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Re: Post-Recording Paralysis
Pianoman53 #2929616 01/03/20 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Pianoman53
It can of course be that you simply didn't have a very good day, and actually didn't play so well, and that happens too...

Oh boy, I knew somebody might say this and to a certain extent it's true. I am seriously considering a do-over under completely different circumstances. Thanks for the brutal honesty Pianoman.


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Re: Post-Recording Paralysis
ClsscLib #2929618 01/03/20 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ClsscLib
SiFi, I’m not sure if the Scarlatti recording you discuss here is the same one I recently saw, but that one was absolutely brilliant.

I think it is the same one, but you can check against the Soundcloud recording I just posted.

Originally Posted by ClsscLib
But the major point is this: You DO perform that piece beautifully now. That’s the end result of perfectionism, as you’ve intelligently harnessed it.

Isn't perfectionism the enemy of the good? I'm thinking of the other posts where people have correctly indicated that I may be obsessed with the details and not the Gestalt, or at least that I wasn't thinking big concept while I was recording. And those people are right. Recordings suck for that reason. The examiners will listen to bits and pieces to determine whether I meet their acceptance criteria, whatever those may be. They will hear anomalous gestures in the very first piece that they listen to. If they listen any further, I may get through, but who knows? These people are busy and they are quick to recognize talent and the lack of it.


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Re: Post-Recording Paralysis
SiFi #2929631 01/03/20 03:01 AM
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(Hey, you might have missed a reply....)

Re: Post-Recording Paralysis
Mark_C #2929634 01/03/20 04:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
(Hey, you might have missed a reply....)

Er, yes I did miss it. And I thank you, Mark. I feel better already -- but that is your raison d'etre, right.

So the most difficult piece of all is the Balakirev Mazurka. You probably haven't heard it before, but it's probably on IMSLP if you want to follow along with the score. Perhaps you can reassure me that this better than I think it was. This will be the last one I post, at least until I've seen the videos.

Balakirev Mazurka #5, Cute Little Piece!


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Re: Post-Recording Paralysis
SiFi #2929635 01/03/20 04:16 AM
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And today I finally touched a piano again after 11 days and lived to tell the tale. Woo hoo!


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Re: Post-Recording Paralysis
SiFi #2929636 01/03/20 04:30 AM
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The Balakirev: I think this is very good playing, as far as I can tell -- but I'm probably not able to tell much because I basically don't know the composer; the only piece that I'm familiar with is the famous/infamous one grin .....which I'm not much of a fan of.
To the extent that I can tell anything about this piece, I do think you seem to be playing it very well, but the piece feels over-long to me. The Scarlatti strikes me more positively, and I suspect I'd like the other pieces more than this one too -- but, need I say, don't go at all on what I'm saying about it, since I don't know it.
In any event, for sure this piece carries the advantage of being repertoire that the judges aren't going to be hearing a dozen performances of, and which maybe has never been played in any of these amateur competitions. (Unless you've played it!)

Re: Post-Recording Paralysis
SiFi #2929637 01/03/20 04:38 AM
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I find this recording to be much better than the first video you posted. The tempo is more andante and it works better to get the piece flowing. The upper voice is clearly audible and leading. I like the sort of minimalism in the interpretation. Nothing is perfect and so there are things you could improve here as well, but what is important is that this piece conveys an emotion and a personality. There is a style, it seems like you departed from Horowitz after all, and the piece stands together consistently from beginning to end. On this excellent basis you can continue to add refinements, nuances and fine tune the rendition.

I think you should definitely keep this piece in your set, it would be a shame to remove it.

Re: Post-Recording Paralysis
Carey #2929689 01/03/20 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by SiFi
Some great discourse here that I want to read more carefully and absorb. But Hogmanay has rendered me inebriated. Therefore I shall just, you know, . . . covfefe . . .

Happy New Year, Simon !! grin

And a very happy new year to you, my dear fellow!!


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Re: Post-Recording Paralysis
SiFi #2929703 01/03/20 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by SiFi
Originally Posted by Mark_C
(Hey, you might have missed a reply....)

Er, yes I did miss it. And I thank you, Mark. I feel better already -- but that is your raison d'etre, right?

This didn’t come out quite right. I wasn’t suggesting that your sole purpose in life is to help ME! I just meant that your credentials and wide experience as a professional healer obviously make it easier for you to dispense good advice to people in general!


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Re: Post-Recording Paralysis
SiFi #2929714 01/03/20 09:44 AM
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“Perfectionism” is an ambiguous term having both negative and positive connotations.

I was trying to say that all the attention you previously paid to the details of the piece are now successfully subsumed and incorporated into a coherent vision of the piece that I find compelling and convincing (at least in the first recording of the Scarlatti that I heard — haven’t listened yet to what you’ve posted here).


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Re: Post-Recording Paralysis
SiFi #2929754 01/03/20 11:39 AM
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I haven't had post recording paralysis. But I have had post performance paralysis. I worked very hard on a piece, played it (it thankfully went okay) and after that I felt so relieved that I was demotivated to play.

What motivated me was listening to other piano music that made me want to learn again. Perhaps you should try exploring some new music? Genres you wouldn't normally listen to. And see if it inspires you to play.


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Re: Post-Recording Paralysis
SiFi #2929774 01/03/20 12:43 PM
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I realise I'm writing this way after the fact, but I wanted to say thank you for bringing up this topic because I think it's an important one - and you're definitely not the only one going through things like this!

As others have pointed out, the Scarlatti is stellar. Holy cannoli. Now I'm nowhere near the level you play on - it's not so much a matter of "not in the same post code" as "different galaxy" - but I do have some judgement. I'm sure you hear all sorts of bits you'd like to improve on, but that doesn't mean it's in any way not up to scratch as it is.

As a trained coach, I'll say that this is one of those things you just have to get through, or stop performing in public. Needless to say, I hope you'll push through it. In the mid term, you might look into actually getting coaching for a bit; I recommend NLP, which has some brilliant techniques with which to work through stage fright and performance anxiety. You can of course look this up online, but I'd really recommend working with someone one-on-one, at least for a few sessions; it's worth every cent you'll spend on it (just make sure you're dealing with a qualified practitioner).


Last edited by Sibylle; 01/03/20 12:44 PM.

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Re: Post-Recording Paralysis
SiFi #2929782 01/03/20 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by SiFi
...I just meant....

Oh, there wasn't any issue at all -- I got it totally how you meant it!

Re: Post-Recording Paralysis
SiFi #2929788 01/03/20 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by SiFi

Yes, the Scarlatti is my biggest concern. I'm going to post one of the recordings here, against my better judgement, based on the rationale that if everyone hates it I can just eliminate it. It's less than 3 minutes and I'm within 10 seconds of the overall limit if I include all 4 pieces; losing it wouldn't make a whole lot of difference. So, here goes. BTW, I still think it's awful, for all the reasons I've cited. But anyway.

SiFi's agogically incoherent, linearly compromised Scarlatti K.87

I listened to the Scarlatti 3 times. The first time I thought the agogic accents and resulting hesitations interrupted the musical flow and detracted from the performance. That led me to google agogic accents and Scarlatti which further led me to Lucas Debargue recordings. I listened to some of his Scarlatti and did not hear any agogic accents so think they must be subtle. By my 3rd listen of your 87 the hesitations/agogic accents started to grow on me. But, I think overall that they seem artificial. I think the voicing in this latest version is more beautiful than in your previous version.

Not knowing anything about gateway jurors for the Cliburn I tend to agree with Mark that there is no way the Scarlatti would keep you out of the competition. I would rethink performing it with those agogic accents during the competition.

BTW my D is a Smithie Firstie - yup, that is what they call them now.



Re: Post-Recording Paralysis
SiFi #2929816 01/03/20 02:47 PM
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SiFi:

I must admit that this Scarlatti will not have any effect on your application.
IMO, you can safely choose not to include it.
I can't and won't go into any detail, but you have already found out yourself that it is not there yet.
Maybe it is the piano, or the tuning, or the recording, or voicing of the parts, or phrasing, but this does not sound convincing to me.

Last edited by Hakki; 01/03/20 02:48 PM.
Re: Post-Recording Paralysis
SiFi #2929848 01/03/20 04:48 PM
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Personally, as one who has never played Scarlatti in his life but is familiar with this sonata on a very basic level, I think the recording is successful. Both are for that matter.

They both suffer from a certain fussiness. Really, as you seem to allude, a focus on minute details at the expense of projecting and tying together larger ideas to make a concise narrative. I find it more of an issue in the Balakirev where I find myself desiring more obvious contrasts and for every change of setting to really have it's own distinct character/dynamic/different tempo flexibility in hoped of something a bit higher up on the excitement scale.

Nonetheless, they're both demonstrate a thoughtful attentive musician.

Re: Post-Recording Paralysis
WTM #2929850 01/03/20 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by WTM
I haven't had post recording paralysis. But I have had post performance paralysis.

Yep, had that too. Actually I would guess that post-performance paralysis (or blahs, or ennui, but I think we're on the same page) is probably more common.

You gave me good advice, by the way. The thing that got me going again was that I had to start practicing different repertoire for a recital next week. Thanks for you comments!


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Re: Post-Recording Paralysis
Hakki #2929858 01/03/20 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Hakki
I must admit that this Scarlatti will not have any effect on your application.
IMO, you can safely choose not to include it.
I can't and won't go into any detail, but you have already found out yourself that it is not there yet.
Maybe it is the piano, or the tuning, or the recording, or voicing of the parts, or phrasing, but this does not sound convincing to me.

Thanks for commenting, Hakki. The main thing I worry about with not including it is that it's my only pre-19th century repertoire selection. But then again, it's not exactly typical of Baroque idioms, or even much like any other Scarlatti. So yeah, decisions, decisions.

It's interesting to me that everyone who's posted pretty much acknowledges how difficult this simple looking piece really is. It is the absolute antithesis of those keyboard works that can be said to almost play themselves. A single misplaced accent or inorganic rhythmic gesture can completely destroy the exquisitely long lines. And there's never a chance to relax because it's actually perpetual motion. The eighth notes are completely unbroken throughout both sections, so playing it is like weaving a tapestry out of different-colored silk threads. Everything has to be just right.


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Re: Post-Recording Paralysis
SiFi #2929885 01/03/20 06:00 PM
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Since this is your only available pre-19th century piece, then you should include it in the application.
You might regret more if your application is turned down because you didn't provide a broader repertoire.

Re: Post-Recording Paralysis
SiFi #2930325 01/04/20 11:52 PM
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Simon: I gotta mention this thing I came across in an old NY Times review (of a recital by a pianist named Craig Sheppard), which I think is curiously relevant to what we've said about the alleged.....

Originally Posted by SiFi
unintended accents, spontaneous agogics, inappropriate rubato between bar lines; other stuff that happens

Let me preface it by noting that this is a pianist of some note who won high prizes in major competitions, and that this was a basically positive review, including that it talked about "the fascination of his individualistic interpretations."

OK -- get this: smile

The writer complained about "exaggerations of detail" but immediately added, "it was often these exaggerations that held the attention. Mr. Sheppard liked to stress melodic ideas, rhythms and even pianistic timbres in unusual ways...."

That's kind of what I meant too. smile

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