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Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2 (Read 5709 times)

Offline lluiscl

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Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
« on: June 23, 2010, 10:59:13 AM »
Hi everyone. First time here, with this marvellous piece. Recorded with zoom H2 in a Pleyel/Schimmel 174 grand, 30 years old, tuned and adjusted by myself...
All comments are welcome!!

piano sheet music of Intermezzo


Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #1 on: June 24, 2010, 10:13:16 AM »
Hi, thank you for posting your recording.  Please play it much faster; It is much too slow and drags.  If you play it faster, the ideas will come through more effectively.  Think about how a good speaker speaks.  Does he speak slower than his audience comprehends or does he speak just a bit faster than comprehension to keep them listening?  People lose attention when a speaker speaks slowly.  Speak faster.

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #2 on: June 24, 2010, 11:15:02 AM »
I really don't like those ideas comparing Speaking to singing/playing.

"If you speak to slow, it's uninteresting". That, for me, means that  you always play everything in a moderate tempo. Never too fast, cause then none can hear you, not very loud or quiet... It's so much about what piece you're playing. And what kind of speech? A politician doesn't speak the same way as a teacher, and so on...
I really think it's stupid.

Compare it to singing, if you really have to compare it.


So back to you, lluiscl. What do you want to tell us? I have my ides, but I just want to make sure that you know what you want to tell.
Though, make more difference between the 2 sections. Maybe that could be a little more vivid?
Other than that, I liked it.

Offline mistermoe

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #3 on: June 24, 2010, 11:24:58 AM »
Hi!

I really enjoyed your playing. For my taste the tempo is absolutely right. I wouldn't play it faster. It says "andante teneramente". It's like having your love in your arms, being tender. Not slapping her on the butt as fast as you can.  ::)

What i missed in your performance was a bigger range of dynamic. The first "theme" for example (mesure 1-16) has p then pp and then even adds a dolce. Make those differences more clear.

Another thing i found a little bit disturbing are all the 3 note groups in the right hand like in mesure 16-18, 21-22, 39-40, 43-44 etc. It always says crescendo - decrescendo, so the middle note is the more important. You give to much impulse on the first note, instead of leading to the second one. (Sing those passages once and i'm sure you will exactly know what i mean and how to play it)

But nevertheless good job! I absolutely didn't loose attention while listening!


edit: First time I listened to your performance was yesterday. Now that i replied i relistened and have to say i find your playing of this piece really moving!

Offline lluiscl

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #4 on: June 24, 2010, 12:47:09 PM »
Thanks a lot for your inputs. Really I can't imagine to play it faster... I agree totally with the lacks of dynamics of my interpretation. I am just reading the sheet... and I have yet many problems with the piano action (difficult to play PP) and the voice of the hammers (too harsh).

Offline mistermoe

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #5 on: June 24, 2010, 01:03:35 PM »
Hi again!

I'm listening again to your brahms. I feel you really have something to tell us in this piece. That's something rare today. Thanx for sharing

May i ask what you do (professionally)? Are you a student or a piano technician? As tuning and adjusting a piano is nothing we learn in our piano-studies. And where did you find this grand? And what's the relation between Schimmel and Pleyel (didn't know there was any)?

Ok, now it's your turn  ;D

Offline lluiscl

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #6 on: June 24, 2010, 01:50:46 PM »
Hi Mistermoe!
Really I din't play any keys of piano for the last 20 years!! I studied profesionally until I was 28... I had many problems at the beginning with this grand Pleyel (bought new in '79), which I finished my piano conservatory studies. In this time Pleyel was made by Schimmel company (it's a full Schimmel instrument). The last 3 years I have begin to learn about tune/adjust/rebuild pianos... Really an appasionate task!! This grand was always an imposible instrument... Now it begins to reborn...
Next days I'll input a new recording of this marvellous piece (learn from the beginning 2 weeks ago) with a old Bluthner grand (other piano galaxy...).
Thanks again.

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #7 on: June 24, 2010, 02:28:34 PM »
.

Offline lluiscl

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #8 on: June 24, 2010, 02:47:07 PM »
Pianisten: Can you translate, please? (or may be you must to finish your studies, first)

Offline birba

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #9 on: June 24, 2010, 04:42:24 PM »
Well, all I have to say is that was some wonderful music making.  EVERY note convinced me.  The tempo is perfect for you.  And that wierd old piano sound really made it sound haunting and nostalgic.  I absolutely loved it.

Offline mistermoe

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #10 on: June 24, 2010, 08:01:51 PM »
Hi lluiscl it's me again  ;D

I absolutely can't believe you haven't played for 20 years  :o
I don't know what the reasons for your quitting were, but i seriously hope you overcame all those obstacles. I'm glad for you, you found back to piano.

You really touch me with this brahms, each time i relistened to it. I sincerely thank you for that!

I'm really looking forward for your next recordings.


edit: the more i listen to this, the more i realize that my criticism in my first post is of minor importance.

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #11 on: June 25, 2010, 03:54:26 AM »
I really don't like those ideas comparing Speaking to singing/playing.

"If you speak to slow, it's uninteresting". That, for me, means that  you always play everything in a moderate tempo. Never too fast, cause then none can hear you, not very loud or quiet... It's so much about what piece you're playing. And what kind of speech? A politician doesn't speak the same way as a teacher, and so on...
I really think it's stupid.

Compare it to singing, if you really have to compare it.

In speaking, do we really need to hear every single syllable?  No, we don't.  We comprehend speech in chunks that get the idea across, not at the phonemic level.  Just as you are reading this, you are not reading individual letters but the combination of words in a sentence.  You are also not reading this slowly so that you are aware of every single letter.  This is why music is much faster than you think it is even though most people never get music to the correct tempi.

Singing would not be an apt comparison because singing is just using the voice to make music; it is not a parallel. 

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #12 on: June 25, 2010, 07:32:02 AM »
In speaking, do we really need to hear every single syllable?  No, we don't.  We comprehend speech in chunks that get the idea across, not at the phonemic level.  Just as you are reading this, you are not reading individual letters but the combination of words in a sentence.  You are also not reading this slowly so that you are aware of every single letter.  This is why music is much faster than you think it is even though most people never get music to the correct tempi.

So not only should he play it way faster, but also less articulated?

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #13 on: June 27, 2010, 10:03:18 AM »
So not only should he play it way faster, but also less articulated?

E-nun-ci-a-tion is an-noy-ing be-cause it is un-na-tur-al.  Would you prefer to speak with clear enunciation to the detriment of the idea or is it important that you get the idea across?

Music is about the communication of ideas, not the playing of 'pretty sounds'.  This is the distinction that you must be able to make to be an effective communicator.


Offline pianisten1989

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #14 on: June 27, 2010, 07:10:14 PM »
Why do you even compare playing piano with speaking? To speak is almost never about making something beautiful, music is.
So you rather prefer someone talking than playing piano? No, it's not always about "making pretty sound", neither is it about being very concrete and communicating a specific message. If music Only was about communicating ideas, you'd probably write a book.

Do you even play the piano? Everything you say seems to be so very strange: calling one of swedens best teacher a plumber, "playing is like speaking, articulated is unnatural, appassionato is a tempo" What else? "Beethoven actually not death, neither was he a composer."?

Why don't you record a chopin nocturne and a mozart sonata "the right way"?

Btw, how about adagio? it's not very natural to speak very slow either? But I guess you've got some Great idea about that as well.

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #15 on: June 28, 2010, 05:14:25 AM »
You have the wrong idea.  Music is not something that should be beautiful or made to be beautiful; It is about the communication of ideas using sound as the medium.  And if music-making happens to be beautiful, it is the side effect of effective communication.

Let's talk about the dynamics, tempo, rhythm, pitch, intonation, tonal centers, and articulation.  No, I am not referring to music; I am referencing aspects of speech.  All of these are present.  We are all capable of speech and we can learn a lot about music by studying it.

What is the difference between speech and music?  Music imitates speaking patterns.  This is why French music and language are aurally similar, German music sounds German, and American English music (i.e. America pop, jazz) sounds American English and why, to most Americans, European classical music sounds strange but pop and jazz do not.

As an English speaker, would you rather listen to an English TV show than a Spanish one?  Most likely (assuming you don't speak Spanish) you overwhelmingly prefer English.  Why?  Because it is a language you understand.


Since you have continuously resorted to personal attacks, you have most likely done so because you have felt threatened by these ideas.  You have implied that I am not musician, you have accused me of name-calling a Swedish teacher a plumber, and then you used scarecrow tactics in an attempt to win an argument.  This is a discussion with the intent of furthering each others knowledge and music-making and even exposing ones lack of knowledge and understanding with the intent to increase it.  Instead of attacking me or anyone else with whom you disagree, it would be more conducive to refrain from it and simply state the genuine reason why you disagree.  This way, we could all learn from it and has the added benefit of developing and maintaining a positive forum culture where every single member would feel free to discuss their thoughts and ideas without fear of ridicule.  Be happy.  Be positive. :)

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #16 on: June 28, 2010, 05:20:39 AM »
Btw, how about adagio? it's not very natural to speak very slow either? But I guess you've got some Great idea about that as well.

It depends on context.  If we were to have a casual conversation about the World Cup, we would not be speaking adagio because the World Cup is not something that is discussed slowly especially when my home team is winning. ;D  However, if your home team lost, you may speak slowly or not at all because of your disappointment.

When we are happy and excited, we tend to speak louder and faster.
When we are sad and depressed, we tend to speak softer and slower.
Again, it depends on what kind of ideas are being discussed and felt that determines the manner in which we communicate.

And yes, I think these are "Great ideas" that we should all be aware of.

Offline furtwaengler

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #17 on: June 28, 2010, 05:59:47 AM »
Well, I thought it was beautifully played. There are a couple notes, in, I think, measure 35 after the tied A in the alto, it's G-sharp, A, F-sharp down to the E, but you repeat the G-sharp rather than playing the F-sharp but correct it in the next measure...oddly the same exact thing happens in the recap. Is there a G-sharp in your score?

Ah well, no problem here with the tempo. It is in the perfect place for breath and flexibility. I can't imagine it played much faster, unless it's Glenn Gould (who actual made some very beautiful recording so of the intermezzi).

Welcome to the forum, btw. I hope you enjoy your time here.  :)
Don't let anyone know where you tie your goat.

Offline lluiscl

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #18 on: June 28, 2010, 06:58:30 AM »
You are right, Furtwängler. Thanks a a lot for your useful note!
Much faster? Andante teneramente?? My recording is 6'19" long... According youtube the Kissin one is 6'51" and Pogorelich 8'51"!!
In my opinion the best one is the Roberto Plano (6'17").
Less articulated? Sure... I want a Steinway D...
All the best.

Offline furtwaengler

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #19 on: June 28, 2010, 07:25:23 AM »
Hi lluiscl,

You are misunderstanding me. I wrote, "I can't imagine it played much faster." Your tempo is great. It is indeed faster than what the other comments advertise.
Don't let anyone know where you tie your goat.

Offline lluiscl

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #20 on: June 28, 2010, 09:23:24 AM »
Sorry Furtwängler: your post was absolutely OK. Thanks again. I was talking about the duet Faulty/Pianisten... so they undertand it "much faster"... May be they should to listen some W. Furtwängler recordings, which its usually slower tempos... (but full and deep of music...).
All the best.

Offline tds

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #21 on: June 28, 2010, 11:30:32 AM »
dear lluiscl, this is very beautiful. u play from the heart. thank you
dignity, love and joy.

Offline scottmcc

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #22 on: June 28, 2010, 11:15:01 PM »
Wilhelm Kempff played it in 4:29.  Helene Grimaud played it in 5:58.  Both are great artists, both are very different interpretations.  I actually prefer it on the slower side, especially for the tender opening theme.

all of the debate here really reminds me of an episode from "Conversations with Glenn Gould," which is a great little book btw:

J Cott:  I wanted to ask about the famous red herring that almost anyone who doesn't like your playing immediately uses against you--the question of tempo.  To me, it seems that the emotional content and structural form of a piece isn't so much determined byh a fast or slow tempo, but rather that, in a qualitative sense, whatever tempo you choose creates, within that tempo field, a certain level of tensions and relationships.  So that the tempo appears, in a way, like a container into which a liquid is poured.

G. Gould:  I couldn't agree more and can't begin to top that in terms of expressing it so well.  The best example of that, if we talk about just the classical literature, is Artur Schnabel.  I think that Schnabel, and I'm not exactly saying anything new, was probably the greatest Beethoven player who ever lived.  I find myself more genuinely drawn to the essence of Beethoven in Schnabel than I ever have been by anybody.  I mean, you may not particularly care for the way he did certain things, but by God, he knew what he was doing...  (he explains a number of aspects of Schnabel's playing)

Yes, I agree with you about tempo, I've never understood why it's such a big deal, you know.  It's always seemed that tempo is a function of so many relatively extraneous things.  For instance, my tempi have noticeably slowed down in the last year, because I'm playing on a piano newly rebuilt, which eventually will assume the characteristics that it had before, I hope and pray, but which at the moment has a heavier action...


keep up the good work--I enjoyed your brahms, and I'd like to hear more of it!

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #23 on: July 02, 2010, 09:26:56 PM »
Listening to recordings of pieces is a great way to get acquainted with a piece.  However, it may not be the best way to understand a piece.

Sometimes, listening to a piece for the first time that was poorly performed can be detrimental because it may either cause the listener to dislike it and/or accept that first interpretation as the standard for which all others, including your own, compare.  Both of these occur in high frequency especially so now because of the amount of available recordings; it is no longer difficult to make interpretive decisions when there are many models available.  It's easiest to buy one recording and use that as one's gold standard.  (You did pay for it, after all.)

Using Gould as an example, his Bach is terrible.  If you had only listened to his interpretation of the WTC, and used that as the standard for which all others compare, then you would lose all the musical ideas that were present.  Gould's interpretation of Bach is not music; they are finger exercises at the music's expense.  And unfortunately, due to Gould's fame (aka: idiosyncrasies), he has been placed on a pedestal where we are all expected to admire (as I once did) whatever he brought to the world of music.  It is my opinion that he was a severe detriment to music, especially in regards to the interpretation and performance of J.S. Bach's works.

Recordings are a blessing because they allow us to listen to an incredible amount of music in a short amount of time.  However, the limitations of recordings are obvious: they replay the exact sounds that were recorded each time without any variation.  This lends itself to solidifying the performer's style and idiosyncrasies into the listener's mind, and thus accepting that recording as the reference standard.  This is detrimental, especially when the recording is a poor one.

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #24 on: July 03, 2010, 05:07:00 AM »
Faulty: Are you really this stupid, irl, or are you just trying to make a discussion?
Clearly, you don't understand what Gould do with Bach. Almost every other pianist thinks he's the best Bach interpreter, but you says (almost like if it was a fact) that he's bad. And therefore, you're right, and everyone else are idiots?!


Edit:
I recently blurred through some posts, and discovered your thoughts about playing winter wind.
You said you could master it in a week, if you only practise right (you never said How, though...). Do you actually think we'll take you seriously?

Offline birba

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #25 on: July 03, 2010, 05:36:02 AM »
I don't think faulty-damper is far from the mark.  I don't think you can say anyone is the best bach or beethoven or chopin interpreter.  Gould certainly represents an important interpreter of Bach.  He changed radically in the 60's our conception of the composer and his work.  He exaggerated tempi, staccati, rythms, etc. in a way that woke us up to ANOTHER way to  consider Bach's music.  But he is certainly not the final word.  What about Landowska and Turek?  They certainly had much and possibly even more to say, then Gould.  Turek was  THE pianist who created a renaissance of Bach as played on the modern piano.  As faulty-damper says, if you ONLY listened to Gould's sometimes eccentric reditions of Bach's works, you would acquire a very jaded impression of his music.

Offline birba

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #26 on: July 03, 2010, 05:39:23 AM »
Sorry, illuisci.  We've really strayed from the original thread.  I really did enjoy your interpretation of this intermezzo!

Offline prongated

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #27 on: July 05, 2010, 02:00:54 PM »
Please play it much faster; It is much too slow and drags.

Uh, the tempo is fine really...it's more the rubato that really disturbs the flow and somewhat create unease for me. The middle section in particular I like to flow a lot more. This is really nitpicking a fine performance of the piece though.

"If you speak to slow, it's uninteresting". That, for me, means that  you always play everything in a moderate tempo. Never too fast, cause then none can hear you, not very loud or quiet... It's so much about what piece you're playing. And what kind of speech? A politician doesn't speak the same way as a teacher, and so on...
I really think it's stupid.

Seconded.

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Brahms, Intermezzo op. 118-2
«Reply #28 on: July 06, 2010, 07:25:43 AM »
Faulty: Are you really this stupid, irl, or are you just trying to make a discussion?
Clearly, you don't understand what Gould do with Bach. Almost every other pianist thinks he's the best Bach interpreter, but you says (almost like if it was a fact) that he's bad. And therefore, you're right, and everyone else are idiots?!


Edit:
I recently blurred through some posts, and discovered your thoughts about playing winter wind.
You said you could master it in a week, if you only practise right (you never said How, though...). Do you actually think we'll take you seriously?

Again, may I remind of common decency.  Please learn appropriate manners on this forum; i.e. refrain from using personal insults and instead use speech that promotes discussion.  Your diatribe detracts from the discussion of the topic and focuses on your own personal, fragile ego.  It highlights your own limited knowledge and ability.  We are here to share and learn and in order to do so every member must feel free from such attacks.  This is the third time I am calling you out on your inappropriate behavior.  Stop it.

You also need to learn to rephrase your questions in the appropriate manner.  Here is the answer to your question:  If you want to learn how to play the A Minor study in a week, you should start a new thread in the Repertoire section.