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Topic: A full recital (one hour)  (Read 1678 times)

Offline andhow04

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A full recital (one hour)
on: March 20, 2021, 06:02:06 PM
dear everyone, here is the link to my full video-recital, Poets of the Piano: Contrasts which premiered on youtube yesterday.

in the description are time codes so you can jump to whatever you want to hear, Bach, Schubert, Chopin, Debussy, Medtner & Rachmaninoff.

just a few words on what i wanted to accomplish with this. you often hear in classical music, "let the music speak for itself." usually you are being scolded when you hear that. it's true, in that it's the music that matters the most -  but i don't believe we ever hear anything out of a context. music doesn't exist, without people to play it and people to hear it.

even in a conservative concert hall, with stoic players dressed in the most muted, inexpressive black outfits, the atmosphere of the hall and the surrounding audience adds to the experience. it is not the music speaking for itself, it has a context.

so to that point, i personally find many classical music videos to be two-dimensional and frankly lacking in atmosphere that you can get in even the most run-down hall. many of these videos have wonderful musicianship which to my mind is dis-serviced by the flat presentation.

my goal was to create an atmosphere for this entire recital, that was unified, but still had multiple dimensions. i wanted a feeling and visual style that could hopefully draw people in, to hear the music and experience it on a deeper level , which is not easy when watching on the computer or phone.

so the darkness of much of the screen, ornamented by brilliant gold & red inside the piano and of course my floating hands and face, is the unified style. it looks very good ,in my opinion, watching on the phone.

since the recital is ordered in pairs, i wanted each pair to have a different look and feel from the others, so i spent a lot of time and frustration moving the cameras around between sets.
the Bach celebrates and has fun with the contrapuntal, the Schubert highlights the dialogues within the music, the Chopin is very nocturnal and seen from above, the Debussy is Impressionistic using blur and strang overlay effects, and the Medtner & Rachmaninoff is meant to be fast-paced and dramatic editing. there will be a quiz

i had no idea that editing software could be so accessible and diverse, all the motion you see in this video is due to my sitting at the computer for several hours learning as i went along, what was possible. even though at times it looks like i had a ten person pit crew.

if you are still reading this you deserve a cookie. i hope you enjoy the conception and execution of this video recital

Offline dw4rn

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Re: A full recital (one hour)
Reply #1 on: March 25, 2021, 01:17:59 PM
Amazingly well played, introduced, recorded, and filmed - really very impressive!

I agree with what you write about videos which:
have wonderful musicianship which to my mind is dis-serviced by the flat presentation.

Still, I find that there are also video producers who try too hard to make things interesting to watch - and there are some moments in your film where I think you could have kept it simpler. There is a temptation, especially in faster moving music where lots of things are happening - voices that need to be brought out, sudden changes in tempo, or whatever - to change the camera angle to frequently, to the point where it gets almost dizzying.

You are right  about the importance of thinking about how to make up for that special concert hall magic when producing videos, but its not easy to come up with the perfect solutions. Anyway, you are definitely on the right track!

Offline medtnerfan

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Re: A full recital (one hour)
Reply #2 on: March 25, 2021, 08:23:28 PM
Great job on the Medtner. By the way where did you read that Rachmaninoff's opus 39 no 4 was Medtner's favourite piece by the composer?

Offline andhow04

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Re: A full recital (one hour)
Reply #3 on: March 27, 2021, 04:37:31 PM
Great job on the Medtner. By the way where did you read that Rachmaninoff's opus 39 no 4 was Medtner's favourite piece by the composer?

Thank you !
I have played the Rachmaninoff for a long time and always used this comment about Medtner, so I am unsure where it originally came from. possibly "The Composer-Pianists" by Robert Rimm, or possibly from Medtner's "The Muse and Fashion," which I don't own but seem to remember at the end he comments on many specific composers and pieces, including on his love for Grieg.

sorry i cannot remember exactly where i got this piece of information, but i recommend both of those books! If you can find "Muse and Fashion" in English,. I had it from the library at one point. when i lived by a big library

Offline medtnerfan

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Re: A full recital (one hour)
Reply #4 on: March 27, 2021, 05:12:29 PM
Thanks for the reply. It's probably from "The Composer-Pianists" by Robert Rimm, I have read "The Muse and the Fashion" and I don't remember him mentioning any of his contemporaries by name in that book. By the way here is a link containing different literature from and about Medtner, including "The Muse and the Fashion" in English: https://www.medtner.org.uk/publications.html#books

Offline kalospiano

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Re: A full recital (one hour)
Reply #5 on: March 29, 2021, 09:07:34 PM
fantastic recital, you've got great skills and I loved the selection of pieces

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: A full recital (one hour)
Reply #6 on: March 30, 2021, 05:57:47 PM
Really outstanding, beautifully played, nicely presented and put together. Congratulations on a fine achievement.
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

Offline quantum

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Re: A full recital (one hour)
Reply #7 on: March 31, 2021, 07:38:43 PM
Beautiful playing, solid recital concept, excellent presentation and commentary alongside the music, and musically sensitive video production. 

Bravo!
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 andhow04

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Re: A full recital (one hour)
Reply #8 on: April 06, 2021, 02:10:23 AM
Amazingly well played, introduced, recorded, and filmed - really very impressive!

I agree with what you write about videos which:
Still, I find that there are also video producers who try too hard to make things interesting to watch - and there are some moments in your film where I think you could have kept it simpler. There is a temptation, especially in faster moving music where lots of things are happening - voices that need to be brought out, sudden changes in tempo, or whatever - to change the camera angle to frequently, to the point where it gets almost dizzying.

You are right  about the importance of thinking about how to make up for that special concert hall magic when producing videos, but its not easy to come up with the perfect solutions. Anyway, you are definitely on the right track!

thank you for the considerate comments, i would be curious to know where you thought it was too much.
another commentor, elsewhere, referred to the 'tyranny' of the camera, that is, in a live performance we can look where we choose but in these videos we see what we are supposed to see. that someone else determines.
i did try and go about it with a sense of respoinsibility to the music but definitely, as you get the hang of the software and realize how much is possible, the temptation as you say is there. and really this is just the tip of the iceberg with what is possible, it is very sophisticated.
lately i have been watching a lot of older piano videos with the production values in mind, and saw some lovely stuff of Rubinstein (
)
and Michelangeli (
) where there are definitely a lot of editorial choices.

never thought about it till now

so i want to see more of that kind of thing, and see what other people thought to be tasteful and wise. it's amazing now, that we can control this from our own devices and homes.
thanks again

Offline dw4rn

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Re: A full recital (one hour)
Reply #9 on: April 14, 2021, 12:23:56 PM
Those two videos just leave me speechless. In the Rubinstein mainly just because of him. I like to think I would be mesmerized by that performance even if it was filmed with one still camera.

The same is true of the Michelangeli, but there I also think the video production is truly awesome. Just to have the nerve to stay so long zooming in on his face, not showing the hands... and the final frame with the close-up of his hand and the title of the piece showing on the side of the piano...

i would be curious to know where you thought it was too much.

Well, for instance in the C major fugue, I think it got too fragmentary. I see the point in showing the hands clearly when filming a piano performance, but when there are too many close-ups and too many skips from one side to another, I sort of get uneasy and lose the greater musical picture (it's a matter of taste, of course - in fact, even the Rubinstein video tended to do too much of this imho).   

Offline andhow04

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Re: A full recital (one hour)
Reply #10 on: April 16, 2021, 12:47:43 PM
Those two videos just leave me speechless. In the Rubinstein mainly just because of him. I like to think I would be mesmerized by that performance even if it was filmed with one still camera.

The same is true of the Michelangeli, but there I also think the video production is truly awesome. Just to have the nerve to stay so long zooming in on his face, not showing the hands... and the final frame with the close-up of his hand and the title of the piece showing on the side of the piano...

Well, for instance in the C major fugue, I think it got too fragmentary. I see the point in showing the hands clearly when filming a piano performance, but when there are too many close-ups and too many skips from one side to another, I sort of get uneasy and lose the greater musical picture (it's a matter of taste, of course - in fact, even the Rubinstein video tended to do too much of this imho).

thanks i appreciate that. the temptation is real to move things a long. partly though, when thinking about one concert in unified video, i did want each pair of pieces to have a different look (videography) even though united in colors etc. but it could have been simpler.

it's interesting now,. that even in my own very modest way of editing these videos, to revist the professional ones of the past and see how they did it. Michelangeli recorded the entire Book I of debussy preludes in that series, so  you can go on youtube and see all of them. I am not sure what else would be in that rubinstein recital, but these were clearly intended for video production and not live audience.

as far as a great performance and one still camera, in a way a live concert has that effect, i mean, we can't get a special view of hands, or the face through the piano, or the reflection in the lid, or any special shot. your eye can roam around but it's true, we only get one stationary angle of the performer. but my belief is that the live performance adds the atmosphere that allows us to hear a performance as great or not, and that video is just going to lack that from the get go. so what can be done - responsibly and tastefully! - to create an atmosphere where peopel can be drawn in. that's my thinking on the subject.

 there was an experiment done for a newspaper article, i think washington post, where they put Joshua Bell in a busker outfit and had him play in the DC subway during rush hour. and of course nobody cared. i have qualms with that - why should people stop to listen to bach chaconne on their way to work? - but it does suggest that environment matters.

anyways there are so many more great piano videos out there, from 40-60 years ago, waiting to be re-discovered!

thanks
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