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Slavic Themed Recital 2018 - General Discussion Room #2772558
10/14/18 11:43 PM
10/14/18 11:43 PM
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Welcome to the general discussion thread for the AB Forum Slavic Themed Recital!

Please use this thread for any discussion of the pieces in the Slavic Themed Recital

Discussions and replies can be posted at-will. Feel free to comment on any or all individual pieces. Some members offer comments on each submission individually; others offer general congratulations. Either approach is appropriate. Feel free to offer more specific, technical feedback if the participant had indicated that technical feedback was welcome.

For those who wish to comment on all pieces, a copy and paste template for offering feedback can be found here:
Slavic Themed Recital Response Template

Please use this thread only to discuss recital performances. If you have any comments or suggestions about ways to make the recital process better, please start a separate thread.

Enjoy the recital!

Re: Slavic Themed Recital 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: outo] #2772661
10/15/18 08:31 AM
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Should there be a "stickied" thread with a link to this Recital in the main ABF Forum? (for those who don't frequent the Sub-Forum often...or overlook the fact that it's there...)


"Difficulties deferred and challenges unmet will eventually return with a vengeance to bite one in the butt." (paraphrasing Chopin)
Re: Slavic Themed Recital 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: outo] #2772688
10/15/18 10:13 AM
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The themed recitals were moved to this forum so that they would be easier to find because I think it was not possible to have them "stickied" as the quarterly recitals are. Anyway, thanks to Tyrone, people have been notified smile

I must say that I have enjoyed listening to this one a lot! The streaming player is handy when all the submissions ask for multiple listenings... individual comments later!

Re: Slavic Themed Recital 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: outo] #2772852
10/15/18 08:07 PM
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Here are my comments for the first half:

02. Tim Adrianson - Skazka, Op 51, #2 Really delightful piece and performance! I like the range of expression and like folky sound to some of the passages.

03. Tim Adrianson - Prelude, Op 32, #10 I agree with you and Rachmaninov that its a knockout of a piece. I like all those really big chords especially during the middle part.

04. Tim Adrianson - Etude, Op 4 #3 I've never heard of Karol Szymanowski before so thanks for the introduction. This was a really interesting piece expertly played.

05. zsolpyW - Waltz of Love Wow, the main theme of this piece is really compelling. Really nice job.

06. BSharp(C)yclist (Dan) - In Church (Op. 39, No. 24) It sounded like a 6 out of 6 to me. Really clean. Nice deep chords with great dynamics.

07. Debusselchen - Harmonic pulp I'm failing to see the Slavic connection, but it sounded nice anyway. Great idea to use the backing track.

08. dumka1 - Slavonic Dance in e minor, Op. 72 no. 2 (duet) This sounds really great! You two are really playing together seamlessly. That's a great performance of a really nice piece.

09. dumka1 - October ("The Autumn Song") Really nice performance with a nice singing melody. I thought the rubato was very tasteful as well.

Last edited by Jason Lenthe; 10/15/18 08:07 PM.
Re: Slavic Themed Recital 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: outo] #2772933
10/16/18 04:25 AM
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Hi, all -- first of all, many thanks to outo for both originating and managing this Themed e-Cital. If nothing else, it gave me an "excuse" to pursue a few new selections in my sheet music portfolio I had never previously attempted, along with "dusting off" a few others.

Jason Lenthe -- A great start to the recital, boy! I agreed with your speed -- it does need to be taken that fast to be effective; but more importantly, you brought out some of the subtle harmonic shifts that make this piece so effective. Good stuff!

zsolpyW -- Overall, a very effective, well considered rendition of Doga's Waltz -- it sounds like "movie music", with all the professional flair a Shostakovich or Prokofiev would bring to bear when they wrote for film. If anything, I would make the final statement even more broad and grand, but that's just a personal quibble.

BSharp(C)yclist] -- Well, In Church, the Slavs certainly seem to be enamored of the male chorus, chanting in harmonic "blocks", don't they? Tchaikovsky, as always, has a very sensitive ear, and you provided a very effective rendition of his evocation.

Debusselchen -- Well, if any link to Slavic music exists, I'd have to nominate Nikolai Kapustin -- who, like you, is fascinated by how American Jazz "sounds", even when in his case it is "through-composed". After reading your discussion regarding your improvisation, I would agree that it comes off as more "Jazzoid" than Jazz. Traditional Jazz is always a theme and variations format; i.e., a second motif is not introduced. I think your "theme" starts at about 0:20 ends somewhere in the 0:50- 0:55 range -- after that, I think it would be more interesting if you "work the scales" over the chord changes introduced in your theme, because it seems to me that's how people like Dizzy Gillespie and Bill Evans (and of course many others) approached it. But thanks for sharing this -- and incidentally, you might want to check out the "Piano Bar", which is also in the Adult Beginners Forum.

dumka -- I really enjoyed the four-hand version of the Slavonic Dance -- if I recall, that's how Dvorak originally wrote them, prior to orchestrating. It served to remind me how thoroughly rich and creative his writing was -- this Dance is just chock full of satisfying, tasteful accoutrements. For a long while, he was known only for the New World Symphony and the Slavonic Dances, but along with Alexander Glazunov, another thoroughgoing and creative professional from the late Romantic era, more of his compositions have entered the Classical mainstream -- and deservedly so.

dumka -- I fully agree with Tchaikovsky that this is an "Autumn Song"; more specifically, a late 19th century Art Song, even while being a solo piano piece. I listened to this a few times, because, like you, I was intrigued by the emotional arc of this implied song. Briefly put, I think there are clear "A" and "B" sections, the "B" starting at 1:10 and continuing until 2:50 or so, and I believe I would inject some more forward motion and romantic yearning than I heard in your rendition. The "A" section, and the ending coda, I liked just as it was -- simple, sad, pretty much despairing at the end.

handyman -- Briefly put, I think Schubert clearly wins the prize for being the most Slavic here -- his dance clearly suggests a "hop" in the succession of steps that always strike me as uniquely Slavic. The Maykapar to my ear is more traditional, it has a very sweet quality to recommend it.

I'll finish the comments later today.

Re: Slavic Themed Recital 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Tim Adrianson] #2773004
10/16/18 10:34 AM
10/16/18 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson
Hi, all -- first of all, many thanks to outo for both originating and managing this Themed e-Cital. If nothing else, it gave me an "excuse" to pursue a few new selections in my sheet music portfolio I had never previously attempted, along with "dusting off" a few others.

Actually it wasn't really my idea, cannot remember right now who suggested it... But your contribution was quite central in making it into a good sized recital smile

Re: Slavic Themed Recital 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: outo] #2773034
10/16/18 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson
Hi, all -- first of all, many thanks to outo for both originating and managing this Themed e-Cital. If nothing else, it gave me an "excuse" to pursue a few new selections in my sheet music portfolio I had never previously attempted, along with "dusting off" a few others.

Actually it wasn't really my idea, cannot remember right now who suggested it... But your contribution was quite central in making it into a good sized recital smile


I think I suggested it, and outo said he'd be happy to administer it. Since my computer skills are very basic, I was more than happy to let him do it. So, it was a joint enterprise in the beginning, but full credit should go to outo because he did all the real work smile

Re: Slavic Themed Recital 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: outo] #2773059
10/16/18 01:33 PM
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Hi, folks -- just finishing up my comments on the various submissions --

Moo -- I very much agree with the overall emotional quality you bring to Rachmaninov's early Elegy -- I consider it his first "masterwork", far more so than his famous Prelude from the same Opus. The piece for me comes off as a tragic, highly dramatic operatic aria, and very convincing in its lament. As you indicate, you need to build both technical and musical security in the "B" section (where the triplets begin) -- that builds to a climax of high intensity, and must have an uninterrupted flow towards that end. It also needs to be somewhat faster than you're providing at present. But you were able to provide and sustain at least some of the gripping intensity of sadness -- it's coming along very well. Thanks for sharing it!

Tyrone Slothrop -- It was fortuitous that you chose the Morning Prayer of Tchaikovsky's Op 39 to complement the In Church submission -- this is Tchaikovsky in a more optimistic reverential mood. This you projected very effectively and straightforwardly.

outo -- The Glinka Polka was a lively, effective rendition of a small piece. Tansman is one of those early 20th Century composers who provided very sophisticated, pleasant miniatures in a number of genres -- Intermezzi, Jazz and Blues, Mazurkas, etc -- but somehow was consistently overlooked. I believe this Meditation has a more distinct "A" and "B" section than you're providing (the "B" section runs from 0:25 to 1:07 or so), but it is otherwise appropriately poignant and reflective.

GoldmanT -- This short piece of Kapustin's does indeed illustrate his very unique style -- from what I can tell, he's devoted his entire compositional career to evoking American Jazz, in all its considerable wealth of styles and genres. But within that idiom, he constantly surprises with rhythmic displacements and elegant harmonic turns, and a lot of it is spectacularly virtuosic. Glad to see that he is getting published more and more, now that he's in his early 80s and up to Op 160 or so.

Thanks to all for their contributions!

Re: Slavic Themed Recital 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: outo] #2773215
10/16/18 10:00 PM
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And the second half of my comments:

10. Tim Adrianson - Suite for Piano, Op 98, #s 2, 4, and 5 Wow, that's a really impressive performance. I can really hear the American influence here especially in #5. I think 2, 4, and 5 seem to go very well together, but now I'm wondering what 1 and 3 sound like, since I've never heard this suite before.

11. Tim Adrianson - Po Zarostlem Chodnicku, Part 2, #s 1, 2 and 3 This does seem to be a unique style and I like it. Its different enough to be interesting but not so much to be bizarre.

12. Tim Adrianson - Po Zarostlem Chodnicku, Part 2, #s 4 and 5 I think #4 was my favorite of the set. The sheer amount of very difficult material you've been able to prepare for this recital is mind boggling to me. You've probably forgotten more music than I'll ever know.

13. Handyman - Bi-Ethnic Medley: Shubert - Waltz in B minor & Maykapar - Waltz (in D Major) That's a nice pair. If I was asked which of the two was by the Slavic composer I would have guessed the first (and been wrong). But they were very nicely played and enjoyable. Great job!

14. Moo smile - Elegie Sounds great even at this speed (I don't have any pre-conceived expectations). There's a ton of expression and musicality in there. Really great job!

15. Tyrone Slothrop - Morning Prayer, Op. 39 No. 1 Beautiful simplicity! I really enjoyed it.

16. outo - Polka d minor That's a nice little polka and a perfect addition to the recital. I've certainly heard (and played on) pianos far more out of tune, so that wasn't a problem for me.

17. outo - Meditation This piece has a quiet beauty to it. I feel a sense of relief when the main theme comes back after the middle section. Great job playing this.

18. GoldmanT - Prelude in a Jazz Style No. 16 This is a great way close the recital...on an upbeat jazzy tune. It sounds to me like you've pretty well mastered the piece. Great job!

And an overall comment...most of the pieces and even many of the composers in this recital I've never heard before. It was great to get exposed to so much new material. And everyone really brought their A-game to this recital.

Re: Slavic Themed Recital 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: outo] #2773217
10/16/18 10:03 PM
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Is there anyone else trying to avoid reading any of the comments so that when they listen through the recital pieces, it won't influence their thinking before they even listen to the playing? smile


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Re: Slavic Themed Recital 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2773218
10/16/18 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Is there anyone else trying to avoid reading any of the comments so that when they listen through the recital pieces, it won't influence their thinking before they even listen to the playing? smile


Yes, I try not to read other comments on a piece before I've had a chance to listen to it myself.

Re: Slavic Themed Recital 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2773236
10/17/18 01:49 AM
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Hi, Tyrone -- Yes -- as a rule, I deliberately post my reactions first, before reading any comments of others. My only other "rule" is to provide some remarks of substance to support my overall reaction to the given submission.

Re: Slavic Themed Recital 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: outo] #2773290
10/17/18 09:13 AM
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Welcome to all participants of Slavic Themed Recital.

I think the idea for this recital is great! I was afraid that, most of you would play Chopin. Chopin, of course, was a Slav, but the recital would be simply boring ....
Fortunately, we generally went to little known composers or little-known songs.

In my opinion, the level of the recital is high.
Music played at a high level, adequately to the participants' experience and skills.

My comments are completely objective. I did not read the comments of other people, not to suggest them.

Only I am disappointed that so few people took part in the recital.

01. Jason Lenthe - Russian Dance

You have great motivation to practice - accompanying children to dance.
The song is very impressive, giving the opportunity to show yourself as a great pianist smile
My small comment is concerning the tempo. If someone does not know this song, then your version sounds good but ... the composer expected faster tempo and greater dynamics.

Your playing is very comfortable. You have loose hands, I can see that peace it's not a problem for you. I am sure, you are able to play it faster and more expressively.

I would add even greater contrasts of dynamics and more forte in the end. You can take the last chord to transfer the left hand to the bass. Wait for this sound a little longer and hit sforzando!


02. Tim Adrianson - Skazka, Op 51, #2

03. Tim Adrianson - Prelude, Op 32, #10

04. Tim Adrianson - Etude, Op 4 #3

Are You really beginner? I’m not sure wink

05. zsolpyW - Waltz of Love

I did what I could. My fate is in yours hands !!!
06. BSharp(C)yclist (Dan) - In Church (Op. 39, No. 24)

Nice moody song. You play and shade the sound well.
When raising your hands, keep more loose wrists. When you lift hands up, start the movement from the wrists.

07. Debusselchen - Harmonic pulp

Nice improvisation, but could you please explain what it has in common with Slavic themed?

08. dumka1 - Slavonic Dance in e minor, Op. 72 no. 2 (duet) (

Above all, congratulation, you have musically talented daughter!
It must be something special for you that you can share your passion with her. Beautiful moody piece well played.
Congratulations!

09. dumka1 - October ("The Autumn Song")

Very poetic piece. You show its atmosphere well. You don’t play boring, don’t be worry about it. The piece should be moody and sentimental.

15. Tyrone Slothrop - Morning Prayer, Op. 39 No. 1

Nice moody piece. As for your experience, you play really well. I encourage you to further musical development

16. outo - Polka d minor

Typically, Slavic music. Try to play faster, lighter and a little jumpier.

17. outo - Meditation

Nice sounding piece from an unknown composer!
Dynamics planned well. You nicely mute the latest sounds.

18. GoldmanT - Prelude in a Jazz Style No. 16

Jazz music can be Slavic, interesting ...
A nice light piece played well

Re: Slavic Themed Recital 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: outo] #2773420
10/17/18 05:29 PM
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Thank you for the comments. I thought I would upload even though it is not strictly a finished work. I have kept going with the Elegie for a while now. I have struggled with it tbh more than I thought. I'm happy it is sounding quite nice slolwly and may have a break from it. The triplet section is hard so I am not sure I can get it much more secure atm to play up to speed. The main problem was the key. Elegie is in E flat minor with 6 flats so included C flat in the key signature. That as well as all the other natural signs, quite alternating chords and playing very loud whilst trying to play expressively and not to hesitate it was all quite a whirlwind. Rachmaninoff is very hard !

Re: Slavic Themed Recital 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: outo] #2773557
10/18/18 07:57 AM
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Thanks for the comments so far. I haven't' had a chance to listen, but I should have time later this afternoon smile


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Re: Slavic Themed Recital 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: outo] #2773714
10/18/18 05:42 PM
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Yes, thanks for the comments, and thank you, zsolpyW, for your compliment on my daughter's musicality. I wish she practiced more (sigh). I've listened to the recital with great pleasure and will be posting my brief comments soon.

Re: Slavic Themed Recital 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: outo] #2773722
10/18/18 06:12 PM
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Here are my comments (sorry, they're brief but I've never played any of the submitted pieces, so I couldn't give much substantial feedback--just sharing my general impressions):

01. Jason Lenthe - Russian Dance

I really enjoyed your performance. It was very spirited and I thought it expressed nicely the character of the dance (which is actually Ukrainian, not Russian :)). I didn’t mind a somewhat slower tempo—I think it’s more important to be comfortable and play smoothly and musically than to rush it (unless it’s way off in terms of the tempo or distorts the character of the piece).

(By the way, my younger daughter does ballet, too, and she used to participate in the local Nutcracker production, so this brings back nice memories).

02, etc. Tim Adrianson -

I won't comment on each individual piece because all I can say is thanks for sharing your amazing playing with us! Such a variety of complex and beautiful pieces. I particularly enjoyed Medtner's "Skazka," Szymanowski and Dvorak. I thought Janacek was indeed very interesting; I liked some pieces of the set more than others. I also appreciate your inclusion of non-Russian composers, since this is a Slavic recital.

05. zsolpyW - Waltz of Love

Aww, love the movie and the waltz. Great job. I may be wrong but I think I heard some tiny breaks in pedaling which created what my Russian piano teacher calls "holes"/dyry--I do this, too, occasionally, and she reminds me to strive for a smoother continuity in pedaling.

06. BSharp(C)yclist (Dan) - In Church (Op. 39, No. 24)

Very nicely done. Love the dynamics and the subtle endings of phrases.

07. Debusselchen - Harmonic pulp

Can't really comment because I don't know much about jazz or improvisation but it was fun.


13. Handyman - Bi-Ethnic Medley: Shubert - Waltz in B minor & Maykapar - Waltz (in D Major)

Thanks for reminding me about this charming waltz by Schubert. I would probably play it a bit faster, with more movement.
I remember playing some Maykapar as a child (he was a staple composer of the Soviet piano curriculum) but not this piece, I believe. Very nice.

14. Moo smile - Elegie

I've never played Rachmaninoff (I don't think I'm ready), so I can’t really give any helpful feedback but I did enjoy the intensity of your rendition.

15. Tyrone Slothrop - Morning Prayer, Op. 39 No. 1

Very well done and impressive for only 8 month of playing!

16-17. outo - Polka d minor and Meditation.

Two charming pieces. I particularly enjoyed the polka. I was thinking of learning Glinka's nocturne "Separation" for this recital but went with Tchaikovsky instead.

18. GoldmanT - Prelude in a Jazz Style No. 16

This was great! Kapustin is notoriously difficult (a friend of mine, who's much more advanced than I am, has learned one of his etudes recently, so I have an idea).

Re: Slavic Themed Recital 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: dumka1] #2774017
10/20/18 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by dumka1
...

13. Handyman - Bi-Ethnic Medley: Shubert - Waltz in B minor & Maykapar - Waltz (in D Major)

Thanks for reminding me about this charming waltz by Schubert. I would probably play it a bit faster, with more movement...



You're welcome - it is charming - charmingly Slavic-like...

Yes, there's a common range of tempi within which waltzes are played, and I can easily see this one being played a bit faster - but I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "movement" however...


"Difficulties deferred and challenges unmet will eventually return with a vengeance to bite one in the butt." (paraphrasing Chopin)
Re: Slavic Themed Recital 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Handyman] #2774066
10/20/18 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Handyman
Originally Posted by dumka1
...

13. Handyman - Bi-Ethnic Medley: Shubert - Waltz in B minor & Maykapar - Waltz (in D Major)

Thanks for reminding me about this charming waltz by Schubert. I would probably play it a bit faster, with more movement...



You're welcome - it is charming - charmingly Slavic-like...

Yes, there's a common range of tempi within which waltzes are played, and I can easily see this one being played a bit faster - but I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "movement" however...


I guess I meant with more forward movement, when phrases are built in such a way that there's a clear movement towards some climactic point in the phrase, rather than separate notes. But listening to this waltz again, I'm thinking perhaps it's not an issue (only the beginning struck me as a bit lacking in that movement but I think you were doing it deliberately, starting slowly and then progressing to a more lively manner).

Re: Slavic Themed Recital 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: outo] #2774510
10/22/18 06:51 AM
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Thanks for the clarification...yes, the slow start was deliberate...


"Difficulties deferred and challenges unmet will eventually return with a vengeance to bite one in the butt." (paraphrasing Chopin)

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