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 Post subject: Dohnanyi, Postludium, Op. 13, No. 10 from Winterreigen
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:34 pm 
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Dohnanyi, “Postludium”, Op. 13, No. 10 from Winterreigen.

I’ve played numerous preludes, so I decided to play a postlude. This music of Ernst von Dohnanyi was published in 1905, and the composer himself premiered Winterreigen in 1906. The term Winterreignen was taken from a poem of Viktor Heindl wherein the poet rues the wintery sad memories of nostalgic times. For the “Postludium” Dohnanyi took the letters of the word Ade (adieu or farewell) and wove them into the theme of this late romantic piece. Two very obvious examples would be in measure 3 where the melody starts in the right hand, and also the cadence in the coda. Dohnanyi, a piano student of Istvan Thoman and Eugen D’Albert, was a powerful force in both the music world and the Hungarian school of piano which originated with Liszt. I hope you’ll enjoy hearing this piece.

Comments welcome.

David

Piano: Baldwin Model L Artist Grand (6’3”) with lid fully open.
Recorder: Korg MR-1000
Mics: Matched pair of Earthworks TC-20 small diaphragm, omni-directional condenser mics in A-B configuration

Dohnanyi - Postludium, Op. 13, No. 10

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 Post subject: Re: Dohnanyi, Postludium, Op. 13, No. 10 from Winterreigen
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:40 am 
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The expressiveness, RH line and dynamic contrasts are absolutely wonderful. The LH triplets are uneven in a very particular way: first note held extra long, second and third notes smooshed together. Almost sounds like quarter eighth eighth. If that is purposeful rubato then consider varying it a bit--maybe be totally even as a default and then give tge first note extra time occasionally in measures where you really want extra stress on the downbeat? Just one possibility.

I love the piece and am glad to hear it on piano society!


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 Post subject: Re: Dohnanyi, Postludium, Op. 13, No. 10 from Winterreigen
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:14 am 
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Hi Heather,

I think the problem is age. I don't have quite the same dexterity that I had years ago. I'm just glad to be able to play it at tempo (although not as fast as some others). I can fix the triplets practicing slowly, but in the rush and sweep at tempo, I find it far more difficult. Being a lyrical pianist, I've never been great at fast passage work, but sometimes I challenge myself as in this instance. I'm glad though that you also found things to like in my playing. I appreciate that. Thanks!

David.

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 Post subject: Re: Dohnanyi, Postludium, Op. 13, No. 10 from Winterreigen
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:34 am 
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Hi David,
I don't know much about Dohnanyi except for his technique books (which are very hard IMO!). It was nice to hear an actual musical composition from him. Your LH did seem like it was struggling a bit, but overall there is a nice swell of dynamics and the whole recording in general is pleasant to hear. Nice job!
It's on the site.
(thanks for the correct tags!! :) )

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 Post subject: Re: Dohnanyi, Postludium, Op. 13, No. 10 from Winterreigen
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:48 am 
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Hi Monica,

Thanks! I'm glad you liked the piece and my rendition. I did my best to control the left hand. Ideally, I believe that the left hand part of this piece is supposed to be like a quiet perpetual motion effect. And at rapid speed, you shouldn't be able to hear much other than the harmonic changes. That's how the best pianists pull this piece off. I do envy the pianists who have great left hands for speed and agility. Yes, I tried to compensate with the dynamic swells you mention, the timing, and the sense of sweep. Velocity though is an aspect of the central nervous system. Years ago after spending a very long time with Hanon and Czerny, I concluded that either one is born with that capability... or not. I'm somewhat in the "or not" category. :lol: But I did enjoy challenging myself.

I very much appreciate your putting this piece up. Thanks!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Dohnanyi, Postludium, Op. 13, No. 10 from Winterreigen
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:36 pm 
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I also picked up on the lh unevenness. It didn't particularly bother me - I think it created a rocking, undulating effect, and to me it sounded quite effective. That the unevenness was consistent was I think to its advantage: it became a feature, rather than a mannerism. Anyway, I'm biased because I think arpeggiated lh figures of this type in music of this period should be played with a slight tenuto on the bass note. Perhaps there's a marginal lack of fluency, but there was enough variety of tone colour throughout the recording that I didn't find it an issue at all. Nice playing!


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 Post subject: Re: Dohnanyi, Postludium, Op. 13, No. 10 from Winterreigen
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:04 pm 
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Hi Andrew,

Thanks for listening and commenting. I'm glad that you enjoying hearing my rendition. I hear you on using tenuto on the bass notes. I thought of that but was concerned that it might bring out the downbeats too much in a piece which should sound seamless in regards to meter. If I had better evenness it might be an option. Actually I've been fighting the evenness thing in fast left-hand passage work since I was 8 years old. I've read that the longer the fingers (like mine) the more difficult it is to assure that quality. To compensate, the undulating sound you noticed is exactly what I was aiming for throughout the playing. In cases where the LH had to traverse two octaves at that speed, the more difficult it was to maintain evenness. I found that two techniques in particular are essential in the left hand part--moving the elbow away from the body whenever necessary, and rotary motion in the forearm to better overcoming some difficult stretches in the passage work. Normally I would avoid playing a piece such as this altogether and leave it to others. But I love the sound of it and noticed that Dohnanyi was not represented in the Composers List here. It was like jumping into a pool of crabs and ice water :) , but I did it!

David

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Last edited by Rachfan on Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dohnanyi, Postludium, Op. 13, No. 10 from Winterreigen
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:19 pm 
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What an interesting piece. Thank you. And our first entry for a composer that is not at all unknown.
I had read the comments before listening to the recording and the LH still did not bother me.

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 Post subject: Re: Dohnanyi, Postludium, Op. 13, No. 10 from Winterreigen
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:08 pm 
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A wonderful piece, played with passion and panache. The triplets did not bother me either, I think it's ok to lean a bit on the bass notes here. I like especially your rendition of the last few bars, with its exquisite diminuendo and affectionate 'ADE' ending. Great job, one of the best recordings I've heard from you.
And I did not hear a page turn ! Any chance you can record more of this cycle ?

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 Post subject: Re: Dohnanyi, Postludium, Op. 13, No. 10 from Winterreigen
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:41 pm 
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Hi Stu,

Whenever I can find a piece whose composer is obscure, unknown, or as in this case neglected, it's a joy to play a piece as an homage. There was another incentive too: My first teacher had studied with Miklos Schwalb at the New England Conservatory. Schwalb was a student of Dohnanyi. So where a bit of that heritage probably influenced my own playing, it was also an honor to play the "Postludium".

I'm glad you were OK with the left hand. I did everything I could to keep it under control. Sometimes it was tough.

Thanks for listening and commenting!

David

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Last edited by Rachfan on Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dohnanyi, Postludium, Op. 13, No. 10 from Winterreigen
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:53 pm 
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Hi Chris,

Thank you for all those kudos. I greatly appreciate it. Yes, for a short work, it's an extraordinary piece of music. Whenever I encounter a piece with passion and surges in the romantic tradition like that, I can't resist them. The ending can be challenging. Dohnanyi wanted it done over two lines, not within a measure or two. Undoubtedly there are some who probably execute it better than I. Still, I liked the way I let the dim. and rit. (calando) unfold the way I heard it in my mind.

I don't know yet about doing other pieces in Winterreigen. Believe it or not, the sheet music for "Postludium" was in an anthology containing music of several composers. I think I only have a couple of those books in my scores cabinet. All the other volumes are dedicated in each case to a single composer. So I'd have to look around, maybe in the IMSLP. I'll keep it in mind though.

P.S. There was no page turn, as the score pages just barely fit on my copier. :)

Thanks again.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Dohnanyi, Postludium, Op. 13, No. 10 from Winterreigen
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:07 pm 
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Hello, David,

I am a very bad member these days: I do dowload almost all new recordings submitted, but never get around to listening to them, what with pretending to work, practising the piano and listening to opera with the little girl, I get little time to do much elese. I tried putting them on a flash card and listening to them in the mornings while I squeeze oranges, but then my low-fi plays all tracks in the order in which they are written, so that I do not know if I am listening to you playing Scriabin or Chris playing Bach! :shock: Welll, perhaps not as bad as that, but still... :wink:

Yesterday I did, however, find a gap in between am aria and a chorus of the Gypsy Baron (in the version that lauched Siegrfried Jerusalem's career) and listened to this one. I must confess I am not a great enthusiast of Dohnanyi, though I do like his little joke piece for piano and orchestra, a joke which he unfortunately gives away in the title: Variations on a Nursery Rhyme, which maybe you know. If you do not, werll, you ought to!

This, however, is a good piece (I mean, the one you submitted), I must say. I will not dwell on the technical issues that others have called your attention to, but I do think you did do a good job, even if this is a "fast piece" in your opinion. If this was a "stretch piece", you did very well.

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 Post subject: Re: Dohnanyi, Postludium, Op. 13, No. 10 from Winterreigen
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:24 pm 
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Great recording - I never heard this before but you sound very confident. I noted the uneven LH only in the very opening, after that it blends in nicely. Very good control of dynamics. Thanks for posting.


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 Post subject: Re: Dohnanyi, Postludium, Op. 13, No. 10 from Winterreigen
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:44 pm 
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Hi troglodyte,

Thanks for those compliments, which I greatly appreciate.

Although it's not indicated in the score, my intention in the opening measure was to effect an accelerando or increase in velocity there after sounding the first G more loudly as well. It adds a touch of drama. (G is actually the dominant rather than the tonic key of C, yet it prevails throughout the music.) I really like the accelerando as a ramping up to what follows.

Thanks for listening and commenting.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Dohnanyi, Postludium, Op. 13, No. 10 from Winterreigen
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:40 pm 
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Hi Richard,

Glad to see you back at Piano Society. Seemed like you were in a hiatus for awhile.

Yes, I'm well familiar with Dohnanyi's "Variations on a Nursery Rhyme". It's very witty, droll and satirical in imitating the styles of other composers. You can't help but smile. I haven't heard it in years though. It's down in the basement on an LP. I wonder if it's performed on air as often as it was in the past.

Anytime I have to deal with the left hand in fast figuration, its always a stretch for me. In this piece they are not quarter notes in common time, but rather triplets. There was plenty enough to occupy my left hand in coping with the speed. It is a wonderful piece though. I'm glad you enjoyed my rendition.

Looking forward to your next recording. Seems like it's been quite awhile.

David

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