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 Post subject: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:32 pm 
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It's high time I contributed some music and here offer one of my favorite works of the French Baroque. This is a theme and six variations (termed doubles) for harpsichord. The theme is titled Gavotte. The work is in A minor and has little harmonic interest and a simple melody, but I think Rameau does wonders with so little. The form for the Gavotte and all variations is: A (rep A) B (rep B).

Timings: (length 7'40").
Gavotte (0:00)
double 1 (1:45)
double 2 (2:51)
double 3 (3:58)
double 4 (4:57)
double 5 (5:52)
double 6 (6:44)

Details
Music Edition: from the Rameau Album, published by Edito Musica Budapest. This edition retains the actual ornamentation, unlike the two realized versions available at IMSLP.
Piano: Baldwin SF-10 (7') with lid on half-stick
Mics: Shure KSM 141 matched pair on cardioid setting and in ORTF configuration at 63" height and 5' distance
A-D Converter: Digidesign Mbox2
Recording SW: ProTools LE (on my HP Pavilion laptop)
Other: I have the treble down a bit and the bass pumped a bit with EQ and added some reverb.

It feels good to break the ice again. :)

Rameau - Nouvelles Suites, "Gavotte et Six Doubles"

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Last edited by musical-md on Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:48 am 
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That was very nice, Eddy. Sometimes I'm in the mood for Baroque music and this was just right for me tonight. And boy, no. 4 is really the most double of the doubles! :wink: Sound is good too. I'll put this up tomorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:49 am 
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Wow, the devil is in the details ! You forgot to mention the CPU speed of your laptop and the brand of your cables :P

Very nicely done indeed. The last variations sounds really tricky. I heard a couple of tiny little fluffs and one or two hesitations but it does not matter in such a convincing performance. I always seem to like Rameau better than Couperin and he certainly does a great job with very little material (even though it gets a bit monotonous after a while IMO, luckily he knew when to stop).

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:26 pm 
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Ok, this is up.

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:34 pm 
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Forgot to mention Eddy, I'm not entirely convinced about your bass boost. In some of the doubles the bass seems a bit too heavy, threatening to overshadow the theme in the RH. In others with a less busy LH, the balance is better.

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:01 pm 
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techneut wrote:
I heard a couple of tiny little fluffs and one or two hesitations but it does not matter in such a convincing performance. I always seem to like Rameau better than Couperin and he certainly does a great job with very little material (even though it gets a bit monotonous after a while IMO, luckily he knew when to stop).

I agree with you totally Chris, and I wish that I had just done some more takes at those spots while I was at it. A blemishless performance seems always just beyond me - but I'm closing the gap slowly - it's probably asymptotic. :wink:

Try as I could, I could not identify any host collection that this may have been from using resources I had access to, but trust that you have better sources than me; certainly I would expect Francois to know to.

Monica and Chris, thanks for your complements and for posting it!

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:58 pm 
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Very nice Eddy! Even though these were written for the harpsichord, I like how it benefits from the expressiveness of the piano. I do agree that you need bass since you're using cardiod mics to tame the room response and counteract the low end roll off in cardiod designs. However, any perceived mid-bass boominess might be attributed to recording with a half-lid aperture. Everything is a trade off in recording. Nonetheless, there is nothing detracting from the music and These variations are wonderfully played!

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:01 pm 
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88man wrote:
Very nice Eddy! Even though these were written for the harpsichord, I like how it benefits from the expressiveness of the piano.


Completely agreed. I found this recording very enjoyable. I think good taste has been exercised regarding the piano usage; it would be easy to over-exploit its capabilities and end up with something rather unnatural sounding.


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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:45 am 
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Hi Eddy,

Baroque isn't my favorite genre, but I listened to these Rameau pieces and have to say I enjoyed them all. It's also good to get a break from Bach now and then. Your playing seemed meticulous, with only a few minor slips that didn't detract at all. You articulated with a nice evenness throughout. And your Baldwin SF-10 sounded fine and your recording set-up was well up to the task too. Overall, a wonderful rendition!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:27 am 
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George, Andrew and David,
Thank you very much for your supportive words. I hold each of your opinions very highly and have enjoyed your artistry! Thanks for listening and commenting.

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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: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:48 am 
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Eddy,

Very interesting to hear these, especially played on the piano. As far as the French Baroque goes, I've never cared much for Couperin but Rameau is a different story (Wanda Landowska's harpsichord performance of Les Sauvages comes to mind).

Overall, this seemed very well played to me. Like Chris, I heard a few slips and hesitations but they did not distract at all since the playing is generally so clean. Very nice phrasing in general, especially some of the crescendos working up to the climaxes.The trills in the opening statement I'm sure are a bitch to bring off on the piano. A couple seemed a bit unclear and as if some of the notes are missing, but I'm sure you're probably aware of that (many were nevertheless very well executed). The only substantive thing I can find to criticize is that it could be a bit tighter in places, especially some of the left hand passagework seemed a bit flabby. Also too, sometimes the tempo seems to get lightly bogged down and a few notes become inaudible. Mostly though, it's quite clear, and I particularly enjoyed listening to a couple of the later ones (like the one with the repeated note figures).

The recorded sound seemed nice and mellow, sort of reminiscent to me of those golden-age 50s recordings.

I think this will make an excellent contrasting work against the Rachmaninoff in the program you are preparing (I assume these will be on the same program?). Indeed it is nice to hear a Baroque composer other than Bach and Scarlatti, and I think you show that these can work very well on the piano. Very nicely done in general.

Joe

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:13 am 
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A most beautiful recording! Loved every second of it and posted a tweet.

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:46 pm 
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Hi Joe,
Thanks for listening and commenting. I of course agree that I had some spots that were not smoothly clean. The LH gets its work out in the last variation, the RH in the penultimate one; both feature wide-leaping hand work. For me one of the most difficult is variation no 3, and one measure of the B section decided to give me a bit of hesitation (both times). With a recording, I can do more mental practice to improve it. Yes, this is part of a recital program I'm preparing, which I'm slipping to fall of 2013 now (but hope to start learning a new program this fall). The program for both halves is as follows:

French Virtuosity (this Rameau, then open part 2 with Debussy L'isle joyeuse)
[post-]Romanticism (Chopin Scherzo no 3, then 3 preludes of Rach's Op.23)
Sonata (Beethoven Op. 57, and close with Ginastera Sonata No.1)

A very demanding program (for me anyway) but by golly (better with God's help) I will do it.

Robert,
Thanks for tweeting about this (I don't do/follow/know about Twitter :oops: )

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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: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:17 am 
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I just found another edition at IMSLP that is nearly identical to the one I play from. The two (Gavotte and Variations) stand-alone editions are highly editied and changed in many places, but the Durand edition edited by Saint-Saëns of the Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin... is excellent. This piece begins at page 17 of same at http://conquest.imslp.info/files/imglnk ... _suite.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:58 pm 
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Beautiful and interesting! Simple on the surface but with increasing and well controlled agitation. And the piano sounds really nice. Congratulations!


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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:24 pm 
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Hello Eddy,
As I told you some weeks (or months ?) ago, I have a particular relationship with the Gavotte variée, since it is the first Rameau's piece I've played when I was a teenager, and I still have on my Durand score indications of my old teacher (who I liked very much, and who I miss, 34 years after his death...).
So I carefully listened your rendition with the score. And I think my professor (who was taught by Alfred Cortot, among others) would have liked it very much. Even I think I would be better saying "he liked it very much!", since I felt him so present while your music sounded in my lounge...
As already said by the others, the articulation is excellent, your ornaments are finely executed, with a good style and rythmic precision, but without being too stiff. Your tempi were perfect, with a little acceleration at the begining of some variations in order to reinforce the interest and attention of the listener. To conclude: if I had recorded this piece, I would like to achieve this result. I have only one slight reservation about the repetitions. You do not seem to try to do something else in each second playing of a section. With a harpsichord (especially if you have the chance to get two keyboards), you can change the sound, while it is of course impossible on piano. But you may try to do a little orchestration of your playing: for instance, the first time legato, the second more staccato; or the first time mf, and the second mp; or putting more weight on the soprano voice the first time, and emphasize the alto one at the repetition (e.g. in the third double). I know the question of how to manage the repetitions in keyboard baroque music when played at the piano is a disputed one. I am personnaly more in favor of variety, even if sometimes the choice of playing this part louder than that one may appear quite arbitrary. You are probably more of the 'rigorous side', thinking that you have to play all the score and only the score, which you do extremely well !
Now, I am looking forward to listening your Isle Joyeuse (I intend to record it in the coming weeks, but maybe I won't dare submitting it if you play it as you did with the Gavotte !). Thank you for providing a so nice musical moment...

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:48 pm 
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@ troglodyte: Thank you for your kind words!
@ François: I am certain that your teacher would have commented on some of my execution or interpretation, but what you have said is very touching to me -- I'm sure many of us have beloved masters in our past (I certainly do). I am truely thrilled that you enjoyed this given your deep involvment and accomplishments in the French Baroque. I'm afraid I may have not made my case sufficiently strong regarding the changes with variations. Try to listen for the following:
Gavotte: A section, re-voiced to bring out "alto" line with the repetition.
Var 1: A section 1st time, 16th notes are staccato, 2nd time legato. B section, has every other phrase staccato during the repetition (in question/answer fashion).
Var 2: chords legato 1st time, but detached the 2nd time.
Var 3: No significant changes. :( Maybe I can work on some contrasting dynamics and try(?) the 16ths with legato (?).
Var 4:The alternating thirds are played for only 3 measures twice and the part on the beat is the LH, but I will explore alternating voicing of the 3rds. Since most of this variation is monophonic and there is little opportunity for changes in articulation, I suppose the best opportunities are found in alternating dynamics. I believe I made an unconvincing attempt at this.
Var 5: The level of activity in the RH (I believe) only allows for dynamic changes. I must explore the lowest limits of executable dynamics to contrast with strong ones.
Var 6: A section RH legato first and detached 2nd time. B section 1st half is transposed up one octave the 2nd time around (No one has commented on this 8) ) and the last ornament is only executed the 2nd time.

Anyway, you've given me much to think about and my performance will only become better for it. Thanks. Oh boy, it will be interesting to see how similar or dissimilar our Debussy's will be. Bon chance!

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:58 pm 
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That´s a beautiful and expressive recording. I like the sound quality very much, ideal reverb, too, for this kind of music. The tone does breath all the time. I have enjoyed this soulful recording very much!

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:57 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
That´s a beautiful and expressive recording. I like the sound quality very much, ideal reverb, too, for this kind of music. The tone does breath all the time. I have enjoyed this soulful recording very much!

Thank you very much Andreas!

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:02 am 
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musical-md wrote:
@ François: ... I'm afraid I may have not made my case sufficiently strong regarding the changes with variations

Eddy,
I have to apologize for the following: yesterday I listened once your Rameau through the bad sound system of my laptop (while taking my breakfast). Then I moved in another room and I plugged the laptop on my hifi sound system. But I had hard time finding that the soundcard has a problem with one of the channels. Also, for some reasons, the sound got out with a kind of saturation, which was not due to your recording, but rather to a loose wire problem. Anyway, I finally listened the piece with the score then I went back to the computer, and I started writing some comments. While writing, I tried to imagine what I would have tried to do if I had to record the Gavotte. My fault was not to re-listen again your recording, what I have done this morning. If I had done so, I would have realised that you were totally aware of the interest of introducing variety from the first to the second execution of each section, and that you were successful in doing it sometimes. As for myself, it is exactly the same: I try to do things, as e.g. adopt a different attitude in a section, and sometimes my technical limitations make me forget my good resolution before the end of the section. Or it can be also my changing mind...
So, sorry to have tried to convert in my last post an already believer ! As for dynamics, I know also that our recording systems bring compression which quite often smashes our attempts, changing nice hills landscapes into flat plains...
Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 9:38 pm 
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Chris or Monica,
Please replace my hosted file of Rameau with the attached one. I fixed two or three of the most blatant flaws in it. Thank you for your work.
Eddy

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 11:37 pm 
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Hi Eddy,

I had a listen to your Rameau recordings. They sounded competently played and I enjoyed your execution of the ornaments and your phrasing. I have been learning about Rameau in my music history class, about his treatise on harmony he had published in 1722. I have my final exam on Wednesday so I have all of this history ready for the test time!

Enjoyed your recording,

Riley

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 2:13 am 
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pianoman342 wrote:
Hi Eddy,

I had a listen to your Rameau recordings. They sounded competently played and I enjoyed your execution of the ornaments and your phrasing. I have been learning about Rameau in my music history class, about his treatise on harmony he had published in 1722. I have my final exam on Wednesday so I have all of this history ready for the test time!

Enjoyed your recording,

Riley

Hi Riley,
Thanks for listening! Yes, he was a seminal and influential theorist and a great composer for harpsichord, opera and stage-works.

I hope you do well on your exam tomorrow :wink:

Eddy

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 2:10 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
Chris or Monica,
Please replace my hosted file of Rameau with the attached one. I fixed two or three of the most blatant flaws in it. Thank you for your work.
Eddy

Ok, I will take care of this tonight.

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 10:01 pm 
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Eddy, I just noticed you didn't name the file correctly. It should be:

rameau-gavottesixdoubles-rio

You can see on your initial post how the title should read.

Please fix and double check that the other tags are correct too. We are trying to get EVERYBODY to make correct file names and tags because it saves us time when processing submissions.

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 1:29 am 
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pianolady wrote:
Eddy, I just noticed you didn't name the file correctly. It should be:

rameau-gavottesixdoubles-rio

You can see on your initial post how the title should read.

Please fix and double check that the other tags are correct too. We are trying to get EVERYBODY to make correct file names and tags because it saves us time when processing submissions.

Ok, I think I have it right.

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 3:07 am 
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I saw your earlier comment asking about the lack of spaces, but looks like you've got it correct now. I've re-uploaded your file.

REMINDER TO MEMBERS REGARDING FILE NAMING AND TAGS - PLEASE SEE HERE:

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=5114

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 12:23 am 
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pianolady wrote:
I saw your earlier comment asking about the lack of spaces, but looks like you've got it correct now. I've re-uploaded your file.

REMINDER TO MEMBERS REGARDING FILE NAMING AND TAGS - PLEASE SEE HERE:

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=5114

I've tried what you said, but still hear my original file.
Would you please replace with the attahced file? I have verified it is different than my original.

Sorry for the bother. I don't know what's going on.

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 3:13 am 
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I am sorry Eddy. Since you cleared your cache but the old file still plays, then I checked and discovered the problem is mostly my fault. It had to do with the e's in the title. I just re-uploaded again. Is it okay now?

Rameau - Nouvelles Suites, "Gavotte et Six Doubles"

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 3:32 am 
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pianolady wrote:
I am sorry Eddy. Since you cleared your cache but the old file still plays, then I checked and discovered the problem is mostly my fault. It had to do with the e's in the title. I just re-uploaded again. Is it okay now?

Rameau - Nouvelles Suites, "Gavotte et Six Doubles"

I do thank you for your work on my post but I am still hearing the original file, and not the one I submitted two above. I tried clearing my cache again (losing all my passwords twice) but continue to hear the original and not the replacement file. Any ideas?

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 3:59 am 
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I don't know.... :?
Just re-uploaded again. But I have to go to bed now, so if there is still a problem, then I don't know what is going wrong; I'm doing everything the way I usually do it. Please contact one of the other admins tomorrow for further assistance if the new file is still not playing. I'm very sorry again, Eddy.

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 7:19 am 
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I'll sort it out tonight.

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 2:02 pm 
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Maybe the problem has something to do with the new upload program I installed last week...?

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 2:06 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Maybe the problem has something to do with the new upload program I installed last week...?

I don't think so, but I'll find out one way or another.

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 3:34 pm 
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I just listened and IT'S FIXED! Thank you Monica for persevering.

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 3:47 pm 
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Seems like your cache has finally refreshed the file. Probably, deleting your passwords was not sufficient :-P

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 5:56 pm 
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Not exactly. I deleted everything including passwords. I listened on my iPhone again and it had changed since listening yesterday with phone. If tonight it's still the old file with my laptop, then it is definitely a cache issue.

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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: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 7:05 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
Not exactly. I deleted everything including passwords.

Of course I realized that. I was just pulling your leg :)

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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 5:09 am 
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Very well performed! Aside from Bach, I have not heard much Baroque music; I need to branch out in that era some more. I'll look into Rameau.


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 Post subject: Re: Rameau Gavotte et six doubles
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 6:11 pm 
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Hello Eddy,
I've just listened this second version. It seems to me that you finally decided not to try to change your way of playing from the first to the second repetition of each section, didn't you ? This is definitely a possible option, especially if you consider that, for the listener, the second time is different because it comes after the first one, so that he is more familiar with the music and may identify other details not detected at the first audition. Whatever conscious or not, it is beautiful music beautifully played !

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