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Topic: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO  (Read 2181 times)

Offline josh93248

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Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
on: October 12, 2016, 11:56:14 AM
So, it has come, me recording something that is not considered utterly insignificant in the piano repertoire. Like all my Chopin, I fully expect it to get torn to pieces. But who knows, maybe you'll be able to see what I'm trying to do.

Anyway, here's the link:

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Offline adodd81802

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Re: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
Reply #1 on: October 12, 2016, 01:43:08 PM
I liked this comment

So, it has come, me recording something that is not considered utterly insignificant in the piano repertoire

As I've watched through all your videos and think you definitely have potential if you push for more demanding pieces definitely.

A good deal of expressiveness in the piece makes your performance both mature and interesting to those that may not have their own idea of how they think it should sound.

Personally I did enjoy section A, and felt you too too many liberties for section B (I did get what you were trying to do, it just wasn't for me)

I do like, however, that your range of repertoire is very good, and if you continue to up the difficulty with the different composers I think you will benefit greatly. I've tried to get my head around Bach and personally cannot do it at the moment.
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Offline mjames

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Re: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
Reply #2 on: October 12, 2016, 01:47:35 PM
I think your playing is fine! However this may sound weird, but I do feel like your Chopin in general is too mechanical and yet at the same time its melodramatic. If that makes any sense???? Anyways I think rondo said it pretty well in your other Chopin post, that's just a matter of taste.


But I think the greatest compliment an artist can get is "wow, that's original!" Certainly haven't heard anyone play the middle section like you did before.

I've tried to get my head around Bach and personally cannot do it at the moment.

what a wusssssssss

Offline josh93248

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Re: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
Reply #3 on: October 12, 2016, 01:56:53 PM
Perhaps it's a strange obsession of mine but I feel like I really wanted to master some really basic pieces first. This comes after me hurtling headlong through the rep WAY too fast in the early years. I'm definitely starting to shift to more advanced repertoire. My next big projects after I've finished recording a lot of my current rep (and moving on from it) are Chopin Nocturnes, Beethoven Sonatas and Schubert Impromptus.

Yes, I really appreciate that you both say that your doubts about my Chopin are subjective. To me it's the only way for me to play it but I'm sure it won't work for everyone. My aim is to add something different to the world of interpretations, not follow the mould.

Perhaps a couple little things to know about me, I'm a singer who loves drama in music and I'm a former rock/grunge/metal devotee so both these things influence my playing.

Thankyou both for the considered comments.
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Offline adodd81802

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Re: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
Reply #4 on: October 12, 2016, 02:43:30 PM

what a wusssssssss

Shots fired. I like his C major prelude ;)
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Offline josh93248

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Re: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
Reply #5 on: October 12, 2016, 03:05:38 PM
Shots fired. I like his C major prelude ;)

There are several of those...........
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Offline chopinlover01

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Re: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
Reply #6 on: October 13, 2016, 01:56:32 AM
I have to agree with Mjames, there's certainly character to it, but some minor technical imperfections (especially with regard to tone, though it's probably exacerbated by recording equipment) seem to undo it for me, if you will.

Still, though, I can definitely see that a fair amount of work went into this one. Nicely done!

Offline josh93248

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Re: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
Reply #7 on: October 13, 2016, 02:56:51 AM
I have to agree with Mjames, there's certainly character to it, but some minor technical imperfections (especially with regard to tone, though it's probably exacerbated by recording equipment) seem to undo it for me, if you will.

Still, though, I can definitely see that a fair amount of work went into this one. Nicely done!

It's hard to say how much of the tone is me, the piano or the equipment. I'd be interested to know though, what in particular is the problem? Tone is frankly a rather vague term.
Care to see my playing?

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Offline chopinlover01

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Re: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
Reply #8 on: October 13, 2016, 03:22:53 AM
Inconsistent control is probably a better way to phrase it.
I like your playing and what you're doing, but every once in a while there's just a harsh note in the LH, or something goes awry that just throws the whole piece off. It's minor things like that that bring your recording down from the level of someone like Kissin.

Offline josh93248

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Re: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
Reply #9 on: October 13, 2016, 05:27:15 AM
Inconsistent control is probably a better way to phrase it.
I like your playing and what you're doing, but every once in a while there's just a harsh note in the LH, or something goes awry that just throws the whole piece off. It's minor things like that that bring your recording down from the level of someone like Kissin.

Woah. Kissin? Okay... Thanks! But also thanks for the detail. To be honest, it's quite possibly part of my personality. I feel like things need to be played a bit more... Noticeably, more surprise and gripping expression. I can still very much respect what you mean and perhaps some of the inconsistency you describe isn't just personality but stuff I'll start to sense and develop out of at some point maybe. Thanks for helping Chopinlover!
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Offline j_tour

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Re: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
Reply #10 on: October 14, 2016, 09:51:06 PM
I've heard the audio, without looking at the video.

It's great. 

I've played and heard this tune so many times it's hard to say what's real and what's not, but I'd put yours up their with anyone. 

Here's a hint of an "ask" for a trade secret:  say someone says to me at some random party "do you know Raindrop Prelude," and, I sort of remember how it goes, and the changes, got any ideas to make the transaction go smoother?

Anyway, you did good.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline vaniii

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Re: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
Reply #11 on: October 14, 2016, 10:16:01 PM
Your playing is fine, but lacking in subtlety.

I am not convinced with your chosen tempo, in particular when you modulate to C# minor. Rubato is one thing, but your tempo is short of erratic.  Rubato needs to be subtle, it is something that should be used to enhance, not the subject itself.

The repeated notes also cause me some discomfort.  A question: "Where is your melody?"

At 4:46, I can hear the strings vibrating against one another because you literally are banging the G-sharp.

At that point:

What about the wonderful dissonance created by the suspensions?
What about the melody hidden in the chordal textures?
Usually, we play to the top of the chord, which you did admirably ... after this point? (more of this throughout Section B)

Crescendo, to forte, comes in waves.  If you simply get louder and louder, you will end up banging the instrument.

Indulge me for a moment; try this section again, but build up to an increased dynamic and drop back.  To your listener, it will give the impression of a continued crescendo.

There is much to love here, but it is hindered by you over-stating (with rubato and fortissimo) something that if simply stated would be just as effective.

Sometimes, a whisper can be more effective, especially so after talking at a normal volume; a person who is shouting, will be ignored after a few words because it is offensive to the ear.

Good job, but it needs refinement.

I would love to see the evolution of this over time.


Offline quantum

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Re: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
Reply #12 on: October 14, 2016, 11:06:24 PM
I hear the beauty in your unorthodox interpretation.  Although, it is not how I would envision the piece, I appreciate what you have done and think you are well on your way to making a convincing argument for your vision. You have done a lot of work and thinking about the piece here, and it shows. 

Regarding tone and what others have mentioned: I believe it may be due to the sense that at some points in the piece it seems you are not in full control of what is happening in the music or your choice of direction does not seem to fit with everything else that is going on.  More consistency and attention to how nuance fits into the big picture would help.  Details don't exist on their own, but contribute to the overall presentation.  The details need to have coherency when you add them up.

Good work!
 
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 josh93248

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Re: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
Reply #13 on: October 15, 2016, 06:01:03 AM
Well, I've certainly got a response from this!

Can I just say I do truly appreciate you all taking the time to listen and make such thoughtful comments. I don't know if interest has already waned in discussing this further but if anyone would like to talk further, here or elsewhere, I'd be happy to.

Allow to address some more of what has been said.

@j_tour I profoundly appreciate what you've said. I suspect, like me, you don't mind your interpretations loose, passionate and vivid which is what I hope I achieved. The video is actually rather bad (the camera kept going in and out of focus) so it's fine to take the audio alone, it's the point. When you say "up there with anyone" that's precisely what I'm aiming at and I don't feel I should apologise. I don't see any point in creating a subtle variation on the same thing someone else has recorded, in a reality often ignored by pianistic connoisseurs the simple fact we are playing from the same sheet music is enough, we should be as different and creative as possible so that we contribute something original to the body of interpretations that exist. There's no need or point for pianists to be the equivalent of record players anymore, we should be artists.

Anyway, I'd absolutely be more than happy to talk about how I go about interpreting this piece, I don't know if it'll make it easier to play though and I don't know if that's exactly what you meant but just let me know if you want to talk, here or by PM and I'll respond.

@Vanii

I have to disagree I'm afraid. There is subtlety, it simply exists alongside radical choices that could be called unsubtle and that can be disputed of course but that doesn't change the fact that there is subtlety in this recording though I understand why you say what you say.

My tempo choices seem to have convinced some, perhaps it's just not to your taste, I don't like to play tempos I don't believe in. To be honest, the composer and period only has a mild to moderate influence on me in this regard, sometimes basically none. What you call erratic I personally find the most thrilling way to play. It could be a little better perhaps, I'm not 100% satisfied with this recording but it is how I want to play it, at least for now.

At 4:46 I'm indulging my grunge roots ;)

I don't deny that a gentler, finer interpretation is possible, I sometimes play that way when I want to for pieces I want to, I just like this particular vision best for this piece.

But please Vanii, don't feel I'm offended or dismissive of your comments, I'll think about them and I appreciate them. I also do love that you are curious to see where it might lead, thank you.

@quantum

Thanks very much for the first paragraph, I can definitely understand my interpetation is not for everyone but you still say it has merit so thank you.

Perhaps there are some slight inconsistencies. Perhaps there are a few impediments to the vision I'm going for but it took a while to get this take and I was tired Haha! But I may break future recordings into smaller takes and be fussier about details and such. Thanks again quantum.


Finally, I just want to say to everyone, while I seem to have some degree of attention, I will be recording more and more substantial pieces, of course I still have small ones in the pipeline but if you're only interested in the bigger works (which still won't be that huge) that's fine. I think they'll still be controversial but perhaps I'm not the only one who needs to rethink things a bit. Let's face it, if the piano and classical music is going to reverse its decline... it must change...
Care to see my playing?

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Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
Reply #14 on: October 15, 2016, 09:10:09 AM
Always interesting to hear someone do things differently to the norm when they've thought about it and it's done with conviction. The tone is a bit crude but I imagine the piano and recording setup contribute to that. Essentially a bit more nuance would help and there are places where a better instrument would facilitate a more rounded sound.

Within a purely classical context, there's a certain element of the performance over-emoting: by this I mean that it is more effective to make drama selectively, rather than as often as possible. After a while the fact that so much is being played for dramatic impact reduces the actual perceived impact (in my opinion, at least). Also there are points where you almost grind to a halt and I think that impacts negatively on the tension and forward direction. I happen to think that if you were doing this in a less purely classical framework (eg light show in the background) it could be very effective. No matter what, it's interesting.
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Offline quantum

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Re: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
Reply #15 on: October 15, 2016, 01:31:05 PM
But I may break future recordings into smaller takes and be fussier about details and such.

It is clear by your recording that you are good at doing detail work.  IMO, what it needs now is a story line, an overall coherence to the bits and pieces.  There are a lot of interesting ideas you present, but sometimes they are broken up into such small pieces the listener does not know where you wanted to go.  Similar to creating sentences that are one word in length.  

Impressive prose, with perfectly correct grammar, and spectacular command of language does not make a good story.  A story happens when all those small elements are brought together as a whole to convey a message.  Yes, there are some people who write like the former, especially in academia, but it does little for the reader except leaving them with a sense that the writer has virtuosic command of language without any hint of what the writer was actually attempting to say.  

If you are trying to get the listener to hear a particular idea, it is good to put yourself in the listeners shoes.  For example: you know you want passion at bar xyz, but do you want your listener to hear that as well?  

There is artistic vision, and then there is knowing how to communicate artistic vision.   Internalizing our vision is something that can come naturally, however expressing that same vision to others doesn't always equate to how we experience those same ideas.  Sometimes passion for our own vision clouds our willingness to research and understand the effectiveness of our music making towards the listener.  
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 kalospiano

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Re: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
Reply #16 on: October 15, 2016, 02:54:34 PM
I don't believe that a piece of music should always be interpreted and played in the same way, otherwise one could always listen to the same recording, and new ones would be totally pointless.

That's why I have found your performance very very interesting and I've very much appreciated that middle section. Thanks for your video.

Offline j_tour

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Re: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
Reply #17 on: October 15, 2016, 05:52:51 PM
When you say "up there with anyone" that's precisely what I'm aiming at and I don't feel I should apologise. I don't see any point in creating a subtle variation on the same thing someone else has recorded, in a reality often ignored by pianistic connoisseurs the simple fact we are playing from the same sheet music is enough, we should be as different and creative as possible so that we contribute something original to the body of interpretations that exist.

That's kind of deep, actually!  Well, I agree with you, for the most part, but I most appreciate that you're actually taking things seriously -- I don't mean that in some moral sense, but that you have some thought behind your actions. 

Looking back, my question was really if you had any "cheats" in your head to keep this one in perpetual memory when you haven't played it in years -- but again, that kind of is a cheap, cynical question and it seems you're on a different track. 

I'm not 100% sold on your theory of "let it all hang out" -- not a big fan of originality, myself, but for what it's worth, the highest praise I can give is that your performance really is "up there with the best."  That genuinely is praise -- but I prefer the C#minor part a little brisker, but then again, I can just play it that way myself!
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline josh93248

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Re: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
Reply #18 on: October 16, 2016, 03:01:23 AM
@Quantum

All reasonable points I admit. However, perhaps I can't just choose to play better, perhaps it's a matter of development. But I'm not sure there is no story or vision being well presented... It feels like there is to me and to be honest I have to trust myself more than I can trust anyone else. I'm not saying I'll refuse your advice, I'll definitely think about it, but I don't know if we are talking about relatively clear improvements that could be made or whether we are actually disagreeing on philosophical and subjective differences.

@J_tour

Yeah, I don't really have cheats, I haven't even got that piece memorised so I can't help really, sorry.

But your praise does mean a lot to me. Many people here, for better or worse, are much more interested in advising me, telling me how to develop or questioning my choices. That's fine. But it's nice to get some direct and clear affirmation of what I'm doing rather than: "Well sonny, where you went wrong was here..." Again, I can accept that to an extent but it does get tiring.
Care to see my playing?

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Offline quantum

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Re: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
Reply #19 on: October 16, 2016, 05:02:15 PM
@Quantum

All reasonable points I admit. However, perhaps I can't just choose to play better, perhaps it's a matter of development. But I'm not sure there is no story or vision being well presented... It feels like there is to me and to be honest I have to trust myself more than I can trust anyone else. I'm not saying I'll refuse your advice, I'll definitely think about it, but I don't know if we are talking about relatively clear improvements that could be made or whether we are actually disagreeing on philosophical and subjective differences.

What I was getting at is that, your vision of the music which exists vividly in your mind may not be communicating to your listeners as you see the music. 

I'm not disagreeing with your artistic choices, rather my point is that you can do a lot more to make your artistic choices into a convincing argument. 


However, perhaps I can't just choose to play better, perhaps it's a matter of development.

Not so sure about that.  You can make choices that set yourself up to grow, to learn, to improve.  Setting yourself up to play better sometimes involves making yourself vulnerable, and that is difficult for some people.

For some artists, their vision is strongly connected to their sense of self-identity.  They may feel if they give in to criticisms, their vision will become impure and thus loose their sense of self or their true voice.  However, if one thinks of external feedback as growing vocabulary, as options - opposed to say mandated directives required to play correctly - one can in fact play better as one has gained tools to express oneself more articulately. 

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 j_tour

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Re: Chopin Raindrop Prelude: VIDEO
Reply #20 on: October 16, 2016, 06:46:36 PM
But it's nice to get some direct and clear affirmation of what I'm doing rather than: "Well sonny, where you went wrong was here..." Again, I can accept that to an extent but it does get tiring.

Well, rest assured, if I heard something that was objectionable or offensive to me, I'd let fly with some choice words.

Yeah, I don't know, a lot of criticisms (not speaking about anyone here -- I haven't even read the whole thread) are just of the order, "well, that's great, but I'd do it this way."  My feeling is, "hell, I've got two hands or at least a pile of records, so if I want to hear it some other way, I'll just do it that way myself or listen to someone who does it that way."

Technical problems are another category, though -- that's a great place where tablets and phones have made solving concrete problems pretty neat to iron out, but raw technique isn't really an issue here.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.
 

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