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 Post subject: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:46 am 
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I already had these three Field nocturnes on the site, but they were some of my early recordings and not only was the playing shoddy, but so was the sound quality. I hope I've improved somewhat in both these aspects. Same goes for the Chopin nocturne. Good night. :) (I've put myself to sleep playing these all afternoon....)


Field - Nocturne No.1 in E flat major

Field - Nocturne No.5 in B flat major

Field - Nocturne No.15 in D minor

Chopin - Nocturne in G minor, Op. 37, No. 1

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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:50 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:53 pm
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Location: France
Hi Monica,

I listened to the Chopin nocturne. It is beautiful. However you might have larger dynamics.

Your sound is very clean. (I shall have missed the announce of you new recording set or is it still the Edirol ? :oops: )
But it is too dry for my taste. It makes me miss partly the dream mood from this nocturne. I processed your recording to get a sound that makes me enjoy more this music. :)

Cheers,

Didier


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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:19 pm 
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Hi Didier,

Thank you for 'Didierizing' me. :) It's been a while since you have done so. I'm still using my Edirol, but I have it in a different place than I had in my earlier recordings. Also, back then I was compressing at 128 kbps - I don't know why, actually because I just didn't know about those things. I still don't know that much, but I'm now using Audition as my editing program and have settled on the reverb Full - Lecture Hall. The file you made sounds a little smoother to me.

Regarding my dynamics - I admit I'm not always very good at that, but I feel like in Chopin - especially the nocturnes, one should not play too loudly. I don't think Chopin's markings of ff meant the same to him as they do to us today. Probably a dumb excuse for my lack of good dynamics, but it's the only one I've got.... :oops: :lol:

But now I have a new problem - my Field recordings on the site will not play. I get a Quicktime icon with a question mark in the middle of it. I was having the problem last night too, but thought it was working. I uploaded my files three or four times. Can anyone please click on one of the Field nocturnes here and tell me if it plays for you?

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:05 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
But now I have a new problem - my Field recordings on the site will not play. I get a Quicktime icon with a question mark in the middle of it. I was having the problem last night too, but thought it was working. I uploaded my files three or four times. Can anyone please click on one of the Field nocturnes here and tell me if it plays for you?

They play fine for me. At least I heard the beginnings ;-) I think your computer has been invaded by aliens again.
The new reverb sounds very good to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:57 pm 
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Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Monica,
All the files open for me. I think these are all very nicely played.

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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
Good to hear some Field once in a while. Nicely played. These appear to be relatively slight pieces and to not have the drama and darker aspects present in Chopin, so I think you are right to play them in a fairly understated manner avoiding significant use of romantic-era mannerisms and gestures; however I would suggest is that your dynamic range is a bit restricted. Once again, thoroughly enjoyable to listen to.


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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:24 pm 
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techneut wrote:
pianolady wrote:
But now I have a new problem - my Field recordings on the site will not play. I get a Quicktime icon with a question mark in the middle of it. I was having the problem last night too, but thought it was working. I uploaded my files three or four times. Can anyone please click on one of the Field nocturnes here and tell me if it plays for you?

They play fine for me. At least I heard the beginnings ;-) I think your computer has been invaded by aliens again.
The new reverb sounds very good to me.

Thanks for checking. :D I'm glad the reverb sounds okay. One of those things that you can experiment with for many many hours and still not try out all the different possibilities. And then there is all that equalizer stuff! I wish I knew more about that, but really there is so much there. I feel like I'd need to go back to college to learn it all. Even so, I'd like to learn how to take out some of the 'hard' tones from my piano - the brightness. There must be settings on the program for that but heck if I know what/where it is. And yes, those darn aliens! Must be the same ones that are jumping around inside my chest.... :wink:

musical-md wrote:
Monica,
All the files open for me. I think these are all very nicely played.


Thank you too, Eddy! :D

andrew wrote:
Good to hear some Field once in a while. Nicely played. These appear to be relatively slight pieces and to not have the drama and darker aspects present in Chopin, so I think you are right to play them in a fairly understated manner avoiding significant use of romantic-era mannerisms and gestures; however I would suggest is that your dynamic range is a bit restricted. Once again, thoroughly enjoyable to listen to.


Thank you, Andrew. :D You are right about these nocturnes being slight compared to Chopin's. As usual, Chopin took a genre and totally made it his own. However, these 'little' nocturnes here are not as easy to play as they sound. It's the left hand that is hard because it jumps all over the place and yet you have to keep it steady and every note balanced. I had to do about a thousand retakes because of inaudible notes, or notes that came down too hard, things like that. Re: dynamics; I know I can improve on them like usual, but really I don't think some nocturnes should have drastic dynamics. Also keep in mind the time when they were written pianos did not have the dynamic capabilities that our modern pianos have. That sounds plausible, doesn't it? :)


But wait....the aliens - they have now attacked two of my Field nocturnes. OMG, I can't believe it!! :shock: :shock: I've cut out just about 1/2 minute of each file so you can hear what I'm talking about....

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:41 pm 
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They must not like Field much. Can't say I blame them :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
pianolady wrote:
andrew wrote:
..however I would suggest is that your dynamic range is a bit restricted. Once again, thoroughly enjoyable to listen to.

..Re: dynamics; I know I can improve on them like usual, but really I don't think some nocturnes should have drastic dynamics. Also keep in mind the time when they were written pianos did not have the dynamic capabilities that our modern pianos have. That sounds plausible, doesn't it? :)


Yes, I agree, these are not "big extremes of ff and pp" type pieces. To clarify what I meant, whilst you do quite well in terms of having the melody predominant over the accompaniment, and there certainly are some nice musical touches, the dynamics of the melody are a bit samey and a little nuance and inflection within it would go a long way. To put it another way, your dynamic gradation [of the melody] seems a bit linear when sometimes it would benefit from some undulation. Please don't take my criticism too strongly; your playing is innately elegant and clean but with pieces such as these I believe that getting the subtle nuances of tone and touch across makes all the difference between an effective performance and a truly artistic one.

(edited)


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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:56 pm 
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andrew wrote:
pianolady wrote:
andrew wrote:
..however I would suggest is that your dynamic range is a bit restricted. Once again, thoroughly enjoyable to listen to.

..Re: dynamics; I know I can improve on them like usual, but really I don't think some nocturnes should have drastic dynamics. Also keep in mind the time when they were written pianos did not have the dynamic capabilities that our modern pianos have. That sounds plausible, doesn't it? :)


Yes, I agree, these are not "big extremes of ff and pp" type pieces. To clarify what I meant, whilst you do quite well in terms of having the melody predominant over the accompaniment, and there certainly are some nice musical touches, the dynamics of the melody are a bit samey and a little nuance and inflection within it would go a long way. To put it another way, your dynamic gradation [of the melody] seems a bit linear when sometimes it would benefit from some undulation. Please don't take my criticism too strongly; your playing is innately elegant and clean but with pieces such as these I believe that getting the subtle nuances of tone and touch across makes all the difference between an effective performance and a truly artistic one.

(edited)


That's okay, I understand what you are saying. :) Thank you for the suggestion!! If I can find more time to spend on these, I'll definitely work on that.

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:49 pm 
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andrew wrote:
(edited)

Nope, I don't think so :D

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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:52 pm 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
techneut wrote:
andrew wrote:
(edited)

Nope, I don't think so :D


(edited) :wink:

You been reading my edits?


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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:47 pm 
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Posts: 494
Location: Connecticut, USA
Hi Monica,

I listened to the first two Field nocturnes and the Chopin. The Field seem very well played in general. Good balance between the right and left hands and steady pulse. They could perhaps be a bit more fluid and dreamy in places and the finger legato a bit more secure IMHO, but overall very good.

As for the Chopin. it's nice to hear this one played (it seems to be less often played than some others). Again good job overall, but it being Chopin, I do have some nitpicks and suggestions (I followed along with score):

1. In the second measure, the turn notes are clearly marked as being before the beat, but yours seem on the beat. Generally, ornaments in Chopin do tend to be on the beat unless it's marked otherwise as here. Could be a difference in editions of course.

2. A few dotted rhythms don't seem quite precise to me. For example, the dotted 16th rhythm in measure 5 seemed held too long (also the one in the recap).

3. At a couple of points, you noticeably rush (measures 10-13 and the reprise in 76-79). This may be intentional, but it didn't seem quite natural to me.

4. For the longer trills (measures 9, 75), you stop in the middle rather than play them through the rest of the measure. Since Chopin indicates them as over half notes and writes the termination notes (at least in my edition), I think he intends for them to be played fluidly through to the next measure.

5. The filigree passage that begins with a chromatic scale (measures 37 and 87) seems a bit unclear/uneven to my ears with a couple of dropped notes. This might be one passage to work on a bit more.

6. Nice work on the chorale-like E-flat major middle section. Nothing to nitpick here. I like your rubato, which seems to have a dash of heroism.

Although this is IMO not one of the more difficult nocturnes, it still is very tricky to get just right with all the grace-note filigree. Many of these you do well, but some could be tossed off with greater fluidity and panache. Just my opinion of course. Nevertheless, I enjoyed listening as always.

Joe

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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:30 am 
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Hi Monica,

I had a listen to your nocturnes by Field. Well played! The three Field Nocturnes felt, to me, conceived in a dream-like state, which I suppose is appropriate for it being a nocturne :P For criticism, if you were to record this again I would echo didier in that I would try to increase the dynamic range so the soft is barely audible and the "ff" sound as if digging into the keys. This is just for the field nocturnes. I was not able to get the Chopin nocturne to play for some reason? It directed me to a box that said "newer version needs to be installed" :evil: . I am using a lab computer now so its quicktime may be out of date.

Sounded nice,

~Riley

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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:45 am 
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Thank you for the detailed critique, Joe! :D

The turn notes in the second measure...I never really noticed that they are before the beat, but I think you are right. I tried it out on my piano just now, but it's hard to do; there is no time! Those rushing spots - that's just me....I feel like it's a tiny bit of joy and I tend to want to animate it a bit. Maybe it doesn't work and is just plain stupid. The long trilll - again, you're right about that - I cut it off too soon. And the long chromatic tiny notes....it's psychological. When I'm getting close to that spot my head starts thinking, "oh no, here it comes, that hard run", and so I get nervous and flub it up. I just now practiced it about a hundred times. Thank you again for all this - I will make a new re-re-recording tomorrow night and correct these things. :)

@Riley - thank you for listening. And again, I too am having the same problem. None of the links at the top will open for me. My Quicktime must be screwed up. I hope it's just that.

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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