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Originally Posted by Whizbang
10. Thomas - Maple Leaf Rag

Originally Posted by Thomas
This time I am submitting my performance of Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag since I am looking for advice on how to perform this better. So far I feel like my rhythm may have been off, but my issue is that I don't know when to use the pedal. I haven't found much info about this on the web so I am curious as to what you guys on here may think.


This was very nice.

I liked the intro quite a lot.

I think you are correctly assessing that you've got some rhythm issues going on. Your left hand is super solid, good job navigating the jumps, particularly in the difficult C section.

Your right hand, though, is wobbly, especially in the repeated right hand figure in measures 1-4 in the A section which have a kind of limping quality. I think this comes down to two factors: 1) I think the tempo you are aiming for is a good one, but it is pushing or rushing your technique 2) you are having some mechanical issues with the figure.

For the latter, I think it may be because you are playing the notes with just finger articulation, but regardless, I think if you dial the tempo back in general, your right hand figures will become more even, you'll get fewer 'clipped-sounding' notes, and you'll be able to tweak the movements at a slower pace until they work better at the faster pace.

In terms of pedaling, you are correct that there is not often a lot of guidance in many printed rags. Where Joplin has something notated, it usually indicated he means it, but there is no notation here.

Your basic ragtime pedal decision is going to be between no pedal or pedaling twice per measure. Because of the stride bass, if you choose not to pedal, you're going to get a pretty significant chop in the bass as the dampers alternatively suppress the boom and the chuck. Pedaling twice makes the bass more of an extended chord and you can then choose to make the sound fuller by holding the pedal longer or crisper by lifting the pedal on the chuck. When the bass walks, it generally makes sense to not pedal so that the sound does not get muddy.

From a notation standpoint, Maple Leaf is notated extremely sparsely (too sparsely IMO), but note that the ascending arpeggiated figure in measures 7 and 8 is marked p, which the following measure starting at mf followed by a crescendo and, while you don't necessarily have to follow that as written, ragtime benefits from applying some dynamic variation--if played at constant volume it can become a little mind-numbing. Joplin's later rags definitely tend to offer more dynamic guidance.

In the B section. you are nailing measure 5, which is one of my trouble measures. You start with an octave variation, which is nice. These types of variations are (almost certainly) representative of performance practice. These variations also help deal a bit with the monotony issue I mention... within a given section a common ragtime 'stanza' is ABAC... with the repeat, that would be ABAC ABAC and that's a lot of times you have to hear A. Variations help keep things fresh.

(Generally, my teach usually prefers that I play the first time straight and only introduce variants on the repeats.)

For your C section, you are nailing some tough stuff.

Both C and D sound pretty solid. You push the rhythm a couple times in C and D. Nice variations at the end of D.

Overall you do a good job of avoiding tempo creep, a personal issue I struggle with, though I think you're rushing a bit towards the end.

I think all the above boils down to a recommendation to dial back on the tempo some, so you can fix evenness and can fully articulate the notes. At this point, it sort of feels like the music is coming at you a little bit faster than you are mechanically/mentally able to process it.

As for pedal, play around and see what you like.

Again, nice job.






Thank you for taking the time to do this for me. I don’t normally come across people that can provide me critical feedback. I will keep in mind all of these points and work with it, starting with slowing it down.

Thank you so much. I truly appreciate this.

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48. Serge88 - Sonata "Pathetique" no.8 op.13 2nd mvt Very calming, a pleasure to listen to late at night. nice work Serge!

[52. PikaPianist - Toccata in F minor Wow, I mean WOW! You've heard of the 'Pianist corner' right? Incredible playing all the way through. Bravo!

53. Ralphiano (real name is a secret!) - Fin des vacanses Beautiful intro followed by dreamy playing that had a mesmerizing effect - followed by the big dramatic chords...and then back to the soft dreamy stuff. Loved it! Another recital favorite.

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Originally Posted by Balezin Dmitry
12. cmb13 - Craig - Autumn Song - October
Exactly autumn...I hadn't seen the name of the piece when
I started to listen to it...I though it's great music to recall somrthing and get deep into thoughts (kind of what we do in Autumn)
Great.


Thank you, really appreciate it!

Originally Posted by mr_super-hunky


12. cmb13 - Craig - Autumn Song - October Nice job with this Craig. You playing was excellent and I must say that your piano sounds fantastic! Well done all around.



Thanks, Mr SH!!! Appreciate it!

Originally Posted by noobpianist90

12. cmb13 - Craig - Autumn Song - October
Wow! That was an excellent performance, polished to perfection. I absolutely loved it! I listened to it many times The music sounds very wistful and nostalgic to me, and also, in some places evokes feelings of longing and regret.
Your new piano also sounds wonderful. Do you find it a lot easier to play on the Steinway compared to your Boston? I'm not talking about the sound, I mean more about playability and fine-grained control.

Thank you for the nice comments. It really is a beautiful piece!

The Steinway has a lot more control. The dynamic range far exceeds the Boston. It can make much better pp, and the ff is way more powerful and booming. It is a lot easier to achieve crescendos and decrescendos. However, the force required to play the keys is greater, requiring an adjustment that I am still not 100% used to, and the pedal is heavy - I must wear shoes. Further, the music stand is so much higher that it bothers my neck after a while. Hopefully these adjustments will improve with time.

Thanks again for your comments!


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Originally Posted by Qwerty53
A few more: 34. ThePld - Ballad of The Earth What a wonderful debut! Very expressive, short and sweet, fresh to my ears. Hope your recital went well!

Originally Posted by KevinM
34. ThePld - Ballad of The EarthReally nicely played. The piece flows nicely.

Originally Posted by cmb13
34. ThePld - Ballad of The Earth Omg with your description I was ready for a real novice work, 8 months of lessons, grade 1 exam and all...but that piece stands up! Nothing to make light of. It’s quick, light, accurate, has movement. Well done. Nothing to be embarrassed about here. Hope the exam went well!

Originally Posted by Sam S
34. ThePld - Ballad of The Earth That's a well-written piece - and well played!

Originally Posted by MarieJ
34. ThePld - Ballad of The Earth What a terrific debut. I’d guess that your final Grade 1 Recital went really well!

Originally Posted by Balezin Dmitry
34. ThePld - Ballad of The EarthWelcome to Earth fello piano AB_player. I am really glad we have new people here. Great playing for the one who has just started. It will be quite a journey for us.


Thank you for all the positive and encouraging replies. I'm glad you enjoyed it. And yes, the recital thankfully went great.

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Originally Posted by Ted
If you actually bothered to listen to it repeatedly for thirty minutes, that is a wonderful compliment, thank you. Our musical brains and tastes are all different and no use pretending otherwise. Everything is subjective in art because in order to create you have to be no one but yourself; to do otherwise is just following somebody else's dream, which is a sad waste of consciousness. Structure is just an optional musical property like harmony, rhythm, melody and anything else, if you enjoy it use it, if you don't then give it the heave-ho. Either way the piano police are unlikely to arrive on the doorstep. Constant challenge and reaching out every time I improvise are essential to me, else I would prefer to work in the garden. Your comments are most perceptive and not at all negative, thanks again.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but your approach to music and improvisation seems more targeted towards the performer than the listener. Even when I try to improvise, I find that I enjoy the music a lot while I'm actually playing, but when I play it back, it's not always all that enjoyable. Do you feel anything similar?

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peterws: thanks for your comments Peter, much appreciated. Re dynamics, I set it at 60dB which is fine for playing. I do wonder sometimes if I should compress it for listening. As I understand, professionals compress acoustic pianos dynamics for commercial recordings.

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43. jotur/Cathy Turner - Victory March

Interesting family history - well executed interpretation of the March...stirring rendition...


56. Sam S - November Fire

Nice piece Sam, very well played - I enjoyed listening...


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Originally Posted by Ted

Structure is just an optional musical property like harmony, rhythm, melody and anything else, if you enjoy it use it, if you don't then give it the heave-ho.



If one considers them "optional" and gives structure, harmony, rhythm and melody the old heave-ho then one if left with a senseless, random, chaotic, irrational, pointless sequence of sounds, a.k.a., noise - about what one would get if one unleashed a rabid weasel on one's keyboard...this would be like allowing a baby to crawl across a large canvas covered randomly with paint and garbage of all sorts (including it's own poop) for an hour or two and then calling the result a "great work of art"...


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Next batch of comments

22. facdo - Invention No.13 in A minor, BWV 784
Terrific execution (despite your self deprecating comments!). Great flow and dynamics, kept my interest 100% all the way to the end. A hard act to follow!

24. Riddler (Ed) - Maiden Voyage
Great interpretation, I really enjoyed it

25. Palmpirate - The Prophet Bird
I’m not a huge fan of Schumann in general, but I think you’ve done a super job with this piece.


26. Snejana - "A Walk in the Forest" - Medley of three pieces by composers from three different eras that follow one imaginative story. Scherzo by Dmitri Kabalevsky; Peaceful Calm by Rick Robertson; Walking Piece by Igor Stravinsky.
Interesting idea to create a medley in this way. I love the narrative arc you have created to bring these pieces together.

27. Ralph L. - Someone like you (Adele)
Interesting approach, it’s great to encounter so many different styles and ideas in these recitals! I really liked the piano background, but couldn’t always hear it well as I would have liked as the melody line on the keyboard was quite strong.

28. snowfox - A minor waltz
Lovely performance, and quite an achievement after a relatively short time playing. Your ornaments are great.

29. Ganddalf - Mallorca (Barcarolle) Op.202
Always a pleasure to listen to you play!


30. thepianoplayer416 - Keyboard Suite in D Minor (HWV437) Allemande & Courante
Lovely pair of pieces, very enjoyable

31. RogerRL - Etude 9
Oooh, love the brooding intensity of this

32. Balezin Dmitry - Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)
Such a great song! Sounds like you had great fun with this, and you do a great job

33. QuasiUnaFantasia - Moonlight sonata, 2nd movement
Sincere condolences to you and your family on the loss of your father. This is really wonderful tribute to him.
Your phrasing and articulation stand out for me, and make the piece really sparkle

34. ThePld - Ballad of The Earth
I’m always delighted to hear works by unfamiliar composers, and this piece is very enjoyable. Your performance is very nice – flowing, well balanced, nice dynamics – you deserve to do very well in your exam. Good luck!

35. Yamaha G3 & P 80 - I got rhythm
A great song! It’s brightened up my afternoon. Lovely energy!


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First of all, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to listen to my recording, and especially to all who have commented on it. These comments are definitely adding to my enthusiasm about recording, and in turn encourage me to do my best, so I truly appreciate them. Also, thank you very much for all the suportive and heartwarming words with regards to the recent passing away of my father.

Now, as for my comments, in order not to demonstrate too clearly my total ignorance towards certain types of music, focus will be on those playing classical pieces.


01. wouter79 - Melodious Studies, op.45 Nr.8 Barcarolle
Very nice melody, especially considering it is an etude, and very nice playing.

02. Claudemir Medeiros - Lua Branca
Who knew there were female composers in Brazil in the 19th century? I certainly didn't, so thank you for enlightening me. Very sure and precise rendition.

03. Mosotti - Prelude in E minor Op.28 No.4
Lovely delicate touch throughout. I like that your fortissimo is quite subdued relative to many versions; it gives the piece a particularly dejected air.

07. akc42 Alan Chander - BWV 974 Adagio
Very poised and controlled. Also rather sad, which I'm sure would have pleased Bach.

08. KevinM - Song without words Opus 30.3
Pleasant and calming rendition with a very pensive mood. Induces reflection.

09. Sandalholme - Nocturne Op62 No1
A long and complicated piece, with much dynamic variation, and yet carried out with precision and a delicate touch at a very steady tempo throughout. Impressive, and inspiring!

11. BSharp(C)yclist (Dan) - Little Wood-bird (Waldvoglein) (Op. 77, No. 15)
Splendidly executed little ditty; I neither knew of that piece, or its composer before. The sound was interesting, as if there is a slight delay between one instrument and the other, giving a very spacious feel.

12. cmb13 - Craig - Autumn Song - October
I think this piece would have given me no end of difficulties, because the melody is so complex, but you handled that really well. Very even touch and tempo from start to finish.

15. lyricmudra - Venetian Boat Song No. 1 (Songs Without Words Op. 19 No. 6)
Lovely! You brought out the gentle rythm of the gondola well, and gorgeous sound from the piano too!

16. noobpianist90 - Two Part Invention in C Major BWV 772
Brilliant! Well executed, and it would have impressed me even if it had been the tenth take. Getting that performance in the first try is simply solid work!

17. Jason Lenthe - Important Event
That's how you announce an important event all right! Flawless.

19. Associate X (Liz) - Tchaikovsky- Seasons (June- Barcarolle)
That was a fine performance of a difficult piece. You brought out the melody well above the accompaniment, and I really admire your ability to keep going unfazed by sheet music falling over on your piano; that's excellent concentration!

23. barbaram - Prelude No 2 in D Minor BWV 940
Very nice and enjoyable! I have always been somewhat unappreciative towards Bach, but this sounded quite lovely. Maybe I ought to reconsider my Bach-position ...

25. Palmpirate - The Prophet Bird
What a quirky piece, there was a distinctly mysterious air to it. I enjoyed that. Well played!

26. Snejana - "A Walk in the Forest" - Medley of three pieces by composers from three different eras that follow one imaginative story. Scherzo by Dmitri Kabalevsky; Peaceful Calm by Rick Robertson; Walking Piece by Igor Stravinsky.
Interesting idea for a medley. I liked the middle part best, that was particularly pleasant - limping or no limping. smile

28. snowfox - A minor waltz
Good (seemingly effortless) handling of grace notes and trills. Inspiring.

29. Ganddalf - Mallorca (Barcarolle) Op.202
Very confident playing; it comes across that you know this music on a deep level.

30. thepianoplayer416 - Keyboard Suite in D Minor (HWV437) Allemande & Courante
Highly proficient playing, and nice to see Händel featured again!

35. Yamaha G3 & P 80 - I got rhythm
Great! Engaging and spirited.

37. JoBert - Adagio (KV 540)
Absolutely excellent. I'm really impressed by the recording being so long and yet apparently flawless. One thing I would have done differently: a little bit more reverb would have made it sound like the recording of a pro (at the cost of sounding less intimate).

38. torquenale (Alessandra) - Espana - Prelude
Very unusual (and difficult) rythm, but very interesting, and nicely played.I would probably have used a bit less pedal, but that may simply be because I don't know the music (Albeniz is new to me).

39. Moo smile - Morceaux de fantaisie, Serenade (1892 version)
So many hand crossings; that must be quite difficult. You brought out the melody clearly, which I think cannot be easy in this particular piece. A very good effort. But your camera wobbles, when you play. smile

40. joangolfing - Bourree One and Two (French Overture) BWV 831
I didn't know this piece at all, but it comes clearly across that you do know it very well; a fine delivery.

42. schinl - Prelude Op.23 No.4
Beautiful and emotional. Very poised melancholic feel.

44. dumka1 - "April" (Snowdrop) from "The Seasons"
That sounded really difficult to my ears, being both quite fast and having explosive runs. But you handled both issues well. Definitely inspiring.

47. oneilt130 - Sonatina Op 36 No 2nd Movement
Liked the subtle dynamic changes, and the confidently fluent delivery.

48. Serge88 - Sonata "Pathetique" no.8 op.13 2nd mvt
Very delicate and expressive. Really beautiful. I worked on that one about a year ago, getting nowhere with it.

49. Purrblast - Gigue in C Major (Sarabande con Partite in C Major, BWV 990, Var 16)
Nice and seemingly effortless. I liked the gentle mood you imparted to it.

51. lvojnovic - Regen (Little rain)
That piece (and its composer) was new to me. Quite quirky, but you played it with great evenness and confidence.

52. PikaPianist - Toccata in F minor
Amazing the way your fingers are flying over that piece. I didn't know it, but it seemed perfectly executed to me. On another note, I really like the reverberation you added to your recording; it lifts an already astounding performance up even further.

53. Ralphiano (real name is a secret!) - Fin des vacanses
Pleasant little melody, elegantly performed.

54. Piano_primo_1 - Ave Maria Based on Prelude by JS Bach
That was a refreshing change: a flute! smile The combination worked really well, so I would definitely encourage you to finish the flute part and get the whole work together.


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11 Bsharpcyclist

Very nice, Dan! short but well played, expressive little piece.

12 cmb13

Well played and with a nice touch. I thought this sounded so much like Chopin. Certainly not Pyotr . . .

13 Edmund Rhapsody

Nice sounding piano. Confidently played, with no blemishes. Good wotk!

15 Lyricmudra

Most here will envy not only your jo-anna, your perfect recording technique, but also your lovely playing. Beautiful package!

16 Noobpianist

Great sound from your gear. Lovely work! I'm inspired to do some o' these . .


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17 Jason Length

Wow! Plenty of muscle here, I felt sorry fore the keys. Forceful explosive stuff here. Loved it! Good ole Schumann . . .

18 Ted Jones

You have plenty of runs and flourishes to keep 'em coming a few more years yet, Ted . . . sometimes it's just good to go where the fancy takes you! You do sound like a guy on a mission to who-knows-where!

19 Associate X

I like Tchaik but some of his stuff is darned hard. And it can be hard to record an acoustic, tooI Enjoyed this, Well done!

20 Sinophilia

What a lovely piece. Clean octaves, so relaxed. Yes. You could certainly play that publicly. You have developed well over the years, it's been steady and noticeable. This must be a source of great pleasure to you. Now I'm not as devoted as you, but I still derive enjoyment from tickling the ivories as I feel fit on my later years . . .ha ha.

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I'm not going to comment on individual performances this time around, I've so little time for the forum these days - but I'm working my way through listening to them all and am loving them! It's marvellous to hear you guys playing, after chatting to so many of you on the forums 3hearts It's like proof that there really are people out there who share my absolute passion for the piano and music. Thank you all for contributing, it means a lot!


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Noobpianist

Thx for comments; the piece was a simple progression, with simplish jazz chords in the rundowns. I just love experimenting, enjoying certain sounds, moods, unusual variations Sometimes just one note repositioned in a chord gives the tune a different feel. This is what I look for. The first two chords create a certain feel which I quite liked. So i just went with the onward flow such as it was . . .


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Originally Posted by noobpianist90
Originally Posted by Ted
If you actually bothered to listen to it repeatedly for thirty minutes, that is a wonderful compliment, thank you. Our musical brains and tastes are all different and no use pretending otherwise. Everything is subjective in art because in order to create you have to be no one but yourself; to do otherwise is just following somebody else's dream, which is a sad waste of consciousness. Structure is just an optional musical property like harmony, rhythm, melody and anything else, if you enjoy it use it, if you don't then give it the heave-ho. Either way the piano police are unlikely to arrive on the doorstep. Constant challenge and reaching out every time I improvise are essential to me, else I would prefer to work in the garden. Your comments are most perceptive and not at all negative, thanks again.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but your approach to music and improvisation seems more targeted towards the performer than the listener. Even when I try to improvise, I find that I enjoy the music a lot while I'm actually playing, but when I play it back, it's not always all that enjoyable. Do you feel anything similar?


No, quite the opposite, my purpose is to make recordings for listening, and the generating process is frequently something of a battle. Things usually sound much better than they did while actually playing.


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Really enjoyed the variety of genres in this recital. Lovely playing, everyone!


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21 Monica K

Fine sounding piano; sounds perfectly tuned! That was a quick 3 minutes; nice Einaudi style of playing. You certainly had your moniker on this one . . .

22 facdo

Wonderful! Really motors, as it should. Great sound, great playing. These inventions are on my bucket list.

23 barbaram

Love your Bach. Plenty of bite, nicely done and recorded!

24 Riddler

Unusual but so melodic. Beyond classification. Comes from another planet, but, well, so do I. Very lovely in every way with a beautiful simplicity and clarity. Wish I'd written that . .

25 Palmpirate

What a super piece. I love Schumann and he plays such inventive stuff! Your piano sounds good. Well done!

26 Snejana

Your playing is thoughtful, sensitive, lovely and you do a super job.


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27 Ralph L

Good work Ralph. Once you start doing backing tracks, you'll start doing multi track stuff next, with drums too. It's a whole lot of fun and you learn loads along the way. Good luck to you!

28 Snowfox

You play it well; it's obviously not above your level. Darned good progress for 10 months. Keep 'em coming!

29 Ganddalf

Damn fine playing; lovely stuff which I'm not familiar with. You get a great sound out of your piano. . . .well, you did ask for technical feedback . . .

30 the pianoplayer 416

Well worth a listen. Handel is so overshadowed by Bach, but so much of his wotk is exquisite. Love this!

Great stuff, guys. So good to listen to y'all . . . . .'bye for now!


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Thank you for the kind comments on my piece, I'm very grateful, and glad you enjoyed it.

My duet buddy and I have learned over half of Brahms' waltzes op. 39 so far, they have such interesting harmonies and rhythms - If anybody is interested in Brahms I encourage you to have a look at the solo versions, they are all very short and mostly intermediate, good for sight-reading too if you're more advanced.

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11. Bsharp cyclist- Dan, that's a great little piece. You really play it like you "own it". Hey, what is that program running on your computer in the vid?

12 CMB13- Really well played Craig. And a beautiful piece.

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Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
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