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 Post subject: Godowsky - The Gardens of Buitenzorg
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:09 pm 
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"The Gardens of Buitenzorg" is no. 8 of Godowsky's colorful Java Suite.
An exquisitely beautiful piece IMO. Godowsky's original works are scandalously neglected compared to to his transcriptions and arangements. The Java Suite shows him as a sensitive and perceptive composer, conjuring colors and textures rivaling those in Iberia and Goyescas. I wish I had the technical means to complete this suite one day, but I fear some items will remain out of my reach. This is one of the 'easier' ones but even here, Godowsky's multi-layered writing poses some problems.

An Andreas would say, the mp3 is the exact soundtrack of the video :D

Godowsky - Java Suite - 8: The Gardens of Buitenzorg (4:33)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiPU3RYvA7c

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky - The Gardens of Buitenzorg
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:42 am 
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Hi Chris,

This piece of Godowsky is very beautiful indeed. You played it very convincingly in my opinion, and it sounds quite difficult too. Whenever you have multiple sequential and ever changing small tone clusters in the figuration, there is little or no predictability to them. And being inspired by Java, there is that exotic quality to the music as well. The piece almost has an impressionistic sound. It must have taken more time and effort than usual to learn it and to feel secure in the accuracy of execution. Very nice and very different.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky - The Gardens of Buitenzorg
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:47 am 
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Rachfan wrote:
This piece of Godowsky is very beautiful indeed. You played it very convincingly in my opinion, and it sounds quite difficult too. Whenever you have multiple sequential and ever changing small tone clusters in the figuration, there is little or no predictability to them. And being inspired by Java, there is that exotic quality to the music as well. The piece almost has an impressionistic sound. It must have taken more time and effort than usual to learn it and to feel secure in the accuracy of execution. Very nice and very different.

Thanks you David. It's not a staggeringly difficult piece but quite a handful. Despite Godowsky's reputedly small hands, he demands a lot of wide stretches.

In hindsight I notice a number of read errors, slips and weak notes, and failure to bring out some important voices, that annoy me. Also, the dynamics are insufficient. Nothing seems harder than playing shades of piano and pianissimo. I was foolish to think I had this one nailed.

I love this Java Suite so much, its is a true treasure trove containing the most luxurious, opulent and beguiling jewels. It's the exoticism that appeals to me most of all. One of the pinnacles of all piano literature, IMHO. I just wish I could do it proud.

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky - The Gardens of Buitenzorg
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:50 pm 
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Not forgetting, of course, that at one point Java was also the Netherlands...

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky - The Gardens of Buitenzorg
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:18 am 
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Hello Chris,

Your performance is interesting. The lines are well communicated. You will of course, with time, create the nuances you desire. Meanwhile, your playing was a pleasure to listen to.

One hears many layers. It is almost geological in it's effect, like the layers of volcanic ash the island is built upon. There is a very different musicality about this piece, like strands of rock turned into jewels. For me, your playing created visual images of exotically colored jade like formations.

You did a good job and thank you so much for introducing this unknown gem of piano repertoire.

Much appreciation,
Kaila

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky - The Gardens of Buitenzorg
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:23 pm 
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Thanks Kaila, good to hear you appreciate the piece in a similar way as I do. It's in bringing out the different layers that I'm not completely successful here, and there are some read errors that I should have found earlier by more carefully listening to others. So I will be re-recording this piece before long because I can do better than this (story of my life, hehehe).

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky - The Gardens of Buitenzorg
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:42 pm 
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I'm not especially familiar with this piece, so can't comment on accuracy. I've heard it before, but a long time ago. My initial impression is that you've done pretty well with it, because you sound like you're in control and not struggling. From the Godowsky that I have looked at, I assuredly do appreciate that sounding in control of the music is an achievement in itself. Read errors can be fixed; my one concern is actually the piano sound. It seems a little bright and brittle in places and I'd prefer something a little more mellow. Perhaps that is a reflection on my tastes which verge on the kitsch at times, and not a comment on you! Well done.


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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky - The Gardens of Buitenzorg
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:56 am 
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Thanks for the feedback Andrew. I've lived with this wonderful piece for a long time and feel really comfortable with it now. If it wasn't for the read mistakes, which I should have discovered earlier, I would probably leave this as it is, despite one or two very minor slips in the climax. But I'll have to redo it now.

I'm a bit worried about what you say about the piano sound. It's not not optimally in tune anymore (though holding up well compared to before) but I think the sound is much fuller and richer than before. I have not changed anything in the recording setup or postprocessing, nor in the room, and I use the usual generous amount of pedal. Maybe my instrument just can't do full justice to Godowsky compared to a lavish 3m concert grand.

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky - The Gardens of Buitenzorg
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:41 pm 
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This is a really beautiful piece, indeed! Since you decided for a rerecording, I'd like to make a (hopefully) constructive comment (I listened to it twice, very carefully :) ). Apart from the read errors which I of course cannot detect, I got the impression that after climax your performance experiences a slight lack of concentration, because slight unevenness of 16ths (or 32ths? that repeated note value) is noticeable and your musical language sounds not so fluent as in the former part. It seems to be stammering or hesitating a bit. Is it just me, or do you agree, too, Chris?

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky - The Gardens of Buitenzorg
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:16 pm 
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Thanks Hye-Jin. I wasn't aware that the second half sounded hestitating or stammering compared to the first, nobody else mentioned that and I don't hear it myself. Perhaps it is just you :D Anyway, it is likely that the re-recording will be more fluent yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky - The Gardens of Buitenzorg
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:27 pm 
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hyenal wrote:
I got the impression that after climax your performance experiences a slight lack of concentration
Umm ... what's wrong with that? It's perfectly physiologic. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky - The Gardens of Buitenzorg
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:29 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Thanks for the feedback Andrew. I've lived with this wonderful piece for a long time and feel really comfortable with it now. If it wasn't for the read mistakes, which I should have discovered earlier, I would probably leave this as it is, despite one or two very minor slips in the climax. But I'll have to redo it now.

I'm a bit worried about what you say about the piano sound. It's not not optimally in tune anymore (though holding up well compared to before) but I think the sound is much fuller and richer than before. I have not changed anything in the recording setup or postprocessing, nor in the room, and I use the usual generous amount of pedal. Maybe my instrument just can't do full justice to Godowsky compared to a lavish 3m concert grand.


Yes, it has the air of a fully-matured interpretation. To me, the treble sounds a bit "glassy", not harsh but heading in that direction. If it's not optimally in tune, that might be symptomatic of it being a trifle sharp.


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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky - The Gardens of Buitenzorg
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:56 pm 
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Glad to hear that, thanks again !

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky - The Gardens of Buitenzorg
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:08 am 
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musical-md wrote:
hyenal wrote:
I got the impression that after climax your performance experiences a slight lack of concentration
Umm ... what's wrong with that? It's perfectly physiologic. :wink:

Actually you're right, Mr. Doctor :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Godowsky - The Gardens of Buitenzorg
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:37 am 
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Nothing wrong with my concentration :evil:

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