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Mendelssohn, Dohnanyi, Mozetich #2614141 02/13/17 10:34 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
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ChrisKeys Offline OP
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Hi Everyone,

Well, after a very long recording hiatus, I finally made some recordings today of me playing the piano! Sorry, but these are only sound. (I don't have a video recorder other than my phone.) Anyway, I hope y'all enjoy them. They're not perfect by any means, but each one is a single take without any editing. The piano is my rebuilt Baldwin L. Comments and constructive suggestions are welcome!

Song without Words, Op. 19 No.1, by Felix Mendelssohn:
https://app.box.com/s/njhil35y7kiycg9jkq4buvghxcybohh7

Pastorale on The Hungarian Christmas Song, The Angel is from Heaven, by Erno Dohnanyi:
https://app.box.com/s/9ieifvvcvoilldvmdxnmt29xaemfe9gb

Prelude from Three Pieces for Piano Solo, by Marjan Mozetich:
https://app.box.com/s/jnuece2urhrurzzlis1nyfdxsrgosjyr

Re: Mendelssohn, Dohnanyi, Mozetich [Re: ChrisKeys] #2614727 02/15/17 11:37 AM
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Tim Adrianson Offline
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Hi, ChrisKeys! The rebuilt piano sounds good, and thanks ever so much for providing one familiar opus with two others that are rarely heard. Well, maybe you haven't recorded anything in quite a while, but it's pretty clear to me that you haven't walked away from playing the piano -- everything was supple, fluid, thoroughly musical throughout. A few comments on each piece --

1 I've always considered this Lied to be one of Mendelssohn's most successful -- it's inventive in its harmonic transitions, and thoroughly convincing in its emotional arc -- very deserving of being one of the better known ones. A couple of suggestions (and this is just a matter of personal taste): in the repeat of the "A" section, I would like to hear some more points of difference, a little more intimate rubato than I heard here. Also, the bridge material that Mendelssohn provides back into the "A" song is IMO especially beautiful, and needs a little more underlining, so to speak. Finally, the left hand is solid and satisfying, but the "Alberti bass" nature gets a tad wearing to my ear, and for that reason I would try to adjust the volume balance more to the right hand, while maintaining the clarity of the left.

2 The Dohnanyi was for me a pleasant surprise: along with Edward MacDowell, here was a pianist-composer quite well known in the very late 1800s and early 1900s, but is virtually never programmed anymore. This piece is less overtly virtuosic than others that I have heard, and I personally liked it for that very reason. I particularly liked your juggling of his second melody with the "competing" pastoral rhythm above; I thought that was especially effective. My only mild criticism is that I related to the faster, more martial sections as being slightly rushed -- I would endeavor to "ground" them a tad more.

3 PW's own Pogorelich introduced me to Marjan Mozetich's music a couple of years back, and it's very nice to hear one of his pieces again. I find his language to be urgent, true, passionate, and quite beatiful in its sweep -- all of which I thought you captured in this performance.

Thanks for sharing these -- hope to hear more!

Re: Mendelssohn, Dohnanyi, Mozetich [Re: ChrisKeys] #2614867 02/15/17 07:25 PM
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ChrisKeys Offline OP
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Thanks, Tim, for the encouraging comments!

Regarding the Mendelssohn: I like your suggestion about rubato. I would probably characterize it as "needs to breathe better," more like how a top-notch singer might treat this. I agree that it could use some more of this. The bridge section is indeed very beautiful and might use a little more "differentiation". I also agree that the "Alberti bass" (the rolling arpeggios) are a bit too prominent in some areas, so I can work on those to keep them even and subdued.

Regarding the Dohnanyi faster middle section: Yeah, it did feel a bit rushed. I listened to several YouTube performances of this piece along my journey. I found most were too rushed overall, especially Dohnanyi's own performance(!), so I deliberately aimed for a more "pastorale" tempo for the general tempo. I even tried to keep the faster middle section from being too fast. I will experiment with a slower tempo there and see if I can make it less rushed but without losing the urgency it needs.

Regarding the Mozetich: Yes, Pogo is the one who introduced this piece to me, too! I still find her performance the most inspiring of all those I've heard to date. This piece is so dramatic, satisfying, and listenable that I'm going to keep it in my stable of ready-to-play pieces. I'm very happy that you found my performance captured the music in a reasonable fashion.

Re: Mendelssohn, Dohnanyi, Mozetich [Re: ChrisKeys] #2619480 03/01/17 09:36 PM
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Cinnamonbear Offline
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Chris! Long time, no see!

Your playing is compelling. I especially enjoyed the controlled abandon with which you drove the Mozetich piece! And the lyric qualities you present in the Dohnanyi Pastorale--delicate and sweeping. So easy to listen to!

Thanks for posting these! Glad to know you are still seriously at it!

--Andy


I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.
Re: Mendelssohn, Dohnanyi, Mozetich [Re: ChrisKeys] #2620113 03/03/17 11:08 PM
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Carey Offline
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Chris - these are really top notch - especially the Dohnanyi and Mozetich! In fact, I'd go so far as to say that this is the best playing you've shared with us on PW to date. If you can maintain the Mozetich in your "stable of ready to play pieces," more power to you! Your interpretation is most impressive! Like Andy, I'm gratified to know that you are "still seriously at it" and that you've made such wonderful progress. You've raised the bar for all of us! smile

Best -


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: Mendelssohn, Dohnanyi, Mozetich [Re: ChrisKeys] #2621813 03/09/17 07:46 AM
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ChrisKeys Offline OP
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Andy and Carey, thanks for the very encouraging words! Such comments help motivate me to continue challenging myself with new pieces.


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