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Schumann's Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen
#2846940 05/10/19 05:32 AM
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I feel I have this piece under control now, so what I am after is trying for a particular feel. I have two different interpretations, one by Maria-João Pires and the other by Matthias Kirschnereit. Mostly I prefer Kirschnereit's interpretations of Schumann's pieces to Pires' who often I feel plays the pieces too quickly. But for Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen I prefer her interpretation. The piece I feel has three voices and the second voice is quite hidden in Kirschnereit's version and I think by itself the second voice is lovely and Pires brings out that voice nicely.

My teacher really likes the Kirschnereit interpretation. So I'm going to have to do a really good job of it if I go for the Pires interpretation to convince her of my choice.

Pires playing Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen

Kirschnereit playing Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen

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Re: Schumann's Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen
KevinM #2846975 05/10/19 08:32 AM
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I think listening to good professional performances is a good idea to hear how they shape phrases, voice the melody, and learn how the piece "goes". But I also think you should basically choose your own interpretation for this piece and not "go for" one particular interpretation. Do you really want to copy every little nuance they include? How do you want to shape the melody? Is the balance between the melody and the rest of the notes good?

Re: Schumann's Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen
pianoloverus #2846982 05/10/19 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think listening to good professional performances is a good idea to hear how they shape phrases, voice the melody, and learn how the piece "goes". But I also think you should basically choose your own interpretation for this piece and not "go for" one particular interpretation. Do you really want to copy every little nuance they include? How do you want to shape the melody? Is the balance between the melody and the rest of the notes good?


I don't want to do copy, but what I want to make sure I capture is the middle voice which I think the Kerschnereit version lacks but the Pires captures nicely. So I want to include the melody, the second voice while keeping the support soft. Which is going to be hard for me to get right.

What I found interesting was when I was practising while making it a bit staccato to help with my rhythm (I am not sure why but practising staccato helps me feel the rhythm of a piece better) I noticed the middle voice in my own playing that I hadn't noticed before. Then when I went to listen to the two different versions again I could it hear it nicely in one but was muted in the other and I do like the middle voice.

Though I can see how you could have interpreted my discussion to imply copying because of the bit talking about where what I like and my teacher likes differ. But that isn't what I meant from that.

Last edited by KevinM; 05/10/19 08:47 AM.
Re: Schumann's Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen
KevinM #2847010 05/10/19 10:24 AM
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The middle voice should be the softest, no?

Re: Schumann's Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen
pianoloverus #2847017 05/10/19 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
The middle voice should be the softest, no?


Always?

That is what I like about the Pires version is you can hear the middle voice coming through clearly whereas the support is sometimes close to inaudible and I like hearing that middle voice, and I think it gives her interpretation more interest than Kirschnereits as a result.

I am definitely weak on music theory so all I am going on here is what I personally like.

Last edited by KevinM; 05/10/19 10:38 AM.
Re: Schumann's Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen
KevinM #2847020 05/10/19 10:42 AM
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I am assuming here that the melody is the loudest, but the middle voice comes above the support, just in case my comment above makes you think I want the middle voice to be louder than the melody.

Last edited by KevinM; 05/10/19 10:43 AM.
Re: Schumann's Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen
KevinM #2847065 05/10/19 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
The middle voice should be the softest, no?


Always?

That is what I like about the Pires version is you can hear the middle voice coming through clearly whereas the support is sometimes close to inaudible and I like hearing that middle voice, and I think it gives her interpretation more interest than Kirschnereits as a result.

I am definitely weak on music theory so all I am going on here is what I personally like.
The middle voices sound about equal to me in the two recordings. As long as the melody is louder than the other voices in this piece I agree that the middle voice doesn't have to be softer than the bass in the first few phrases at least. Later in the piece there is a melodic line in the bass that's usually brought out.

Re: Schumann's Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen
KevinM #2847183 05/10/19 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinM


My teacher really likes the Kirschnereit interpretation. So I'm going to have to do a really good job of it if I go for the Pires interpretation to convince her of my choice.

Pires playing Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen

Kirschnereit playing Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen


I like quite a lot the Inger Sodergren version. For me it conveys perfectly the spirit of the whole set and the poetry of this particular one. Like pianoloverus I think you need to find your own interpretation based on how you feel the piece. How you voice the different parts depends on the color and tone you choose.

https://youtu.be/VwjhMLJM12M

Re: Schumann's Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen
KevinM #2847212 05/10/19 09:10 PM
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Working on this piece is currently making me crazy creating new neural synapses and expanding my skill as a pianist. I am probably playing it at my teacher's studio recital in less than a month.


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Re: Schumann's Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen
KevinM #2847274 05/11/19 05:24 AM
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My own opinion is that you can practise it various ways, and experiment with the voicing. Don't get stuck in one way. I've heard some of your recordings and you are a good student, so I know you can cope with this.

When you do the repeat you can vary the voicing. You can even play it fairly straight in the first play, and on the repeat do some more experimental voicing, for instance you might want to punctuate the bass on one bar or phrase, and the middle on another. There's no reason to play it the same way twice.

Both performances are good but both very different. I think Pires is more introspective actually.

Re: Schumann's Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen
pianoloverus #2847275 05/11/19 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think listening to good professional performances is a good idea to hear how they shape phrases, voice the melody, and learn how the piece "goes". But I also think you should basically choose your own interpretation for this piece and not "go for" one particular interpretation. Do you really want to copy every little nuance they include? How do you want to shape the melody? Is the balance between the melody and the rest of the notes good?

+1


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Re: Schumann's Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen
Sidokar #2847286 05/11/19 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by KevinM


My teacher really likes the Kirschnereit interpretation. So I'm going to have to do a really good job of it if I go for the Pires interpretation to convince her of my choice.

Pires playing Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen

Kirschnereit playing Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen


I like quite a lot the Inger Sodergren version. For me it conveys perfectly the spirit of the whole set and the poetry of this particular one. How you voice the different parts depends on the color and tone you choose.

https://youtu.be/VwjhMLJM12M


For some reason I don't connect with the Inger Sodergren version.

Originally Posted by Sidokar
Like pianoloverus I think you need to find your own interpretation based on how you feel the piece.


I quickly stated after pianovelorus's post that, it wasn't my intention to state or imply that I wanted to copy the interpretation.

The point I was trying to make was about my teacher having a different perspective to myself and if I am going to diverge from her direction it kind of feels like added pressure to do a good job. This piece isn't one that she set me and is not part of my normal lesson and our discussion came out of my request for help with getting it nicely polished.

Re: Schumann's Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen
malkin #2847287 05/11/19 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by malkin
Working on this piece is currently making me crazy creating new neural synapses and expanding my skill as a pianist. I am probably playing it at my teacher's studio recital in less than a month.


I so get this. I learnt to play the piece quickly. But I am finding capturing the essence of the piece really difficult and taking forever. Making me crazy describes it well.

40 minutes of super slow practise on this piece this morning. Focusing on how I want each note to sound and differentiating the difference voices. I stopped at 40 minutes as that is when my concentration ran out.

Re: Schumann's Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen
KevinM #2847288 05/11/19 06:55 AM
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My twopence worth:
Having downloaded this piece when you first mentioned it, I've gone through it a few times I think I see what you mean. You are also caught between 'doing it your way' and accepting and therefore following your teacher's advice - totally rejecting it would seem impolite, but, then again, of course it is your performance.
Joe80's advice looks good to me, in that on first playing the 3rd voice is kept in the background but then brought out 'subtly' a bit more in the repeats - which will add interest to the piece and is a kind of 'Judgement of Solomon' approach.
As I say, my twopence worth, but I'm tempted to give it a try too...if I don't make too many mistakes, that is!


regards
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Re: Schumann's Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen
KevinM #2847329 05/11/19 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by KevinM


The point I was trying to make was about my teacher having a different perspective to myself and if I am going to diverge from her direction it kind of feels like added pressure to do a good job. This piece isn't one that she set me and is not part of my normal lesson and our discussion came out of my request for help with getting it nicely polished.


I do not see the different perspective on interpretation of a given piece being an issue, otherwise everybody would be playing the same way. I think the role of a teacher is to help the student to learn how to convey the tone of the piece and not to impose to him his/her vision (asuming the student has a point of view) but also to make sure the student is aware of the limits of certain choices. So the fact that you have a different opinion is in fact a good opportunity to discuss how and why the piece should be played one way or another.

My point was different; it is that the various elements of the interpretation must be chosen based on the overal tone chosen for the piece not by themselves; Wether the inner voice should be more or less present, the tempo, rubato, phrasing and touch all these elements contribute to give the piece a character: sad, melancolic, dreaming, gay, ... It is the consistency of these choices and the ability to make them happend mechanically that transform a piece into something that tells a story.

Re your 2 versions, I do not see that there is any significant difference in terms of the inner voice. The accoustic of the 2 recordings is very different and has a big impact; and the overall quality of YT sound is pretty average. But there is clearly a big difference in terms of interpretation and the 2 versions convey a different perspective of the piece.

Re: Schumann's Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen
Sidokar #2847340 05/11/19 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Sidokar
My point was different; it is that the various elements of the interpretation must be chosen based on the overal tone chosen for the piece not by themselves; Wether the inner voice should be more or less present, the tempo, rubato, phrasing and touch all these elements contribute to give the piece a character: sad, melancolic, dreaming, gay, ... It is the consistency of these choices and the ability to make them happend mechanically that transform a piece into something that tells a story.


This is really useful. That the interpretation is the sum of all the elements that contribute to that interpretation. Each of the elements needs to be a positive part of that bigger picture. It is good to be reminded of this because I rarely practise all the elements together but try to focus on improving one or two elements at any one time. It can be easy to get lost in that detail and forget about the bigger picture.

Re: Schumann's Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen
KevinM #2847417 05/11/19 06:31 PM
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I think both Horowitz and Argerich play the "Von Fremden..." better than the two recordings you have.

Horowitz "Von Fremden..."

Argerich "Von Fremden..."

Give these live performances a listen and see what you think.


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Re: Schumann's Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen
AaronSF #2847520 05/12/19 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by AaronSF
I think both Horowitz and Argerich play the "Von Fremden..." better than the two recordings you have.

Horowitz "Von Fremden..."

Argerich "Von Fremden..."

Give these live performances a listen and see what you think.

I like them better, yes. The middle voice should neither shrink to a whisper nor assert itself to the same level as the other two voices.


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Re: Schumann's Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen
AaronSF #2847542 05/12/19 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by AaronSF
I think both Horowitz and Argerich play the "Von Fremden..." better than the two recordings you have.

Horowitz "Von Fremden..."

Argerich "Von Fremden..."

Give these live performances a listen and see what you think.



The quality of the Horowitz recording results in the detail of the piece being lost. What I did really love was how far he went pianissimo after the rit.

I prefer this Argerich "Von Fremden..." which is beautiful and to me captures the piece pretty much perfectly, and significantly better than the concert encore recordings. How I wish I had a little of her talent.

Re: Schumann's Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen
KevinM #2847549 05/12/19 01:12 PM
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My recording from today. I'm pleased with it while also recognising there are still significant issues. My nemesis is still defeating me which is the support is way too loud. Most of my super slow practise is towards quietening the support. My rits are too mechanical, I'm not feeling them so I am playing them as directed but I am not fitting them into the rhythm of the piece and as a result they are lacking. A few ghost notes and I need better regulation. I don't need to play it any faster than I did for this recording, so everything from here on in is about polish.

I feel like I am being my teacher to myself. Complementing me, but then highlighting where I can do better. But right now I'm feeling happy.

Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen

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