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 Post subject: Chopin - Waltz Op. 69, no. 1 (video)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:31 pm 
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Since my trip to Paris I have been inspired to play more Chopin and have long felt that I wanted to re-record this piece because I wasn't crazy about my first version here on the site. And then since I have the piece memorized, I decided to make it a video. So here is the video link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBFu8NXS9ck

and here is the audio link, which is the same as on the video:

Chopin - Op.69 no.1, Waltz in A-flat major



And then when I was standing next to Poulenc's grave, I heard his ghost whisper to me, "you must play my music better," so yesterday I attempted to re-record his Novelette No. 3 as I now play it a little differently and at a faster tempo. I also wanted to re-do my earlier video because I had a cut in it and felt I should play it without any cuts, so I did that too. Except, after uploading it to Youtube, I discovered I played one wrong note, so I am not including an audio-only file here. I'll have to make a new one....argh! :x Anyway, here's the link to another dumb video....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCJTcPFGZcU

Here is the 'corrected' audio-only link:

Poulenc - Novelette No. 3 "Andantino tranquillo"

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

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Waltz Op. 69, no. 1 (video)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:45 pm
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Location: New Jersey, USA
Monica,
The Chopin video is Wonderful - so good that family members heard it and came in my office to see who was playing. No criticism.

BTW: You look very relaxed and there's very little superfluous motion. The color of the blouse or sweater you're wearing makes it difficult to determine if your shoulders are hunched, but they certainly don't look like it. Just mentioning this because of your occasional bursitis - sometimes it's aggravated by bench height and shoulder hunching. But your mechanics look solid to me. Disclosure: I do not teach, and so do not have hundreds of hours of experience watching for this.

I must remember to not visit the graves of composers!!

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Waltz Op. 69, no. 1 (video)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
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Location: Netherlands
The Waltz is very good indeed, and the ending in particular is spot-on. While all is well here and nothing is bad here I do have some small suggestions:

    - Bring out the diminuendos that accompany the resolution of harmonic tension (bar 2, 4, 6, etc). They're always marked, at least in my PWM score
    - The RH runs could be a little more fluent and elegant
    - Should the trio section be so much faster than the rest ?
    - Some of your triplets sound more like two 16th and an 8ths (I'm particularly aware of that as I was prone to the same thing)
    - In the repeated sections you could provide a bit more contrast by playing them a little differently
    - In general the dynamics could be more pronounced

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Waltz Op. 69, no. 1 (video)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:57 am
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Location: New York City
Hi Monica,

I enjoyed your performance. My only suggestion is that perhaps you play with a bit more legato in the opening section.
I really admire the cadences. The harmonies are both hidden and apparent at the same time, as strange as that may sound.
They are very beautiful.

Thank you for sharing,
Kaila

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Waltz Op. 69, no. 1 (video)
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:05 pm 
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Thank you all for listening and for the suggestions.

Stewart - I have tendonitis in my wrists, not bursitis in my shoulders. I do tense up in my shoulders sometimes, though, but they are not hurting me.

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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


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Waltz Op. 69, no. 1 (video)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:58 am 
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Location: Carbondale, IL
Hi Monica,

I had a listen to your re-recording of this Chopin Waltz. I have had your older recording and liked it but I think here the slower tempo a more reflective mood that seems somehow more fitting as a manner of playing a piece titled "l'Adieu," or as I know it in English :wink: , "farewell."

I also like how the section at 2:50 sounds more marcato. The only criticism is I think the section at 2:32 could be played faster. It's a matter of taste though I think it could be that I am simply used to hearing it that way based on the older recording! :P

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Waltz Op. 69, no. 1 (video)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:14 pm 
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Thanks, Riley. I've now played some of the "Farewell" symphony and also this "Farewell" waltz. I think the Universe is trying to tell me something....
Regarding tempo, I like this more contemplative tempo too. Although I now hate this video; I hate watching myself. I'm going to redo this video on Saturday, if the stars and planets are aligned properly :wink: . I may doodle around with some things, but the overall tempo will probably be the same.

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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


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Waltz Op. 69, no. 1 (video)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:15 pm 
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Location: New York City
pianolady wrote:
Thank you all for listening and for the suggestions.

Stewart - I have tendonitis in my wrists, not bursitis in my shoulders. I do tense up in my shoulders sometimes, though, but they are not hurting me.

Hi Monica,

I would like to suggest to you that you consciously try to relax your thumbs in order to relax your shouldars and wrists. Having had numerous back
operations that include the cervical spine, my conclusions is that if one plays as though one's hands were made out of a very flexible material and takes
a very conscious effort to loosen the joints in the thumb, a lot of big muscle relaxation will take place.

Good luck my friend! I hope your wrists feel better.

Kaila

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Waltz Op. 69, no. 1 (video)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:31 pm 
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musicrecovery wrote:
pianolady wrote:
Thank you all for listening and for the suggestions.

Stewart - I have tendonitis in my wrists, not bursitis in my shoulders. I do tense up in my shoulders sometimes, though, but they are not hurting me.

Hi Monica,

I would like to suggest to you that you consciously try to relax your thumbs in order to relax your shouldars and wrists. Having had numerous back
operations that include the cervical spine, my conclusions is that if one plays as though one's hands were made out of a very flexible material and takes
a very conscious effort to loosen the joints in the thumb, a lot of big muscle relaxation will take place.

Good luck my friend! I hope your wrists feel better.

Kaila


Hi Kaila,
Thank you for the tip. :D That's very interesting; I can't wait to go home tonight and try it!

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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


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Waltz Op. 69, no. 1 (video)
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:23 pm 
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Location: U.S.A.
Hi Monica,

I guess everyone listened to the Chopin, but I watched the Poulenc Novelette video instead. You played it very well, as you were obviously deeply involved in it, and the piano sounded very nice too. It's a fine performance. Thanks for including it in your post.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Waltz Op. 69, no. 1 (video)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:43 am 
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Hi David. You're the only one who watched my Poulenc video. Thank you! :) It's funny to me that you mention the sound quality. I actually had a bad time with the audio. I forgot to press the 'record' button on my Edirol recorder and then had to take the audio off the video file. The sound wasn't as clear as I like, so I spent what seemed like hours fiddling around with my sound-editing program. I tried out all kinds of settings which I have no idea how to work, and finally I got so tired that I just gave up and hoped for the best. The audio file linked above is not from the video - it's a separate recording made the other night - using my regular setup.

********************************

And now I have a favor to ask of anyone here: I re-did my Chopin video today. I tried to make a good recording; nice phrasing, dynamics, elegance, etc....but I just couldn't get it all together. I ended up making 38 videos today, trying hard to get it right. I don't know what's going on....I know this piece backwards and forwards, yet lately I can't make my fingers do what I want them to do. At least not up to tempo. There were times today that I felt like an elephant playing piano! So, I think this is the best I can do here. Of course, when there is no recorder on, I play much better.... ;)

Back to the favor....I'm hoping that maybe someone here is bored and would be willing to listen to this rendition and see if it's any better than my last one?? (And yes, I'm wearing the same clothes as that first video....haha)

Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBFu8NXS9ck

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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


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Waltz Op. 69, no. 1 (video)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:14 pm 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
Hi Monica, I listened to the original Chopin a while back but didn't have time to comment properly. I've listened to the new one as well. With both of them I felt that they were nicely played and presented, clean and accurate, but there's something slightly intangible missing. I think your r.h. isn't as fluid as it might be, plus a bit more dynamic variation would help (it's a bit "samey"). Michelangeli's on the related videos playing this - I'm wary of pointing this out, because although he has all of the facets I mentioned, watching him can be very depressing! We're all beginners in comparison, I'm afraid. Good work though; I enjoyed it and am only quibbling over the sort of things that make the difference between good pianism and excellence.

(edit: I've now watched the Poulenc as well: I don't know it properly, but I definitely prefer your playing here. You seem more at one with the music and the section with the trills went really well.)


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Waltz Op. 69, no. 1 (video)
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:36 am 
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Thank you, Andrew. I'm not going to listen to any pro play this because as you say, I don't want to get depressed. I'm already realizing that I probably should just give up on playing Chopin, as I can never get it just right. Actually, I'm just going to play Chopin for myself; no more recording. But thanks for the positive remarks about my Poulenc! :)

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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


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Waltz Op. 69, no. 1 (video)
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:20 am 
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Actually Monica, your Chopin has all the basic elements to be very good, so I wouldn't be disheartened: your Mazurkas have been a definite success. Michelangeli was one of the greatest pianists (and possibly the absolute greatest) of the 20th century, so I was quoting his recording more in an illustrative sense regarding ideas of touch and dynamics.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Waltz Op. 69, no. 1 (video)
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:15 pm 
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andrew wrote:
Actually Monica, your Chopin has all the basic elements to be very good, so I wouldn't be disheartened: your Mazurkas have been a definite success. Michelangeli was one of the greatest pianists (and possibly the absolute greatest) of the 20th century, so I was quoting his recording more in an illustrative sense regarding ideas of touch and dynamics.

Ok, I appreciate that! I usually do like to see pros play something I'm working on so I can learn if I am understanding the piece properly or not. I'll listen to Michelangeli's recording soon...probably after the holidays when I am less stressed out.

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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


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