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 Post subject: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:21 pm 
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This is one of Scriabin's early period works dated 1895. This quiet prelude is one of longing and yearning, sometimes dark, but not without glimpses of sunshine too. I hope you'll enjoy it.

Scriabin - Prelude in G# minor, Op.11, No. 12 (1:43)

Comments welcome.

David

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Last edited by Rachfan on Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:57 am, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:51 pm 
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Heya. This is one of those pieces that I hadn't really paid attention to when listening to the whole set. It doesn't stand out, but now that I'm repeatedly listening I'm starting to appreciate it. Well done and thanks for posting!


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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:31 pm 
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Hi rv,

I've had that experience too. On first hearing, a piece didn't impress me but then it grew on me as I listened more. I'll probably post a few more of these Scriabin preludes, as I've been meaning to for years, but have never gotten around to them until now.

Thanks for listening and your compliment on my playing!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:42 am 
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Looking forward to hearing more from Op. 11 from you!
(I've posted my own recordings of No. 1 and No. 10 below and I'm currently working on No. 24)


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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:52 pm 
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Not being an unequivocal Scriabin fan, I have always loved the Op.11 set, and this one is no exception. Very well played,
as always ! The only nag I have is that in bars 4 and 3 from the end, you don't play the G# in the RH. I can't see why not,
a couple of bars earlier you did play it right. I find this to disturb the melody line, and I would prefer a re-recording because of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:23 pm 
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Hi David,
Finally had a listen were I could follow with score (1st edition re-print by Belaieff). First, I love the mood that you create with this piece and think you have it spot-on: a bit of melancholia and longing with maybe just a pinch of resignation (just my opinion). I have found some rhythimic issues, however, that I need to bring to your attention. Keeping in mind that this is a compound triple meter (9/8), what follows is clear.

First, bars 10-13 dispense with the compound nature of the meter and change aurally (and mathematically) to simple meter (3/4). He could and should have just written duplet 8th-notes but chose to indicate it the more difficult way. However you play the dotted 8th duplets so fast that it still sounds like you're playing the triplets, and consequently you go throught the bar too fast (by a beat). These bars should just be counted 1&2&3& within the same triple pulse tempo (he's composed a weak hemiola in that it only changes from compound to simple meter).

Second, bars 17-19 have quadruplets notated with four 8th-notes. When I saw this I thought why didn't he use 16th notes instead and did the math to check (the principle being to use the notation which produces the error of least magnitude) only to find that with the 8ths it's one 8th too much, but with the 16ths it's one 8th to little (same magnitude). But I feel that the spirit is better indicated with the 16ths. Then I noted that that is precisely how he indicated it in the LH 2nd beats of bars 13 and 14 (but without the obligatory slur and "4"). In otherwards he's inconsistent. Both quadruplets (whether with 8ths or 16ths) should have the slur and "4" to indicate an irregular grouping in compound meter. Despite all this notation discussion, my point is to say that I feel you play the quadruplets of bars 17-19 too slowly, especially for having the fermata. If it were me, I would practice first without the fermata to be sure to get the 4-notes-to-the-beat aspect down clearly.

Needless to say, the voicing and control of the large spans is done very tastefully. Thanks for the post.

Eddy

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:17 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
Second, bars 17-19 have quadruplets notated with four 8th-notes. When I saw this I thought why didn't he use 16th notes instead and did the math to check (the principle being to use the notation which produces the error of least magnitude) only to find that with the 8ths it's one 8th too much, but with the 16ths it's one 8th to little (same magnitude). But I feel that the spirit is better indicated with the 16ths. Then I noted that that is precisely how he indicated it in the LH 2nd beats of bars 13 and 14 (but without the obligatory slur and "4"). In otherwards he's inconsistent. Both quadruplets (whether with 8ths or 16ths) should have the slur and "4" to indicate an irregular grouping in compound meter.
This is a most interesting observation. Could it be the case that Scriabin did not really intend there to be 4 notes to the beat here?

It strikes me that it may be possible that he did not simply make a mistake, but may have chosen to notate the quads deliberately as 8ths instead of 16ths, in order to make them appear visually more like the basic triplets of the compound rhythm, and that they should be played at that triplet speed and not at the same speed as the 16th-notated LH quads in bars 13-14 (it could be argued that had he intended them to be played at the faster speed he would have notated them "correctly").

What I have in mind here is that Scriabin could be using the quad notation, in conjunction with the fermatas, as a kind of shorthand which, in long form, would have rewritten bars 17-19 as something like 12/8, in which the second of the quad notes (the one with the fermata on it) takes the value of three ordinary basic triplet 8ths of the compound time, all tied together, with the other three quads just being one basic triplet 8th each. Because of the disadvantages of writing it like that, he uses this non-standard shorthand instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:07 pm 
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rainer wrote:
musical-md wrote:
Second, bars 17-19 have quadruplets notated with four 8th-notes. When I saw this I thought why didn't he use 16th notes instead and did the math to check (the principle being to use the notation which produces the error of least magnitude) only to find that with the 8ths it's one 8th too much, but with the 16ths it's one 8th to little (same magnitude). But I feel that the spirit is better indicated with the 16ths. Then I noted that that is precisely how he indicated it in the LH 2nd beats of bars 13 and 14 (but without the obligatory slur and "4"). In otherwards he's inconsistent. Both quadruplets (whether with 8ths or 16ths) should have the slur and "4" to indicate an irregular grouping in compound meter.
This is a most interesting observation. Could it be the case that Scriabin did not really intend there to be 4 notes to the beat here?

It strikes me that it may be possible that he did not simply make a mistake, but may have chosen to notate the quads deliberately as 8ths instead of 16ths, in order to make them appear visually more like the basic triplets of the compound rhythm, and that they should be played at that triplet speed and not at the same speed as the 16th-notated LH quads in bars 13-14 (it could be argued that had he intended them to be played at the faster speed he would have notated them "correctly").

What I have in mind here is that Scriabin could be using the quad notation, in conjunction with the fermatas, as a kind of shorthand which, in long form, would have rewritten bars 17-19 as something like 12/8, in which the second of the quad notes (the one with the fermata on it) takes the value of three ordinary basic triplet 8ths of the compound time, all tied together, with the other three quads just being one basic triplet 8th each. Because of the disadvantages of writing it like that, he uses this non-standard shorthand instead.
Based on Ockham's Razor, I think my idea is more correct than yours rainer, but we certainly agree that the score has some ambiguities (to be polite) to it. :wink: I take your silence on the first issue to mean that you otherwise concur (?).

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:41 pm 
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Hi,

Thanks, everyone, for the inputs.

I can certainly emphasize the G#s for Chris. As for the the dotted 8ths in 10 and 12, I can certainly slow those down. (Seems to me I had originally practiced them that way, but they must have evolved differently over time.) In line 4 my sense is that that the rhythm is governed principally by the 9/8 figuration in the RH. The LH quadruplets merely need to be fit into that context accordingly, not drawing any attention to themselves. In line 5, the combination of the quardruplets in the RH with the triplets in the LH need to mesh properly together, but within the surrounding 8th note rhythms of 9/8. It needs to cause a brief rushing effect into the normal 9/8 meter, no more. I might be oversimplifying, but I'm not seeing it rising to the level of my getting out a calculus or set theory text. :lol: My piano time is very limited, so this will have to wait a bit.

Chris, if in the meantime you want to delete the thread, that's fine with me.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:03 pm 
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Rachfan wrote:
I can certainly emphasize the G#s for Chris.

Emphasize, hell no.. just play them :D Or am I the only one not hearing them ? In that case I rest my case.

Rachfan wrote:
I might be oversimplifying, but I'm not seeing it rising to the level of my getting out a calculus or set theory text. :lol:

Touché :D :P

Rachfan wrote:
Chris, if in the meantime you want to delete the thread, that's fine with me.

Why would I want to do that ?

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:30 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
Based on Ockham's Razor, I think my idea is more correct than yours rainer, but we certainly agree that the score has some ambiguities (to be polite) to it.
Yes. Also in bars 17 and 18 the printed LH note values don't add up.
Quote:
I take your silence on the first issue to mean that you otherwise concur (?).
I do indeed.


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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:56 pm 
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Jeez Rainer, you're getting soft :P

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:35 pm 
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rainer wrote:
musical-md wrote:
Based on Ockham's Razor, I think my idea is more correct than yours rainer, but we certainly agree that the score has some ambiguities (to be polite) to it.
Yes. Also in bars 17 and 18 the printed LH note values don't add up.
Yes they do if you see the triplet 16ths as the second half of a duplet which is clearer -- though still not marked as such -- in bar 18. He didn't pay much attention in Rhythmic Notation class. :mrgreen: Boy, I'd have my pencil flying on this one.

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:39 pm 
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In my non-musical life I tend to be very objective, logical and deliberative. But music is a right-brained endeavor, much of it to do with beauty, emotion and effect. When confronted with composer inconsistencies, I tend to go with my own instincts. Then if I need to pull back on the reins, it's easy enough to do. Years ago I used to think of the role of the pianist as a medium--that is, a nearly invisible middleman who interpreted the paper score for the audience with the prime goal of accuracy in rendering the music. Nowadays, I see that role differently, whereby the pianist is a co-author who acknowledges that the composer's score forms the true basis; however the performer also allows some of his or her own individuality to imbue the performance as well. While the composer/genius indeed created the paper map, it's left to the pianist to convey to the listener--not a piece of paper with symbols and signs on it--but the actual territory with all its breathtaking panoramas. And, of course, there is always and necessarily responsibility and accountability in doing so.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:46 pm 
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Quote:
In my non-musical life I tend to be very objective, logical and deliberative. But music is a right-brained endeavor, much of it to do with beauty, emotion and effect. When confronted with composer inconsistencies, I tend to go with my own instincts. Then if I need to pull back on the reins, it's easy enough to do. Years ago I used to think of the role of the pianist as a medium--that is, a nearly invisible middleman who interpreted the paper score for the audience with the prime goal of accuracy in rendering the music. Nowadays, I see that role differently, whereby the pianist is a co-author who acknowledges that the composer's score forms the true basis; however the performer also allows some of his or her own individuality to imbue the performance as well. While the composer/genius indeed created the paper map, it's left to the pianist to convey to the listener--not a piece of paper with symbols and signs on it--but the actual territory with all its breathtaking panoramas. And, of course, there is always and necessarily responsibility and accountability in doing so.


I agree to all these thoughts, David. Performing music (on piano) means something like a symbiosis between the composer´s score and the individuum playing the music. And from my view the romantic musicians (all the old pianists like Rubinstein, Horrowitz and so on f.ex.) had such a good intuition and integral imagination respective sensation of the work, that a single note or sign of the script often had not that weight it has today. We - unfortunately - live in a time, this integral sensation seems more and more lost and it´s replaced by reason respective intellect. That´s what makes playing all the old works (especially of romantic epoque) more and more difficult for many pianists of today.
For me it doesn´t matter too much, if a single note or sign isn´t considered respective realized, if the integral sensation and capture of the mood seems convincing. So it is the case in your recording as we are used by you. And so I personally don´t care too much about these two stupid g-sharps at the end. Listen to one or the other recording of Edwin Fischer, Alfred Cortot or Horrowitz, which contain much more wrong respective missing notes (well, they can´t really "contain" missing notes :lol: ) than your one and I think, you know, what I mean.
I would like to thank you for this very beautiful, deeply performed and convincing recording full of integral imagination and sensation!

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:40 pm 
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Hi Andreas,

Thanks so much for your thoughts. Yes symbiosis describes the relationship well between composer and artist. And yes, you're quite right--imagination and sensation in performance has given way to cool intellect which is more inhibiting. I'm very happy that you were able to enjoy my recording despite some reading errorrs. I find now that when I'm recording a piece, and listening to it afterward, I think of the piece as being holistic, not as being a collection of tiny, discrete details or assembled sections. It's true that the parts will always equal the whole quantitatively; but qualitatively, I'm not so sure about that. Sometimes over-attending to details can inhibit the shape, flow and sweep of the music. Michelangeli could near perfection in handling details and and the larger encompassing structure, and satisfy both the quantitative and qualitative standards of performance... but we're not all Michalangelis.

I'm glad you enjoyed listening. I will try to produce an even better recording when I can get some piano time.

Thanks, again.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:08 am 
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musical-md wrote:
rainer wrote:
Also in bars 17 and 18 the printed LH note values don't add up.
Yes they do if you see the triplet 16ths as the second half of a duplet
Of course, and this is obviously what he meant. It's just a spelling mistake.
I wonder why he just didn't just dot the 8th and omit the '3' from the triplet, then it would have been both clear and correct.
Imagine if he had marked it as a duplet, then the triplet would have been correct; but he must have thought that to have a triplet nested within a duplet would have looked unnecessarily complicated.


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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:11 am 
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Rachfan wrote:
In my non-musical life I tend to be very objective, logical and deliberative. But music is a right-brained endeavor, much of it to do with beauty, emotion and effect. When confronted with composer inconsistencies, I tend to go with my own instincts. Then if I need to pull back on the reins, it's easy enough to do. Years ago I used to think of the role of the pianist as a medium--that is, a nearly invisible middleman who interpreted the paper score for the audience with the prime goal of accuracy in rendering the music. Nowadays, I see that role differently, whereby the pianist is a co-author who acknowledges that the composer's score forms the true basis; however the performer also allows some of his or her own individuality to imbue the performance as well. While the composer/genius indeed created the paper map, it's left to the pianist to convey to the listener--not a piece of paper with symbols and signs on it--but the actual territory with all its breathtaking panoramas. And, of course, there is always and necessarily responsibility and accountability in doing so.

David

Hi David,
I agree with your current vision. In fact, it is interesting to me that in America (perhaps England and Germany too?) the Billing for a piano recitial will say "David April, Piano [or Pianist]," but in the countries of the romance languages it will say "David April, Interpreter."

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:19 am 
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Hi Eddy,

You're quite right, and I believe those "titles", pianist and interpreter, contain different connotations and expectations. The difference is interesting and more complex than it might first seem to be.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:08 am 
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musicusblau wrote:
And so I personally don´t care too much about these two stupid g-sharps at the end.

That's right... stupid they are. Probably written by mistake. Scriabin was such a plodder :roll:
But if it were my recording they would annoy the hell out of me.

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:20 pm 
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Hi David,

That was beautiful! I've not studied this piece but I like it very much. Nicely played! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:07 pm 
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Hi Chris,

Fear not, I can bring the G#s out better and tend to a couple of other things as well once I get some piano time.

Hi Monica,

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed hearing this prelude. I don't believe it's played as often as some of the others in Op. 11.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:13 pm 
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Hello, David,

I have listened to your rendition of the prelude. I am a very minor critic and, as you, I prefer to listen to the performance as a whole and not the single notes that make it. If were are errors, these did not disturb me at all. I did not look at the timimg of this and I was not familiar with it at all. I have now listened to it twice and it stuck me by its slightness. It might well be Scriabin rather than you, but I find it finishes before it makes any impression on me.

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:45 pm 
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Hi Richard,

Thanks for listening. I re-recorded this piece several times today, but have not been able to "audition" them, as the lawn people are here doing the spring cleanup of the yard (or garden as you say there), so all I can hear is a loud din of machinery outside. I need quiet to evaluate recordings and to choose one.

This prelude, of course is but a page long--a true miniature. Any piece so brief might seem fleeting, yet quite often I'm taken by their beauty nonetheless. For me this prelude is one of them.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:11 pm 
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Rachfan wrote:
Fear not, I can bring the G#s out better

I must be getting stone deaf as I really cannot hear them at all.

But seriously, it amazes me how this seems to bother nobody but me. These non-sounding notes leave two ugly gaps in the melody, reminding me of a wide smile with two front teeth missing. An ungainly blemish on an otherwise quite perfect recording. Personally, I could not live with it. But don't re-record it just for me ! It's your recording. And after all, this is only Scriabin, not Bach ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:13 pm 
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Hi Chris,

Progress has been made. Yes, I cannot deny that the two G#s are part of the melodic line there. See if you can hear them in the replacement music file I just loaded. If so, hopefully it will pass muster?

David

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:32 pm 
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A lovely little piece, with atmosphere and a touch of melancholy. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Rachfan wrote:
Years ago I used to think of the role of the pianist as a medium--that is, a nearly invisible middleman who interpreted the paper score for the audience with the prime goal of accuracy in rendering the music. Nowadays, I see that role differently, whereby the pianist is a co-author who acknowledges that the composer's score forms the true basis; however the performer also allows some of his or her own individuality to imbue the performance as well. While the composer/genius indeed created the paper map, it's left to the pianist to convey to the listener--not a piece of paper with symbols and signs on it--but the actual territory with all its breathtaking panoramas. And, of course, there is always and necessarily responsibility and accountability in doing so.


I very much agree with your current position, and it's a shame that it is not an especially fashionable stance in a world obsessed with Urtext and pedantic attention to the letter of the score and not its spirit. I think the demise of the composer-pianist has a lot to do with it; pianists seem to be encouraged to process the music, rather than involve themselves with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:56 pm 
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Hi Andrew,

I quite agree with you, and you raise an interesting point about the demise of the composer-pianist. Hamel still fits the bill, but is one of a seemingly tiny number in our musical age. In addition to the urtext and pedantry, I believe another related factor has been involved for 30 years now--the false god of the CD. That is, it seems that younger pianists would listen to a seemingly perfect sets of recordings, taking no account whatsoever of the miracles in the recording engineer's bag of tricks. So they actually came to believe in the make believe. The less-than-accurate renditions of poetic artists like Cortot were banished as being quaint but imperfect. Surprisingly, competition judges also came to believe and insisted on note perfect performances above all. They would then give lip service to individuality and personality; however, as soon as a contestant exhibited those traits, he or she was promptly disqualified from the next round. So where does that leave us? It means we have an inexhaustible supply of young pianists, all of whom can be awakened at 2:00 a.m., marched to the piano to play a note-perfect "Gaspard de nuit" with their techniques--which are no longer a means, but rather an end in themselves. But seldom is there anything other than the correct notes. Effects such as emotion, romantic surge and the engaging sweep of the music seem to belong now to the decadent past. It's very hard for me to understand how this sterile approach to pianism will help save classical music in recital halls.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:06 pm 
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Rachfan wrote:
Hi Andrew,
Surprisingly, competition judges also came to believe and insisted on note perfect performances above all. They would then give lip service to individuality and personality; however, as soon as a contestant exhibited those traits, he or she was promptly disqualified from the next round.


Yes, because it is easier to quantify note accuracy than artistic imagination. I'm pretty sure the Chopin competition (probably the world's most prestigious) disqualifies you if you play from any edition other their specifically chosen one. It seems to me competitions are much more about not risking offending jurors rather than any prevailing artistic ideals. The great individual pianists of the past wouldn't get anywhere in such events - someone would hate their interpretation and that would be that. Individuality in aspiring musicians now appears to be only valued in the sphere of extra-musical characteristics and potential resultant marketability. A sad state of affairs.


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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:50 pm 
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Quote:
Yes, because it is easier to quantify note accuracy than artistic imagination.


It has oft been said that these days Horowitz at his best could not win a competition. That gives pause for thought.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:11 am 
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Rachfan wrote:
Quote:
Yes, because it is easier to quantify note accuracy than artistic imagination.


It has oft been said that these days Horowitz at his best could not win a competition. That gives pause for thought.

David


Do I not see that here also, where a wrong note or a note held too long or not long enough are grounds for dismissal or re-recording? Do I not read endlessly here phrases such as, "I could not check with the score..." Are there not recordings submitted to this very forum considered very passable by A until such as time as A actually sees the score and states that the recording "just won't do?"

I must say I am in favour of original editions because I believe Urtext editions are a help to the pianist in that they strip away all annotations by other pianists and editors, allowing any pianist worth his salt to give his own interpretation. When confronted with a heavily.annotated edition of Bach, for example, how is the pianist to know what Bach actually wrote and what he must therefore take to be the ground on which to build? Or take Beethoven, edited by Schnabel. Now take not Beethoven, but Schnabel's view of Beethoven and interpret that. Do we have, for example, John Lewis interpreting Beethoven or do we have John Lewis interpreting Schnabel's interpretation of Beethoven?

And then, what is Urtext? Take someone like Bortkiewicz.Are not his pieces all Urtext, in the sense that he had them published once and those are the only scores in existence?

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:13 am 
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richard66 wrote:
Rachfan wrote:
Quote:
Yes, because it is easier to quantify note accuracy than artistic imagination.


It has oft been said that these days Horowitz at his best could not win a competition. That gives pause for thought.

David


Do I not see that here also, where a wrong note or a note held too long or not long enough are grounds for dismissal or re-recording? Do I not read endlessly here phrases such as, "I could not check with the score..." Are there not recordings submitted to this very forum considered very passable by A until such as time as A actually sees the score and states that the recording "just won't do?"

I must say I am in favour of original editions because I believe Urtext editions are a help to the pianist in that they strip away all annotations by other pianists and editors, allowing any pianist worth his salt to give his own interpretation. When confronted with a heavily.annotated edition of Bach, for example, how is the pianist to know what Bach actually wrote and what he must therefore take to be the ground on which to build? Or take Beethoven, edited by Schnabel. Now take not Beethoven, but Schnabel's view of Beethoven and interpret that. Do we have, for example, John Lewis interpreting Beethoven or do we have John Lewis interpreting Schnabel's interpretation of Beethoven?

And then, what is Urtext? Take someone like Bortkiewicz. Are not his pieces all Urtext, in the sense that he had them published once and those are the only scores in existence?

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:04 am 
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richard66 wrote:
Do I not see that here also, where a wrong note or a note held too long or not long enough are grounds for dismissal or re-recording? Do I not read endlessly here phrases such as, "I could not check with the score..." Are there not recordings submitted to this very forum considered very passable by A until such as time as A actually sees the score and states that the recording "just won't do?"
Indeed, but is that wrong? The question of how far one should be allowed to let one's interpretation stray from what is actually written down is ultimately irresolvable, and the dividing line between a liberty and a mistake can be quite fine at times. It's easy to get carried away and to land in a situation in which, to paraphrase RVW, the listener might say "I think I like it, but it's not what the composer meant.".
Quote:
I must say I am in favour of original editions because I believe Urtext editions are a help to the pianist in that they strip away all annotations by other pianists and editors, allowing any pianist worth his salt to give his own interpretation.
Agreed. On the other hand, what if the pianist is not "worth his salt"? I don't mean that in a derogatory way. Consider that a learning pianist who has a teacher will be guided by the teacher's advice on how various elements should be interpreted (perhaps giving several options for the pupil to choose from). In a similar way, editors give valuable expert advice to learners who don't have a teacher to guide them.
Quote:
And then, what is Urtext?
Good question. It's the "original" text, but what does that mean? It can involve going back further than the first published version, namely to the manuscript. The danger here is that the manuscript can be full of abbreviations, and lacking in detail which the publisher was expected to fill in. It's easy to forget that the first editions are editions too, and thus not completely "original", though one would hope that they would have the composer's approval prior to going into production. But if a letter-day Urtext editor gets hold of an original manuscript, he will often need to use judgement to fill in the missing detail, or resolve ambiguities, or correct "obvious" mistakes, if what is to come out of the project is something that's to be of practical use to play from, and not just suitable for academic study.


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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:56 am 
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richard66 wrote:
Do I not see that here also, where a wrong note or a note held too long or not long enough are grounds for dismissal or re-recording? Do I not read endlessly here phrases such as, "I could not check with the score..." Are there not recordings submitted to this very forum considered very passable by A until such as time as A actually sees the score and states that the recording "just won't do?"

One thing to keep in mind is that the more a piece is

a) very short
b) very easy
c) very popular

the more we insist on (note) perfection. I feel that such pieces have an example function and there is no point in having them up with flaws. Maybe a great pianist can get away with it, in a live recording, if he has something special and unique to say, but most of us here are not in that league.

If you don't see the value of checking something against the score to make sure that everything is correct, then you are probably not sufficiently interested in perfecting your art. Personally I often check the score only to find if it's perhaps me who has been playing it wrong. If there are actual examples of the admins doing a 180 degree turn after checking the score I would like to know.

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:16 pm 
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David,
I feel bad that your post (or my critique) has spawned such discussion about particulars. I do not wish to tell you how to interpret this piece, if I did I would say something like "Be sure to indicate the beginning of the phrase in bar 9 (counting the first incomplete bar as no.1) at the "d#," not the "a" where the slur is indicated." (another example of poor phrase indication by the composer/publisher). Rather, my issue (if I may just claim the most important) is structural regarding rhythm, and I'm afraid in your attempt to correct your first problem with bars 10-13 (too fast, resulting in an abbreviated measure) you have gone too far (now it's too slow/long). You seem not to maintain the triple pulse nature of the bar here. It simply goes from 9/8 to 3/4, nothing more, nothing less, but with the same tempo. Blame Scriabin for camouflaging it so complexly.
Quote:
First, bars 10-13 dispense with the compound nature of the meter and change aurally (and mathematically) to simple meter (3/4). He could and should have just written duplet 8th-notes but chose to indicate it the more difficult way. However you play the dotted 8th duplets so fast that it still sounds like you're playing the triplets, and consequently you go throught the bar too fast (by a beat). These bars should just be counted 1 & 2 & 3 & within the same triple pulse tempo (he's composed a weak hemiola in that it only changes from compound to simple meter).

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:46 pm 
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techneut wrote:
richard66 wrote:
Do I not see that here also, where a wrong note or a note held too long or not long enough are grounds for dismissal or re-recording? Do I not read endlessly here phrases such as, "I could not check with the score..." Are there not recordings submitted to this very forum considered very passable by A until such as time as A actually sees the score and states that the recording "just won't do?"

One thing to keep in mind is that the more a piece is

a) very short
b) very easy
c) very popular

the more we insist on (note) perfection. I feel that such pieces have an example function and there is no point in having them up with flaws. Maybe a great pianist can get away with it, in a live recording, if he has something special and unique to say, but most of us here are not in that league.

If you don't see the value of checking something against the score to make sure that everything is correct, then you are probably not sufficiently interested in perfecting your art. Personally I often check the score only to find if it's perhaps me who has been playing it wrong. If there are actual examples of the admins doing a 180 degree turn after checking the score I would like to know.


I agree with somewhat in that insisting on perfection. I do not know about others, but I feel that if there is need to record something 10 times and with these ten takes to "create" a perfect rendition there is something wrong. No matter how simple or short a piece is, there is bound almost always to be a missing note (and I do not mean a note that was left out, but one which might have been inaudible in the recording) or too strong a stress or a missed pause. Then, no matter how good the overall result it, it is the missed note that casts the final vote.

I do not think that not checking with score means not being interested in perfecting one's art. It has more to do with listening to the whole, rather than to the details. I believe that if an error does not distract in a performance, what does it matter? It matters, yes, if one is studying the score and is checking one's own performance.

Can I give you examples? Well, yes: reemember the Scarlatti common time minuet, the one you find unimaginative? Mind you, you were quite right there and you, Chris, did detect the rhythmic errors without the score (see what I mean: the flaw was so obvious to you no score was needed), but do cherck the first discussion on the recording.

The second one I have been wanting to bring up for some time. It is Cervantes' Adios a Cuba. Having enjoyed listening to the recording submitted to PS (http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=2788), I found the score. What was my surprise when I could not find a single edition or recording which conformed with the performance on the site. The piece is binary form (AABB), but that is not what is played: Here it is AABAB!

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:52 pm 
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rainer wrote:
richard66 wrote:
Quote:
I must say I am in favour of original editions because I believe Urtext editions are a help to the pianist in that they strip away all annotations by other pianists and editors, allowing any pianist worth his salt to give his own interpretation.
Agreed. On the other hand, what if the pianist is not "worth his salt"? I don't mean that in a derogatory way. Consider that a learning pianist who has a teacher will be guided by the teacher's advice on how various elements should be interpreted (perhaps giving several options for the pupil to choose from). In a similar way, editors give valuable expert advice to learners who don't have a teacher to guide them.
Quote:
And then, what is Urtext?
Good question. It's the "original" text, but what does that mean? It can involve going back further than the first published version, namely to the manuscript. The danger here is that the manuscript can be full of abbreviations, and lacking in detail which the publisher was expected to fill in. It's easy to forget that the first editions are editions too, and thus not completely "original", though one would hope that they would have the composer's approval prior to going into production. But if a letter-day Urtext editor gets hold of an original manuscript, he will often need to use judgement to fill in the missing detail, or resolve ambiguities, or correct "obvious" mistakes, if what is to come out of the project is something that's to be of practical use to play from, and not just suitable for academic study.


I would call such editions, as Schnabel's (Beethoven) or Cortot's (Chopin) as study editions. By all means let them be used by the learner, with the provviso that a lot in them is not Chopin, but Cortot's idea of Chopin.

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:21 pm 
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Hi Eddy,

My level of frustration is too high right now. I brought out the two G#s. I slowed down the dotted 8ths but possibly too much. I speeded up the quadruplets to fit them in better. At this point I'm leaving it in the hands of the Admins. If it's overall a poor performance, then they have two choices: Leave it in Audition Room for people to enjoy there, or delete it. I'm feeling the need to move on to something else now. But please don't misunderstand, I do appreciate your suggestions.

Thanks.

David

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Last edited by Rachfan on Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:27 pm 
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Hi Richard,

Regarding original editions, they're a toss-up. Liszt went over his galley proofs with an eagle's eye before he would give the OK to start the printing presses. Chopin could not have been more careless and cavalier about reviewing his proofs which now leads to the ubiquitous "What Chopin edition are you using?" I would agree that the first edition is always the best starting point, but depending on the composer and publisher, it may turn out to be far from infallible.

David

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Last edited by Rachfan on Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:22 pm 
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Rachfan wrote:
My level of frustration is too high right now. I brought out the two G#s. I slowed down the dotted 8ths but possibly too much. I speeded up the quadruplets to fit them in better. At this point I'm leaving it in the hands of the Admins. If it's overall a poor performance, then they have two choices: Leave it in Audition Room for people to enjoy there, or delete it.


No, you decide that David - you don't turn in poor performances. Not wanting to shirk my responsibility, but I believe it is for the artist to decide on the better of two eligible versions. Please note that I have never rejected the first version on account of the missing G#s, just pointed
out my personal view on them (which nobody seemed to share anyway so it can't be a big deal).

Pity that you refuse to to edit. You could have simply pasted the last few bars of the second version (with the G#s) onto the first version, to get the best of both worlds. It would save much frustration :)

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:09 pm 
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Hi Chris,

Having fixed the G#s (that was the easier of them all), the quadruplets and the dotted 8ths, I believe that this recording is superior to the earlier one, so if it could be archived that would be fine with me unless further objections.

Thanks.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:52 pm 
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Rachfan wrote:
Having fixed the G#s (that was the easier of them all), the quadruplets and the dotted 8ths, I believe that this recording is superior to the earlier one, so if it could be archived that would be fine with me unless further objections.

Ok, it is done.

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:45 pm 
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Thanks Chris. I appreciate that.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:29 pm 
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Techneut wrote:
Quote:
But if it were my recording they would annoy the hell out of me.


If it would be a Bach-piece, I would have that feeling probably, too. If I would have made such a nice interpretation of a romantic piece like David had done here already in his first version, I don´t know, if I would do a re-recording just because of one missing note. (Only if I would sell my recording, of course, it would have to be note-perfect, that´s evident. But this has its reason also mainly in the high standard of recordings on the market of today.)

To David:
I have enjoyed your re-recording very much. It should be note-perfect now (as far as I have seen by following with score) without having lost its holistic sensation and atmosphere. It´s clearly an improvement in the direction of "perfection". Bravo, great work!

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:20 pm 
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Hi Andreas,

Thanks so much for listening to the re-recording. Yes, preserving the sensuous atmospherics was my main goal, as they define the nature of the piece, but I was also glad to make the modifications to the best of my ability as suggested by the other members. Thank you too for your compliment on my playing!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:29 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
If it would be a Bach-piece, I would have that feeling probably, too. If I would have made such a nice interpretation of a romantic piece like David had done here already in his first version, I don´t know, if I would do a re-recording just because of one missing note.

It is funny how everybody is trying to convince me these two missing notes were not important. I won't have any of it. They WERE :D

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:03 am 
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Techneut wrote:
Quote:
It is funny how everybody is trying to convince me these two missing notes were not important. I won't have any of it. They WERE :D


So for you they WERE! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:38 pm 
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Because he knew they should have been there. In a Bach piece even not knowing the score it is evident when something goes awry.

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:59 pm 
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Hi David, as I clicked the link to this recording, the first thought which occurred to me was that it's certainly your music! I mean, it just matches your artistic personality very well that I know from your previous recordings! Thank you for this beautiful music and interpretation :)

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 Post subject: Re: Scriabin, Prelude Op. 11, No. 12 in G# minor (replacement)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:56 am 
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Hi Hye-Jin,

Thanks so much for listening and for your praise of my performance. Scriabin has been on my "to-do" list for years, but I never seemed to get there. So I finally took the plunge and am glad I did, as I do find that I can be very expressive in conveying this music. It can be very rewarding to play. Thanks again!

David

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