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I consider this recording of "Gymnopedie 1" to be just the beginning of a learning journey, and I would classify this performance as a "work in progress." I still have a lot of work to do on this piece such as more focused attention to the dynamics, memorization, etc. However, I'm fairly satisfied with what I've pulled together in a relatively short timeframe.
Now that I've gotten it to this level, I am looking forward to finishing my work on this piece. I was so close to getting it memorized. However, I knew I wouldn't meet our November deadline, and I did find a workable solution to the problem. I also plan to pursue learning the other 2 movements of Gymnopedie.
At first I was extremely reluctant to take on this project because of the extremely busy work schedule I typically experience in October. However, I'm now glad that I got the opportunity to participate in this team effort!
My thanks again to Richard for agreeing to do the Sunday classical postings, which also helped me free up more time to at least get this to a presentable level.
I think this is an improvement on last time (metamorphosis piece) because I this time I was able to create ideas about the structure of the piece. While playing I imagined a French peasant (represented by the melody)wandering in the country with church bells in the distance (the accompaniment). However, when it came to listening to it it sounded more like raindrops (melody) on a puddle - hence the video we chose! And fortunately the background noise on the recording sounded a bit like rain - which fitted quite well.
Excuse the slips - missed notes, chords sounding uneven and overloud and scrappy at times. The piano also needs tuning.
I find Satie's Gymnopédies and Gnossiennes to be dreamlike, slowly wending their way through slightly unusual harmonies, repeating with very slight variations. The Gymnopedie No. 3 is in A minor in 3/4 time. The tempo marking is Lent et grave. A rhythmically repetitive bass line of single notes on the downbeat followed by a tenor triad on beat two grounds a reflective melody in the treble, which is repeated with a variation in the first phrase.
The challenge in this piece for me was not the fingering, but the nuances: playing the left hand softly enough to allow the right hand to sing out over it; trying to add subtle dynamics as marked in the score; seeking a sense of rubato. This performance doesn't capture the ideal of what I'd like to be able to do with this piece, but it captures the best of what I can do right now.
What can I say... I love the mysterious quality of much of Satie's work. The Gnossienne's have no measures and some very strange instructions left to us by the composer. Instructions such as "Advise yourself carefully", "Very shiny" and "Postulate within yourself". I chose to play this piece a bit faster than many play it and I give the low F a steady drone using the sostenuto pedal.
This is my first attempt at recording where people might actually hear it, and my first real experience recording on my acoustic. What an eye opener! I got so self-conscious of my errors it was hard to emote! Next time! The pictures are purely filler of stuff in our yard.
Anyway. Gnossienne 2. I envision Satie running into that girl he was in love with, and the whole gamut of emotions that goes with running into someone you once cared a great deal for: the shock, the happiness, the self-consciousness and awkwardness, the spark of sadness in the end.
I thought the pedaling in this piece was extremely tricky. You need to be very precise, or it sounds warbly and drones on and on. Technique wise, I am having some strength issues lately with my left hand, so trying to quiet the chords and play them evenly was the biggest challenge. I'm not thrilled with my performance, but I am happy I got through it and was able to participate finally! It was a great learning experience. Special thanks to Dipsy for roping me in.
I came to know about Satie by Gnossienne 3! I accidentally found it while browsing the performance videos of an youtube user. It moved me so much by creating an unusual feelings that I still can't express exactly: some kind of eerie dreams that I never dreamed before. But it surely has a strong hypnotic attraction that evolves from the combination of all the dark emotions it produces inside the listener, that's why I can't stop loving it and listening to it again and again!
About its interpretation, I was so confused! It looks so easy on the sheet, but the apparent freedom in its interpretation makes it quite difficult to translate the charm of the piece musically! During my journey of learning this piece I learned a lot by facing difficulties and trying to overcome them - one of most important of them would be controlling the dynamics of the left hand chords accompanying the right hand melodies. Overall, I had a great experience and I'm so happy to become a part of this recital!
I was first introduced to Satie's music as a teenager when my brother gave me this wonderful CD (http://www.amazon.com/Vaughan-Williams-F...williams+barber). I loved the simple, melancholy sound of Satie's Gymnopédies. I've had the piano music for some time, but never felt like I could do this music the same justice as the orchestra on that CD. Thank you PW friends for giving me an opportunity and the encouragement to buckle down and learn one of these piano pieces!
Before signing up for this recital I’d not heard Gnossienne 6. In the playing I found myself a prisoner of the phrasing - mostly three or four beat motifs. I couldn’t find any continuity and Satie, rather than help us out, prefers as always to make fun of us with his cryptic directions (rigourous sadness, healthy superiority, haggardly).
Checking out YT I found a handful ranging from Leeuw’s clockwork to Pascal Roge’s wild and wonderful phrasing. In my hands that sort of thing would come out sounding contrived and ridiculous so I played it safe and sedate. Wish I'd played it slower but every take has something wrong with it; being mindful of one thing, I forget another. I’ll be going back to Roge later to see what, if anything, I can learn.
Anyway, it’s been a mixture of fun and exasperation and, the biggest payoff, after 50 years stuck playing exclusively between f and ff - a chance to try mf and p. Wow! Who knew? Still so much work to do.
When the thread’s up I’ll pour myself a large glass of wine and let your Gymnopodies and Gnossiennes fill the airwaves around me. What a treat!(monochrome, in a desperate attempt to add moodiness)
I too hadn't heard of Eric Satie until this recital. Although I have heard a couple of the pieces before. I chose Gnossienne 7, as I thought it sounded unique. The challenge for me was making it sound musical. This wasn't my best performance, but it was the best take I got.
Loc: West Bengal, India
I've just finished listening to all the performances once, it's an wonderful recital! Everyone poured all of their emotions into their playing! My heartiest congratulations and sincere thanks to Griffin, Dipsy, PianoStudent88, Peyton, AimeeO, Recaredo, LadyChen, dire tonic and Wayne for sharing their beautiful performances to make this recital a highly enjoyable and successful one!
Also, lots of thanks to Griffin for taking his valuable time to arrange and post the recital!
What a great recital! I really enjoyed listening to all the contributions. It was lovely to read about each performers' personal 'journey' - the feelings, interpretations and challenges they faced. It made me think that we've all been going through a very similar process in our respective ways, and it gave me a little warm glow to think that we seem to have grown into a community - sharing, helping each other out, etc. Oddly, I most enjoyed our mistakes (especially if it was the sort of mistake I make myself) - reminding me that none of us are experts - just doing the best we can. And because of that, I tell myself that we're all the more courageous for our willingness to show that we're not perfect.
But - enough sentimentality! Like wayne, I'd like to thank Griffin. I don't imagine it was easy to collate our submissions - and it took up valuable time of a busy person.
Wonderful ! - and so uplifting to hear this set of pieces played with such conviction by everyone. I honestly had no idea that the recital event would be such a powerful incentive. It’s been a privilege to have been able to participate.
A big thanks to Wayne for keeping tabs on everyone and to Griffin for such seamless coordination and presentation.
Loc: Lost in cyberspace.in the UK.
First off : Griffin, thank you so much for putting this together whilst I was incredibly busy sorting out keeping warm for winter.
The woodburner is now up and running, and so now nobodys fingers are going to freeze while they practice or play, job done.
Allready the nights are totally clear and the resultant ground frosts are showing us we did this task just in the nick of time.
Now to everyone who performed their pieces and took part in this endeavour:
I think a massive "WELL DONE" and and even bigger "THANKS FOR ALL THE EFFORT AND TIME " is in order,
seriously folks ( as opposed to the "usual" "seriousness" here on RST) again, seriously,
Massive respect to all concerned.
Personally, I feel this is gathering momentum and I really hope it continues to grow and develops even further for a number of reasons.....
Not least is the community spirit , I believe we have all felt a part of something bigger than the sum of the parts, and I totally believe this has helped everyone concerned.
Its one thing to sit at home on the piano or keyboard by oneself and play for amusement or pleasure or advancement, and there is nothing wrong with that, indeed far from it, but to be a part of something as wonderfull as this and make a promise to a group of likeminded souls to do ones best at a given piece for the enjoyment of all concerned is truly an uplifting experience and much is learnt along the journey that benefits all concerned in a positive and very friendly way.
I listened to everyones performance with every bit of my ears, and one thing I can say is that all performances did the performer concerned proud.
I would be happy to have everyone perform their particular piece in real life in front of a live audience and be billed as "adult beginners"
I honestly, and wearing my heart on my sleeve would say that the audience concerned would enter the concert expecting much less than you all gave, and would leave the concert arguing amongst themselves not about the quality of the performances but moreover what the word "beginner" could possibly mean.
I dont think any reasonably minded person would say that any of your performances are worthy of the use of the word "beginner" being attached to your renditions.
It did not escape my attention that this thread has now reached the dizzying heights of over THREE MILLION VIEWS, yes, I shouted it out..lol.
But not as I jokes elsewhere for self agrandisement, not for that reason.
I may have started and developed the thread, but its as much yours as mine or anybodys ( I am still in charge though its the only "law" lol)
The friendly, magical, humerous, helpfull and deeply moving human nature of this thread is all down to everyone who continues to contribute in such a wonderful and inspiring way.
Again, another MASSIVE well done folks, really, well done, now go on before I get teary eyed, off you all go and have a well earned drink or smoke or both or whatever you love doing to relax, youve earned it.
Thanks to each and everyone of you, ... I love you guys.
Rise like lions after slumber,in unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew which in sleep has fallen on you. Ye are many,they are few. Shelley
Thank you to everyone who participated, and I am very happy to have had a chance to participate. I listened to all of the pieces in a row, and it was very satisfying. I love love love Satie. I didn't hear one single mistake from anybody. I'm lusting after Peyton's grand piano. I loved seeing the visuals chosen by those who didn't choose to show themselves playing (Satie's original score?! How did you find that, Recaredo?); and I loved watching people play for those who did show their playing.
Thank you to Griffin for posting the recital, and to the organizers for organizing it (Wayne I know because he started the Themed Recital thread, but I don't know who else has been involved), and thank you to whoever had the original brainstorm for these recitals. I think Rostosky must have had a finger in it, since after all we are here on his Serious Thread.
Thanks to everyone who participated in this recital. It was a tremendous experience for me to work with such a great group of folks on this. Everyone's performance was a gem! Dipsy, PianoStudent88, Peyton, Aimee, Rupak, Recaredo, Lady Chen, Dire Tonic, and Wayne made the magic happen with all of the hard work you did to prepare for the recital.
Richard, I still can't thank you enough for making sure the Sunday classical postings happened while I took a "leave of absence" to participate. Thanks again for posting some more yesterday when I had to help out with getting the postings done for the recital. I'm looking forward to our future joint efforts with those Sunday postings!
Dipsy, thanks for your persistence in encouraging me to participate. I must say I was impressed with your skillful approach. In my regular job I manage and work with volunteers and I would have loved to have you on my staff as a volunteer recruiter! You practically made it impossible for me to say no to participating in this recital.
Wayne, it was great working you behind the scenes to help make this happen. I'm impressed with your dedication in making all of these themed recitals happen.
Rossy, I'm glad to have also given you some more time to get that wood burning stove installed. I also agree with your comments about the wonderful community we've all helped to create on this marvelous thread. It's the first place I come to when I check into what's happening at the PWF!
Now that this recital is done, I must return to work on my regular piano pieces I've been neglecting! .
Becca - I'm really glad you enjoyed our pieces. It is such a shame that you couldn't take part this time - hopefully the Mendelssohn is something you could consider for next time. Personally the piece I've chosen will be the hardest thing I've attempted and don't know if I'll pull it off ( I chose it because it wasn't too fast, in a key which I can cope with and I loved it).
Griffin - it was a pleasure 'working' with you!
Wayne - you did a great job - keeping your eye on the ball at all times, and working behind the scenes.
In grey wales I am now imagining myself giving all of us a group hug!