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Thank you Sam S, Querty53, MarieJ, AndresVel and facdo for listening and nice comments.


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More,

13. Alpha Terminus - Lotus Land
Nice performance.

14. AndresVel - Two-Part Inventions, No. 8 in F major (BWV 779)
Good challenge and well played.

15. Serge88 - Boogie Blues Etude
Don't give up. One day you'll be good.

16. vte - Vieux Noel in G minor
Already Christmas ? Well done.

17. dumka1 - Prelude Op. 11 no 2
I didn't notice the error. Beautiful.

18. psyche23 (Edwin) - Le Piccadilly
A great lively ragtime !

19. Ted Jones - Wet Pavements
Good improvisation ! I enjoyed it.

20. QuentinP - WTK 1 Prelude 8 Eb minor
Really nice.

21. Calavera - Theme of Love
Good playing.

22. mmathew - Waltz in a minor, B.150 Posth
Well played.



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
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Originally Posted by Sam S
03. sma55 (Shepherd Abrams) - Sonata in C Major K545 Yeah, that Alberti bass is a crippler, especially at a fast tempo. I had to choose a Mozart sonata to do at school, and I avoided this one like the proverbial plague. I did k332 instead, which has very little Alberti bass. My arthritis just can't handle it. But your scale passages are great - very smooth. A few notes stand out here and there. I have heard some truly bad performances of this at school and in student recitals - you are much better than most of the undergrads I heard attempt this. The 2nd mvt is good - my suggestion is to use a bit more articulation - those ascending scales - separate the notes - put some space between them. There are other places where that would be useful too. The last mvt sounded good - just a few spots that didn't seem prepared to the same level for that tempo, but overall it could probably be faster. Allegretto Grazioso right - I think? So not allegro, but everything Mozart seems better faster. But excellent job overall and a significant achievement! Now move on to something non-Mozart...
I very much appreciate the great feedback, Sam! Sent you a PM.

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Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
03. sma55 (Shepherd Abrams) - Sonata in C Major K545
Really excellent performance, and a very fine audio quality also.

Originally Posted by Serge88
03. sma55 (Shepherd Abrams) - Sonata in C Major K545
Nice performance !

Thank you both for the kind words!

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31. winterflower - I soar now the embers have cooled I was very impressed that this was an improvised performance, and thought that the title was intriguing. (Did the embers belong to the Werner upright? smile ) You captured a dark nocturnal mood - nicely done!

32. Maira713 - Op. 1 No. 4 ("24 Short and Easy Pieces for Keyboard") A short and extremely sweet choice, beautifully played.

33. joangolfing - Air Suisse Op. 36 No.5 This was lovely just as it is. Pieces like this, that are enjoyable from Day 1 and continue to challenge, are gems.

34. Moo smile - Songs without words opus 38 no 3 A truly scintillating performance - congratulations!

Last edited by MarieJ; 08/23/21 12:22 AM.

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Another amazing recital! I love hearing all the submissions and reading the comments and feedback. Thank you for listening and for making comments on my piece. The ABF quarterly recital is a very rare and unique space. I always listen to everything and have many thoughts about the music everyone shares but I'm quite bad at sharing my thoughts so the actual number of posts from me is very small. First I will try to post the missing information from my submission (maybe a bit more than that).

Originally Posted by Sam S
46. Pathbreaker - Alte Liebe A little more info would be helpful. Program notes. Is this a Brahms song transcribed by Reger? Just guessing. But you played it very well - nice voicing and crescendo to the climax. Well done!

Sam

Thanks for the feedback. I tripped over the finish line and really wish I had included more information. Looks like this is going to be a long post.

5 Songs, Op. 72 no. 1 – Alte Liebe (Brahms)
For piano solo (Max Reger)

Found here in the Arrangements and Transcriptions section: https://imslp.org/wiki/5_Songs,_Op.72_(Brahms,_Johannes)


One of my favorite pieces by Brahms is op. 76 no. 1 in f# minor. In my obsession, I mean research, I found information about a thematic link between that piece and this song op. 72 no. 1. I did a lot of reading about this song, Alte Liebe. After playing op 76 no. 1 for many years, I felt a need to retire the piece. The discovery of the op. 72/1 was very helpful in doing that.

After listening to the song for some time I eventually stumbled on this transcription for solo piano by Max Reger. I was never able to find any audio for this version as piano solo. My interpretation is mostly inspired by a performance of the original song by Bernarda Fink. I prefer the intimacy of her version compared to some of the more dramatic versions.

Here it is: Johannes Brahms - Alte Liebe, Op. 72/1 by Bernarda Fink and Roger Vignoles

Alternate version for male voice: Brahms: Fünf Gesänge Op.72 - 1. Alte Liebe · Thomas Quasthoff · Justus Zeyen


This is a different submission compared to all my others, I think. It's an older recording that I found recently. I normally would submit a recording that is made specifically for each recital. I know that it’s not a requirement but it’s the approach I like to take.

A bit of explanation:
I don’t know how I arrived at the final version of this recording. I remembered this piece as being surprisingly quick to learn. For the transcriptions recital, I planned to resurrect the piece with new thoughts and a new piano. Somehow I really struggled to relearn this piece in the amount of time I expected. There were so many things to consider in the playing and the interpretation that it was going painfully slow. In the end I didn’t have the time to complete the project so I put it aside. With the music still so close to me, I wanted to share this version which miraculously came off pretty well. Also, I will never be able to reproduce this sound as I no longer have that piano (VST actually).

A bit of background on the sound. I used a Roland RP-301 digital as the midi controller. The VST is the Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D. I don’t have settings to share but I can tell you that I heavily customized the sound in search of a Brahms sound that was most satisfying to me. This was a mostly failed exercise in the long run but this is a recording where I found something decent that fits the spirit of the composition. If I had a clue what I was doing I would have saved the settings as some kind of reference point.

Thinking back on my history with this piece, I think it was about 15 years in the making. After this recording I thought it best to move on to other things. Coming from a different chapter of my life, that must explain why the experience of relearning the piece is so difficult.

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I love this detailed background To Alte Liebe Pathbreaker. Matched by the beauty of your sensitive playing.

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Pathbreaker, thanks for the extra info. I think it always adds something to each performance to have that type of background info.

Sam


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Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
17. dumka1 - Prelude Op. 11 no 2
Another mysterious Scriabin piece. Played absolutely beautifully (and I really liked the overall sound; great atmosphere).
Originally Posted by Serge88
17. dumka1 - Prelude Op. 11 no 2
I didn't notice the error. Beautiful.

Thank you both so much! (Also, I finally figured out how to include more than one quote in a reply, yay! :)).

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Here is my third batch of comments:

37. Purrblast - Sonatina in A minor (Op. 27. No. 18)
Quirky and fun. Confidently played.

38. facdo - Impromptu in E flat Major Op.90 No.2
That was truly magnificent! I enjoyed every bit of it.

40. PikaPianist - Waltz Op. 39, No. 9
Superb and professional in every way.

43. selfishplayer - Keyboard concerto no.7 in g minor BWV - 1058 first movement - Allegro piano solo
Bach is not really "my thing", but this was interesting, and I'm impressed by how clear the melodies carried by each hand stood out (also the tempo was impressive). And the GoPro gives the viewer a front row seat. smile (Have you thought about doing binaural recording?)

44. Rachtoven - Consolation No. 3
My favourite piano piece by Liszt, and you played it wonderfully. Great!

45. tyschoco - Sonatina in G Major, Op 55 No.2 1st Movement, Allegretto
Very confidently played, and with terrific speed. Well done!

46. Pathbreaker - Alte Liebe
There is a certain comfortable and secure feeling about some of Brahms' music (I can't explain it, but there is), and this was the case here. It was a pleasure listening to this wonderful performance, and it seems a perfect conclusion to this recital.


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A few more comments, skipping around.

03. sma55 (Shepherd Abrams) - Sonata in C Major K545 I like the overall tempo, it’s energetic without being too fast. Judicious use of pedal. I couldn’t hear the damper pedal, but the sound resonated and did not sound dry. Your tempo sounded very steady so not sure why you thought it might be uneven. Very fluid runs, crescendos and decrescendos, and fluid movement when one hand takes over the other in a run. Super audio. I thought the first movement was the strongest of the three. I liked the sound of slight separation between some of the notes in the second movement and how you created the some different colors when the piece transitioned to D minor. I feel like the Rondo, the third movement, could use some more of your usual energy, more contrasting dynamics to sound more like a playful dialogue.

06. barbaram - Dansul Romanesc Nice performance of fun piece. I like your tempo and energy!

08. Peyton - Gnossienne For Stella I always enjoy listening to your compositions. I think because of the repetition of the theme, you could vary the sound each time the theme is reintroduced. For example, when the melody is raised by an octave, playing pianissimo would have a heart-wrenching effect.

34. Moo smile - Songs without words opus 38 no 3 Nice performance. If you want to work on it further, my main suggestion is to try to get those arpeggios (initially in RH, then in LH) softer and bring out the melody more.

44. Rachtoven - Consolation No. 3 I like how you quietly begin and then the first note of the melody soars above it. Your melody has a clear tone, but then I hear that your LH gets what I think is too quiet. If you continue to work on this piece, try introducing some rubato and bring out the bass note in the LH a bit more.

45. tyschoco - Sonatina in G Major, Op 55 No.2 1st Movement, Allegretto You play this with very good fluidity, dynamics and articulation. You appear to be ready to move onto more challenging and varying repertoire. With only less than 2 years of experience as an adult, you’re way ahead of the curve.



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Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
02. ranjit - Fantaisie Impromptu
Rapid finger work there. Very impressive stuff.
Thank you! I really love the sensation of playing fast.

Originally Posted by Sam S
02. ranjit - Fantaisie Impromptu A really admirable attempt at a very difficult piece. Not perfect, of course, and you will probably get a lot of flack for just trying it. My suggestion is to take what you have learned and move on to pieces that are simpler and do not consume all your time! But well done, and welcome to the recitals!
Yes indeed, I have got a lot of flak for trying it. I don't regret it at all though, I have a decent benchmark now against which I can assess my skills. It's also taught me a lot about how to approach the piano action. you're right -- I will move on to pieces that are simpler. It actually doesn't necessarily take me that long to learn such a piece -- I was able to get the notes down in a couple weeks. However, I have been trying to polish it since several months, and whenever I get over a bottleneck, another one comes in its place.

Originally Posted by Serge88
02. ranjit - Fantaisie Impromptu
Beautiful ! I hope you'll be there for the next recital.
Thanks for listening!

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Sorry for the late replies, but here goes.
Originally Posted by Calavera
02. ranjit - Fantaisie Impromptu
Congratulations on this ambitious first recital submission. It doesn't seem super even in the challenging parts, but the overall expression and musicality does a good job of keeping this performance enjoyable.
This is a fight which I've not been able to win, haha. It's hard to play these passages super even, and I don't really know when I'll be able to get there.

Originally Posted by Qwerty53
02. ranjit - Fantaisie Impromptu Your commitment to this piece delivers on its passion. I hope you keep at it, and consider sharing an updated version at a future ABF recital.
I'm a bit tired of the piece now! I will certainly consider posting in future recitals.

Originally Posted by facdo
02. ranjit - Fantaisie Impromptu
Wow, that was a very impressive performance. It is amazing that you are mostly self-taught, as I would assume that it is very difficult to reach this technical level and the musical maturity that you displayed on your performance without proper guidance. Amazing work! I particularly liked the middle section. I think you played it very tenderly and with tasteful use of rubato and dynamics.
Glad you liked my ideas in the middle section! I like to go very quiet in the middle, but it's equally hard to control. Some ideas I've encountered about technique have helped me out, but I'm still really happy I was able to reach this point largely on my own. (See, I wasn't lying about it all along! People here didn't believe me in the past haha.)

Originally Posted by lilypad
02. ranjit - Fantaisie Impromptu Simply gorgeous. It's like you were born to play Chopin.
Wow, I'm glad you liked it!

Originally Posted by SMA55
02. ranjit - Fantaisie Impromptu Judging from your submission, let me first say that you definitely have some pianistic talents and skills, many (if not all) of which you’ve developed on your own without the aid of a teacher. Congratulations on that, as well.
Thank you! You're good at delivering criticism sandwiched in between praise lol. On pianistic talent, probably, I'm still trying to figure out what exactly that means though.

Originally Posted by SMA55
But also evident to me from your submission are some technical deficiencies that apparently have not yet been addressed by you or your current teacher.
I've only been with my current teacher for 4 months, we're working on those but it's taking some time.

Originally Posted by SMA55
In my humble opinion, Chopin’s Fantaisie-Impromptu is an overreach for you. There are multiple fundamentals which are required for a pianist convincingly to take on a piece of such virtuosic proportions as this, and it appears you haven’t yet mastered those. ... If your current teacher is assisting you in your endeavor to learn the Fantaisie-Impromptu, then it is my belief that they’re doing you a disservice, for they’re setting you up for failure—AND overlooking your current need to work on the fundamentals. But I’m not a teacher, and these are just my opinions, so take them for what they’re worth.
No, my current teacher didn't assist me in playing the piece, I had already learned it before I approached him. I've been working on it on my own since. So I pretty much learned it on my own, although I've requested teachers etc. to provide feedback for improving it.

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PS. I'll post my next batch of amateur critiques soon, stay tuned wink

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Late to the party, but here goes.

23. peterws - Winter First of all, you bring out the harmonies really well, which are reminiscent of winter. The only thing I can think of is that you really should consider playing the repeat of the first phrase a bit different from the first time, otherwise it risks sounding like a re-opening! Everything after that is great, and very evocative in its affect.

24. PianogrlNW (Ellen) - Sonata K331 1st Movement - Andante grazioso You handle the pulse really well! Congratulations on a successful performance. It's not easy to memorize and perform 8 minutes of music with similar textures throughout, and your playing is impressively clean, at least to my ears.

25. Ganddalf - Tango I feel that the rhythm for this piece needs to be a bit more pronounced and exact (by which I'm referring to each repeat of the tango pattern). The melody should also be voiced a tad louder imo. Nevertheless, nice work!

26. lilypad - The Bass Man Walketh Well done on performing this! It's a tricky rhythm to get right. That said, it sounds too hesitant! Really allow it to groove, forget about hitting the right notes, and get back to it after a while.

27. Jason Lenthe - Nocturne in G Minor Op. 15 No. 3 Congratulations on a successful performance! I know this is difficult, but could you try to memorize the piece, or at least sections of it? I watched your video, and get the feeling that your reading is getting in the way of rubato, and more natural dynamic variation. I would suggest really listening to the melody line first, and trying to shape it (sing it, etc. to get an idea), and then trying to follow the melody while you're playing the piece. I feel like your playing and time feel is too rigid for Chopin, and ends up sounding more like a Brahms piece.

40. PikaPianist - Waltz Op. 39, No. 9 I really like the way you play this. I like how dynamic and lively you make it sound with the pronounced accents. You're able to create an incredible amount of contrast, it's fantastic!

41. Augustina - Expression This is quite nice. I think the melody needs to be voiced a bit louder, as it comes across as muffled right now. It is very tempting to play pieces like these very quietly, but there still needs to be adequate contrast between the melody and the accompaniment, in order for it to come across. Also, the rhythm needs to be a bit more precise, each new note in the melody and chord change needs to "hit" at the right spot. I think you can also put more of an accent on the notes at the starting of each measure.

42. Amy H - Story of You Gorgeous! I really like this kind of pop style, and it reminds me of some old cover artists I used to listen to. You sound at home with the style, and it sounds very natural. I'll keep the composer's name in mind, it's very good ambient music.

43. selfishplayer - Keyboard concerto no.7 in g minor BWV - 1058 first movement - Allegro piano solo I'm pretty sure I've heard this piece before! It's very enjoyable to listen to. Your left hand seems to be struggling slightly and lagging behind the right at parts. It's subtle, but it might be a good idea to try to play only the left hand, and try to bring it to parity with the kind of crisp articulation and rhythm you have in your right.

44. Rachtoven - Consolation No. 3 Very precise playing! I've also worked on this piece recently. My first impression is that this needs a bit more rubato. You don't have to overdo it, but I think it's important to breathe in places in order for the phrases to sing, and taper off. Otherwise, for a piece as float-y as this one, you tend to sound claustrophobic. Most everything else is quite settled in your interpretation, and I like your voicing which allows the different voices to pop and be heard clearly. I'm impressed that you've been playing since just 3 years.

45. tyschoco - Sonatina in G Major, Op 55 No.2 1st Movement, Allegretto It feels like your left hand is sometimes overpowering your right hand, especially at the beginning, and I found it a bit tricky to hear both voices. Your phrases need a bit more shaping, and are a bit rough around the edges. At points, it feels like the music isn't quite going anywhere. On the positive side, your runs are very clean, which I really liked. It's an admirable attempt, given your experience.

46. Pathbreaker - Alte Liebe Wonderful phrasing! The way you play the melody makes it seem like the music is floating. It is very beautiful. I like the sound of your VST, and might consider it for future recording setups. All in all, this is really something, and I can hear the musical intelligence behind it. Well done!

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35. KevinM - Songs Without Words Opus 19 No. 1 Kevin, if that was biting off more than you can chew, then please keep doing it! To me, the tempo and rubato were appropriate, and the melody sang over the support - sensitively played and I loved it.

36. Talao - Sonatina in G Major Anh. 5 (both movements) One of the best things about these Recitals is the fact that other participants inspire us to try new pieces. The sound and video were high quality, and you have a lot to show for a relatively short time at the piano. Well done!

37. Purrblast - Sonatina in A minor (Op. 27. No. 18) I wish I had such polished pieces hiding among MY ‘semi-finished’ recordings: this one must have been mis-filed! smile Bright and breezy, confidently played - it sounded like fun.


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38. facdo - Impromptu in E flat Major Op.90 No.2 This just sparkles! A stunning performance - what more do I need to say?

39. Snejana - Contemplation I don’t know ’At Sunset’, but it was reminiscent of an old standard, the name of which escapes me. How satisfying to be able to weave your own musical themes - I really enjoyed this piece.

40. PikaPianist - Waltz Op. 39, No. 9 This was certainly a fast-paced, merry waltz (and I preferred it that way) - pure delight!


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Listened to some more - great job guys.

08. Peyton - Gnossienne For Stella
Great, you've managed to retain the vibe of the original piece while making it sound like you (these long arpeggios is part of your signature sound IMO)

22. mmathew - Waltz in a minor, B.150 Posth
Great job for such short experience. Rhythm and articulation are quite good. Just mind the pedal to make it cleaner.

23. peterws - Winter
A very enjoyable listen, lovely!

35. KevinM - Songs Without Words Opus 19 No. 1
You make this look so easy. Very good flow, good piano tone. Great.

34. Moo smile - Songs without words opus 38 no 3
It's been a while since I last heard you play - it seems you've improved a lot.


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Originally Posted by facdo
35. KevinM - Songs Without Words Opus 19 No. 1
Oh, that was beautiful! Such tenderness and a really wonderful dolce cantabile melody. Your performance is very clean, technically and dynamically accurate, and your sense of phrasing is excellent. If you don’t mind a suggestion, and this is really the only point I think you could address to improve your interpretation even further, I think you could use a bit of rubato. It is hard to point out exactly how and where, but I guess that in the transitions between motifs and according to the phrasing. I think rubato is the only thing preventing your interpretation of reaching a “professional level”. That might not even be your goal, but I think your playing is that close. But really, excellent playing, thanks for sharing!

Thanks for the kind words. I feel like I am a long way from that professional level. During my recent practise I have been toying with rubato a lot without finding a convincing rubato. It is like I'm not feeling it, but trying to force a rubato on it and listening afterwards it sounds forced. When I do find the right rubato I'm going to have to do a chunk more practise again, as I find when forcing rubato at the moment it has a big hit on the reliability of my playing.

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A belated "Ta" for all your comments on my efforts! I love to hear the strange viewpoints of you earthlings . . .

Last edited by peterws; 08/24/21 02:57 PM.

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