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 Post subject: Pianist audition/first submissions
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:32 am 
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Posts: 261
Hello everyone,

I recently was fortunate enough to record some music in a proper studio and thought I would share the fruits of my labors here.

I notice that some of these pieces are already on the site. My interpretation of the Rachmaninoff prelude is substantially different from the one already here: depending on what kind of Allegretto you take, the piece can mean very different things. As for the Chopin, the Kendrick recording has a similar aesthetic to mine (bat out of hell approaches heaven). Kiely is definitely not on the site yet, but I think he's a fantastic young composer and, provided he takes time out from his copyright law studies to continue composing, he'll merit a place up there with the greats one day. Anyway, I will leave it to the judgment of the admins to decide whether my submissions are redundant with what's already posted, or not.

Also, I should probably say that the Kiely recordings are already on imslp.org. I do not know if you guys have any opinions about that. I know IMSLP often links to Piano Society pages for recordings of particular pieces, so hopefully you are all friends?

Attached:
Chopin - Scherzo no. 3 in C sharp minor, Op. 39. Recorded at Northfire Studios on a Yamaha C7 grand, Amherst MA. Public domain.
Rachmaninoff - Prelude no. 11 in B major, from 13 Preludes, Op. 32. Recorded at Northfire Studios on a Yamaha C7 grand, Amherst MA. Public domain.
Yagan Kiely - Bagatelles 1-5 from Set of Bagatelles. Recorded at home on a Yamaha P60 digital piano. Licensed CC BY-NC-SA.

I have more coming once I sort through the rest of the takes: some Handel, Bach, Haydn and Liszt. (can it be true that Piano Society does not yet have Valse oubliee no. 1??)

Biography:

Heather W. Reichgott began studying piano at age 7. Initially trained in the Suzuki method, she studied with Anne Parker, Kathy Krupa, Edward Ferdinand, Cassandra Carr and Peter Takacs (at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music). While still in high school, Reichgott performed the Grieg piano concerto, Bloch concerto grosso, and excerpts from "Carnival of the Animals" by Saint-Saens, with student orchestras. She was awarded the Award for Excellence in Concerto Performance by Seymour Bernstein at the Seattle Young Artists Music Festival for her performance of the Mozart Piano Concerto no. 9. An occasional composer, Reichgott also won the Northwest Regional category of the Music Teachers' National Association Composition Competition.

Reichgott has been a professional pianist in western Massachusetts since 2008, mostly as a ballet accompanist. She has released a CD of ballet music, "A Musical Feast for Ballet Class," available on cdbaby.com. She is beginning to pursue classical performance once again. Among her many interests is a fanatical devotion to libraries, and pushing the boundaries of what libraries might become; she is excited about free high-quality offerings of musical recordings and scores over the Internet, and is happy to be part of the Piano Society community.


Attachments:
kiely-bagatelles-5-reichgott.mp3 [996.04 KiB]
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kiely-bagatelles-4-reichgott.mp3 [1.49 MiB]
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kiely-bagatelles-3-reichgott.mp3 [764.83 KiB]
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kiely-bagatelles-2-reichgott.mp3 [665.59 KiB]
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kiely-bagatelles-1-reichgott.mp3 [617.76 KiB]
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rachmaninov-32-11-reichgott.mp3 [3.71 MiB]
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 Post subject: Re: Pianist audition/first submissions
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:51 am 
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Location: Carbondale, IL
Hi Heather,

Having read your bio, I now feel even better introduced to you!

I had a listen to your Chopin and some Kiely.

I think you play the Chopin well, your phrasing sounds nice, and your contrast in dynamics is polished, there seem to be a few notes that are heard bordering the correct notes, but I don't think they spoil the performance on the whole.

About your Kiely recordings, the sound of your digital piano is to my ears a little on the brittle side (I own a digital and this is my problem as well :x ) but I like your playing of these short bagatelles. I have never heard of Kiely, so this is my introduction. Is he/she from the present day? I ask because I do not know. To my ears the music is quite modern.

About your Rachmaninov recording, again your phrasing is sensitive and quite in tune with the music, so I say you play it well :) . What everybody else says, I don't know :wink:. This piece doesn't seem to call for grand gestures, like, for example, some of his preludes. Your interpretation seems kind of moody which seems to be the composer's intention.

Look forward to more of your recordings,

Riley

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Riley Tucker


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 Post subject: Re: Pianist audition/first submissions
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:11 pm 
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As you've been present on the forum for some time now, it is nice to have some introduction at last (if there was one earlier, I've missed it).

The studio recordings are in great sound. I envy you, it must be wonderful to get such an opportunity. You have a beautiful touch and phrasing and create some lovely sounds.

The Rach prelude is sensitively done though I find it a bit stilted. Partly the slow tempo, partly the rests which seem
too long and abrupt to me. I always think of Schubert when playing this and would prefer a more gently dancing way with it. A matter of taste, of course. I haven't heard too many recordings of this one.

The Chopin Scherzo is not without its problems. There are many fine moments but you struggle too audibly with the double-octave sections. I understand the temptation to tackle something big for a studio recording but I believe this was not quite ready yet. The middle section is nicely done, maybe the tinkling carillons could be a bit clearer (I think some notes were missing). The coda does not unleash the fury that it IMO should. But hey, easier said than done. All
in all you cope bravely and don't lose your cool.

We don't mind duplicates on the site unless a recording is of considerably less quality than the existing ones. That is certainly not the case here but I do hesitate about the Chopin because problems with the octave sections.

Can't say I care much for the Kiely Bagatelles. Although they do have some interesting moments, especially no.4, I don't hear much purpose in his music, to me they sound a bit like post-Prokofiev but without the good tunes. You do your best for them, no quibbles on the performance, but the digital sound does not help, especially in no.3 which
could otherwise have been nice.

There will be no problem with IMSLP on these because we have a good working relationship.

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 Post subject: Re: Pianist audition/first submissions
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:59 pm 
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Hello Riley and Chris,

Thanks for listening and for the thoughtful comments!

If anyone has suggestions on how to create better-sounding recordings at home, I'll happily take them. I could put reverb, equalization and other post-production on recordings, but I don't really know how to use those to advantage. In addition to the digital piano I have a Cable Nelson baby grand and a spinet. I've never had luck with recording the acoustic pianos at home because I get a lot of white noise and a weird muddly sound that makes the piano sound out of tune even when it isn't. I've been recording on the digital just because it plugs directly into the computer and I don't have to worry about all that noise.

I agree that a more dancing tempo would also work well on the Rachmaninoff prelude. (I play a lot of Schubert waltzes in dance classes and enjoy them a lot.) What I like about the slower tempo is the contemplative, longing quality it creates.

It's interesting that you mention the double octave sections. I could point to a couple spots in the Scherzo that I have always found difficult (parts of the Presto con fuoco, for example). I certainly don't mind admitting that. But I do not find the double octaves challenging; they are not so different from double-octave technical exercises I've been doing for years. I do take more rubato there than on other parts of the piece. I wonder if the rubato comes across as groping for the right notes?

I do appreciate your comment about the coda, it gives me something valuable to take into practice!

-hreichgott


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 Post subject: Re: Pianist audition/first submissions
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:16 pm 
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hreichgott wrote:
I agree that a more dancing tempo would also work well on the Rachmaninoff prelude. (I play a lot of Schubert waltzes in dance classes and enjoy them a lot.) What I like about the slower tempo is the contemplative, longing quality it creates.
Yeah that would work. But then IMO it needs to be more flowing too, maybe like a lullaby.

hreichgott wrote:
It's interesting that you mention the double octave sections. I could point to a couple spots in the Scherzo that I have always found difficult (parts of the Presto con fuoco, for example). I certainly don't mind admitting that. But I do not find the double octaves challenging; they are not so different from double-octave technical exercises I've been doing for years. I do take more rubato there than on other parts of the piece. I wonder if the rubato comes across as groping for the right notes?
Probably :) I find your rhythm really strange here, it sounds as if you hesitate before jump, and play dotted/eight notes where not written (although that could depend on edition). A touch of rubato is fine here but it should not sound so fragmented. Indeed these runs are not overly difficult.

hreichgott wrote:
I do appreciate your comment about the coda, it gives me something valuable to take into practice!
As in some other big Chopin pieces, this coda is a seething piece of turmoil. Or at least I think it should be for the work to make its point.

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 Post subject: Re: Pianist audition/first submissions
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:33 pm 
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In the Chopin Scherzo, I can't make out how to play bars 30 and 46. I found 3 different variants, see images. Though I have the Peters, I've always played it like in Breitkopf. You play as in Schirmer. I find these syncope's sound funny and would trust Brahms and Liszt to get it right in the Breitkopf. Then again Mikuli was close to Chopin. The difference in Peters is probbaly a typo, they sometimes have problems printing rests correctly :roll:

Now, you Chopin scholars out there, what is the right way here ?


Attachments:
File comment: Peters (Ed. Scholtz, von Pozniak)
peters.jpg
peters.jpg [ 66.01 KiB | Viewed 2423 times ]
File comment: Schirmer (Ed. Mikuli)
mikuli.jpg
mikuli.jpg [ 59.13 KiB | Viewed 2423 times ]
File comment: Breitkopf (Ed. Bargiel, Brahms, Liszt, Franchomme, Reinecke, Ludorff)
breitkopf.jpg
breitkopf.jpg [ 76.1 KiB | Viewed 2423 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Pianist audition/first submissions
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:34 am 
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Chris,
This piece is currently back in my hands, though I learned it in my teens. I have the Paderewski edition. I use the comments to understand the differences. All I can tell you is that the way I play it is as in your Peters edition. I'll add that it is consistent with Chopin's penchant for changing some detail with repetitions.

Eddy

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Pianist audition/first submissions
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:04 am 
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Heather,
I welcome you and your submissions. Thank you for these. However, your performance of the Chopin really perplexed me. It is ovious that you can play the music so I am confounded to understand why you play it the way you do. On the first page and recurrences of the same octave passages, only two words come to mind: halting and stuttering. It basically comes across as if you are unable to play it in time. I have to say that this trait essentially ruins your performance for me. Then in the Chorale section with the cascades: your tempo fluctuates wildly. In fact, I think your performance in general suffers from severe fragmentation of the work. It seems that you look at it phrase by phrase, or sub-phrase by sub-phrase and are missing the larger picture and cohesivness of the piece. I won't comment with specifics on the sprinkling of wrong/missed notes because that is less important to me in comparison (and I would hope for some grace in that department when I submit this work), but I really think you need to reconsider this work with the intent of keeping the tempo consistent within the sections. Sorry to be critical, and to be sure, I know that what goes around (from me) comes around (to me). I have not audited your other submissions yet.

Hoping to be helpful

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Pianist audition/first submissions
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:48 am 
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musical-md wrote:
I have the Paderewski edition. I use the comments to understand the differences. All I can tell you is that the way I play it is as in your Peters edition. I'll add that it is consistent with Chopin's penchant for changing some detail with repetitions.
I don't have the Paderewski for the Scherzi, and it's not in IMSLP. Does that have it the same as Peters then ?
Yes Chopin often adds a rhythmic twist when restating a phrase. In this case it still seems more like a Peters print error (though it is the same in the recapitulation). Most of all I don't think it sounds right. Have to listen to some performances now.

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 Post subject: Re: Pianist audition/first submissions
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:53 am 
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musical-md wrote:
However, your performance of the Chopin really perplexed me. It is ovious that you can play the music so I am confounded to understand why you play it the way you do. On the first page and recurrences of the same octave passages, only two words come to mind: halting and stuttering. It basically comes across as if you are unable to play it in time. I have to say that this trait essentially ruins your performance for me. Then in the Chorale section with the cascades: your tempo fluctuates wildly. In fact, I think your performance in general suffers from severe fragmentation of the work. It seems that you look at it phrase by phrase, or sub-phrase by sub-phrase and are missing the larger picture and cohesivness of the piece. I won't comment with specifics on the sprinkling of wrong/missed notes because that is less important to me in comparison

I'll have to concur with that. The botched octaves basically spoil the whole experience which would otherwise have been good despite a fair number of slips. Pity, as it is a musical performance with many nice things. It is the sole reason I did not yet offer to put all these on the site.

musical-md wrote:
(and I would hope for some grace in that department when I submit this work)
Absolutely not Eddy ! We expect no mistakes from you. A smattering will not do :P

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 Post subject: Re: Pianist audition/first submissions
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:08 pm 
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techneut wrote:
musical-md wrote:
I have the Paderewski edition. I use the comments to understand the differences. All I can tell you is that the way I play it is as in your Peters edition. I'll add that it is consistent with Chopin's penchant for changing some detail with repetitions.
I don't have the Paderewski for the Scherzi, and it's not in IMSLP. Does that have it the same as Peters then ?
Yes Chopin often adds a rhythmic twist when restating a phrase. In this case it still seems more like a Peters print error (though it is the same in the recapitulation). Most of all I don't think it sounds right. Have to listen to some performances now.

Chris,
I believe it is as the Breitkopf, but due to the end notes (and guidance from my first concert-pianist-teacher), I play it like the Peters.
I'll confirm at end of my day (or someone with the Paderewski might before me).

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Pianist audition/first submissions
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:29 pm 
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Wow. There are a lot of strong opinions here on this one.

I appreciate those who went to the trouble to look at snippets of that rhythm from different editions. (I learned from the Schirmer edition and have Peters.)

The overall purpose here is a sense of turmoil in the A theme, and peace in the B theme. Of course rubato is not the only way to carry off turmoil, and if it bothers the ears of so many, I probably ought to rethink it for future performances.

Thank you for listening, and you've given me a lot to think about!

Heather


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 Post subject: Re: Pianist audition/first submissions
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:32 am 
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techneut wrote:
musical-md wrote:
I have the Paderewski edition. I use the comments to understand the differences. All I can tell you is that the way I play it is as in your Peters edition. I'll add that it is consistent with Chopin's penchant for changing some detail with repetitions.
I don't have the Paderewski for the Scherzi, and it's not in IMSLP. Does that have it the same as Peters then ?
Yes Chopin often adds a rhythmic twist when restating a phrase. In this case it still seems more like a Peters print error (though it is the same in the recapitulation). Most of all I don't think it sounds right. Have to listen to some performances now.

I've just checked and the Paderewski adopsts Mikuli's version "in view of the disagreement and inconsistency of the original texts." It indicates, however, "Bar 31. the original version has the rhythm <as in the Peters>"

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Pianist audition/first submissions
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:45 pm 
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Well then, seems like Peters is 'right' for a change. I'll ignore it all the same, and to stick to the more straight Breitkopf version. That rhythmic hop in a fast-ish octave run sounds totally unnatural to me.

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