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 Post subject: Liszt - Three Pieces From First Book of Annees
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:12 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:32 pm
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Location: Connecticut, USA
Hello all,

I'm back with three pieces from the premiere annee of Liszt's masterwork the Annees de Pelerinage:

1. La Chapelle de Guillaume Tell, the first piece in the group.
2. Au Bord d'un Source, the fourth.
3. Eglogue, the seventh.

I've played especially the first book off and on for some time now and have been trying to work on refining them. Chapelle and Source are probably two of the better-known pieces in the collection. Source, like the Jeux d'Eau in Book III, is a sublime evocation of water effects though unlike the Jeux may be one of the few pieces of Liszt's that is actually harder than it sounds, what with its treacherous leaps and tricky passagework. After completing it, I'm beginning to think a complete Annees cycle is possible at some point (I've also done all of Book III and the Cloches de Geneve from Book I), provided that I don't kill myself over practicing Orage and the Dante Sonata :P (the only ones that are harder IMO). There's the occasional slip, but hopefully it won't distract too much.

The Eglogue is a serene pastoral music poem, the musical equivalent of Virgil's opus. It is one of my favorites in the entire Annees.

Thanks for listening,

Joe


Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage, Premiere Annee - 1: La Chapelle de Guillaume Tell (6:01)
Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage, Premiere Annee - 4: Au Bord d'Une Source (3:49)
Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage, Premiere Annee - 7: Eglogue (5:12)

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 Post subject: Re: Liszt - Three Pieces From First Book of Annees
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:42 am 
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I am not a Liszt fan, but, based on what you wrote, I listened to the Eclogue. A piece of great charm which I must have heard umteen times, but, as there is a lot of no-nos (for me) going one before I I had already hoistered the white flag by the time it came,

A piece of great charm which you play with great delicacy. I makes Liszt almost human to me!

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 Post subject: Re: Liszt - Three Pieces From First Book of Annees
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:45 pm
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Location: New Jersey, USA
Joe,
I followed the William Tell with the score.
First, very good job!! Very accurate (that's for the moderators, in case no one else folllows with score).
Just a few notes:
-- each time that the music uses triplets (after long use of double-dotted rhythms), the triplet tends to be a little "dotted". These are triplets in which only the first and third beat sound (e.g., quarter followed by eighth instead of 3 8ths). When these appear they should be more noticeable to the listener than they are.
-- (picky) 19 measures in, the top A-flat in the RH does not sound, which changes the character of the melody (from descending to ascending)
-- (picky again) in the last 3 measures, in the left hand, I'm hearing the movement as C to E and back, not C to **G** and back. This takes away from the "finality" a little. I've never played this, so I don't know if there's anything the pianist can do about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Liszt - Three Pieces From First Book of Annees
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
I listened to Au bord d'une source as I'm very fond of it.

jlr43 wrote:
Source, like the Jeux d'Eau in Book III, is a sublime evocation of water effects though unlike the Jeux may be one of the few pieces of Liszt's that is actually harder than it sounds, what with its treacherous leaps and tricky passagework. After completing it, I'm beginning to think a complete Annees cycle is possible at some point (I've also done all of Book III and the Cloches de Geneve from Book I), provided that I don't kill myself over practicing Orage and the Dante Sonata :P (the only ones that are harder IMO).


Absolutely agreed about the difficulty of it: never fancied my chances with it (though I happen to think the Dante Sonata isn't that difficult with the exception of the second last page).

You do very well with it and there are some lovely moments (especially the ending). At a high level of criticism, my feeling is that it "needs" to sound like it is effortless - even though it is damn difficult. There are points where I'm not sure whether your rallentandi are for musical purposes or out of necessity (to be fair, some of them are clearly musical, done by design, and work). My other quibble would be the piano sound - it's a little bit tinkly (nice for La campanella!) where I think it should be limpid instead - a fine distinction of course.

Fine playing and would be a worthy addition to the site.


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 Post subject: Re: Liszt - Three Pieces From First Book of Annees
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:30 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:32 pm
Posts: 488
Location: Connecticut, USA
Quote:
I am not a Liszt fan, but, based on what you wrote, I listened to the Eclogue. A piece of great charm which I must have heard umteen times, but, as there is a lot of no-nos (for me) going one before I I had already hoistered the white flag by the time it came,

A piece of great charm which you play with great delicacy. I makes Liszt almost human to me!


Thanks, Richard. I'm glad I was able to convince you although Liszt is not your cup of tea.

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 Post subject: Re: Liszt - Three Pieces From First Book of Annees
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:31 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:32 pm
Posts: 488
Location: Connecticut, USA
Quote:
Joe,
I followed the William Tell with the score.
First, very good job!! Very accurate (that's for the moderators, in case no one else folllows with score).
Just a few notes:
-- each time that the music uses triplets (after long use of double-dotted rhythms), the triplet tends to be a little "dotted". These are triplets in which only the first and third beat sound (e.g., quarter followed by eighth instead of 3 8ths). When these appear they should be more noticeable to the listener than they are.
-- (picky) 19 measures in, the top A-flat in the RH does not sound, which changes the character of the melody (from descending to ascending)
-- (picky again) in the last 3 measures, in the left hand, I'm hearing the movement as C to E and back, not C to **G** and back. This takes away from the "finality" a little. I've never played this, so I don't know if there's anything the pianist can do about it.


Stu,

Thanks very much for the detailed listening. Excellent points to consider for the future.

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 Post subject: Re: Liszt - Three Pieces From First Book of Annees
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:41 am 
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Location: Connecticut, USA
Hi Andrew,

Quote:
(though I happen to think the Dante Sonata isn't that difficult with the exception of the second last page).


Having listened to some of your transcriptions recordings, I think I can say that that's probably because your octaves are better than mine. :D


Quote:
At a high level of criticism, my feeling is that it "needs" to sound like it is effortless - even though it is damn difficult.


Yes, definitely. Certainly with those crossovers and leaping to grab those bass notes it makes me feel a bit stiff at times. Hopefully, that will improve when I return to it later on, which I definitely will at some point, probably sooner rather than later. I know I said the Eglogue was one of my favorites but this one is up there too.

Quote:
My other quibble would be the piano sound - it's a little bit tinkly (nice for La campanella!) where I think it should be limpid instead - a fine distinction of course.


Yes, I noticed that too in places. I've tried a lot with the new mikes already but I may work on trying to pick up more of the treble with a fuller sound. Could also be that I use the soft pedal for much of the piece. In the Jeux d'eau, Liszt indicates the una corda for practically the duration. He doesn't here, but these seem similar sorts of pieces, so I applied that logic here. Not sure what pianists generally do.

Thanks for listening!

Joe

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 Post subject: Re: Liszt - Three Pieces From First Book of Annees
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:48 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9496
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Thos are nice and worthy performances Joe. I like your Chappelle, in particular the coda even though it seems that you are shortening some bars with a beat. Great sonority there - elsewhere there could have been a bit more. The Source is indeed very tricky and you handle it very well. The start seems too fast and hectic (and just a touch ragged) compared to what follows. Overall you could have been a bit more relaxed here and not make it into a virtuoso piece (although it is, but does not need to sound like it). Lovely ending again. The Eclogue is deeply felt but just a touch too slow for my taste. again, marvellous ending (you're always good at those). I'll add these to the site tonight.

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 Post subject: Re: Liszt - Three Pieces From First Book of Annees
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:37 pm 
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Chris,

Thanks very much for listening and for your perceptive comments as usual. Absolutely agreed about the first page of the Source. Funny, usually the most technically difficult part of a piece comes nearer to the end, but here (at least for me) it's right at the beginning with those crossovers.

Joe

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 Post subject: Re: Liszt - Three Pieces From First Book of Annees
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
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These are on the site - please check.
Tags and names all correct, kudos (apart from one typo - a dot instead of a hyphen).

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 Post subject: Re: Liszt - Three Pieces From First Book of Annees
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:29 pm
Posts: 141
Location: Brazil
Hi, Joseph!

I didn't know these pieces before, but you seem to play them quite well!

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 Post subject: Re: Liszt - Three Pieces From First Book of Annees
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Hi Joe,
I had a listen to your 2nd and 3rd contributions (the link to the 1st is not working for me: Error 404). Overall you are doing a very fine job. The 2nd work has much really fine playing. Unfortunately, for me, this is also a particular genre that must demonstrate transcendental command to bring off really effectively, and I don't think you are quite there yet, but I believe you have it in you. Comparatively, I think the 3rd was more successful. I know you like detailed critique, so I apologize for not providing more (my inbox is really full).

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 Post subject: Re: Liszt - Three Pieces From First Book of Annees
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:32 pm
Posts: 488
Location: Connecticut, USA
Quote:
Hi Joe,
I had a listen to your 2nd and 3rd contributions (the link to the 1st is not working for me: Error 404). Overall you are doing a very fine job. The 2nd work has much really fine playing. Unfortunately, for me, this is also a particular genre that must demonstrate transcendental command to bring off really effectively, and I don't think you are quite there yet, but I believe you have it in you. Comparatively, I think the 3rd was more successful. I know you like detailed critique, so I apologize for not providing more (my inbox is really full).


Hi, Eddy, and thanks for the comments.

Yes, the Au Bord d'Une Source is one of the most difficult for me in the Annees. I doubt I'll ever have "transcendental command" on it, especially given how little time I have to practice, but oh well, I trudge forward:D

Joe

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