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Solace - Joplin #2915445 11/23/19 12:29 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 124
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danlightbulb Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 124
Hi all,

Please could I get some feedback on my performance of Solace:

Link

There are a couple minor slips along the way (I still can't seem to record a whole piece without making at least one slip even though I can play each part fine when not recording).

I am interested in opinions about the feel of the piece and the tempo.

Thanks!
Dan

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Re: Solace - Joplin [Re: danlightbulb] #2915646 11/24/19 12:35 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
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Jeff Clef Offline
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Dan, I will have to write again after I listen to your rendering. But, I wanted to say that I love that particular Joplin number--- in fact, I was just playing it earlier this evening. There were a few slips; I had knee replacement surgery a few weeks ago, and have not been keeping up as I usually do. But it is a fairly difficult piece to read through, especially using the score all the way. Once I had it memorized, it was a great deal easier to do those big jumps which the piece is so full of.

One thing that may have you in doubt is the ridiculous batch of fermatas strewn willy nilly through the piece. If you can't ignore them, white them out. I am guessing that somewhere in pre-publication, a wish was presented to the publisher that some marks, indicating the expressive nature of the piece, be added. Half the request was granted. Marks, yes; indicating, no.

And the beat goes on.

You probably know, in your own heart, everything you need to express and everything Joplin meant. The only consistent marking which Joplin called for again and again, was "Not too fast. It is never right...." I am not so sure that there is any single tempo, or direction for emphasis, or handling of passages. But I am pretty sure you can tell when you hit it, and when you fall short. It is how we know to keep trying.

I play it a little louder now that I am more confident, and now that I have a piano that will give me a little more when I give it a little more. Maybe, a little too much; maybe not. The second theme contrasts with the first in feeling, and I like to let its crispness bring out the ornaments.


Clef

Re: Solace - Joplin [Re: danlightbulb] #2915750 11/24/19 11:30 AM
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Whizbang Offline
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I assume that overall you are still baking this piece. Overall, good tempo.

Some thoughts as I am running through:

Measure 4 intro: I think you are cheating the duration of the note leading into the A section.

Section A:

Good pace.

It could be my ear, but double-check the D#/A interval in measures 4 and 12. You might have internalized something wrong since you are playing it consistently, but it does not sound right to me.

Section B:

I am assuming you are omitting the grace runs in the left hand deliberately?

Overall, the tempo changes here are kind of jarring. I can't tell if you are going for something deliberate there, but since your notes are not yet secure, it comes off more like you are struggling or rushing.

Section C:

There is sort of call/response stuff happening throughout this section. I generally strive to make the response soft relative to the soprano line.

The fermatas are definitely a difficult thing to figure out in this section. I tend to play the whole piece in tempo for on the first pass through and then on the second pass, I'll milk the fermatas,

Section D:

Since this section brings back the habanera rhythm, I try to keep the tempo pretty even as opposed to slowing the tempo on the left hand ascending figures in measure 4, 8, 12.

There are again some pesky fermatas here and I think I tend to use them or not as the mood strikes.

Overall, it is coming along well!


Whizbang
amateur ragtime pianist
https://www.youtube.com/user/Aeschala
Re: Solace - Joplin [Re: Whizbang] #2916491 11/26/19 06:24 AM
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danlightbulb Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Whizbang


Section A:

It could be my ear, but double-check the D#/A interval in measures 4 and 12. You might have internalized something wrong since you are playing it consistently, but it does not sound right to me.


Thanks your ear is very good! I was playing C#/A instead of D#/A.


Originally Posted by Whizbang


Section B:

I am assuming you are omitting the grace runs in the left hand deliberately?


Yes, I can't get my left hand to move fast enough for those.


Originally Posted by Whizbang


Overall, it is coming along well!



Thanks, will keep practicing it.

Re: Solace - Joplin [Re: danlightbulb] #2916514 11/26/19 07:46 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 405
Simon_b Offline
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Hi Dan

There are a few things, as you admitted yourself, and that Whizbang has pointed out.
But I enjoyed it and only noticed one or 2 'moments' myself.

You've got further with than I ever did.
It's certainly in my top 5 Joplin pieces.

I think you may inspired me to start working on it again!

Cheers


Simon
Yamaha CLP535
Vox Continental 73


Play what you enjoy listening to, listen to what you enjoy playing!




Re: Solace - Joplin [Re: Jeff Clef] #2916579 11/26/19 11:04 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
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KenBakerMN Offline
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Hey Dan, I like it. Solace is one of my favorites, I've played it many times. I'll throw out a few ideas.

I would back off a little on the pedal, I don't mean completely but I like to give it a bit of drier sound. That's just my preference and totally cool if you like it better your way.

Maybe a steadier tempo. Again, just my own preference. Ragtime does not have to be a rock-steady tempo, but it shouldn't be classical either.

In the C section, bring out those 16ths in the left hand as a counter melody.

What I like to do in the D section, first time through I play it pretty vigorously like a dance is going on. On the repeat I back off on volume and a bit on tempo, to make it sound like after the dance you're standing in the empty ballroom remembering it. Don't know if I quite achieve that but that's what I go for.

And as I think someone else mentioned, you can mostly ignore the fermatas.


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