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#2188179 - 11/25/13 05:55 PM Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488  
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I had some trepidation about posting this because of what happened to the last thread I posted. If there is a repeat of that, then this will certainly be the last you hear from me.

The piano was a 7-foot Steinway, quite small for playing with an orchestra in a large hall, and I was challenged by trying to get a clear and precise sound out of it. I ended up foregoing the pedal almost entirely. In the end, I was happy with the result.

The orchestra was the Redwood Symphony under Eric Kujawsky.

Mvt I: https://app.box.com/s/vh9vkecpr23r2fiy1yio
Mvt II and III: https://app.box.com/s/v7kuoskzzxr0oww5lws8

#2188199 - 11/25/13 06:30 PM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: jeffreyjones]  
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Wonderful work! I think the importance of community orchestras and theater companies are greatly underestimated in this country in this day and age. We tend to forget that many of our favorite composers (Chopin, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Grieg, and their lesser-known contemporaries) wrote for a talented and dedicated community of amateur musicians.

When I hear recordings like this, I often feel like I'm being transported back in time. This is what the 19th century was all about - a talented and dedicated musical middle class exploring the greatness of their own culture. They didn't fetishize perfection the way we do. They chased the sublime, and I fear we've lost some of that these days.

There's some great music here, and a lot of hope and promise for the future of what we all do and love. And I thank you for that.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#2188231 - 11/25/13 07:31 PM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: Kreisler]  
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
Wonderful work! I think the importance of community orchestras and theater companies are greatly underestimated in this country in this day and age. We tend to forget that many of our favorite composers (Chopin, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Grieg, and their lesser-known contemporaries) wrote for a talented and dedicated community of amateur musicians.

When I hear recordings like this, I often feel like I'm being transported back in time. This is what the 19th century was all about - a talented and dedicated musical middle class exploring the greatness of their own culture. They didn't fetishize perfection the way we do. They chased the sublime, and I fear we've lost some of that these days.

There's some great music here, and a lot of hope and promise for the future of what we all do and love. And I thank you for that.


1) You do know, Kreisler, that if you start talking about the 19th century, you are going to lose your job. Just kidding, but very well said.

2) "I had some trepidation about posting this because of what happened to the last thread I posted. If there is a repeat of that, then this will certainly be the last you hear from me."

My advice is to you is to grow a pair!

3) Even though this was performed originally on a fortepiano, there is something called phrasing. It is especially important, as was the case in the Baroque Era, when the instrument utilized had the restrictions that it had.

Finally, overall, this is a very good performance.

But, please remember to phrase each and every line. Further, the left hand (in the 19th century) was rolled when there was a chord. Pull up Horowitz' film of this piece, if you don't believe me.

Once again, paraphrasing Kreisler, this is what the non-precise, non-note perfect playing of the 19th century sounded like, EXACTLY!

#2188397 - 11/26/13 02:05 AM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: jeffreyjones]  
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Carey Offline
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Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
The piano was a 7-foot Steinway, quite small for playing with an orchestra in a large hall, and I was challenged by trying to get a clear and precise sound out of it. I ended up foregoing the pedal almost entirely. In the end, I was happy with the result.


As well you should be !!! I enjoyed your playing immensely !! thumb


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai CA-65
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
#2188401 - 11/26/13 02:09 AM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: Louis Podesta]  
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Originally Posted by Louis Podesta
......Further, the left hand (in the 19th century) was rolled when there was a chord. Pull up Horowitz' film of this piece, if you don't believe me.


Louis - I seriously doubt that Jeffrey was attempting to replicate 19th century performance practices in his rendition.

Quote
Once again, paraphrasing Kreisler, this is what the non-precise, non-note perfect playing of the 19th century sounded like, EXACTLY!


I must assume that you are referring to the orchestra here and not the pianist. smile





Last edited by carey; 11/26/13 02:15 AM.

Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai CA-65
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
#2188404 - 11/26/13 02:16 AM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: jeffreyjones]  
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The setting of this particular performance is a 19th century setting.

Originally, the piece would've been performed by the composer in a very different setting.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
#2188420 - 11/26/13 02:49 AM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: Kreisler]  
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
The setting of this particular performance is a 19th century setting.


Simply because it is performed by a community orchestra???? I'm obviously missing something here.


Last edited by carey; 11/26/13 02:57 AM.

Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai CA-65
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
#2188432 - 11/26/13 03:26 AM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: jeffreyjones]  
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Yeah, I think I'm missing something too. Mozart died before the 19th century began; in Mozart's time, orchestral musicians were under the patronage system, which meant they were essentially slaves. It wasn't until well after his time that you started seeing the passionate amateur groups, and they were dominated by the upper class. I don't expect they would have played much Mozart, either, seeing how they had rich sources of new music.

At any rate, I sought to play it with appropriate period articulation and phrasing, and generally, as well as I could. And that, I did. I stand proudly by my mistakes and beg leniency for the orchestra's intonation issues, since neither they nor I were paid a dime for the event. They also spent most of their rehearsal time on The Planets, not on my little concerto. smile

#2188541 - 11/26/13 10:33 AM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: Carey]  
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What's to miss? The rise of amateur music making defined the 19th century musical landscape. Advances in piano manufacturing, the publishing industry, the parlor as concert venue - all of these things brought music to amateur performers who, as JJ noted, were usually of the upper class, although the middle classes began to gain access as well as the century progressed.

Also note that I chose my words carefully. The *setting* is a more 19th century invention. I said nothing about the style of performance. As Jeffrey said, he's playing with period articulation and phrasing, which is a decidedly late-20th century attitude. laugh

Originally Posted by carey
Originally Posted by Kreisler
The setting of this particular performance is a 19th century setting.


Simply because it is performed by a community orchestra???? I'm obviously missing something here.



"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
#2188566 - 11/26/13 11:21 AM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: Kreisler]  
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
What's to miss? The rise of amateur music making defined the 19th century musical landscape. Advances in piano manufacturing, the publishing industry, the parlor as concert venue - all of these things brought music to amateur performers who, as JJ noted, were usually of the upper class, although the middle classes began to gain access as well as the century progressed.

Also note that I chose my words carefully. The *setting* is a more 19th century invention. I said nothing about the style of performance. As Jeffrey said, he's playing with period articulation and phrasing, which is a decidedly late-20th century attitude. laugh


OK - perhaps amateur community orchestras are a tradition going back to the 19th century - but it still seems to me that the "setting" here is the Redwood Symphony (community orchestra) performing in 2013. But there's really no point in continuing to split hairs - so I'll shut up.

Bottom line - Jeffrey played extremely well !! thumb


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai CA-65
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
#2188594 - 11/26/13 12:16 PM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: jeffreyjones]  
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For once I am not the only one sticking my neck out here, and it feels good. Kreisler is spot on in his commentary.

What we have been all taught in music school is the myth of musical performance perfection. And, that is exactly what it is, a myth.

As I have said ad nauseum, when the music of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries was originally played and taught, it didn't sound anything like it does today. And, as Joseph Horowitz has been preaching for most of his adult life, that includes orchestral music.

The first thing that strikes your ear about this particular performance is the raw/organic sound of the strings. You can actually visualize them bowing, some together, and some not.

Was it that way with the tiny orchestras of Mozart, Hadyn, and early Beethoven? You betchum believe it was.

Conversely, when you listen to the strings in the Giulini led orchestra which accompanies Horowitz on his film, it sounds like it came out of a machine it is so perfect. Is it Mozart? No, it ain't.

With this performance, because it isn't a 9 foot grand, there is relationship between the soloist's instrument and the orchestra. When you listen to the recordings of Lenny Bernstein playing Mozart with his band, it sounds like Mahler, not Mozart.

Hey, don't believe me, believe your moderator. He knows what he is talking about, and while you are at it, explore Joe Horowitz' website for further knowledge on this subject.

#2188621 - 11/26/13 01:12 PM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: jeffreyjones]  
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Jeffrey, this was wonderful!

Your playing is very good.
I really enjoyed listening to all the movements.

Congratulations, and thanks for sharing.

#2188666 - 11/26/13 02:22 PM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: Louis Podesta]  
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Originally Posted by Louis Podesta
For once I am not the only one sticking my neck out here, and it feels good. Kreisler is spot on in his commentary.

What we have been all taught in music school is the myth of musical performance perfection. And, that is exactly what it is, a myth.

As I have said ad nauseum, when the music of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries was originally played and taught, it didn't sound anything like it does today. And, as Joseph Horowitz has been preaching for most of his adult life, that includes orchestral music.

The first thing that strikes your ear about this particular performance is the raw/organic sound of the strings. You can actually visualize them bowing, some together, and some not.

Was it that way with the tiny orchestras of Mozart, Hadyn, and early Beethoven? You betchum believe it was.

Conversely, when you listen to the strings in the Giulini led orchestra which accompanies Horowitz on his film, it sounds like it came out of a machine it is so perfect. Is it Mozart? No, it ain't.

With this performance, because it isn't a 9 foot grand, there is relationship between the soloist's instrument and the orchestra. When you listen to the recordings of Lenny Bernstein playing Mozart with his band, it sounds like Mahler, not Mozart.

Hey, don't believe me, believe your moderator. He knows what he is talking about, and while you are at it, explore Joe Horowitz' website for further knowledge on this subject.


Community orchestras are community orchestras - no matter what particular century they may be performing in. There's a certain raw beauty about the sound that is refreshing to hear. Youth and college orchestras usually have a similar sound. There is nothing revolutionary about any of it. Orchestras may or may not have sounded this way during Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven's time depending perhaps on who was actually playing in them. What's important here is that non-professional musicians are making music together - and having a great time in the process. And yes - during the past 80 years or so we've been conditioned to expect "perfection" in our musical performances - because some orchestras and musicians come very close to achieving it - and if they don't, we can get there by manipulating the recorded product. Perhaps the composers of the 18th and 19th centuries would be "thrilled" to know that their compositions could sound as good as we are capable of making them sound today. But we will never know, will we??



Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai CA-65
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
#2188712 - 11/26/13 03:55 PM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: Carey]  
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Originally Posted by carey
Originally Posted by Louis Podesta
For once I am not the only one sticking my neck out here, and it feels good. Kreisler is spot on in his commentary.

What we have been all taught in music school is the myth of musical performance perfection. And, that is exactly what it is, a myth.

As I have said ad nauseum, when the music of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries was originally played and taught, it didn't sound anything like it does today. And, as Joseph Horowitz has been preaching for most of his adult life, that includes orchestral music.

The first thing that strikes your ear about this particular performance is the raw/organic sound of the strings. You can actually visualize them bowing, some together, and some not.

Was it that way with the tiny orchestras of Mozart, Hadyn, and early Beethoven? You betchum believe it was.

Conversely, when you listen to the strings in the Giulini led orchestra which accompanies Horowitz on his film, it sounds like it came out of a machine it is so perfect. Is it Mozart? No, it ain't.

With this performance, because it isn't a 9 foot grand, there is relationship between the soloist's instrument and the orchestra. When you listen to the recordings of Lenny Bernstein playing Mozart with his band, it sounds like Mahler, not Mozart.

Hey, don't believe me, believe your moderator. He knows what he is talking about, and while you are at it, explore Joe Horowitz' website for further knowledge on this subject.


Perhaps the composers of the 18th and 19th centuries would be "thrilled" to know that their compositions could sound as good as we are capable of making them sound today. But we will never know, will we??



When asked in an interview what he thought of the way modern orchestras played his music, a non- classical/romantic period composer said that he much preferred the early performances of his work. He said there was something about all of the mistakes that gave it a certain character that top flight orchestras did not have with their highly polished performances.

His name was Stravinsky!

#2188726 - 11/26/13 04:13 PM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: jeffreyjones]  
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Jeffrey, I gave your performance a second listen and really there is some injustice going on here against you.

Despite your performance being quite good, and YOU being the MEMBER, an irrelevant matter is hijacking your thread.

#2188744 - 11/26/13 04:47 PM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: Hakki]  
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Originally Posted by Hakki
Jeffrey, I gave your performance a second listen and really there is some injustice going on here against you.

Despite your performance being quite good, and YOU being the MEMBER, an irrelevant matter is hijacking your thread.


Agreed. And I apologize for getting caught up in the other discussion. We need to focus on Jeffrey's skilled performance - and celebrate the fact that he had the opportunity to play this beautiful concerto with an orchestra !! thumb


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai CA-65
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
#2188761 - 11/26/13 05:18 PM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: jeffreyjones]  
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I am in the process of polishing this piece up along with the C Minor Concerto, so I am very familiar with it. And, for the record, it is considered to be DMA repertoire at most music schools. It is a very difficult work to master.

Therefore, one has to really focus on giving each section its own individual character, and an important part of that is to build and taper each phrase.

Once the OP has done that, then he will have a great piece of music, as opposed to a very good one, which is what he has now.

#2188836 - 11/26/13 07:04 PM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: Louis Podesta]  
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Originally Posted by Louis Podesta
I am in the process of polishing this piece up along with the C Minor Concerto, so I am very familiar with it. And, for the record, it is considered to be DMA repertoire at most music schools. It is a very difficult work to master.

Therefore, one has to really focus on giving each section its own individual character, and an important part of that is to build and taper each phrase.

Once the OP has done that, then he will have a great piece of music, as opposed to a very good one, which is what he has now.


Maybe one of these days you'll present us with a recording so we will all know how to do it properly.


All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.
#2188837 - 11/26/13 07:07 PM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: Hakki]  
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Originally Posted by Hakki
Jeffrey, I gave your performance a second listen and really there is some injustice going on here against you.

Despite your performance being quite good, and YOU being the MEMBER, an irrelevant matter is hijacking your thread.


I cannot let this pass, and I almost did. Are you saying that Piano World's moderator "hijacked" this thread?

It certainly wasn't me.

Maybe, just maybe, people like me and Kreisler are suggesting that you think "inside the box," in terms of what history can teach you.

You certainly were not taught that at any traditional music school or by any average piano teacher. That means you grew up musically, as I did, outside the box.

Making an assumption, what Kreisler is saying is that every performance, of any ilk, has its own particular signature/character.

This particular post' signature is the SOUND of this Community Orchestra. That is what makes it so special.

It is not just some ragged bunch of amateur musicians, it is the way it was! Further, please pull up some original instrument recordings, and this orchestra will sound like the NY Philharmonic.

#2188949 - 11/26/13 11:15 PM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: jeffreyjones]  
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Just as a counterpoint, there was a review from a local rag. The reviewer praised both the size and the level of the orchestra, which I fully agree with. They are very good, especially considering the amount of rehearsal time they get and the fact they are a community orchestra in a city of less than 80,000. As for my part, his main criticism of me was that I sounded sometimes timid and stoic, which I can't really argue; and I think he hit the nail on the head of what I was going for with the comment about "emotional restraint."

https://www.sfcv.org/reviews/redwood-symphony/redwood-symphony-lifts-off

#2188960 - 11/26/13 11:51 PM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: jeffreyjones]  
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"He played with elegant phrasing and a smooth, delicate tone." Nice review! Congratulations Jeffrey!


"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP
#2213946 - 01/13/14 12:34 PM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: jeffreyjones]  
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Late to this party, but I really enjoyed this! My kid performed the first movement last week (with another piano) and I'm glad he won't have a review written for it. wink Your cadenza sounds fabulous!


Amateur musician, piano and violin parent
#2215238 - 01/15/14 03:29 PM Re: Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 [Re: jeffreyjones]  
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This recording of Mozart Piano Concerto is quite fine but I will say you definitely will sound much much better when you are accompanied by a professional orchestra. Your playing is far above.


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