a defined form. While you might get away calling a prelude a romance, calling a mazurka a prelude will result in a mazurka that has been misnamed a prelude!

You are quite right: many shorter pieces make for wondeful technical studies. Just as Oswald's Il Neige is a wonderful etude on triplets. Play that piece well and never again will a triplet bother you!

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:07 pm 
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Hi Richard,

I would agree that it's difficult to define a 19th century prelude other than to say that it's a pianistic character piece, and in Scriabin's case, even seemingly improvisatory at times. Similarly, there would be extensive discussion on what formally constitutes an intermezzo (in the pianistic, not the operatic sense) or a moment musical of that same era or early 20th century. I cannot disagree that a mazurka, bourree, gigue, allemande, gavotte, waltz, tango, etc. each refers to a specific dance form with its own rhythmic distinctions. So yes, it would certainly be near impossible to refer to a dance form as a prelude. Yet... Bortkiewicz's Prelude 33/8 is clearly a waltz as is Debussy's character piece "La plus que lente". And Rachmaninoff's Moment Musical 16/5 is unmistakably a fine barcarolle. So, never say never! There seems to be an exception to every rule. Preludes of the romantic era are certainly well appreciated though. I've never heard anyone complain about hearing Chopin's 24 played in succession!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:25 pm 
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Rachfan wrote:
I've never heard anyone complain about hearing Chopin's 24 played in succession!

Unless someone happens to dislike preludes :P

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:53 pm 
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Hi,

True, but I've just not encountered one yet, although I probably don't get out much. :lol:

David

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:37 pm 
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Add me to the list of the Chopin Preludes. 24 are too many all in a row. I lose count after the 10th and then always hope the next one is the last! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:50 pm 
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Hi Richard,

The reason you're losing count is because you only have 10 fingers. If you're going to listen to the entire Chopin Op. 28, a good strategy would be to bring along to the recital a miniature pocket abacus and then move a bead after each prelude. This would also be ideal for long sets of variations. I tell you it will work famously. :lol: :wink: Just joking.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:45 am 
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Hi David,

Very nice playing of IMO a highly underrated composer. I'm actually not very familiar with Liadov's music, but what I've heard I've really liked, starting with that nice little bon-bon The Musical Snuffbox. He seems a master of small forms, especially the character piece. These preludes seem impressionistic in spirit (I thought I heard flashes of Debussy) with some typical Russian chromatic harmony thrown in. That last one is probably my favorite -- a beautiful, vaguely melancholy, Russian tune.

Regarding the playing, I particularly liked your phrasing at the end of the middle two preludes and your overall sensitivity to the harmonic changes. Very nice too, that you keep an accurate rhythmic pulse. Perhaps there are a few places you could have a bit more freedom -- sometimes it almost seems to sounds a bit too metronomic to me and could use more rubato -- but we know that my tastes in rubato are not everyone's :P

Very good playing! Thanks for introducing us to these pieces.

Joe

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:10 am 
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Hi Joe,

Thanks for listening and commenting. It's true that Liadoff mostly preferred working in small forms. And there are obviously some gorgeous pieces in his oevre. When it came to large forms, he did show his potential in works like "The Enchanted Lake" for orchestra. But his biggest obstacle was indolence and procrastination. He couldn't stay on task and schedule, so he didn't achieve as much at that end of the musical spectrum. For example, he left unfinished a ballet suite. I truly think that Liadoff doubted his own capabilities--he didn't believe in himself. Getting back to his piano music, I've been most impressed by Liadoff's sense and treatment of polyphony. There are times when the accompaniment transforms a piece to a melodic duet resulting in interesting textures and voice leading.

I haven't studied with artist teachers since 1993, and have been communing with the composers since then. When I delve into the composing idiom of a composer whose music is new to me, immediately I wonder what that composer will teach me about playing the piano. And I must say, the teachings of Bortkiewicz, Catoire, Medtner and Liadoff (and now Glazunoff) have been invaluable.

On that last prelude that you mention, in retrospect, in the same way that Chopin's Prelude No. 7 in A is probably the most terrifying of Op. 28, this Liadoff Prelude Op. 40, No. 3 similarly has a very transparent texture. For the pianist, there's no place to hide there! The tempo is a very slow lento, and seems like a child's lament. I admit that I was tempted to ignore the tempo marking, play the piece adagio, and give it a more sensuous sound. But its hallmark is its very simplicity, so I decided to honor the composer's wishes and play it as written. I'm glad I did because as I've listened to it a few times since, it has grown on me.

Yes, you're quite right, I could have definitely employed more rubato in places. I spent only the time necessary to make these recordings. If I were to live with these pieces longer, I'm positive there would be more rubato in my playing of these works.

Thanks for your compliment on my playing!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:36 am 
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Hi David,
I have enjoyed your performances of these little gems very much. Your playing is great and expressive and you seem perfectly to capture the right atmosphere of these pieces!
To op. 11: You bring out the "waves" of cresc.-decresc. very well. The figures in bar 67 and parallel before seem quite complicated to me, but I think, it´s right to play the two thirytysecond-notes of the upper voice after the bass-figure.
To op. 24: That´s a true enlightening miniature. The up-going eigths have something touching for me. Great playing!
To op. 31: This one has a bit of the Chopin-prelude with the same title (Largo), isn´t it? A deep and moving piece and your performance deserves absolutely the same attributes.
To op. 42: a chromatic arabasque to which your contemplative and calm interpretation embraces in every aspect.

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:35 pm 
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Hi Andreas,

I'm glad you could listen to these recordings and I very much value your compliments!

In 11/1 I decided to play it the challenging way. That is, instead of keeping the LH subdued while letting the RH do the cresc.-dimin. effects, I knew it would be more dramatic for both hands to participate in that way--but it would also be more difficult to restrain the LH enough so as not to drown out the RH, where the LH is in a lower and more powerful register. Much attention went to balancing the hands properly. There were a couple of measures where it was a struggle for the RH to prevail, but it pretty much worked overall. Yes I too wondered about those two pesky 32nd notes you mentioned, but I think it sounds OK. That entire figure is Chopinesque ornamentation.

I believe the Op. 24 has some excitement in the air. It's a very bright piece which contrasts well with the others that are more somber and melancholy.

You're absolutely correct. In regards to technique for this Op. 31 largo, I used Chopin's "Prelude" Op. 28, No. 4 in E, also largo, as the model of playing inside the keys to keep the double notes as quiet as possible. In that Chopin piece it's done for the left hand chords, but in the case of this Liadoff piece, I had to transfer that technique up to the right hand which also plays melody. It's interesting how when we learn a particular principle of pianism when we're young, we often associate it with the piece where we first encountered it. Another good example is playing a 2 against 3 polyrhythm. I always think of Grieg's "Notturno" Op. 54, No. 4.

The Op. 42, a little lament, was as scary as Chopin's "Prelude" No. 7 in A--the texture is so thin, sparse and simple that the pianist has no place to hide there. And trying to maintain a good legato at a very slow lento with passing tones limiting the pedal at times--a lot of work!

I'm glad I looked into this music of Liadoff. It impresses me in many ways. Thanks again, Andreas! :)

David

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:40 pm 
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Hi David,
I see you have made a lot of profound and elaborated notions of playing the fast figures in the first piece and also all the other preludes in general. That´s what one hears thoroughly. All is elaborated and well felt, so that your interpretations seem convincingly and they are a great enjoyment to listen to.
Yes, I also often think of certain pieces I have learned as a teenager when I am confronted with certain musical phenomenons. F.ex. when I see 3 eights against 4 in polyrhythm structure I always think of Chopin´s "Fantaisie-Impromptu", which I have practised a lot when I was fourteen or fifteen. I also think with such "basic pieces" we do learn a lot we can benefit from our whole life. It´s a nice matter of music, that many structural phenomenons repeat and we can gain the more experience the more pieces we play. :D You for me are one of the best examples of a pianist with a good and great experience!

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 Post subject: Re: Liadoff, four more Preludes, Opp. 11/1, 24/1, 31/2 & 40/3
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:29 am 
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Hi Andreas,

Quote:
You for me are one of the best examples of a pianist with a good and great experience!


You are way too kind, but thanks so much for that! :)

David

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