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I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the Themed Recital of music by Erik Satie is scheduled for Sunday (today). The postings, recorded by PWF/ABF members (including yours truly), will be posted on this thread by 12:00 p.m. CST, and 6:00 p.m. London time. It will be posted on a few other threads as well.
Well off to bed I go! I will be doing the postings and that time will be here sooner than it seems! Good night!
Hi Everyone! Sorry for the delays in getting the posting up on this page. I will have it up a bit later. In the meantime, you are welcome to view the Themed Recital now in its entirety on the Rostokys Serious Thread.
Thanks for your patience with my technical learning curve issues!
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.