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Joined: May 2008
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Hello,
This is my live performance of Schumann's Arabeske from my Senior recital.
A truly gorgeous piece which my instructor and I thought would go well with the rest of my program, it was my freshest piece in the set but I think it may have been the most satisfying to perform!
https://app.box.com/s/yia9sq7nuj6ub05q1sw5



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Hi bplary1300

Really wonderful performance of this piece! Nice singing tone through beginning -- keep nice fluidity and enough contrast (repeats a lot!)
Middle section at times had an almost jazzy feel -- nice handling of the rhythm.
Also liked the way you would ritard at the end of the phrase of main melody when working up to high notes.
Beautiful, Ethereal feel near end. Really complete performance.
You are an excellent pianist. Would love to hear more of your performances. What else did you perform at your senior recital?
Looking to pursue grad school.

thanks for posting,
Dan

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Thank you for your compliments Dan, the piece was a lot of fun to work on. I played Beethoven Op.26, Brahms Op.2, and Chopin Etude Op.25 No.10, they're also posted on the forum if you want to have a listen. I'll be attending the Longy School of Music next year for grad school. Thanks again!

Last edited by bplary1300; 07/18/14 06:30 PM.


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Absolutely gorgeous. While the other pieces of your recital highlight preparation, intellect, and stamina, this one highlights your sensitivity and musicality. Very nicely done!

--Andy


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but at least I'm slow.
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I have played this piece for over 40 years, and as of today's practice session, I am still trying to refine it.

So, what I did today, as on other days, was to listen to a recording of someone who studied the Arabeske under Clara Schumann.

That person was Adelina de Lara, who recorded this (analog) when she was in her 80's. This is included in the six CD set "The Pupils of Clara Schumann."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3pbO-GSnE8

Would I play it this way?: No!

But, I would I use it as a performance guide.

Accordingly, we are all here to learn, and your recording is very sub-par. In its present state, it in no way reflects the composer's wishes.

As a positive suggestion, find a voice teacher at your school, and then have them make you play the melody line of this piece on your saxophone. You will instantly hear the difference.

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Originally Posted by Louis Podesta
find a voice teacher at your school, and then have them make you play the melody line of this piece on your saxophone. You will instantly hear the difference.


Or he could find a saxophone teacher and then have them make him sing it. That would probably also be different. The best way to hear it is to have a P.E. instructor forcing you to play it on a bass guitar.

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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Louis Podesta
find a voice teacher at your school, and then have them make you play the melody line of this piece on your saxophone. You will instantly hear the difference.


Or he could find a saxophone teacher and then have them make him sing it. That would probably also be different. The best way to hear it is to have a P.E. instructor forcing you to play it on a bass guitar.


laugh ha



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Hi Louis,
I hope part of your harsh criticism is a result of the shoddy recording quality in my school's recital hall but I feel this is a piece you could spend a lifetime with, and unfortunately I only had 1.5 months to prepare it for this recital. However, thanks for your critique! In future study of this piece I'll pay attention to the singing melody.



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Thank you for your kind and "respectful" words. In that you mention "singing melody," it is not the same type you would want for Chopin or Brahms.

Each of the famous composers of the Romantic Period had their own distinct voice. That is why some performers play Brahms, and it sounds like Chopin. And, it is also why some people play Brahms with a metronome in their head, which is just wrong!

Busoni said, in so many words, that if you can't sing, then you can't play. My first instrument as a child was my beautiful boys choir voice (that God gave me). Unfortunately, it is all gone.

However, as a pianist, that is the way I phrase. I have mentioned this before in another post, which is that I can tell instantly if a particular pianist has had any vocal experience. If you have not already done so, my suggestion to you is to do the same.

Secondly, if you carefully examine the score (what Urtext doesn't get you) you will notice that Schumann explicitly uses a romantic form of counterpoint by contrasting the left hand against the right. As a performer, if you take care to bring this out, you will instantly get any educated listener's attention.

Finally, the Longy School has the finest Dalcroze Eurhythimcs program in the nation. If you avail yourself of these great teachers, your sense of time and musicianship will improve immeasurably. And, the Schumann will sound more the better for it.

All the best, and good luck to you. Parenthetically (and I am no fan), Andre Watts has stated in an interview that it takes him TWO YEARS!! to get a new piece ready for performance. In my opinion, he is correct in that assessment.

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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Louis Podesta
find a voice teacher at your school, and then have them make you play the melody line of this piece on your saxophone. You will instantly hear the difference.


Or he could find a saxophone teacher and then have them make him sing it. That would probably also be different. The best way to hear it is to have a P.E. instructor forcing you to play it on a bass guitar.


Irrespective of the merit of the original advice, this is very funny!

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Originally Posted by Louis Podesta
Accordingly, we are all here to learn, and your recording is very sub-par. In its present state, it in no way reflects the composer's wishes


Sorry, I have to disagree: There is one person in this forum who even knows the composer's wishes cool

Seriously: It's not bad at all what bplary does, I like the tempo, and there are many very poetic moments. It is certainly not correct to say that this interpretation is fundamentally wrong. Listening to Adelina de Lara, I cannot say: this is the revelation! It is a fascinating document, very different from other versions I know, very fast, sometimes in a rather military style – who knows what Schumann would have said about this? She was a student of Clara Schumann in her young days, but that doesn't mean she still played the same way in her 80's.

I want to encourage bplary to continue his hard work, why intimidating him?

Last edited by Tony007; 07/31/14 03:37 AM.
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The best way to get, which is very hard to get, a true feeling for Schumann is to listen to all of the recordings of her known students. I say hard to get because I had to ask a reference librarian to transfer his vinyl recordings of the "Pupils of Clara Schumann" to CD's. They are no longer available for sale, and no library will loan them out.

When you listen to Fanny Davies, Ilona Eibeschutz, and Adelina de Lara, you come away with a definite sense of a compositional signature to the man's work. That is in no way is present in the OP's rendering because he has never had any exposure to how the music was originally played.

A recording that you can obtain is Carl Friedberg's two CD set, "The Brahms/Schumann Tradition." He was a student of Clara Schumann and was personally coached by Brahms. The Schumann selections are the Kinderszenen, the Novelette, the Symphonic Etudes, and the Romance.

In all of these recordings you hear the original performance practices that I expound upon in my thesis, and most of all you hear a definite sense of melodic flow.

www.marstonrecords.com for those who want to hear a true piece history from a man who taught at Juilliard for 23 years. And, with the exception of the Schumann, the selections were all recorded live at Juilliard. (When he was in his 80's!!!)

Earl Wild recorded the Hammerklavier Sonata when he was 76, and Miecyslaw Horszowski played brilliantly at Carnegie Hall when he was 97. If I hear this old age BS one more time, I am going to lurch!

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Thanks for the comments Tony, and thanks for the further information Louis. Music is an art which demands the acceptance and consideration of all critique and I appreciate your thoughts.
Schumann is a composer whose works I'm just now beginning to delve into, this was the first time I had performed any of his compositions in a recital.



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Originally Posted by bplary1300
Music is an art which demands the acceptance and consideration of all critique and I appreciate your thoughts.

Are you listening, Tony? Maybe you can learn a thing or two from this young gentleman, who by the size of his mature intellect, may achieve greatness in the future.

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Originally Posted by Louis Podesta
Originally Posted by bplary1300
Music is an art which demands the acceptance and consideration of all critique and I appreciate your thoughts.

Are you listening, Tony? Maybe you can learn a thing or two from this young gentleman, who by the size of his mature intellect, may achieve greatness in the future.


Maestro Podesta tries to embarrass me, how sweet smile Believe it or not: I know all these historic recordings, I mainly listen to such stuff, I just don't play the "Pope" with my knowledge, and in contrast to you, I even dare to present my own recordings. When shall we hear your version of the "Arabeske"? Some people talk, others mainly play – thank you for playing, bplary, and just go on!

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Originally Posted by Louis Podesta
Earl Wild recorded the Hammerklavier Sonata when he was 76, and Miecyslaw Horszowski played brilliantly at Carnegie Hall when he was 97. If I hear this old age BS one more time, I am going to lurch!


Going to lurch? Be careful, and first watch this:

http://youtu.be/4mC3VSRVIzw

By the way: always carefully read, then write! I didn't say at all Adelina de Lara was too old to play the Arabeske. I simply said: Playing it like this in her 80's doesn't mean that she played it the same way in her young days, supervised by Clara Schumann. It was a long life, and people normally don't "freeze" their interpretation, their approach may change cool So it would be weird to say: Listen to 80 years old Adelina de Lara, that's how Clara Schumann taught her – okay?

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Originally Posted by bplary1300
I'll be attending the Longy School of Music next year for grad school.

Awesome! I went to Longy. Nice to hear it's on the map. With whom will you study there?


Michael

"Genius is nothing more than an extraordinary capacity for patience."
Leonardo da Vinci

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