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Thais Meditation (Read 1539 times)

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Thais Meditation
« on: July 08, 2016, 12:20:16 AM »
Part of my ongoing project to produce a second CD of operatic transcriptions.

Studio recording, edited this week. This is the "famous tune", part of a larger entity, a really rather melodramatic concert paraphrase by Saint-Saens.

Offline visitor

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Re: Thais Meditation
«Reply #1 on: July 08, 2016, 11:13:13 PM »
Really liked this. I performed this w a violin in recital few years back, and it grew on me.  its a little frilly in spots, no thats not the word, a little ovrertly"Parisian"  in a few spots (the arrangement not your playing) but you managed to not  let it get out of hand
 Lovely pacing . Thanks for sharing!

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Thais Meditation
«Reply #2 on: July 09, 2016, 10:04:10 AM »
Thanks visitor. I think it has something of a "French Liebestod" about it; whilst Liszt was comparatively restrained in his arrangement of Mild und leise, perhaps this is more akin to the character of Moszkowski's setting. I think that in any case it still packs a fair emotional punch. I'm quite pleased with the way it has come out.

Offline visitor

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Re: Thais Meditation
«Reply #3 on: July 09, 2016, 12:45:48 PM »
Thanks visitor. I think it has something of a "French Liebestod" about it; whilst Liszt was comparatively restrained in his arrangement of Mild und leise, perhaps this is more akin to the character of Moszkowski's setting. I think that in any case it still packs a fair emotional punch. I'm quite pleased with the way it has come out.
yep.  I agree wthe comments on Moritz's too.

This the best version ive heard to date. I was not even aware of this version at all prior to your post.  And yes you bring out the drama quiet well.  It would pair well w a modern choreographed dance w a ballarina.

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Thais Meditation
«Reply #4 on: July 09, 2016, 07:22:50 PM »

This the best version ive heard to date. I was not even aware of this version at all prior to your post. 

Appreciated - but now I'm curious. I know it's the best version I have done.. but what other versions are out there? I found one by a young French pianist on soundcloud and thought it was good, especially considering it was live.. are there any other ones extant?

Offline goldentone

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Re: Thais Meditation
«Reply #5 on: July 09, 2016, 07:35:57 PM »
Just lovely, Ronde.
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Thais Meditation
«Reply #6 on: July 09, 2016, 08:42:30 PM »
Thanks!  :)

Offline rachfan

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Re: Thais Meditation
«Reply #7 on: July 10, 2016, 04:14:22 AM »
Hi Ronde,

Whereas the original form of this piece was orchestral, I was anxious to hear this piano transcription.  Turns out to  be very beautiful and romantic. This piano solo is better than I had believed possible. Your playing is excellent and convincing throughout. I very much enjoyed hearing it. Congrats!

David   
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Thais Meditation
«Reply #8 on: July 10, 2016, 02:54:10 PM »
Thanks, rachfan. I'm getting close to the end of editing everything now for the CD - I've not had as much time as I would like to spend on it, so it has gone more slowly than planned. I'm hoping I might be able to get this segment (seeing as it's a very famous piece of music) some radio airplay, like I did two years ago with Thalberg's Casta diva arrangement.

Offline visitor

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Re: Thais Meditation
«Reply #9 on: July 11, 2016, 10:49:23 AM »
Appreciated - but now I'm curious. I know it's the best version I have done.. but what other versions are out there? I found one by a young French pianist on soundcloud and thought it was good, especially considering it was live.. are there any other ones extant?
Hi Ronde, I should have been more clear, version = arrangment not recording in my reply. I meant scores i had seen, not  audio. I do believe yours is the only I know of.  I had seen just a handful of so so transcriptions but none of them seemed all that  great. I think I have a decent improv on the main theme,  i may look for it and try to work it up over next couple  months or so.

great job again, loved this recording

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Thais Meditation
«Reply #10 on: July 11, 2016, 01:06:41 PM »
Hi Ronde, I should have been more clear, version = arrangment not recording in my reply. I meant scores i had seen, not  audio. I do believe yours is the only I know of. 

Thanks, that's very useful.. I've pm-ed you.

Offline ajlongspiano

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Re: Thais Meditation
«Reply #11 on: July 11, 2016, 06:09:50 PM »
This is wonderful, Andrew! Great piece and beautiful playing.

Best,

AJ

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Thais Meditation
«Reply #12 on: July 11, 2016, 10:41:47 PM »
Thanks. I was actually quite worried about the piece before I recorded it so it's great to see that it has gone down well!

Offline quantum

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Re: Thais Meditation
«Reply #13 on: July 12, 2016, 06:38:51 PM »
I have to admit, that this piece was not one that I particularly cared for.  Too many times, I have found it programed in concerts or on the radio.  It has left me perplexed rather than satisfied, or at least, I did not find much to latch any interest in.

However, your recording may have changed that.  Lovely playing as well as a wonderful recording balance.  The transcription is a bit overly melodramatic at times, but IMO you did it justice.  Very enjoyable.

Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Thais Meditation
«Reply #14 on: July 12, 2016, 09:18:57 PM »
I have to admit, that this piece was not one that I particularly cared for.  Too many times, I have found it programed in concerts or on the radio.  It has left me perplexed rather than satisfied, or at least, I did not find much to latch any interest in.

However, your recording may have changed that.  Lovely playing as well as a wonderful recording balance.  The transcription is a bit overly melodramatic at times, but IMO you did it justice.  Very enjoyable.



Thanks: indeed the piece is such, perhaps too much, a concert staple. It surprises me, consequently, the lack of reputable solo piano arrangements of it. I'm pleased you feel it works - I feel that transcriptions of slower orchestral moments aren't always terribly successful.

I'll pass on the comments regarding the balance to the sound engineer!

Offline richard black

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Re: Thais Meditation
«Reply #15 on: July 30, 2016, 09:27:59 PM »
Didn't know that one. Good piece, and beautifully played.

Sorry to say, though, that I hate that kind of ultra-close piano sound. I have never, in many years of listening to pianos in concert, heard dampers lifting and returning that clearly, and I don't want to hear it on a recording. Plus the tone of the piano is not at all flattered by that kind of close-up perspective and all the tasteful artificial reverb in the world (it's been pretty well done, fair enough) can't mask that. What on earth is the attraction of recording like that? The only possible argument I can see for it is to minimise leakage from other instruments when one is recording a band multi-track, and on a solo piano recording that's hardly a consideration.
Instrumentalists are all wannabe singers. Discuss.

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Thais Meditation
«Reply #16 on: July 31, 2016, 11:17:49 AM »
Thanks for the positive opinion on the piece and my playing!

I'm somewhat curious about the other comments. I've attached a photo of the close mics. Are they actually overly or ultra-close? (this is useful to me in a future sense). I don't think it has in fact had any reverb applied at all! Basically, it's an edited (ie spliced), but otherwise untreated recording (a working copy prior to cosmetic treatment, basically) - so I still have options with noise reduction, balancing the levels of the close and ambient mics, etc. I know there are pedal mechanism noises present, and this is disappointing. I have a bad habit of clonking the pedals with my shoes when things get a bit heated, so I took the arguably radical precaution of making the recording wearing socks only..

Offline richard black

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Re: Thais Meditation
«Reply #17 on: July 31, 2016, 10:45:38 PM »
Well, no, that's not what I would call ultra-close and so I stand corrected on that detail - but in that case I'm really quite surprised at the amount of damper noise. Unless the mics are highly directional, which I doubt, I wouldn't expect dampers to be that audible at that range. The slight unevenness in tone may therefore be the piano itself rather than the mic placing. I would have put them further away and/or at a different angle relative to the piano, myself, but that's certainly not the closest I've seen them (seen many a pair inside the piano).

Incidentally I applaud you for being aware of pedal thumps (I didn't notice any of those when listening). It's a real pet peeve of mine - some otherwise very refined pianists have driven me nuts by thumping the pedal on the way up or down or both.
Instrumentalists are all wannabe singers. Discuss.

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Thais Meditation
«Reply #18 on: August 01, 2016, 11:25:44 AM »
I have a feeling, though I will have to check this, that even the room mics picked up hints of the damper noises during pp passages. During the recording session (which was a full two days for nine tracks) I did sometimes have trouble with control of the piano at very low volumes: that may contribute to any slight unevennesses. I seem to recall having about four minutes' worth of takes of the closing bars, trying to be as precise as possible over, for example, the breaking of the last chord. I did feel the piano was a touch bright (the tuner described it as "brash").