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 Post subject: Re: Wagner-Liszt "Liebestod" from Tristan und Isolde
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:14 pm
Posts: 844
Location: Germany
fluterific00 wrote:
actually sounds really good, especially from a keyboard.

Thank you fluterific00 for the listening and the kind comment. Frankly speaking I don't think my digital piano is that bad :lol: (Oh, it's not just a keyboard - it's an instrument in an upright-shape and has many functions such as modulating the weight of touch, simulating the string resonace of the real piano. Its name is Kawai CA 71.) My problem with this recording is that my recorder could not absorb what I played and could hear therby. It sounded better as I heard my performance through the headphone directly from the digital piano.
Quote:
I have not heard this piece before.

I couldn't figure this piece out well, until I learned it myself. I listened to the original scene from the opera a couple of times and liked it, but the transcription sounded very much differently to me.

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Hye-Jin Lee
"The love for music. The respect for the composer. The desire to express something that reaches and moves the listener." (Montserrat Caballé about her main motivation for becoming a singer)


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 Post subject: Re: Wagner-Liszt "Liebestod" from Tristan und Isolde
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:27 am 
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
Posts: 736
Location: Edinburgh, UK
hyenal wrote:
andrew wrote:
hyenal wrote:
... I'm still not completly sure, if a pianist playing this transcription really should take care of the singer and subdue his music just for her sake.


Sometimes Liszt is fairly clear about this, sometimes he isn't! For example, in his Rienzi and Rigoletto paraphrases, he has the melodic notes normal size, but the filigree ornamentation smaller. I'd suggest that here, you note how the music is expressed in parts: in the rh, the soprano is written stem up and the orchestra stem down. Now I will concede that it's much more readable expressed in this way (therefore in theory that could be the reason for it being written in such a way), but the moment music is written in parts, I think that implies that you should give consideration to the voicing of each part. Although the edition I use doesn't have the words of the aria printed in it, I have seen one which does. So - and I am biased, because I've played so many transcriptions - but I would contend that really you must give the vocal line prominence.


Thank you Andrew (And sorry for this much delayed responce - I needed the time to think about this subject :) ). You observed the score very exactly. I agree to you that one should be careful about the voicing between the various voices throughout the whole piece. But I still don't figure, why one must give a currently absent vocalist the priority, as Liszt completly has left the vocal line out in his transcription and this piece is very often played by an orchestra without a singer. Imagine a conductor performs this piece with a singer at one time and without her at another time. He/she would conduct the orchestra differently. And I think you can play the Liszt-transcription on both ways.
Besides when you admit that you cannot play some parts of this piece on the piano not so promptly as with an orchestra, you must find your own phrasing/dynamics/agogics on the piano. And thereby the considerations about the vocal line would be dropped. I cannot easily imagine a soprano who sings this piece with a pianist.

Quote:
Although the edition I use doesn't have the words of the aria printed in it, I have seen one which does.

I wrote the German words by Wagner into my score myself. I already said on my initial post to this thread that I understand this music on the base of the closeness between the text and the (orchetral) music. I need the German words in order to know what is the current bars all about. But it doesn't mean necessarily that I must watch out for the vocal line itself. I believe in this piece the orchestral part stands more close to the text than the vocal line does.

BTW I have a question to you, Andrew, since you have many experiences with opera transcriptions. Is this piece the only opera-transcription for the piano where the arranger left the vocal line out?


Ah.. awkward questions! The truth is that for the majority of the first half (approximately up to the point of the triplet octaves in the lh) the soprano part is there - you just have to identify it within the part writing. There are some omissions, but it is usually represented. (Liszt's omissions on beats 4 of bars 6 and 8, where the soprano "collides" with the tremolandi, trouble me: before I made the studio recording I had a lengthy discussion with my teachers about this exact point - it didn't clarify much in my mind, especially as my ideas and theirs don't agree!)

Part of the problem arises, I suspect, from the texture being so much denser than typical bel canto. On page 2, for example, there are a multitude of lines and harmonies going on simultaneously, and in some places the soprano part does go missing. (However, observe details like bar 22, beat 3 / 1.51 in the video you quoted - soprano is cunningly hidden within the rh). Where the soprano line is easily followable within the score and where it's clear in the orchestra+singer version that the singer has priority, I think definitely try to prioritise her part over the orchestral transcription. Choices and compromises probably have to be made in some places, just as Liszt has probably made compromises in the arrangement; similarly consideration should also has to be given to the balance between the soprano and the orchestra in the original.In the second half Liszt has clearly given the orchestra priority and I don't think these interpretative questions arise.


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 Post subject: Re: Wagner-Liszt "Liebestod" from Tristan und Isolde
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:14 pm
Posts: 844
Location: Germany
Quote:
Ah.. awkward questions! The truth is that for the majority of the first half (approximately up to the point of the triplet octaves in the lh) the soprano part is there - you just have to identify it within the part writing. There are some omissions, but it is usually represented. (Liszt's omissions on beats 4 of bars 6 and 8, where the soprano "collides" with the tremolandi, trouble me: before I made the studio recording I had a lengthy discussion with my teachers about this exact point - it didn't clarify much in my mind, especially as my ideas and theirs don't agree!)

Thank you Andrew. As I learned this piece, I was sure that the melodic lines which seem to be from the vocal line were in fact not from the vocal line itself, but from the other instruments supporting the soprano. But I admit that you spent much more time with this piece, so I must look up the score and think about this subject once more. Thank you anyway for your help :D

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Hye-Jin Lee
"The love for music. The respect for the composer. The desire to express something that reaches and moves the listener." (Montserrat Caballé about her main motivation for becoming a singer)


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 Post subject: Re: Wagner-Liszt "Liebestod" from Tristan und Isolde
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:29 pm
Posts: 161
Location: Brazil
hi, Hye Jin!

I don't know details of this score, but it seems nicely played.

You said about the repetition of the theme with different character...I don't know if it was implicit when you said it... but in fact it is a procedure of composition developed by Liszt and Wagner. I don't know the name of it exactly (I always get confused!), but I think it is "thematic transformation" (in oposition of developing variations, like in Beethoven and Brahms).The thing is the write an entire piece with only one theme which everytime time appears with a different character. Liszt has lots of pieces written in this style. Right now, I can remember Legende no. 2 and Liebestraum no. 3.

You said it's difficult to play this piece because the piano can't reproduce all the colors of a orchestra. That's exactly why I love to play piano transcriptions! When I do that, I try to explore the different timbres of the piano to the extreme! Different touches, bizarre use of pedal, extreme dynamics... :D

You were worried about carrying the attention of the listener... don't worry: yours is pretty an attractive performance!

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