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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:40 pm 
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rainer wrote:
pianolady wrote:
Well....sorry, but I don't agree with Rainer.
You don't? I think you do. 8)
Quote:
I still think bars 10 and 20 are off the mark. Like you are holding the A in the RH and the F# LH too long.
But bars 10 and 20 don't have an A in RH or an F# in LH, so I think you must mean bars 12 and 22, about which we are in agreement: You said he holds on to the (dotted quarter) A F# too long, I said the (8ths) B G are late; same thing.
.

Oh yes, I did mean bars 12 and 22. :oops: Sorry, I'm off my game....
And sorry to you too, Richard. I must be driving you nuts with all this nit-picking.

Best wishes, :)
Monica

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:13 pm 
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Let us see this one. Excuse the hiss: I tried, but this is the best I could do (about the hiss, that is).

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Last edited by richard66 on Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:24 am 
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Hello Richard,

I think this is a big improvement over your first attempt! However, there are still a few problem spots that need a little tweaking.

Measure 10-11: You play the first 8th note on measure 11 too soon. You didn't sustain the quarter note for quite long enough, it was more like a dotted eight note.
Measures 5-8: This piece is supposed to sing! The melody sounds a bit muddled to me in these measures. It sings everywhere else.
Also, in measures 12 and 22 I didn't like the way you handled the grace notes. They sounded a little rushed and not fluid enough. However, you do maintain the rhythm, so I'm not sure if the grace notes matter too much in light of that.

Thanks for sharing!
David


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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:09 am 
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I was really hoping that this was going to be the keeper. But now there is another rhythm glitch - as what Dave said, it's in bar 10-11. He says that you come in too soon on bar 11; I go the other way and say that you don't hold out the second quarter note in bar 10 long enough. Either way means basically the same thing. Maybe it would help you to listen to this recording:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b99h0VBM5cI

I think it's really about perfect and demonstrates how gentle the phrasing is and those grace notes too.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:43 am 
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Hm... Have you listened to the Gilels recording you suggest with the metronome?

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:00 am 
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This must be the most recorded piece ever by now :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:41 am 
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techneut wrote:
This must be the most recorded piece ever by now :lol:


Do I not know, but I doubt no matter how much these are better than my recording on the site, they will never never do. :cry:

Oh well: it is short and it only takes 5 minutes to record three takes!

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:09 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
Hm... Have you listened to the Gilels recording you suggest with the metronome?

No, I have not. Why do you ask? He is holding out those two quarter notes in bar 10 just fine, and you did too on one your takes, but just not on your most recent one. But do you hear how gentle he plays the piece? You are close and I can hear some nice phrasing in your playing. Just maybe you could soften your LH a little and I dunno...think about something soft and gentle when you play. Like sitting in a meadow under a blue sky, warm sunshine, flowers blooming all around and a doe and her cute fawn grazing nearby. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:32 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
Hm... Have you listened to the Gilels recording you suggest with the metronome?


Yes. He's doesn't follow a perfectly even rhythm and has various ritards throughout his performance. However, all of his decisions in regards to rhythm and tempo are obviously deliberate and don't distract from the piece (I would even say they enhance it). In your latest recording, I think that your one rhythmic slip was just a mistake, not a deliberate decision. In fact, I would say that shortening note values in a slower lyrical piece like this one is much more glaring than lengthening them.


pianolady wrote:
Just maybe you could soften your LH a little and I dunno...think about something soft and gentle when you play. Like sitting in a meadow under a blue sky, warm sunshine, flowers blooming all around and a doe and her cute fawn grazing nearby. :)


This is exactly what I was thinking when I commented on the "muddled" melody in measures 5-8. In softer, singing pieces, maintaining an appropriate balance of both hands can be tricky, but it is essential. I play Arietta from time to time, and I've never managed to perfect it because I'm still too brutish with my left hand :oops:

Don't be too hard on yourself, Richard, I think you're extremely close and just need to do some delicate fine tuning :)

David


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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:29 am 
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Hello Richard. I joined late and just listened to your last posting. What beautiful music! It's one of those deceiving pieces that are technically accessible, but musically requires more than a lot of people realize. I agree with the others that you clearly have a very good recording here. The slight timing problems don't bother me that much personally.

Here's my two cents and you may already do these things, but thought I'd mention just in case you find it helpful. Listening closely I can hear the wonderful long phrasing you're employing. I do find myself wishing I didn't have to listen so closely, however. This ties into another suggestion someone gave about having a lighter left hand.

Please don't laugh if this sounds ridiculous, but what I often do for these sorts of delicate, lyrical pieces is to step back and play the melody alone - in this case the RH mostly I believe. This lets me focus on the "singing" and shaping of the melody without the distraction of the left hand. Depending on the music, I picture a symphony in my mind with perhaps a solo violin, or maybe a soprano, whose notes rise above the orchestra to deliver the story to the audience. I will play right hand only until I feel I have worked out (or reminded myself of) all the phrasing, dynamics, and sound quality I feel is needed to give the melody its best opportunity to make an impact. In your song it would be "da da Da Da DA Da da" (didn't you like my singing??!!) :mrgreen:

For me I always have to pay careful attention to getting the right sound. Am I attacking the notes a bit too hard? This happens to me ALL the time when I play my recordings back... ugg. For legato phrases, I focus in particular on the transition between notes imagining that I'm NOT playing a percussive instrument and instead am carrying the melody under a steady breath as a woodwind player may do. These images help me get closer to that magical, light, pulsing touch that you hear on the youtube link Monica posted. This would close the gaps in your phrase ... perhaps "da.da.Da.Da.DA.Da.da" now - closer but slightly connected. Yet sung under one breath ... so to speak. :)

In the same manner, I consciously decide how soft I will play the RH melody (at the beginning of a phrase for example), which tells me in most cases that my left hand will need to play even SOFTER than that. Easier said than done for sure, and I know I'm generalizing a bit but I think you get the idea.

My old [Russian] piano teacher from a few years back, Dr. Anna Arshavsky, kept my mind full of metaphors - I think she had a new one for every piece we played! :? I was thinking about her recently as I was re-learning a Chopin prelude (No 21). You are probably aware, but this slow waltz begins very lyrically in the right hand, but has a "restless undercurrent" of legato double notes in the left. For this prelude, a very light and legato left hand is critical or it becomes VERY distracting to the melody. Anyway, my teacher really had to work with me because I would start to revert back from my delicate LH. She would grab my fingers and shake them gently, tell me to "relax and forget about using any muscles." She told me (in broken English) to "think of stream; water trickling down; takes no effort; very gentle; don't use your finger muscles" (Lot's of interesting things there to say the least!)

Again, I'm no expert but just thought I'd share my approach in case you can apply anything to your Grieg Arietta. I really think it sounds very nice as it is, but if you enjoyed Gilel's performance you could certainly make some adjustments in that direction. Very light left hand would let the phrasing you've worked out breath. Focusing on the melody may present you with opportunities to make it more connected, more lyrical. I very much look forward to see how this ends up - I really like the piece.

Best Regards.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:29 pm 
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Very good advice Matthew, especially your 3rd paragraph. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:00 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
richard66 wrote:
Hm... Have you listened to the Gilels recording you suggest with the metronome?
No, I have not. Why do you ask? He is holding out those two quarter notes in bar 10 just fine, and you did too on one your takes, but just not on your most recent one.
Yes, but Gilels, in addition to the subtle rubati he makes in various places, takes a lot of liberty with bars 12 and 22; see how much time he makes for the grace notes. In the light of this, Richard will understandably be wondering whether he should really take heed of what we've been telling him about those bars. Perhaps an answer is that the "right" to take liberties must be "earned" by first playing the piece in a way which is rhythmically exactly correct at a constant speed. That done, liberties can be taken, but in a well-controlled and deliberate way. By this I mean that instead of taking arbitrary liberties with the odd few notes here and there, one should still continue to play exactly in "time", but now in a "bent" time, or at a speed which one is allowed to vary continuously, and these speed variations should be gentle, smooth, and sweeping, with no sudden jerky changes.
Quote:
But do you hear how gentle he plays the piece? You are close and I can hear some nice phrasing in your playing. Just maybe you could soften your LH a little
I think the RH could do with softening too. In think Matthew's way of explaining the phrasing as "da da Da Da DA Da da" is very good, and we need this to come out more, the first "da" needs to be lot gentler. Although I can hear Richard making something of the hairpins towards he beginnings of bars 2 and 4, my feeling is that the underlying dynamic profile onto which he superimposes these hairpins still has too much of a "DA da Da da DA da Da" to it.
Quote:
and I dunno...think about something soft and gentle when you play. Like sitting in a meadow under a blue sky, warm sunshine, flowers blooming all around and a doe and her cute fawn grazing nearby.
Ahh, what a lovely picture you paint. Disney should have used this piece in "Bambi"! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:29 pm 
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mwyman1 wrote:
This would close the gaps in your phrase ... perhaps "da.da.Da.Da.DA.Da.da" now - closer but slightly connected. Yet sung under one breath ... so to speak. :)


In fact, I would recommend actually singing the melody when you're working on phrasing and dynamics. My teacher got me to do that and it's helped me immensely.


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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:37 pm 
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Quote:
In fact, I would recommend actually singing the melody when you're working on phrasing and dynamics. My teacher got me to do that and it's helped me immensely.

Yes, even better! Of course, in my case if I were to do this I'd likely attract (or scare away) all the cats in the neighborhood. :shock: Someone may actually call the paramedics upon hearing me, convinced someone in the house is in urgent need of care.

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 Post subject: Re: Grieg Arietta anew
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:01 pm 
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rainer wrote:
pianolady wrote:
richard66 wrote:
Hm... Have you listened to the Gilels recording you suggest with the metronome?
No, I have not. Why do you ask? He is holding out those two quarter notes in bar 10 just fine, and you did too on one your takes, but just not on your most recent one.
Yes, but Gilels, in addition to the subtle rubati he makes in various places, takes a lot of liberty with bars 12 and 22; see how much time he makes for the grace notes. In the light of this, Richard will understandably be wondering whether he should really take heed of what we've been telling him about those bars. Perhaps an answer is that the "right" to take liberties must be "earned" by first playing the piece in a way which is rhythmically exactly correct at a constant speed. That done, liberties can be taken, but in a well-controlled and deliberate way. By this I mean that instead of taking arbitrary liberties with the odd few notes here and there, one should still continue to play exactly in "time", but now in a "bent" time, or at a speed which one is allowed to vary continuously, and these speed variations should be gentle, smooth, and sweeping, with no sudden jerky changes.


About the length of the dotted crotchets it may be that I always got them wrong, but they used to be too long, instead of too short. Let that be and I will not discuss pros and cons. What I do contest however, is that the appoggiature I used to play just as leisurely as Gilels does and I was talked out of that by several members.Now I play them in a way I do not like, as they seem hurried and out of character, but which seemed to be what the public wanted. This was one piece I learned while I still took lessons and I remember perfectly well that those were relaxed, just as they are in Gilels recording.

While I am not sneezing at any of the very helpful comments by Monica, Rainer and the rest of you, it cannot but remind me of Aesop's tale of the old man, the boy and the ass.

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