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Topic: VIDEO: Melancholy Chopin Prelude  (Read 2177 times)

Offline josh93248

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VIDEO: Melancholy Chopin Prelude
on: July 02, 2016, 10:56:51 AM
This emotional Prelude (Op. 28 No 6 in B minor), while one of the easiest is also one of the longer Chopin preludes and it's deep sadness is quite compelling and heartfelt.



I dedicate this recording to Noah Johnson, better known as pencilart, who is perhaps one of the fiercest lovers of Chopin on the forum.
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Offline themeandvariation

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Re: VIDEO: Melancholy Chopin Prelude
Reply #1 on: July 02, 2016, 06:22:36 PM
Hey Josh,
Really expressive playing.  You being a singer (as i recall) seems to translate effectively to your melodic shaping and breathing for a dramatic story.
Good work!
T.
4'33"

Offline josh93248

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Re: VIDEO: Melancholy Chopin Prelude
Reply #2 on: July 02, 2016, 06:31:57 PM
Hey Josh,
Really expressive playing.  You being a singer (as i recall) seems to translate effectively to your melodic shaping and breathing for a dramatic story.
Good work!
T.

I've no idea if being a singer helps me be more expressive, if anything, singing has helped me technically at piano whereas piano has helped me musically with singing. At any rate I really appreciate your feedback, as I said, I checked your recent Debussy homage and would recommend anyone reading this to give it a look.
Care to see my playing?

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBqAtDI8LYOZ2ZzvEwRln7A/videos

I Also offer FREE PIANO LESSONS over Skype. Those who want to know more, feel free to PM me.

Offline mjames

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Re: VIDEO: Melancholy Chopin Prelude
Reply #3 on: July 02, 2016, 06:42:51 PM
Don't you think your rendition is too melodramatic? Some interesting harmonic bits are harder to bring out if you play it this slowly. :C

Offline josh93248

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Re: VIDEO: Melancholy Chopin Prelude
Reply #4 on: July 02, 2016, 06:59:39 PM
Melodrama? I suppose I value personal expression over the more conservative way of doing things. I try and make my interpretations as interesting as possible in the ways I find most compelling, if that risks appearing "melodramatic" to some... That's acceptable to me. I mean, listen to Sokolov, he does it with more dramatic changes than me and he's considered a genius.

I don't really take tempo from markings as much as my own feelings and I take it even less from whatever is regarded as the acceptable norm. This tempo just felt right to me, that's subjective, I realise that but there's no other way I'd rather arrive at my tempos. That certain harmonies were not quite so effective for you is unfortunate but to me I'd rather capture the mood of the piece as I see it and give some of the expressive touches more time to linger in the mind.
Care to see my playing?

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I Also offer FREE PIANO LESSONS over Skype. Those who want to know more, feel free to PM me.

Offline chopinlover01

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Re: VIDEO: Melancholy Chopin Prelude
Reply #5 on: July 02, 2016, 08:05:45 PM
I'll be honest, it's a bit too over the top for me as well.
Personally, I'm fine with your tempo in general, but you unfortunately don't have the subtlety needed to pull it off. Just some honest thoughts.
Cheers!

Offline isaacmalitz

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Re: VIDEO: Melancholy Chopin Prelude
Reply #6 on: July 03, 2016, 03:19:40 PM
(I noticed the artwork of the beautiful woman on the back wall. You're my kind of guy!)

Your playing is heartfelt, emotional, compelling! And also dramatic - somewhat like a theater piece.

Taking the above as a given, he is a suggestion how to do *even more*, in a way that I think is true to you and also to Chopin.

Music like this (actually most music, in my opinion) has a speech-like aspect. Chopin himself was a lover of speech, poetry, theater (his G Minor Nocturne is apparently related to a performance of Hamlet that he had attended) (he had his affair with George Sand who wrote novels and plays). It is permissible for you to find poetry or your own words to associate with the music as you practice it.

I'll give you a few of my associations of words. But please, find your own, I am not a poet.

For the bass melody (the first phrase)

   When-you die, think of me
OR
   When-you live, think of me
OR
   Live -or-die    , think of me
OR
    Be           or    not to be         <<-- [Hamlet!]
OR
    Ro-me-o        , Ju-li-et           <<-- [The death scene!!]


For the accompaniment in the right hand (each quarter note gets one word):

    Think    Of       Me
     Meh  -  mo  -  ree                  (Me-mo-ry    Memory)
    
    By   The   Sea

For real poetry, take a look at
    Poe: "A Dream Within a Dream"
    Yeats: many poems
    Victor Hugo: The Grave and the Rose (in English or in the original French)
    but many many other options, probably some better than these

The practical value of the above is as follows:
    [1] Poetry (either real or home-made) helps to organize your rhythm and pace, natural ebb and flow, but also with structure and forward motion. Avoid awkward pauses, hiccups. Natural declamation.

    [2] Listeners will sense the poetic/speechlike character of your playing. It's compelling
        
What I am suggesting above is not my own crazy idea. Pianists such as Schnabel, Myra Hess, many others have been cognizant of the above.

Oh, it's  no accident that Chopin has been known as the *poet* of the piano!

The above of course is compatible with what you are doing already. Find the language that works for you. And of course you may keep it private.

btw (may not be apropros here) There is a tradition of sometimes associated silly language with serious music ("I would like, cher-ry pie")

*Finally* if someone finds your playing too melodramatic, you might like to know that when Vicotr Hugo published his book Les Miserables he was severely criticized by some of the big critics for being too melodramatic. You are in good company, some of the best company!




Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: VIDEO: Melancholy Chopin Prelude
Reply #7 on: July 03, 2016, 06:53:38 PM
I don't mind the tempo. I don't mind if the approach has an element of melodrama. Both are personal choices and it's obvious you have feeling for the music.

One big thing you could however do is the following:

In the first instance, delineate the bass from the treble. I can't help noticing that the treble is louder when the left hand is active. Ultimately you want to view this prelude as something where three separate entities are going on: left hand melody, right hand counter-melody, and repeated chord accompaniment. The left hand is like a cello line, and it should be given priority - primary voice. The right hand counter-melody (the top part): maybe consider it like a woodwind duetting with the cello. It is the secondary voice. The repeated chords: imagine strings in the distance gently padding it out with their harmony. It is the third voice.

First stage is to have enough hand independence to play both hands with different volumes. Use a bebung touch with the chords: keep the hand close to the keys and don't let them return fully to the surface. The repeated chordal accompaniment is a staple of romantic literature and it is usually a background texture. Second stage is that you need to have enough finger independence in order to produce a slightly greater volume in the right hand countermelody, using the weaker fingers of the hand.

Hope that helps. You're off to a good start here!
My website - www.andrewwrightpianist.com
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Offline josh93248

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Re: VIDEO: Melancholy Chopin Prelude
Reply #8 on: July 06, 2016, 03:28:00 PM
@IsaacMalitz

Thank you Isaac for taking an interest. Perhaps there is some value in integrating some sense of speech and poetry into my playing, I'm not exactly sure how to do it but it's something I'll think about. Thanks.

@Ronde

I appreciate your feedback and know what you mean, perhaps I should have brought out the bass more but the bass melody is actually marked "Sotto Voce" at the start of the piece, it's very hard to know how to balance that indication with the need to bring out a melody and there is probably a range of reactions one can have to that conundrum. Additionally I think the position of my audio recorder needs to be adjusted, It's a little too close to the piano at the centre and that's probably a part of why it came out the way it did. Thanks though, I'll still try and think more about the background foreground and middle ground concepts.
Care to see my playing?

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBqAtDI8LYOZ2ZzvEwRln7A/videos

I Also offer FREE PIANO LESSONS over Skype. Those who want to know more, feel free to PM me.

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: VIDEO: Melancholy Chopin Prelude
Reply #9 on: July 08, 2016, 12:15:16 AM

I appreciate your feedback and know what you mean, perhaps I should have brought out the bass more but the bass melody is actually marked "Sotto Voce" at the start of the piece

Ah, the sotto voce (in my score at least) doesn't pertain specifically to the bass. It's between the clefs and generally you can infer that's the general mood for both. Often if it's clef-specific it would be written above or below the relevant clef. The cresc and decresc also suggests a swelling and receding of the bass line.
My website - www.andrewwrightpianist.com
Info and samples from my first commercial album - https://youtu.be/IlRtSyPAVNU
My SoundCloud - https://soundcloud.com/andrew-wright-35
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