Piano Society
Free Classical Keyboard Recordings
It is currently Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:24 am

All times are UTC - 1 hour




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Chopin - Nocturne Op. 9 no. 2
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:35 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8511
This Chopin nocturne has long been my LEAST favorite of all nocturnes! I got so tired of hearing it in commercials and everything else, that I simply refused to listen to it ever again--let alone play it! And then Riley asked if I would record it for his book project. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I didn't like the piece and said yes to his request.

But a funny thing happened as I began to work on it; I started to like it again! :) I don't know why....maybe it's just impossible not to like something by Chopin...at least not to like something from him forever.

Some may consider this one of Chopin's easiest nocturnes; I still find it very hard to play well (like all Chopin!). I tried to get this perfect, but as usual, perfection eludes me. :x Comments welcomed, anyway.... :)

(@Riley - let me know if things change, and I'll take the recording off the site... :wink: )


Chopin - Nocturne in E-flat Major, Op. 9, no. 2

_________________
"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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Nocturne Op. 9 no. 2
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:36 pm
Posts: 302
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
I don't understand why you should feel this recording isn't good enough. I think it's quite lovely and certainly deserves to stand alongside the other recordings on site of this piece. The only place sufficiently problematic to deserve more work is bar 29, where the octuplets are; here the flow doesn't quite seem to work.

Anything apart from that would just be nitpicking. If I may, I'll pick two.

The first is hardly even worth mentioning: In bar 22 you omit the grace note G before the B-flat. Perhaps your edition doesn't have one.

The second is perhaps slightly more important: In bar 24, beat 2, the right hand has 12 notes, and the question arises of how to divide these among the 3 triplets of the left hand. You are shamelessly dividing them 3+6+3, but all the editions on IMSLP show them as some variant of 2+5+5; they all agree that only the B-flat and A-natural should fall on the first triplet, so that however else you divide the other 10 notes, they suggest it is the right hand's upper A-flat, not the lower A-natural, which should coincide with the left hand's F-D.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Nocturne Op. 9 no. 2
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:09 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:07 pm
Posts: 692
Location: Carbondale, IL
Monica,

I had a listen to your recording several times. I really do enjoy it! Thank you for learning it and for recording this. The pacing, the phrasing, I think you really create a wonderful rendering of the score. I am sorry to say I cannot give you feedback on it, because I have not played it. But I think, based on other versions I have heard, it is very faithful to the score. Nice to hear this after your recordings of the trois nouvelles, the waltz, after you said you visited him last year and in the summer, the monolithic set of Variations on a theme of the composer by Mompou and the last Mazurka and now this, wonderful. Glad you started to like it again! :D

It will make a great addition to my book, without question! I am still picking out pianosociety piano pieces for each chapter. I woudl ideally like to put page urls at the first page of each chapter, to summarize it or an event in the chapter that cpatures the character of the piece. More publicity for PS (I know you like that :wink: )!

_________________
"I don't know what music is, but I know it when I hear it." - Alan Schuyler
Riley Tucker


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Nocturne Op. 9 no. 2
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:08 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8511
Thank you for listening, Rainer and Riley. (that sounds like a tv or radio show. "The Rainer and Riley Show") :)

@Rainer - I never said I did not think this was not good enough for the site. I think it is. I just don't think my playing is ever perfect and never will be. Oh well, that's why we practice...
Anyway, I did get that grace note G in there but it came out a bit too soft and quick so it's hard to hear. Regarding bars 24 and 27....I think you are right about me not getting them quite right. I've just tried correcting those spots. Do they sound better now?

@Riley - If it wasn't for you, I still wouldn't like this piece, so I should thank you! :D When I get to the last bar, I just can't help but to sigh and dream about Chopin and remember visiting his grave.


Attachments:
me and chopin2.jpg
me and chopin2.jpg [ 219.08 KiB | Viewed 4480 times ]

_________________
"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
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Nocturne Op. 9 no. 2
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:59 am
Posts: 268
I like it very much. It flows and breathes nicely. I do think the accompanying chords could be a LOT quieter especially when you are playing the main theme. But it is quite nice as is.
I've heard this piece a lot, and play it frequently for ballet classes, and haven't gotten tired of it yet :)
Nice work!
Heather


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Nocturne Op. 9 no. 2
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:17 pm
Posts: 418
Location: Boston
Very well played, Monica! The challenge with popular pieces is finding something new. Besides the commercials, perhaps it was your least favorite because of its extrinsic simplicity. But, the difficulty lies in revealing the inherent simplicity of flow within this piece - maybe that is why you started to like this piece more after you delved into it? Chopin teases us with some technically simpler pieces, only to discover that it's more difficult to convey music than it is to play. Such is the case with this piece because it can easily sound like an exercise if care is not taken with the dynamics, phrasing, rubato, accompaniment, and cadences.

I can't find my Nocturnes right now to cite exact measures, (it has been that long), but I would only make more use of dynamic contrasts: Start your phrases softer so you have room to grow the melody and crescendo as you ascend in the passage, sustain the peak notes with a slight rubato to allow the melody to soar, and decrescendo the cadence so you can start the cycle over again in the next phrase. This will give the illusion that the piano is singing. Use the left hand accompaniment also to give the illusion of dynamics. It could be your room and/or piano, but the bright timbre might make it difficult to convey ppp. Your dynamic range starts from p; try more use of the soft pedal to get ppp in the recording, and also give additional dynamic control in the left hand. A minor blip, you lose sustain on the low D in the L.H. - think legato in your mind and you most likely won't do it again. Your pedaling is excellent, and gives the piece amazing clarity.

The first 2 measures determine how this piece is going to go. It's very difficult to hit it just right, but if you do, you feel like the whole piece is destined to go well... I would often start over if the dynamic balance was off between the opening B-flat (pp), and the low E-flat (pp) and high G (p). Weird, but for me, one of the dangers of this piece is in the opening measures.

Judging from your fine performance here, it seems that you truly like this piece again. :D
I miss you guys and gals! :P

George

P.S. Nice photo!

_________________
"Nobility of spirit has more to do with simplicity than ostentation, wisdom rather than wealth, commitment rather than ambition." ~Riccardo Muti


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Nocturne Op. 9 no. 2
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:36 pm
Posts: 302
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
pianolady wrote:
Anyway, I did get that grace note G in there but it came out a bit too soft and quick so it's hard to hear.
In your re-recording it's now more discernible, but it could do with drawing even more attention to itself.
Quote:
Regarding bars 24 and 27....I think you are right about me not getting them quite right. I've just tried correcting those spots. Do they sound better now?
Yes. In bar 29 (not 27) the flow of the octuplets is very much improved. What you could have done here is to divide the 8 something like 2+3+3 among the 3 left hand chords, but that would have been the easy way out and it's nice that you chose not to do that, and to prefer flexibility over rigidity.

In bar 24, your division has changed from 3+6+3 to 2+7+3. The "2" there is good, and although the flow of the remaining 10 notes sounds about right, I think it would be better not to delay the 3rd left hand chord so that it coincides with the right hand G. These 3 last notes (G-F-E-flat) don't really want to fill the 3rd triplet, but only roughly the 2nd half of it. Most editions seem to align the left hand B-flat-D-A-flat chord with the right hand C-sharp.

It often happens when you fix one thing (or several), that something else unrelated goes wrong, this is the "minor blip" George has picked up on, it is in bar 13 where there has been a pedal malfunction which makes the left hand D-flat on the fourth beat come out as an out-of-character staccato, which seems to have slipped undetected through your Quality Control.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Nocturne Op. 9 no. 2
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:32 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8511
@Heather - To me the LH does not sound that loud, but thank you for the feedback.

@George - Thank you for all the nice tips. It may surprise you, but I did apply my soft pedal often throughout the recording. I don't have fancy and expensive microphones though. I'm glad to hear that my pedaling was good. That was something I worked on because I didn't want the turns to get muddy.
Btw - Did you notice what color my shirt is in that photo? It's Chopin's favorite. I planned that...haha. And we miss you very much too!! I wish you would come here more often like you used to. What about your nice big piano? Are you not playing it? Tell me it is not just sitting there collecting dust...

@Rainer - thank you for the second-listening. Yes, I see now where that LH chord lines up with the C# in the RH (bar 24). I've made another note in my score. Thank you again for the help. And yes, I did catch the D that I accidentally popped off (that George mentioned). My Quality Control has found a couple other spots that also bug me. But see--that's the thing: Of course I love Chopin and enjoy learning his music. Getting to the point when I can play all the notes at a good tempo is so rewarding, and I play along in my own little world, feeling good about everything. Then I record the piece and I think it's okay. But then the next day, I listen back and hear all the imperfections. A phrase that wasn't shaped very well, a note that stands out too loud/soft, a smear in the pedaling, etc...and I think that in order to get everything right, I'd have to practice the piece 10,000 more hours. It's frustrating. And it's always with Chopin's music! George is right in that Chopin's 'simpler' pieces are very hard to play well. I feel like I should just quit trying to play Chopin....all this picky stuff is making me crazy. Image

_________________
"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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Nocturne Op. 9 no. 2
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:45 pm
Posts: 382
Location: New Jersey, USA
Thanks, Monica.

Very nice pedaling, particularly toward the end. Can't be sure by listening, but it sounds like you're using both sostenuto and damper?? (And, as always, I was listening through speakers, so your microphones also deserve a nod!)

_________________
stu kautsch


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Nocturne Op. 9 no. 2
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:17 pm
Posts: 418
Location: Boston
Monica, are you wearing "La Note Bleue?" ;) It looks like you're sitting in front of Chopin's doorstep, waiting for him to come out and play. But, Euterpe is sadly saying, "he's resting now." :P

Don't worry, your mics are fine. Your piano-room combination is working well, you must have a good amount of furniture for diffusion. Years ago, I recorded with just a $20 Radio Shack lapel mic in a nice hall, and it still sounded good.

My piano is well maintained, and dusted often. I had time tonight, so I took out the gear from storage and recorded 2 Chopin Waltzes, Nos. 7 & 18. What a pain in the ass to get an entire track perfectly on one take. I just listened to it after 5 takes - Fuggedaboudit as they say in NYC! I always miss a note or jumble a passage somewhere. Too late now, but I'll get back to it next weekend since the mics are out. Only if the window of time was as wide as the window next to the piano.

_________________
"Nobility of spirit has more to do with simplicity than ostentation, wisdom rather than wealth, commitment rather than ambition." ~Riccardo Muti


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Nocturne Op. 9 no. 2
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:57 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8511
StuKautsch wrote:
Thanks, Monica.

Very nice pedaling, particularly toward the end. Can't be sure by listening, but it sounds like you're using both sostenuto and damper?? (And, as always, I was listening through speakers, so your microphones also deserve a nod!)

Thank you, Stu. I used the damper and the una corda pedal there at the end. The damper pedal remains down throughout, so maybe that's why you thought the sostenuto pedal was used.

88man wrote:
Monica, are you wearing "La Note Bleue?" ;) It looks like you're sitting in front of Chopin's doorstep, waiting for him to come out and play. But, Euterpe is sadly saying, "he's resting now." :P

Before the grave site, I looked for Chopin at #9 Square D'Orleans. He wouldn't come out and play with me there, either. You know, as I sit now and think about those places, I still feel a strong sense of wonderment knowing that I was actually there. I can vividly remember how I felt - like pins and needles all over -but they didn't hurt. I can close my eyes and transport myself to standing in the exact spots where I had stood seven months ago and still feel this soft, fuzzy feeling....I can't explain it.


88man wrote:
My piano is well maintained, and dusted often. I had time tonight, so I took out the gear from storage and recorded 2 Chopin Waltzes, Nos. 7 & 18. What a pain in the ass to get an entire track perfectly on one take. I just listened to it after 5 takes - Fuggedaboudit as they say in NYC! I always miss a note or jumble a passage somewhere. Too late now, but I'll get back to it next weekend since the mics are out. Only if the window of time was as wide as the window next to the piano.

I know. I always lose weight when I'm recording....the stress and all.
But I'm glad you are still playing and I hope we will get to hear your waltzes very soon! Like next weekend, okay? :)

_________________
"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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Nocturne Op. 9 no. 2
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:25 am
Posts: 5
The main question with this one for me is always is it a waltz? This recording is a definite yes and
it sounds great as a waltz. Chopin writes waltzes all day and then some, sometimes they're mazurkas,
sometimes they are preldues, and this one a nocturne. it probably made sense to him.
here's my take on it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsUViB5ckNM&t=11m43s


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Chopin - Nocturne Op. 9 no. 2
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:08 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8511
Hello again.... Well, I think you did okay with the piece, but your rhythm was a little wonky at times and the ending had quite a lot of problems. I know, strange things can happen in a live performance. At least you finished the piece! :) But really, I don't like at all that suddenly your name pops up on the screen. That's rather tacky, IMO. But hey - it's your video so you can do what you like... :)

_________________
"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


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 1 hour


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group