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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:37 am 
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Hi Monica,

I just listened to all your Field Nocturnes and they all sounded very nicely played to me. The only one I ever played was No. 5 in B flat, which is probably the best known and most popular one of the set.

Regarding the brightness of your piano, probably electronic editing is not the best answer. Rather some voicing of the hammers would be the better solution. My Baldwin is getting a bit bright now too. I keep hesitating because when the piano is voiced, its sound will go from the familiar to the unfamiliar. My fear is that I might not like the result. I sense you have that same worry.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:14 pm 
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Hi David,

Thank you for listening to my Field nocturnes. I've only ever played these three. I have the whole book, so maybe one day I'll look at some others.

Regarding voicing my piano - you're probably right about that being a better solution. My tuner was just over last Friday, but I was not home and so I didn't tell him about this. Darn it! He did however find the problem I had which was something rattling around on my F-sharp key. It was a paper clip that I had dropped down in there. :lol: Anyway, I think I could do some of the voicing myself. If I just prick the felts a little bit, it really takes off some of the harshness. Problem is that I can't find a needle or something like that long and skinny enough. Maybe I can purchase tools like that...hmmm...just gave myself the idea. :idea:

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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:45 am 
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Hi Monica,

Thank you for giving us these Field nocturnes. He is always one of those figures in music that I think about exploring when I read something on Chopin that alludes to Field's influence on the nocturnes and then go on with learning the music that I need to learn for church and school.

You played these nocturnes with elegance and restraint, two qualities that I believe serves this type of music well. This is pure piano music and IMHO orchestral arrangements or other transcriptions do it no good.

Listening to the Field nocturnes was enlightening. Throughout I heard figures and passages that were pure Chopin -- the very figures that I always equated with Chopin and no one else. Now it is obvious that Frederic "plagarised" them from John Field. It certainly seems to indicate that he found these musical moments as evocative of the "night" experience. (How terribly "Post-Modern" of me to say "'night' experience" when I could have just said "evocative of the night").

The main difference that I hear between the Field and the Chopin is that the Field L.H. accompaniments sound more basic and have less finesse than the Chopin. His form seems also more clear cut and creates a sense of more restraint. But remember, Field is a child of the late Viennese Classical period. His mentor was a classisist (though a romantic one at that -- there are moments where he out Beethovens Beethoven -- who greatly admired Clementi's music). Field is creating a new concept in piano music from scratch, so to speak. Chopin is enough younger that he has the opportunity to move this new piano idea forward.

[P.S. Monica, I know that you don't think much of Clementi because of what you have read about is treatment of John Field. Though I can't yet put my finger on it, I think that Clementi may be getting a bit of a bum rap here. The only prime source that I have found that says anything about Fields ill fitting clothes and other things that have made it to the history books was the book by Louis Spohr that talks about one meeting between himself and Clementi and Field. C & F were on tour and washing their own clothes. Spohr attributes this to cheapness, but there had been substantial financial loss in Clementi's piano company -- a fire -- earlier that may have helped cause this "cheapness". From what I have gathered, Clementi also did a lot to help Field secure a financially lucrative postion in St. Petersburg that put him in the presence of the nobility and earned him a lot of money. If we are to get after any composer for his treatment of others, we should go after Beethoven. Look what he did to his nepher, Karl, and Karl's mother! Heck, he drove Karl to a suicide attempt.]

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:57 pm 
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Thank you for listening to the Field nocturnes, Scott. I don't think any orchestral arrangement would work with them either.

Yes, Chopin clearly was influenced by Field. Wish we could know what Field would have thought of Chopin had Field lived longer and had a chance to hear Chopin’s nocturnes. And regarding the ‘nocturne’ or ‘night music’ – from what I’ve read, Chopin (and his circle of friends) would often stay at musical soirees way until into the morning hours. So there was plenty of ‘night’ time in which to play nocturnes. I can imagine what it would have been like to be at an elegant and intimate soiree in some exclusive mansion in Paris: it’s very late at night and people are tired but not yet ready to retire. Fireplaces are lit, and some candles still burn but not as many as earlier in the evening. The room is darkened yet cast in a warm, romantic glow, and then Chopin gets up and strolls to the piano, sits down, and plays one of his nocturnes. Ohhhh…I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about that! Hurry up with that time-travel machine, folks! (It's been confirmed that neutrinos travel faster than the speed of light, so time travel may be possible after all.... :D )

Regarding Clementi - I remember when I was researching Field to write his bio, I found several sources referring to Clementi’s sometimes crummy treatment of Field. Originally, I was going to put more about that in the Field bio, but decided against it. However, it did cloud my judgment about Clementi as a person. Did you know he was married three times? Wonder if he had a pre-nup? :lol: And yes, probably Beethoven gets the award for being a bigger ‘meanie’ than Clementi was.

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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:22 pm 
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Hi Monica,

No! :o Don't stick pins into the hammers! You might assume that you put them into the striking surface of the felt which is NOT the case. It goes into the shoulders. And, for voicing there are different mounted pins for different effects. And you need lacquer too, in case the voicing on a hammer was too much and needs to be reversed a bit. It's extremely easy to ruin a set of hammers, so better to leave it to the tech. One thing you can do--if you get a brass brush about the width of a toothbrush, you can pull out the action to get at the hammers and carefully brush the striking surface from front to back, then from back to front. Ideally two motions, no more than four. Do it precisely and crisply with just enough pressure, without pulling out strands of felt. The purpose of that is to get the metalic residue from the strings out of the grooves on the hammer felts. It will darken the tone a little, but lasts only for a week or two.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:54 am 
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Hi David, (and happy belated Thanksgiving! :) )

I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote about sticking needles in my hammers. I must have been asleep or something.... :) I've watched my technician use a needle but he didn't poke into the felts, he just used the tip to scrape the grooves a little bit - fluff them up to take off some or the brightness. I think your idea of a brass brush would work well too. Thank you very much for the instruction on how to do it. :)

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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: Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:20 am 
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Hi Monica,

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, as did we. :)

Whew! I'm glad you won't be undertaking voicing yourself.

When you do have the tech in to do voicing, if he just takes sandpaper to the striking surfaces, the result of that will be very short lived indeed. He needs to needle the entire scale from top to bottom and to take care to make it all blend well. He might have to use some lacquer to undo a few and to redo those. Also it would help a lot if you could be present. Then you can give feedback on results. Good luck with that when the time comes!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:43 pm 
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Hi Monica,

I had a listen to your Chopin, I like it a lot! The ornaments sound executed by nimble fingers! I do not have the score to this piece, but I thought I heard a note that sounded slightly sour in the surrounding harmonic context. The time in the audio file is at 0:48, 1:51, 5:05 it sounds like you play an e flat, but to my ears it should be an e natural? I think I have heard something like this in Schumann's Fantasy pieces, so maybe it is not a mistake :oops: I liked the long pause between two sections at 2:46, and the slow roll at 4:09 returning to the first idea :) And a nice end on B.

Look forward to more of your recordings

~Riley

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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:06 pm 
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Hi Riley,
Thank you for listening. :) No, it isn't a sour note; that's the way the music is written.

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

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: Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:02 am 
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Hi Monica,

I see! I listened back to your recording today and this minor 2nd dissonance does not sound so bad! I think it's growing on me :) I was able to get a copy of the score and everything looked good, just one little nitpick, seven measures from the end, there are two eighth notes (2nd beat in the right hand) and it sounded like you played them like a dotted figure, and a forgivable mistake as it seems most of the double notes beamed together in the piece are dotted. Besides that I did not notice anything in the score wrong against the performance.

~Riley

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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:05 pm 
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pianoman342 wrote:
just one little nitpick, seven measures from the end, there are two eighth notes (2nd beat in the right hand) and it sounded like you played them like a dotted figure, and a forgivable mistake as it seems most of the double notes beamed together in the piece are dotted. Besides that I did not notice anything in the score wrong against the performance.
~Riley


Hi Riley,

Throughout this nocturne Chopin flip-flopped those bars' rhythm everytime they occur, so it's very possible that I screwed up that one bar. Thank you for checking me on it - I need that because after awhile I just don't see every little dot or bar....

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

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: Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:26 pm 
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I just listened to the Nocturnes and you play then very well! Some day, I should try the father of the Nocturne genre myself.

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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:02 pm 
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Thank you, Robert. Yes, you should play some Field nocturnes. We could definitely use more on the site! :)

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

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: Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:07 pm 
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Made a tweet...and grammar error...must be more careful next time.

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 Post subject: Re: Nocturne time
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:28 pm 
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Also a spelling error on my name, but that's okay no big deal. :) It's a hard one, I should have kept my maiden name... :wink:

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

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


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