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Chopin Waltz in A minor, Op. Posth. (Read 427 times)

Offline vmishka

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Chopin Waltz in A minor, Op. Posth.
« on: February 04, 2021, 10:44:23 PM »
This waltz was probably written between 1843 and 1848, but not published until 1860, after Chopin's death (and originally attributed to another composer).

Recorded on a Yamaha Clavinova and rendered with Garritan CFX Concert Grand.

https://youtu.be/dO-m7M9aAyI

Online lelle

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Re: Chopin Waltz in A minor, Op. Posth.
«Reply #1 on: February 05, 2021, 10:43:31 PM »
Well done! You play with great sensitivity.

Right now you are playing with a great rhythmic steadiness. I would experiment with adding a bit more rubato, and shaping the phrases a bit more. So the pulse rises and falls a bit with the sentences you are speaking, as it were.

Offline vmishka

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Re: Chopin Waltz in A minor, Op. Posth.
«Reply #2 on: February 06, 2021, 04:22:52 AM »
That is good advice, thank you. I don't play a lot of Chopin. Rubato has never been my strong point.

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: Chopin Waltz in A minor, Op. Posth.
«Reply #3 on: February 06, 2021, 06:36:46 AM »
Okay - I was suspicious with the Beethoven, and going through a few more of your recordings has only increased my suspicion.

Are your recordings done in 1 take on a Digital piano, or is there any editing done in a MIDI or Scoring type of program.

I only ask as while the notes sound great; the tempo ralls and accels still sound almost perfectly linear, like a computer program. There is genuinely something... inhumane about them - and unfortunately I do not mean that in the nice way.

The one piece that seemed to solidify this for me was the Cadenza of your Beethoven and Mozart Piano Concerti (where there is no orchestral part). There are some instant (and I mean almost nanosecond instant) tempo changes (that no human would ever do) which are just bizarre.

Even the Chopin doesn't breath, there's no give and take almost. It's almost metronomically perfect, and because of it is rather... bland.

Somethings off... I know it. Is there a reason you don't have any live videos. I would like to be proven wrong... I really would - but it's not the Garritan VST that's throwing me off.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Chopin Waltz in A minor, Op. Posth.
«Reply #4 on: February 06, 2021, 07:05:49 AM »
I'm sorry but I share the same suspicion as perfect_pitch. If you listen to every single trill after 1:20, they all sound identical and a bit too fast and jarring, in a way I can't imagine a human player playing.

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: Chopin Waltz in A minor, Op. Posth.
«Reply #5 on: February 06, 2021, 07:50:27 AM »
If you listen to every single trill after 1:20, they all sound identical and a bit too fast and jarring, in a way I can't imagine a human player playing.

You mean mordent? While that didn't arise my suspicion as there are piano players who may play it that way; although you make a point about them all sounding exactly the same. Although, the actual trill at 2:36 did raise my eyebrows; more importantly the note IMMEDIATELY after the trill was finished (the F natural).

Also, and I'm going to ask this nicely but you have like credits for almost 10 different people for a simple playing of a Chopin piece. Wouldn't it just be say you playing, one person handles the VST and balance... and that's it?

Why the need for a Managing director, 3 recording engineers, 3 studio technicians, a Mastering engineer, assistant engineers, Sound editors (2 of them), a MUSIC editor, a mixer???

It's a simple piece by Chopin for goodness sake.

Offline vmishka

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Re: Chopin Waltz in A minor, Op. Posth.
«Reply #6 on: February 06, 2021, 09:17:03 PM »
perfect_pitch: Thank you for listening. I am sorry that my playing (of a simple Chopin piece as you put it, as well as my other recordings) causes such an obsession in you. I don't know what to tell you. Nothing has ever been "quantized." Just like recordings (even so-called "live" video recordings) made by professional pianists (I am not a professional) some of the longer recordings represent splicing together of several takes. Perhaps that is some of what you are hearing.

My wife (and I) are extremely fond of our "family" of stuffed "animals" (full citizens in "Bear Country"). One of the chief "raisons d'etre" behind making the videos is to feature them.

With regard to the staff of "Bear Country Studios": the managing director, recording engineers, studio technicians, mastering engineer, assistant engineers, sound editors, music editor, and mixer are all stuffed "animals": Vladimir Mishka is the grizzly bear, Belmonte and "Cookie Jar" are the dolphins, Feivel is the mouse ('German' spelling of the character in the animated movie "An American Tail"), Fidelio is the walrus, Amadeus is the black bear, Tamino is the polar bear, Petrushka is the parrot, Sasha and Misha are the penguins, Cherubino is the panda, "Bum Jr" is the koala (full name Wolfgang BJ Koala), Post Auto is the Swiss postal bus, Apollo is the harp seal, Sergei is the duck, and Paddington (as you probably know if you think about it) is the brown bear.

Many other people who listen to my recordings also enjoy the pictures of our "musical family" and the idea behind featuring them in the videos (sometimes playing instruments, e.g., "The Bumovich Trio," and "The Bear Country Wind Ensemble" or Vladimir/Paddington conducting the Bear Country Symphony Orchestra). You seem to be so bothered with something in my playing that you apparently missed all of this.

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: Chopin Waltz in A minor, Op. Posth.
«Reply #7 on: February 07, 2021, 02:22:20 AM »
Okay, the bears is me just being pedantic. And if you like them, sure - that's no problem. I don't have a real problem with that. I somehow suspected that the bears may have had names, but couldn't be sure.

There is something strange about the playing though. Maybe parts have been spliced together, but that's a little unfair - most of the recordings here are single playthroughs.

Yes, I know many professional pianists like Gould spliced recordings together, and that would explain the sudden tempo changes between sections... BUT, the almost robotic tempi and the stiffness of ralls and accels seems forced, almost computised.

There is something unhuman about the playing. We had a long discussion about this with another user years ago who had quantized the recordings and used VST's to try and replicate actual recordings. It was CLEAR in seconds that they weren't human playing and had an artificiality to them. To me, there is something artificial in these recordings as well... I would bet on it.

Would it be possible just to hear a one take of this beautiful Waltz with you in front of what looks like (in some of your photos) a very beautiful grand piano? Part of the quest to pianism is managing to perfect the playing without the use of splicing. To accept our mistakes drives us to further work at eliminating them.

If I'm wrong... I will make a very humble, and very sincere apology to all those on the forum and to you directly; and I will accept that I was wrong... but as of right now - to me something feels 'off'.

Offline vmishka

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Re: Chopin Waltz in A minor, Op. Posth.
«Reply #8 on: February 07, 2021, 04:54:13 AM »
Unfortunately, I don't have the Yamaha CF anymore (which I owned from 1979 to 1990). The photo of me in the videos is over 30-years old. All I have now is the older model Clavinova (and I don't even have a proper video camera or a late model smartphone to make the recording for you).

We sold the acoustic piano in 1990 when we moved to Europe for 8 years to do medical research. We didn't want to risk keeping it in storage because we had no idea whether or not we would be returning to the United States. My wife was born in Europe and would prefer to live in Austria or Germany, if possible. We keep looking into ways to make it work.

Thank you for your sentiment that I should be striving to eliminate my mistakes without resorting to splicing. I am 70 years old and probably have to accept the fact that my best years are behind me. You might be surprised that the "live" videos (and audios) of many of the world's great pianists contain splices. There is a video recording of Krystian Zimerman playing the Chopin ballades on YouTube, and if you look carefully, in the middle of one of the ballades his piano bench "magically" changes from what it was when the piece started. As you probably know, Grigory Sokolov "never" does studio recordings. All of his videos are live recordings. I consider Sokolov to be one of the absolute best pianists alive today (and Zimerman too, but that is just my opinion). As far as I know, all of Sokolov's performances are recorded (from multiple camera angles). In a rare interview, he said that he only gets around to Paris (where his recordings are edited and produced) sporadically. The final product is somewhat out of his hands, however. Although he would prefer to just choose one entire performance with all of its imperfections, up until the time of the interview, that had never happened. The recording engineers insisted on splicing together takes from different performances and also insisted that he go into the studio to re-record short sections of pieces that they still were not happy with. In some of his video recordings, the camera cuts to a totally different close-up angle where you can no longer see the stage and the audience. You can draw your own conclusion as to why that is.

When we were doing medical research in Paris for the Coulter Corporation in 1992, they sent us on a large tour of Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea to give presentations to their customers on a project we were working on for them. Our first stop in Australia was Perth. If I ever make it back to Perth, I will be sure to look you up and will play something for you on your piano. Until then, I will just have to live with the fact that you think there is something inhuman about my playing.