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Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (rec 1.11.11, unedited) (Read 9263 times)

Offline furiouzpianist

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Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (rec 1.11.11, unedited)
« on: January 11, 2011, 07:15:22 PM »
one take, recorded on a rather dull Steinway (no sparkle  - sounds like Yamaha C3 on una-corda)

The only way I can get a piece to concert level is to record it "as is" and then keep working.
I will post an updated version in a few days.

Offline birba

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Re: Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (rec 1.11.11)
«Reply #1 on: January 11, 2011, 08:40:06 PM »
Wow.  Fantastico!  You're going to do this really well.  The only thing I don't like is the beginning.  It's way too fast.  It should sound much more ballabile and rustico.  It's missing the whole mephistophelean flavor.  You do the wonderful middle section beautifully.  You take lots of liberties there and they are very convincing.  Now do a little of the same at the beginning.
Exciting finale.  Great work.

Offline furiouzpianist

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Re: Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (rec 1.11.11)
«Reply #2 on: January 11, 2011, 09:23:17 PM »
I would have liked to do the beginning slower too. But everyone plays even faster than this.

also, I don't know how people manage to get this under 10 minutes. Kapell plays this in 9:45

and

Berezovsky 8:50 here  :o (I thought it was my own idea, but he also makes the ending octave a chord)



I still am pretty slow at 10:39, and it looks like I will never pass the 10:30 mark. I just don't see how it physically possible.

This is by far the most difficult Liszt piece in my repertoire. I find the beginning (up to the cantilenna) the most difficult part of the work, technically, because everything is so "mixed". Heavy chordal textures alternate with light finger work, and it is very hard to make this transition, for me at least. There is a similar problem with the Liszt Wilde Jagd.

also, don't miss this live Mephisto by Grynyuk - he has a wonderfully light, sparkling sound.


Offline birba

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Re: Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (rec 1.11.11, unedited)
«Reply #3 on: January 12, 2011, 08:33:01 AM »
What is this, a race in time?!  I could come back with:  Ashkenazy, 10:15,  Argerich's little darling Sergio Tempo, 10:17,  Rubenstein, lo and behold: 10:54!!.   So get all of this out of your head!!!!
You play it wonderfully - and I was listening to Ashkenazy again, and, in effect, he plays it as fast as you, but with very very marked accents.  It's this that gives it that rustic and devilish air.  The way you played it, all I could hear was how fast it was.  It wasn't exciting like the rest.
If you're so concerned about getting it under 9 minutes, speed up the central part.  ;D

Offline furiouzpianist

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Re: Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (rec 1.11.11, unedited)
«Reply #4 on: January 12, 2011, 02:56:00 PM »
if I'm not mistaken, the 1957 Ashkenazy on youtube is sped up by 15 seconds.


I have the Young Ashkenazy Vol. 2 (Testament) and it is 10:30. Same date.  I also have an astonishing bootleg of Ashkenazy from 1969, Carnegie Hall. But the 1957 studio has to be my favorite rec of Mephisto Waltz No. 1.

I am also working on Mephisto Waltz No. 2 now. It is very thick - a 3 hand texture.


Offline birba

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Re: Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (rec 1.11.11, unedited)
«Reply #5 on: January 12, 2011, 05:06:37 PM »
That IS an amazing recording.  Now you've gotten me started on this thing.  I want to work it back up and I've been listening to lots of pianists on the youtube.  I'm convinced that any tempo works so long as you believe in it.  I've always been hung up on those leaps in the right hand at the end - and ashkenazy is formidable at that speed.  But notice how he takes it down quite a bit immediately afterwards, and then again when the r-h- arpeggio section starts.  Nothing in the score validates this, but it's convincing and more power to him.

Offline furiouzpianist

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Re: Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (rec 1.11.11, unedited)
«Reply #6 on: January 12, 2011, 11:00:40 PM »
I also take the section after the leaps a bit slower, and then the arpeggio section a bit slower too. I think every pianist does this. If you do this any other way, the leaps will sound slow!

Offline birba

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Re: Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (rec 1.11.11, unedited)
«Reply #7 on: January 13, 2011, 06:58:08 AM »
Did you hear the mess Richter made in that spot on that old recording?

Offline furiouzpianist

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Re: Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (rec 1.11.11, unedited)
«Reply #8 on: January 13, 2011, 02:03:00 PM »
Did you hear the mess Richter made in that spot on that old recording?

yes, that is the 1958 recording. I also heard an unreleased 1955 Moscow recording that is cleaner, and an unreleased Moscow 1956 that is cleaner still.

Anyway, I have to get Mephisto Waltz No. 2 into shape ASAP.

Offline rachfan

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Re: Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (rec 1.11.11, unedited)
«Reply #9 on: January 13, 2011, 09:41:43 PM »
Hi furiouz,

Bravo!  This is an outstanding performance of the "Mephisto Waltz" No. 1.  It doesn't get much better than this!  Your very refined sense of musicality and artistry make this rendition shine.  I wouldn't bother attempting to play this piece faster.  The tempo is perfectly fine as is and reflects your individuality.  Congratulations on your wonderful performance, and thanks for sharing it here!
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline furiouzpianist

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Re: Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (rec 1.11.11, unedited)
«Reply #10 on: January 14, 2011, 02:27:11 AM »
I just booked a recital from Jan 30 (7:30 pm). A bit suicidal, but the All-Liszt program will be:


Hungarian Rhapsody No.11, S.244

Zwei Episoden aus Lenaus Faust
  1. Der nächtliche Zug, S.513a
  2. Mephisto Waltz No. 1, S.514

Schumann-Liszt: Widmung, S.566

INTERMISSION

Piano Sonata in B minor, S.178




17 days left.........................and I am not ready.




Offline birba

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Re: Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (rec 1.11.11, unedited)
«Reply #11 on: January 14, 2011, 07:56:05 AM »
Wow.  Really interesting programme.  So you aren't doing the 2nd Mephisto.   I've never really cared for that piece.  I would have ended the first half with the two faust pieces.  Great intro to the sonata.  In bocca al lupo!!

Offline furiouzpianist

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Re: Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (rec 1.11.11, unedited)
«Reply #12 on: January 14, 2011, 01:57:28 PM »
in that case, I will do the Widmung for encore. Along with Lugumbre Gondola I.

A CRAPLOAD of work.

yeah, I will have to postpone work on Mephisto 2...........

Offline prongated

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Re: Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (rec 1.11.11, unedited)
«Reply #13 on: January 31, 2011, 05:38:40 AM »
...this recording is already quite concert-worthy IMO...

Just some personal preferences...those octaves in the beginning that precede the build-up towards the main theme (A major), I like them sharper in rhythm. In other words, slightly longer rests and sharper 8th note in the 3rd beat. And the main theme sometimes sound a bit too dry, but maybe it's just the piano/room/recorder.

The tempo is a very interesting question indeed. I agree with birba here - I think it's best if you don't play it as fast. That is not to say that you don't play it well at this speed (incidentally, it seems you have excellent technical command of this piece), but I do think that the way you approach it begs for a more elegant tempo, because many of the things you are doing in the main theme (sorry, that's as far as I get to hear at the moment) are indeed elegant. To add curiosity to the matter, the best live performance I've heard of this piece is Stephen Hough's, who played it at absolute breakneck speed!

Regardless, this is really a concert-worthy performance. Bravo!

Offline birba

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Re: Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (rec 1.11.11)
«Reply #14 on: January 31, 2011, 07:28:27 AM »


This is by far the most difficult Liszt piece in my repertoire. I find the beginning (up to the cantilenna) the most difficult part of the work, technically, because everything is so "mixed". Heavy chordal textures alternate with light finger work, and it is very hard to make this transition, for me at least. There is a similar problem with the Liszt Wilde Jagd.



Then where do you place the leap section?!  That's the toughest part for me.  Any suggestions from a young virtuoso?

Offline furiouzpianist

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Re: Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (rec 1.11.11, unedited)
«Reply #15 on: January 31, 2011, 04:13:48 PM »
practice the leaps very slowly with your eyes closed. feel the note before you push the key. This is the only way to get them clean.

The leaps are not difficult, but it is extremely difficult to play them perfectly cleanly - to hit every damn note, in a performance.

Offline birba

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Re: Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (rec 1.11.11, unedited)
«Reply #16 on: January 31, 2011, 04:48:51 PM »


The leaps are not difficult, but it is extremely difficult to play them perfectly cleanly - to hit every damn note, in a performance.
  That's exactly what I'm talking about.  :'(
At any rate, I'll try that.  It worked on the schumann fantasy - a little...

Offline birba

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Re: Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (rec 1.11.11, unedited)
«Reply #17 on: January 31, 2011, 04:57:56 PM »
You won't believe this, but it did help.  I only did it once, slowly, and it made me realize I had been approaching these leaps in the wrong way.  It's a fast side-ways movement and not an arch.  (I know, you're probably laughing at my stupidity).  That's why I couldn't get it up to speed, and was constantly hitting the wrong notes.  Also, that excercise helps the getting to the note BEFORE you hit it.  So that when it goes fast, you have your distance down pat.
Thanks.  you see?  You CAN teach an old dog new tricks... ;D

Offline birba

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Re: Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (rec 1.11.11, unedited)
«Reply #18 on: February 02, 2011, 08:57:29 PM »
And here you were worried about getting under 10 minutes!!!!
http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=39978.0;topicseen#lastPost