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#1389125 - 03/05/10 06:41 PM Traumerei by Robert Schumann  
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Hi Everyone:

I'm new to this forum and look forward to learning from each of you and sharing the music. I posted this rehearsal video on YouTube yesterday. The missed note in the RH confirms that it's really me playing;) The rehearsal took place at MacPhail Center for Music's Antonello Hall in Minneapolis, MN yesterday.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JzCu8qvcVc

Again, I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you and to listening to your recordings and watching your videos.


Philip Hotchkiss
Amateur Classical Pianist


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#1389204 - 03/05/10 09:04 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: PhilipHotchkiss]  
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Horowitzian Offline
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You certainly seem to have good command of the notes. However (and this is probably somewhat a combination of crappy YT audio and the rather echo-y acoustic), you need to work on your dynamic range. Thanks for posting! smile


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1389241 - 03/05/10 09:46 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: Horowitzian]  
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The reverb is a bit too much. Where did you place the mics?

I think your playing is excellent. Is it a Hamburg Steinway?

#1389243 - 03/05/10 09:46 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: LisztAddict]  
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It's a New York D retrofitted with large German casters.

[Linked Image]

The piano in the background, however, appears to be a Hamburg D.

Last edited by Horowitzian; 03/05/10 09:50 PM.

Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1390001 - 03/06/10 09:43 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: Horowitzian]  
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Hi Philip, welcome to the forum! Glad to have you here.

I heard that bad note! Case dismissed! Unacceptable performance! wink

Just kidding of course.

OK, now for some comments.

Some general goals I think one must achieve for this piece: Dreamy; played a little freely, but a sense of tempo still maintained; generally reduced volume. Also, if one thinks of the piece in A-B-A (F major, Gm and Dm, F major again), each section should communicate something a little different.

Overall, I think the volume needs to come down and your touch should be a bit more gentle. (Could this be attributed to the recording equipment and setup?)

The "free" quality is there, but sometimes the rubato gets in the way of the music making a statement. For example: in section A (F major), the last measure before the repeat. The last 4 bass notes (C-D-Bb-G): there's too much delay between the C and the D, so that the 4-note group doesn't lead as smoothly into the repeat as it could be. And in other places, make sure the rubato doesn't interrupt a musical melody line in the middle. Also, when you repeat the A section, do some things a little more differently so that we're not hearing the exact same thing again.

In the B section, the music introduces stress, the first time in the G minor tonality, the 2nd time in D minor. I'd do the G minor section with at least an mf volume and a bit stretto; but the following D minor should be a pp (as marked), almost as a follow-on "question" to the G minor statement.

Then in the C section, you're back "home" after the disturbance of B, and you might try a slightly more steady tempo and reduced volume to bring home the notion of security.

Hope this is helpful rather than flaky. smile

#1390055 - 03/06/10 11:10 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: ChrisKeys]  
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Thank you so much for the thoughtful comments - very helpful and much appreciated!

Phil

#1390058 - 03/06/10 11:13 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: Horowitzian]  
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The piano in the background is indeed a Hamburg D - it was commissioned for MacPhail's new building and concert hall 2-years ago. It's a magnificent piano.

And the piano in front is a New York D.



Philip Hotchkiss
Amateur Classical Pianist


#1390059 - 03/06/10 11:16 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: LisztAddict]  
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Thank you. The sound quality is awful. I setup a Cannon HD video camera about 30+ feet from the stage for an impromptu recording.

Next week, I may get a chance to rehearse once more. If so, I'll position the camera better and try to place dedicated stereo mics near the piano going into an M-Audio 24bit A/D converter. Hopefully, I'll have enough time in the hall to pull of this off.


Philip Hotchkiss
Amateur Classical Pianist


#1390065 - 03/06/10 11:34 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: PhilipHotchkiss]  
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Well, if you get to do that, please post another recording here, OK?

#1390103 - 03/07/10 12:37 AM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: ChrisKeys]  
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Originally Posted by ChrisKeys
Well, if you get to do that, please post another recording here, OK?


+1. It should sound a lot better, and allow us to make more insightful judgments of Philip's playing. smile


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1390571 - 03/07/10 04:52 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: Horowitzian]  
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The pressure is on now - I'm definitely brining some mics if I get a chance to rehearse again this week before the performance:-)

I won't have time to set up mics and do level checking and all of that, but it will at least be a big step up over the mic of a video camera which is as bad as it gets.

Here's some context on the performance: it's a memorial concert to my childhood through adult piano teacher Gary Sipes. I'll be closing the program with Traumerei so the setting will be very emotional. Really need to be calm, cool and collected until after I play.

http://macphail.org/sipes.html



Philip Hotchkiss
Amateur Classical Pianist


#1390575 - 03/07/10 04:57 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: PhilipHotchkiss]  
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Just try to err on the low side of input gain so it doesn't come out clipped/distorted. We can always turn up our volume of necessary. smile


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1393121 - 03/10/10 07:39 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: Horowitzian]  
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Hi everyone: Just finished up another rehearsal before the concert. I'll likely post a video tonight with much improved audio, however, I still have some work to do before Sunday's memorial concert.

Looking forward to more feedback:) There's already a couple of known issues with today's performance that I'll point out when I start a new thread on the new recording.

Argh, a bit frustrated. And on the Steinway D, I found myself battling the pedal a bit-it felt very spring loaded compared to the pedal on my Steinway B at home. As it it was snapping back up up release, so I was spending too much attention trying to tame the pedal.

But, I get 30 more minutes with the piano before the performance this Friday so there's still time to get it right!


Philip Hotchkiss
Amateur Classical Pianist


#1393312 - 03/11/10 12:44 AM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: PhilipHotchkiss]  
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Looking forward to your next video, Philip.

#1393956 - 03/11/10 08:19 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: ChrisKeys]  
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Update:

I will soon start a NEW SUBJECT and post a video shot at today's final stage rehearsal for the Gary Sipes upcoming Memorial Celebration Concert being held this Sunday. Please be on the lookout for it, I'm looking forward to your feedback. I'll also post the link in this subject thread once the video is viewable.

The Concert's program has just been posted at:

http://macphail.org/sipes.html

Thanks everyone!


Philip Hotchkiss
Amateur Classical Pianist


#1394025 - 03/11/10 09:59 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: PhilipHotchkiss]  
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I just posted the new video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CY1U_ZaFYU0


Philip Hotchkiss
Amateur Classical Pianist


#1394061 - 03/11/10 11:06 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: PhilipHotchkiss]  
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Originally Posted by PhilipHotchkiss
I just posted the new video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CY1U_ZaFYU0


Thanks for posting again!

The sound quality was appreciably better to my ears, with less severe reverberation. However, I am not hearing much variation of the dynamic. This is likely influenced by YouTube itself, and may not be entirely a reflection of your playing. However, I would recommend you make certain that you indeed start out at a piano dynamic to allow room for the sound to "grow" during the ascending phrases, as indicated by the dynamic markings on the score.

In my own playing, I like to even back off a little from piano for the F major chord that marks the second beat of bar 1.

Best wishes for you performance! I enjoyed the video. smile


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1394471 - 03/12/10 04:23 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: Horowitzian]  
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Thank you very much. Unfortunately, I was unable to combine the hi rez audio recording w/the video due to a software problem. At some point, I'll get this figured out and add the audio. This video was still limited by the video camera mic, albeit placed in a better position this time around.

Do you have any recordings or videos online, I would love to watch/listen. I really appreciate the feedback you've given me, very generous.

Phil


Philip Hotchkiss
Amateur Classical Pianist


#1394509 - 03/12/10 05:51 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: PhilipHotchkiss]  
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Not that I care to share again — crappy quality. However, I am thinking strongly about a significant upgrade in my equipment this year, so we'll see. smile


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1396219 - 03/15/10 10:43 AM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: PhilipHotchkiss]  
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I wanted to extend a heartfelt thanks to all of you who helped me with your insightful and constructive comments as I prepared for yesterday's memorial concert honoring Gary Sipes.

http://www.macphail.org/sipes.html

Because of you, I played the piece better than I otherwise would have.

And I'm happy to report, that I played the piece the best I ever have at yesterday's performance. It was the closing piece, and as I was playing Traumerei, I could hear the faint sounds of people crying and wiping away tears in the audience. I could feel the interplay between my playing and the audience reacting - it was a profound experience.

But most importantly, I honored my teacher's memory and I know he would have been proud.

Thank you,

Phil Hotchkiss

PS unfortunately, due to logistics (the performers were seated in a reserved area off to the side) and the length of the concert (it ran 1:45 hours-45 minutes longer than planned) - I was not able to record the performance to share with you. Both the video camera and audio recorder ran out of juice before my performance and there was no way for me to provide power to the equipment.


Philip Hotchkiss
Amateur Classical Pianist


#1396291 - 03/15/10 12:42 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: PhilipHotchkiss]  
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Philip, what an excellent report! There's nothing better than to know that your performance meant a great deal to your audience. Your report more than makes up for the lack of a recording; after all, the important thing is that you honored your teacher and brought something memorable to the audience. Congratulations!

Hope you will stick around here and occasionally post other recordings.

#1396316 - 03/15/10 01:30 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: PhilipHotchkiss]  
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Congrats, Philip! I'm so happy it went well for you. And it was my pleasure to be of assistance. smile

Do stick around!


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1397932 - 03/17/10 03:50 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: ChrisKeys]  
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Absolutely! I'm here to stay. The next two recordings I plan to post are:

-Goldberg Variations; BWV 988/Aria

-Tchaikovsky, October, from The Seasons

Phil



Philip Hotchkiss
Amateur Classical Pianist


#1397934 - 03/17/10 03:51 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: Horowitzian]  
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I'll definitely stick around! Thanks again. More recordings will be posted soon.



Philip Hotchkiss
Amateur Classical Pianist


#1397985 - 03/17/10 04:49 PM Re: Traumerei by Robert Schumann [Re: PhilipHotchkiss]  
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Looking forward to it! smile


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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