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 Post subject: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:30 am 
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Usually I lurk around the composition forum but since I just got a new (somewhat cheap recorder) I thought it well to contribute back to the site a bit. Vladimir Rebikov is a figure mainly known for a particular valse popular as an encore piece, but rather surprisingly he was also responsible for being the first to come up with some avant garde techniques such as tone clusters and pieces wholly based on the whole-tone scale (even before Debussy). The problem is that he never broke outside the Tchaikovsky mould and thus fell into the familiar syndrome of being too avant garde for the conservatives and too conservative for the avant garde, and thus died as a forgotten figure.

In the Twilight Op.23, however, is one of his many sets of salon pieces in the tradition of Tchaikovsky. These are simple pieces, but definitely enjoyable and unique. Comments on the playing and especially the audio quality would be nice. Hopefully I can get the entire set up soon.

In the Twilight:

Rebikov - Lamentation, Op. 23, No. 1 (2:15)
Rebikov - Chant d'hiver, Op.23, No. 2 (1:05)
Rebikov - Persuasion, Op. 23, No. 3 (0:42)
Rebikov - Esperance, Op. 23, No. 4 (0:47)
Rebikov - Souvenir, Op. 23, No.5 (1:02)
Rebikov - Priere, Op. 23, No. 6 (1:35)
Rebikov - Regret, Op. 23, No. 7 (1:04)
Rebikov - Il était une fois..., Op. 23, No. 8 (1:35)
Rebikov - Solitude, Op.23, No. 9 (1:41)


Last edited by Affinity on Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:11 am 
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I found these pieces very interesting. Simple, maybe, but sometimes simple can be tricky. I think you keep an honest attitude towards them which makes them quite enjoyable to listen to.

By the way, the popular valse you refer to, is Valse Mélancolique?


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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:11 pm 
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Hello Jonathan and welcome to the Audition Room. :)
I've heard of Rebikov before but I don't think I have ever played any of this music. These are nice little pieces here and I think you played them well and with good sensitivity. The sound quality is okay; perhaps your mics are little too far away but it's acceptable for the site. I'd like to add these recordings to the site, which means adding you as an artist/member if you are interested. If so, please provide your bio and photo. Also, next time you submit recordings, please use your last name on the file name, not your first name. One more thing - is there a name for this set?

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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:48 pm 
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Hello Jonathan,

I have heard of Rebikov (I mention him in mthe biography of Henrique Oswald I wrote for the site.) He was the director of the Moscow Conservatoire for a time and was a friend of the Brazilian's, both having met on a train in Italy (if I do not err) and each of them wrote a piece apiece ( 8) ) dedicated to each other.

I have listened to your recordings, not with earphones, but with loudspeakers (to computer ones). You seem to have the same problems as I do with the recording apparatus and that you get hiss, which you have to filter out, or so it seems, as the result, very clear otherwise, seems to distort the soundwaves. I hear any sustained note as if it FlUuuUuUtTeErrEd, fi you get what I mean.

They are very short pieces, but not at all devoid of charm, finishing almost before one really gets into them! They establish a mood rather than give any clear musical statement, as they are too brief to give any definitive idea of form. Let us call it "intimate music"!

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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:07 pm
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Location: Carbondale, IL
Hi Jonathan,

I haven't heard of Rebikov, he writes an interesting (if IMO underdeveloped) set of piano music.

I like your use of pedal and your phrasing. I wonder if you are recording your piano from far away? To me, something about the acoustics of the room sound slightly distant, but the piano is in tune and I'm not really bothered by the quality.

Look forward to the rest of the set. And do remember for next time to add http://pianosociety.com to the album slot for the files ID3 Tags.

Riley

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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:22 pm 
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Posts: 139
Thanks for the comments everyone.

@richard/wiser_guy: Yeah, I agree that these are very 'intimate pieces'; how he ends some pieces on a 'floating cadence' to achieve this tentativeness is very interesting. As for the recording quality, yeah, the hiss is faint but there. I'm not sure what the Zoom H1 can do, or whether there are plugins that help with this, but I'll try fixing it some time. And yes, the valse is the valse melancholic.

As for Henrique Oswald, that seems pretty interesting! Biological sketches of Rebikov seem pretty rare, so that's cool.

@pianolady: Thanks, will keep it in mind. The set is called In The Twilight, Op. 23. Should I attach the bio in .txt or something?


Last edited by Affinity on Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:01 pm 
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Was it your intent to become one of our artist/members by submitting these recordings? You've not really clarified that. And do you have any more recordings to submit or maybe some works in progress?

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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:34 pm 
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Yes it was. And yeah, I have the rest of the set as well as other pieces to record soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:55 pm 
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Ok, then you may submit your bio and photo here, or email everything to me. I will then proceed to make your page at my earliest convenience. Riley will process your recordings once you have corrected the file name/tags and then place the links here in this thread.

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

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


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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:16 pm 
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Alright, here's the bio. It's rather unassuming, however, compared to that of most on the site. >_> Attached is the photo too. I have changed the tags as well.

Bio:

Jonathan Yeo was born in Singapore, 1991, and currently lives in Singapore. As with many other children from middle-class families, he started taking classical piano lessons at the age of five, and improvising easy-listening music at nine (though this went unappreciated by his family). Somewhere during his mid-teens, however, he proceeded to grow bored of the piano and the music, deigning to scrape by every lesson without constant practice, improving his sight-reading but stalling his progress on the piano.

It was not until he joined the Piano Ensemble of his college that he developed a passion for classical music, having been exposed to and inspired by both the unique sounds of Scriabin and the intricate counterpoint of Bach. Not only did this lead him to take the piano more seriously, it also led him to pursue musical composition. He has played in annual school concerts, performing some of his compositions in the process.

When not studying engineering as a major in the National University of Singapore (NUS), Jonathan spends his free time composing, playing video games, and making up for lost practice.


Last edited by Affinity on Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:23 pm 
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OMG, Jonathan...no offense, but that photo is awful! Your hand on your face looks sort of weird, and this image as a thumbnail will probably make you look distorted. Can you find a better photo?

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

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


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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:17 pm 
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Hi Jonathan,

That's cool you are an engineering major but have a passion for music. I originally thought you were a music major.

I agree with Monica, the mug you submitted is less than flattering. If you could find another that would be great. If we were to only accept passport photos, I doubt this would pass inspection :lol:

I replaced your attachments with links. Check to ensure they play ok.

Riley

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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:34 am 
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Urgh, alright I changed it. Most photos of me are unflattering anyways! it's hard to find one that looks good. :( And yeah, they work fine; thanks a lot, Riley. And yeah, I certainly did want to take a major in music, but Singapore is all about academic qualifications and I'm afraid I came in too late to meet them. Perhaps later in life, I hope.

EDIT: However, Chant d'hiver should be No.2, not Op.2


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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:35 am 
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That's a much better photo! :) I'll start work on creating your page tomorrow. We'll also correct the title of no. 2.

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

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


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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:26 pm 
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Quote:
EDIT: However, Chant d'hiver should be No.2, not Op.2


ok, I fixed it.

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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:45 pm 
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Ok, Jonathan, your page is up on the main site now, along with your recordings. Welcome again to Piano Society. We hope you will remain active by not only submitting new recordings, but also participating on our other forums and listening to other member's recordings.

One thing about your recordings here. As I listened to them again (to make sure everything was working properly) I felt that there is quite a lot of hiss in the background. It didn't bother me before, but I think it's a little borderline so perhaps on your next submissions you can try to run a hiss-reduction with your editing program, or do something else to eliminate some of the hiss.

Oh, I forgot something...I also want to put you to work. :) We have a sort of 'unofficial' rule about new composers. He/she who is responsible for us having to create a new composer page, has to write the composer bio too. Please write up something for the Rebikov page - in your own words, please. :)

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

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


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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:43 am 
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Alright, thanks a lot for your help, pianolady and Riley. Will get to work recording the rest of the set and typing out a bio. >_>


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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:26 pm 
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Alright, I've done the last four pieces of the set and uploaded them in the OP. I've also found a way to remove the hiss (thank goodness!) and thus the mp3s for the other five are updated as well. Sorry to the mods for all the trouble and repeated uploading. :(

As usual, comments on the playing are appreciated. There's a rare, simplistic and yet semi-profound introspection in all of these pieces, and I hope I brought them out (especially number 1, the heart of the set). Will get around to the bio tomorrow, I guess.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:20 am 
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Hi Jonathan,

I had a listen to the rest of the files in the set, they sound good. I've replaced them with links. No. 7 has some wild modulations, but I'm going to blame that on Rebikov :lol: Click the links to make sure they all play o.k.

Riley

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"I don't know what music is, but I know it when I hear it." - Alan Schuyler
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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:20 am 
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Hmm, no. 7 (ironically) gives a 404...

Also I realized that no.4 is cut off prematurely. I'll reupload it again.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:00 pm 
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Ok, I've reuploaded no. 7 and 4. When Monica is able she will upload the page to the main site.

Now we just need that bio :idea: :!:

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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:49 pm 
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Ok, the entire set is up on the main site. I listened to nos. 1 and 7 just now....I like the music. Nice playing, too! :)

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


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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:55 am 
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@pianolady: Oh, thanks a lot.

I finally have a bio ready... Hopefully it's alright enough for the site. If you need any changes, let me know.

Also, can you replace nos 2, 3, 4, 5 and 9 with their new, superior versions? I managed to get rid of the irritating hiss in those recordings.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:31 pm 
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Ok, I have re-uploaded these five files. The tags were a labeled slightly differently than the first upload, so that's probably why they didn't switch out correctly. They should work now.
I also noticed that you used a compression rate of 128 kbps, which is contributing to your sound quality not being so great. Next time you record you should use 192 kbps.

Where is the bio? I don't see it here....

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

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


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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:05 pm 
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Hmm alright. And oh. I'll just post it here then.

Bio

Vladimir Ivanovich Rebikov, sometimes known as the father of Russian modernism and the inventor of the whole-tone scale, was born at Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia, on May 31 1866. He studied at the Moscow Conservatory with N. Klenovsky, a pupil of Peter Tchaikovsky, and proceeded to teach and play in concerts in various parts of Russia and Europe. He settled in Yalta in 1909 and composed various piano pieces and stage works until his death in 1920.

His early works were mostly unremarkable salon pieces in the style of Tchaikovsky and Grieg. At some point in time he realized that he was being too influenced by these compositional models, and thus he closed himself off to the music of other composers, determined to forge his own compositional style through self-introspection. He also believed that music ‘was the language of emotions’, and thus purged his own compositions of any academic framework, forgoing development for the sake of expression.

This led him to formulate numerous musical innovations somewhat ahead of their time, such as quartal harmony, bitonal pieces, utilization of the whole-tone scale, parallel 7ths and 9ths, as well as tone clusters, utilizing them in his operas and piano minatures. He was thus reviled by conservative musical scene of Russia, which condemned his music as ‘chaotic and formless.’ He had more success overseas and managed to garner a small following among the trendy musical circles of Europe, even getting a vote of confidence from Grieg.

Sadly, his musical theories, as well as his modest talent, prevented him from incorporating these innovations into large scale works, and in this way he was quickly outstripped by composers such as Scriabin and Debussy, who pushed his innovations to heights he had never dreamed of. By the time of his death, he was already obscure and forgotten, bitterly lamenting that others had stolen his innovations for their own.

Music

Today, he is chiefly remembered for his Silhouettes for piano Op. 31 (which has a Palmer edition), as well as his Valse (from his opera ‘The Christmas Tree’ Op. 21), popular as an encore piece. His opera, ‘The Christmas Tree’, is still popular in Russia, but most of his output remains unknown.

For all his modernism, Rebikov was unable to shake off his early influences, and thus his works come across as unique juxtapositions of charming Tchaikovskian lyricism and experimental techniques. He does his best work in his piano minatures, often employing obsessive repetitions, creative harmonies and abrupt endings which make them unique and interesting. He has also composed a few operas (utilizing melodeclamation with very sparse musical accompaniment), though these are completely unknown outside Russia.

While certainly nowhere near the equal of other modernist composers like Scriabin and Debussy, he deserves to be better known as an important innovator, who, in his best scores, can rival some of his role models. Recently, a few pianists have taken an interest in Rebikov, producing recordings of some of his piano minatures, and we can hope that he can be more appreciated as a composer in the future.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:20 am 
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Ok, that's very nice! Thank you, Jonathan. Rebikov's page is now complete.

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

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


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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:03 pm 
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After moving house, I'm finally finding some time to listen to recordings again. This set here is very well played. I don't find all of them interesting, but that certainly is not your fault. Your playing is sensitive yet unmannered, the piano sounds good (what make is it ?), the audio quality, while a bit dull, is perfectly acceptable. Great job, and welcome to PS. I like "Il etait une fois" best. Surprising to read that Rebikov was a bit of an innovator - you'd never guess from these slight water color pieces. Tchaikovsky's much-maligned miniatures are much better IMO. Still, very good to have these on the site in such exemplary performances. Your photo is ok too :D

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 Post subject: Re: Rebikov: In the Twilight Op. 23
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:17 pm 
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Thanks a lot for your kind words; I'm glad I could be of some service to the site. Recording for pianosociety is indeed an interesting way to improve one's piano while increasing awareness about classical music in some way. :D Hopefully I'll get to record some more Rebikov and other charming piano minatures; there might be one or two sets which are more convincing musically than these sets.

Oh, and it's a Bohemia (123) upright piano with a very warm, round tone.


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