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Re: Who Can Play Los Requiebros? [Re: SiFi] #2712074
02/06/18 05:11 PM
02/06/18 05:11 PM
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Thanks for pointing out the missing flat in m. 115, SiFi; I'm amused at having looked at that, and the D natural that Hector pointed out, for five months without seeing either one. Also, I agree that the sans ped. in m. 93 surely must belong in m. 91.

It does seem peculiar that Granados didn't use a key signature in LR. The only one of the Goyescas where he did use one is Quejas; in fact it even switches from three sharps to six and back again. By analogy you'd expect LR to have several changes of key signature - maybe Eb/E/F/Db/G/Bb/Eb, if not more.

To answer your question, SiFi, my performance (I was abusing the word somewhat) is actually a masterclass next Tuesday. Thanks for the encouragement, and I do believe it will go OK. Just gotta hold back a bit in a few key places and play every note with intent.

BDB, I think there's a great deal of middle ground with possible errors in scores. This latest example from Los Requiebros was a very obvious typo, but SiFi and I have both changed our minds over the last several months regarding the "almost a B chord" chord in the same piece. I think we've reached the correct conclusion though!

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Re: Who Can Play Los Requiebros? [Re: SiFi] #2712349
02/07/18 01:15 PM
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Oops. The first paragraph of my preceding post should have said "the F natural that Hector pointed out".

Re: Who Can Play Los Requiebros? [Re: SiFi] #2714945
02/16/18 08:31 PM
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Hi again. I'm writing - despite the feeling that I'm monopolizing this thread - to report on playing Los Requiebros in a masterclass on Valentine's Day.

The master, though he's very down to earth about it, was the Italian pianist Francesco Attesti. He and his organist compatriot Matteo Galli tour the US together annually, and each of the last several years they've visited the college where I teach. While they’re in town they play outreach programs for local elementary kids as well as giving a joint recital and holding the masterclass, so what they do is really quite special.

Francesco (we’re on a first-name basis, which I appreciate) allowed me to start by playing the piece straight through, which felt just like performing in a recital. That went pretty much as expected: mostly OK, with some nervous fluffs and, thankfully, a few things that went better than usual. I had vowed not to rush the final tonadilla and coda, but when the moment came I did anyway; luckily I got through it pretty much unscathed. We were using the college's lovely New York D, and of course it always helps when you hear that unmistakable sound pouring out!

Then we spent close to a half hour going over various passages. I knew from experience that Francesco likes big gestures in Romantic repertoire, and had tried to deliver on the initial runthrough, but there were places where he wanted more: a bigger cresc. and accel. in the opening bars, more rall. and dim. just before the modulation from Db to G, more appassionato in that leadup to the final tonadilla, and a still faster tempo on the last two pages. I was especially happy to oblige on the appassionato, and enjoyed milking that last thrilling lap around the circle of fifths. My little S at home would have been howling in protest, but the D goes up to 11.

We also went over some technique stuff and also looked at a few of the textual oddities. Francesco agreed that the sans ped. in m. 93 is an error, and thought the infamous F in that same measure really should be F#. Also, he and Dr. Galli had a conversation in Italian about the turn in m. 63 and concluded that the upper note should be Bb, not B. I’m not sure whether I’ll adopt that, but of course I’m grateful for the input.

As a postscript, my wife and I attended the recital last night, in which Drs. Attesti and Galli were joined by the Belgian soprano Elise Caluwaerts. Accordingly, it was an mostly-opera recital, featuring arias by Mozart, Handel, and Rossini, quite beautifully sung by Caluwaerts, as well as piano+organ transcriptions – highly effective, once one gets used to the sonority - of the Magic Flute, Don Giovanni, Marriage of Figaro, and Barber of Seville overtures. Francesco also played the Rondo alla turca as a solo, at an amazing clip but crystal clear, and Dr. Galli played a remarkable on-the-spot organ improvisation on a theme provided by a student. (That same student had also played, and very well indeed, at the masterclass.)

I chatted with Francesco at a wine reception afterwards, and he suggested that I might want to work next on one of Beethoven’s last three sonatas or - big shift here - Liszt’s Rigoletto paraphrase. I guess I kind of made a face when he mentioned the Liszt, because he said “Don’t worry, it’s simpler than the piece you played yesterday.” Having looked at the paraphrase's score this morning, I’m not so sure, but I’ll take his suggestion as a compliment!

One other thing: I also suggested to our visitors, since they had performed the overture to Barber of Seville, that they watch Rabbit of Seville, the better to understand that piece's true place in American hearts and minds.

Re: Who Can Play Los Requiebros? [Re: BDB] #2715211
02/17/18 08:51 PM
02/17/18 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
There are little mistakes like that in a lot of music. Even Brahms, who was meticulous about his pieces, has one. Experienced musicians play them correctly, while inexperienced ones play them as written!


I'll bite, I am curious about what work the Brahms mistake was in as I was just having a discussion about this with a friend.

I have enjoyed keeping up with this thread. Good work everyone!

Re: Who Can Play Los Requiebros? [Re: SiFi] #2715213
02/17/18 08:55 PM
02/17/18 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SiFi
Originally Posted by hbs60
I'm also freaking out about tomorrow, . . . So, Los Requiebros is on the back burner for now, I just play random, difficult fragments, hopefully this will marinade so I can tackle it later on.

So how did it go in the end, Hector? Is Requiebros making its way back to the front of the stove?

My Requiebros had some gaffes, but I managed to convince some people in the audience whose opinions I respect that I can actually play it, so that's an accomplishment IMHO.

I got my Steinway back this week, so I decided to get another quick recording today. The piano hasn't been tuned since it was moved back and with new hammers there are a couple of voicing tweaks needed. As for the performance, well there's the usual stupid mistakes, but I'm trying to sing more with my own voice, to coin a metaphor; inject some personal touches that reflect my insights (which remain somewhat immature) while still remaining true to the text and not messing with the lines. In any event, this was the result:



At some point, when I can capture a rendering that is adequate, I should probably post it to member recordings, where it properly belongs.



Really great progress. Listened to the whole thing and kept my attention completely.

Last edited by computerpro3; 02/17/18 08:56 PM.
Re: Who Can Play Los Requiebros? [Re: MathGuy] #2715574
02/19/18 03:15 AM
02/19/18 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by MathGuy
It does seem peculiar that Granados didn't use a key signature in LR. The only one of the Goyescas where he did use one is Quejas; in fact it even switches from three sharps to six and back again. By analogy you'd expect LR to have several changes of key signature - maybe Eb/E/F/Db/G/Bb/Eb, if not more.

I think that's about right. Just think how many accidentals he could have avoided with those key signatures!


SRF
Re: Who Can Play Los Requiebros? [Re: computerpro3] #2715578
02/19/18 03:32 AM
02/19/18 03:32 AM
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Originally Posted by computerpro3
Really great progress. Listened to the whole thing and kept my attention completely.

Thanks mate. Much appreciated. It's been a hard journey with this piece. I play it faster now. Like, a minute faster!! lol. Anyway, I'll post a video on the Members' Recordings page in due course. This hopefully will be representative of my true feelings about, and insights into, this wonderful peice.

I will be playing it in a Masterclass with Santiago Radriguez on May 8. Can't wait.


SRF
Re: Who Can Play Los Requiebros? [Re: SiFi] #2720204
03/10/18 02:58 AM
03/10/18 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by SiFi
I will be playing it in a Masterclass with Santiago Radriguez on May 8. Can't wait.

The masterclass was wonderful! Santiago is a fabulous musician and teacher. And a great speaker! I love his cool, urbane way of doing business. Humble, but with a core of beliefs and musical understanding that preempts any disagreement. You can't really argue with him, not because you'd lose (which you always would), but because there's just nothing about what he says that can be argued with. A truly magnificent artist and human being.

I said I would post my next video to members' recordings. I was intending to do that up until the last page of the video that follows. I was trying to incorporate Santiago's advice into my interpretation, and had some success until I blew it a few bars from the end (I'm sure we've all been there). Anyway, I post this recording in hopes that some of the great advice I got from Santiago will be somewhat evident. I'll do a proper recording in due course.


SRF
Re: Who Can Play Los Requiebros? [Re: SiFi] #2720390
03/10/18 04:33 PM
03/10/18 04:33 PM
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Very nice, your playing gets better and better! I'm envious and jealous (in a good way). I'm curious about any specific insights you learned that you might want to share?
As for myself, the best I can say is that I've been able to revive it, although it feels like whack-a-mole, when I improve on a segment, trouble will come up somewhere else, so it's been hard for me to make it come together in a coherent manner. I've also been working on a Mozart sonata which is coming along much better, so I hope to be able to better focus on this one, but my expectation is that this will take me a looooong time to bring it to a presentable level, all the more reason I'm so impressed with your rendition, you are doing great, keep up the good work!
Hector

Re: Who Can Play Los Requiebros? [Re: SiFi] #2722172
03/18/18 09:08 AM
03/18/18 09:08 AM
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Hello! I've been lurking around on the forums for a while, and I just haven't had a chance to reply to this thread. It's been great following everyone's progress and insight into the piece, and discovering lots of things that I might have missed when I recorded it. FWIW, I disregarded "sans ped." and played F# in bar 93, but I also fluffed or completely omitted A# as well! Looking back on it, I think I would play the F natural now (and the A#), as the resulting E-F natural-F# voice leading seems plausible to me.

SiFi - I enjoyed your most recent recording. I think you paced the piece well, which is something I struggled with in particular. The texture changes, specifically in some of the LH accompaniment, and "subito" dynamics were effective.

As an aside, I would be happy to participate in another "Who can play _____?" thread, if there is enough interest. I know discussion/study group threads on ABF have popped up occasionally, but I've also enjoyed seeing them here.


Beethoven - Piano Sonata, op. 101
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Re: Who Can Play Los Requiebros? [Re: SiFi] #2723061
03/20/18 09:34 PM
03/20/18 09:34 PM
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Awesome performance, SiFi! You've really captured the beast. Congratulations!

Re: Who Can Play Los Requiebros? [Re: SiFi] #2727579
04/08/18 09:41 PM
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It's been a while so I decided to revive this thread with my latest recording. I have very mixed feelings about it because although I'm able to do (and see/hear) a few nice things I'm able to do, overall I don't think I'm making that much progress over 7 months of trying. It's also frustrating that I seem to have a hard time capturing on a recording the times I do play it better, but maybe I'll be able to do better with time, maybe a decade or two. In this particular recording, I feel I started too timidly, then got a bit more confident, but when I stumbled on the first set of quintuplets that rattled me and I can see the mistakes starting to creep in until my disastrous crash and burn on the G major "jota-esque" section with all the jumps, but after my exasperated sigh, I just plow through it badly, then eventually regain my footing. I do think that while the ending is far from perfect, I feel a bit more confident and secure, maybe because I've been focusing on it a lot more. At this point I'm not sure how much of this is simply performance anxiety and how much is simply poor technique. I do get some consolation knowing that this can grow with time and it just needs a lot of work, particularly for somebody like me that is self-teaching this piece with no benefit of teacher at the moment.
I'll play this tomorrow at a piano club meeting out of town, hopefully will get to try this at another club in a couple of weeks, then in May at the piano camp, whatever it takes to help me get through my performance anxiety. So, without further ado, here is my latest effort, warts and all, recorded with Samson CO1 mic and a Zoom H1 mic, mixed with Studio One 3. Thanks for any suggestions and feedback.
Hector

Re: Who Can Play Los Requiebros? [Re: SiFi] #2727581
04/08/18 09:51 PM
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We had one of the pianists play this at the Young Artist Competition at my music club. I was not there for that one, so I do not know how it went, and it did not win, so I may never hear it.


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Re: Who Can Play Los Requiebros? [Re: SiFi] #2728059
04/10/18 06:59 PM
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Well, I survived my first live performance attempt in front of people. I think the most important thing is that I got through the whole thing, and managed to play several passages well. I even played the jota-esque leaps with little difficulty, go figure. I did have stumbles, both expected and unexpected, but at least I did a quarter-decent (not as good as a half-decent, but at least something) job. So, I think my focus needs to be on learning to perform, instead of being stuck on learning to play it. I CAN play this, done so several times in private, but when it comes to learning to perform it, I still have much to learn. I’ll try this again in a couple of weeks at a different club, and keep trying to perform for the camera, until I get to a comfortable performance that I’ll then upload, even though it may be a while. Hopefully someday...

Re: Who Can Play Los Requiebros? [Re: hbs60] #2728064
04/10/18 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by hbs60
Well, I survived my first live performance attempt in front of people.

Well done, Hector. Practice and performance are completely different animals, I know. The former may give you comfort and a sense of security, like a domestic cat in a good mood, while the latter can be an angry Siberian tiger that eats you alive. So just surviving is not insignificant. I am hoping I'll get a chance to play this for a private lesson at PianoTexas. I feel that the more you know about a piece, the more you really know it.

I still want to post a version on member recordings. Unfortunately I've been tied up learning other stuff recently.

Ciao!


SRF
Re: Who Can Play Los Requiebros? [Re: SiFi] #2728068
04/10/18 07:29 PM
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Thanks, SiFi,
It’s been quite a journey, hasn’t it? I’m hoping to play this for my piano camp master class (unless I chicken out or not picked for the class) this coming May.

Any suggestions or observations on my recent video? Any glaring issues I need to address? I’m looking forward to yours but I know doing videos can be complicated and time consuming, so take your time.

I know what you mean about the domestic cat, being a cat owner myself, but being that I’m in FL, instead of tigers I think of alligators eating me, and this piece is infested with them under that beautiful surface, ready to jump out at unexpected moments, so I try to stay vigilant.
Hector

Re: Who Can Play Los Requiebros? [Re: SiFi] #2728596
04/12/18 06:49 PM
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Sorry to chime in again (I don't want to monopolize this thread), just wanted to share something weird.
I wonder if doing that sloppy performance out of town actually helped me in some way. I got back feeling very energized, reviewing every possible detail I could think of, practicing passages slow, hand separate, fast, backwards, metronome, etc, nothing really new I haven't done before, and all of a sudden it seems I'm breaking through some wall, because I've been able to play this much, much better, it feels easier and flows better. Too bad I couldn't capture it in video, but I wonder if the act of performing (no matter how poorly or sloppily) can actually help me play my music better. then again, who knows how I'll do tomorrow, but today I'll enjoy what I accomplished.

Re: Who Can Play Los Requiebros? [Re: SiFi] #2734907
05/07/18 05:56 PM
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Here's my latest recording attempt. This time I'm using my new iPhone 8 plus with the Samson CO-1 condenser microphone attached via an iRig adapter. My self assessment is that I still have a long way to go, I would say I'm about 60% of where I wish I were (keep in mind I'm simply a self-taught amateur and currently I'm not having any lessons so I'm completely winging it). I notice I still have lots of hesitancy and tension, I believe that it may be because I'm too distracted by looking at the score and playing, this is the type of piece that I could play much better if I could have it completely memorized, but these days I don't trust my memory as much as I did. I'm trying to get this as ready as I can for my upcoming trip to piano camp later this month, hopefully over there I can get some adult supervision and maybe learn new, different ways of approaching it. Right now, it feels like whack-a-mole, I fix some technical issue, only to see a different one pop up somewhere else. But, why do I do it?....because it's there! Maybe some day I'll be able to climb this Everest all the way to the summit, in the meantime I'm at base camp...
Constructive and kind feedback and suggestions always welcome, thanks!
Hector

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