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Chopin Fantasie-Improptu op. 66 #2741446
06/01/18 10:30 PM
06/01/18 10:30 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,261
Massachusetts
Pathbreaker Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Pathbreaker  Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,261
Massachusetts
Hello!

I took a recording today during my practice session. It's been quite a struggle to learn this one but I feel like it's finally getting somewhere. My teacher has worked a small miracle but I welcome any additional feedback. I will play this soon at a group recital.

https://app.box.com/s/3onihqk6upxtfwn1m4cunp26jnb54b8j

Thanks for listening!

Re: Chopin Fantasie-Improptu op. 66 [Re: Pathbreaker] #2741458
06/02/18 01:45 AM
06/02/18 01:45 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,256
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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BruceD  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,256
Victoria, BC
Pathbreaker:

The sound on this recording is very muffled, almost muddy. Wherever you recorded this, the venue is not a friendly one for piano recording. Therefore, it's somewhat difficult to comment on details in your playing since I don't know whether what I am hearing is attributable to technique that needs work or whether its the echoing venue in which the recording was made.

So, that said, and based on the relatively low and muffled quality of the sound, it seems that your passage work needs ... well, more work. The sixteenth-notes don't always all sound or, rather, they do not all seem even in your execution of them; some of them seem somewhat scrambled rather than clearly articulated. Again, this might be because of the quality of the recording, but the "A" section lacks clarity, and I can't be sure that that is all attributable to the sound quality. I couldn't hear the distinction between the where the melody falls in measures 13 through 16 (thumb of the right hand) and measures 17 through 21 (fifth finger, right hand), although it did improve at measure 20. In the return of the "A" section there are some moments when the tempo lags as if you are struggling with the notes.

In the Moderato cantabile section you missed an entire section (measures 71 through 82) - was this intentional? In this section, I would like to hear more "breath" between phrases. Even though you are playing in time, some phrase endings without a breathing space before the next phrase begins make those measures sound a little rushed (the phrase that ends at the middle of measure 54; the phrase that ends on the third beat of measure 57); these and similar spots could benefit, I believe, from a little space before the next phrase begins.

All that said, I think you are well on your way to building a foundation from which to build this up to a nice performance. You seem to have the dexterity necessary once you can even out the passage work and make it flow evenly and effortlessly. I would look forward to hearing this again in a clearer recording.

Thanks for sharing.

Regards,



BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Chopin Fantasie-Improptu op. 66 [Re: Pathbreaker] #2741512
06/02/18 08:52 AM
06/02/18 08:52 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,261
Massachusetts
Pathbreaker Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Pathbreaker  Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,261
Massachusetts
Hi Bruce,

Thank you for this great feedback. The recording is pretty bad. I used my phone and I placed it on a chair in the audience because I wanted to get an idea of the projection. I do hope to get a clean recording over the weekend and if it goes well I will post it.

Measures 13-16 vs. 17-21
- I'm not shifting the accent to the 5th finger in measure 17. At least I'm not doing so intentionally. I used to do this but it was bringing tension in my playing. I had to simplify these measures and work on removing the tension. I can say that now I'm doing much better in that regard but not quite ready to reintroduce the 5th finger accent. I want to be sure there is zero tension. I'll see what happens next recording.

Measures 71-82
- Yes, those measures are missing on purpose. In the version I'm using there is a note that these measures can be removed. I did so as a kindness to the audience. smile Actually, I expect I will put them back in when I'm more comfortable with everything. If I got to a point where I was really satisfied with the performance as a whole and I could add that extra length without boring the listener then I would put it back in.
To quote this version:
Quote
If, on account of the proportionately too great length of the secondary part, an abridgement is desired, strike out everything from the sign + on page 8 and use only the last closing measures


Your comments about phrasing are huge help. Thank you for including measures too. For a long time I felt that this section was the hardest for me. What you hear now is a massive improvement overall but still needs more. Phrasing in sections like this is a very tricky thing for me. I often lose the sense of time and flow when I make these kinds of changes. I will try some of your suggestions and see if they work out.

Re: Chopin Fantasie-Improptu op. 66 [Re: Pathbreaker] #2741575
06/02/18 01:51 PM
06/02/18 01:51 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,261
Massachusetts
Pathbreaker Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Pathbreaker  Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,261
Massachusetts
Originally Posted by Pathbreaker
Hello!

I took a recording today during my practice session. It's been quite a struggle to learn this one but I feel like it's finally getting somewhere. My teacher has worked a small miracle but I welcome any additional feedback. I will play this soon at a group recital.

https://app.box.com/s/3onihqk6upxtfwn1m4cunp26jnb54b8j

Thanks for listening!



Here is a clear recording from today.

https://app.box.com/s/k6zbu1uoxtzwop5k9dxnu429i8tnypsa

I pushed the tempo a bit (not on purpose) and there are some spots where you can tell it wasn't ready for that. So the "A" section and coda are sometimes not so clean. Overall, I decided to post this anyways because the other recording was so poor in quality.

The real focus here is the The middle section marked moderato cantabile where I really tried to play more freely and with better phrasing. I'm not sure if it's better or worse. It felt like a good attempt and I would say that section is the main reason I posted this besides having something of better quality. The 5th finger accent is featured a bit more but that combined with the faster tempo led to a trouble spot or two towards the end.

I guess you could call it a work in progress. I expect to have a cleaned up version pretty soon but I was hoping to get an idea of how my middle section is doing.

Re: Chopin Fantasie-Improptu op. 66 [Re: Pathbreaker] #2741595
06/02/18 04:09 PM
06/02/18 04:09 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,256
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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BruceD  Offline
Gold Subscriber
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,256
Victoria, BC
Pb:

This is a much clearer recording than the previous one.

For my taste, there is much to be appreciated in your playing of the Moderato cantabile section on this new recording. It feels more relaxed, it flows better, and the attention to phrasing, I think, has provided much more interesting - may I say more "musical" - results. We know that Chopin was strongly influenced by the composers of bel canto opera, Bellini, in particular, so making this melody sing in a more vocal manner brings it warmly to life, I feel. The danger is to overdo that aspect of the melodic line, and to allow it to become maudlin. For me, you have it about right. Thank you.

A work in progress, indeed. When is anything we play, no matter how well, never anything but an endless work in progress?

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Chopin Fantasie-Improptu op. 66 [Re: Pathbreaker] #2741661
06/02/18 10:18 PM
06/02/18 10:18 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,261
Massachusetts
Pathbreaker Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Pathbreaker  Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,261
Massachusetts
That's awesome, thanks! The rest is starting to get better in today's practice. I just might survive this performance thumb


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