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It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!
Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 21,368Mark_C
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2009
Something I can tell you that I like 'right off the bat': We can actually hear those rising 8th-note-arpeggio figures. In my hearings, most of the time, including from master pianists, they are completely swallowed up, and I spend the first 10 minutes (or however long it is) desperately waiting to see if we'll ever be able to hear them.
(edit, continuation) Very fine performance! Nice balance of caprice and control, excellent dynamic range, and nice characterization of each different section and different mood. Very well chosen tempos, and excellent sense of rhythm. The only thing I'd say from the other direction is that it seemed like the last movement was less secure than what preceded. I don't even mean it because of the few little glitches, but because it seemed more cautious and tame, both technically and emotionally. Like, right near the beginning of it, there isn't really much "pizzazz" on the sforzandos at around 15:37 (likewise whenever that thing returns). I know that they're not exactly marked as sforzandos; they're shown as just "forte's." But sf really is what they are, isn't it? I don't think there's any doubt; certainly at least Schumann meant that those chords should get great emphasis. (The way I think of them is that if this were a symphony or a concerto, the strings or the piano would be playing alone at the start of this passage, and then it would be TUTTI on those single "forte" chords.) And also, the second theme -- I think that's what we should call it? the beautiful melody that first comes at around 16:05 -- it doesn't seem like you're really singing it or feeling it. I'm not hearing the Schumann yearning that this melody is full of, and really not even any shaping, and many of the half notes, which we should basically 'arrive' at and which should have a sustained sound, are "clipped." This all seems very out of keeping with what came before, and I don't think you'd do any of that if you were more comfortable with the movement. I'm sure it will come, and maybe these suggestions will help it along. Thanks for posting this! I love this piece and 'had to' rush to hear it when I saw that you posted it.
Excellent work! You're on the right track and then some, you have beautiful tone, and very beautiful sense of phrase. I like the way you seem to work motivically. Whoever is teaching you has really helped you get under the skin of the composition. Who is teaching you?
Is this a new piece to you or something you've been playing for a while? Either way, things change over time and it sounds like you will keep getting better and better.
Oh yes, I do For now I just listened to the first movement, and I was very happy with your passionate and sensitive approach, there are lots of "Florestan", and also "Eusebius" shows up again and again -- congratulations! I'll be back for sure and listen to the other movements as well! By the way: What else did you play at that recital? I'm always curious about programs, the way how people make programs tells me a lot
the beautiful melody that first comes at around 16:05 -- it doesn't seem like you're really singing it or feeling it. I'm not hearing the Schumann yearning that this melody is full of, and really not even any shaping, and many of the half notes, which we should basically 'arrive' at and which should have a sustained sound, are "clipped." This all seems very out of keeping with what came before, and I don't think you'd do any of that if you were more comfortable with the movement.
You are right, this melody could sing much better, and it's a pity that the half notes are often "cut" instead of "vibrating" for a long time. But the overall impression of the final movement is not bad at all to my ears. I have heard enough very good pianists who "broke their neck" in this tricky piece which offers no rest to the poor fingers but forces them to run until they are "out of breath".... and Can didn't "break his neck", he keeps full control until the last chord without sacrifying the passion included in this wonderful music
....very happy also with the other movements! Maybe the beginning of the second movement could sound a little more "from far away" after the passionate end of the first movement, more like a "vision from another world"? Just a small remark.... But on the other hand it is wonderful how you "catch" all these playful moods and colours of the third movement!
You might find this a strange statement, but I really do hear the pedigree of your lineage in your playing.
Emre Sen studied with Oxana Yablonskaya, who was a pupil of Sumbatyan. Sumbatyan also taught Nelly Akopian.
Oh wait!!!! I remember Emre Sen from the Royal College of Music. He's a few years older than me but I remember he came and studied postgrad as a mature student, he must have already been 30. He was a beautiful player, really wonderful. We were in the same year but didn't share the same teacher or classes. He was really highly regarded. Funny, I often wondered how he was doing but couldn't quite remember his name! I googled him and saw his picture and knew right away it was him. He has a flawless technique and wonderful musicianship, you're in very good hands.
Diane Andersen of course has the highese pedigree with Stefan Askenase, he was a wonderful pianist, really. He was one of the top Chopin interpreters, and he had this way of unpacking the music that we don't hear so often.
You will do very well under these teachers and you are so lucky. For this to be your first public performance of the Schumann, well you should be very proud. It's a very difficult piece and you play it really well. You know what, keep posting your videos for us, but with Emre Sen teaching you, you don't need our advice! :-)
I'm so happy to have found Emre Sen again! I don't think he'll remember me but tell him Joseph Fleetwood says hello. He might remember I played Brahms Op.118, and Rhapsody in Blue, and other things of course in that year. I don't remember if he came to my concerts in the RCM or not, but my teacher was Gordon Fergus-Thompson. I can't remember who he studied with in London, perhaps it was Nelly Akopian.