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Ido, peterws and Rick, many thanks for you generous comments. They are much appreciated.

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29 kenbakemn

Nice arragement of a good song I never heard before. Your playing is sweet, relaxing and to a high standard,. Well done!

30 Swede

So many play this in different ways. You adopt a languid style which gives a loose and easy feel. Nothin' wrong with that. It was fine, though I'd prefer it to be a little more crisp.and definitive.

31 Pika Pianist

I'm just sitting listening, looking. enjoying. Such a strident piece, it has everything in it, highs, lows, passion, and sounds least like Grieg as I could imagine! I've just been re-educated.
Thanks for such a fine demo. Tremendous.


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Originally Posted by Kepijapa
Here is my first batch of comments, the most difficult part of the recital.

19. thepianoplayer416 - Sonatina in G (Anh. 5): Moderato - Romanze : Beethoven I always find a bit problematic. His sonatas are too long and difficult, and the rest can't really inspire me. But you give it a good try, congratulations.

Thanks for your comments.

Many students would play 1 movement of a Beethoven Sonata, not run through all the movements like a pro. Once I heard a young man who was in Suzuki perform the slow movement of the Pathétique at his grandfather's funeral. There were other slow pieces he performed with his brother on violin & a cousin on flute. His playing was flawless but I don't think he was at the technical level of playing the whole sonata.

This particular sonatina I stumbled across student performances on YouTube 2 weeks before the R #66 was open for submission. Talked to the teacher and she said it's doable. After learning the 1st movement, got sick with flu like symptoms. Rested for a few days before learning the 2nd mvt. Luckily I had time to include both in the final recording.

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Thank you so much to QuentinP, peterws, lilypad, Rachtoven, QuasiUnaFantasia, Rickster, MarieJ and Kepijapa for your comments on my rendition of the Ginastera dance.
The piece certainly invokes emotional responses.
Like some here, my wife finds it far too dissonant.
Others find it sad and yearning.
Whatever people think, it usually gets a reaction.
For the many here with more technical ability than me, I'd recommend giving some of his piano music a look, as it was definitely written with a great deal of passion.


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Another set...

25. zsolpyW - Tell him this is a beautiful song, and you really did it justice. I could imagine them singing this. It's a piece I would love to play one day. Excellent.

29. kenbakermn - Letter From Home this is new to me and I love it. I need to find a piano version that I'm capable of, but I love your version. Thank you.

33. candela - Nordic Themes Nos 8 and 11 as you say, I can feel the Scandinavian flavour of the music even though I've not come across this before. Gentle, rolling, slightly sad. This piece had all of that and I felt you captured it all really nicely.


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32 Agrajag

A very brave effort, and a darned good one, too. Not quite there yet, but you done more than the spadework. What's the next 18m gonna bring?

33 candela

Lovely playing here. Matyre, elegant and precise. Who could've done it better?

34 Purrblast

I enjoyed the relaxed feel to this. Your playing was pleasant and created a good atmosphere.

35 Winterflower

Some very interesting aspects to your creation which I liked. Overall, a lightness, almost icy wind blowing across an upland territory. My interpretation! Well done!

36 Tyschoco

I loved this. Very full sound, and articulate playing from that super piano of yours! Excellent finish!

Well done Sam for all your hard work. We're deeply grateful to you. and thx for all the comments that've come my way. They're all appreciated.
See y'all!


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Originally Posted by stevedoz
29. kenbakermn - Letter From Home this is new to me and I love it. I need to find a piano version that I'm capable of, but I love your version. Thank you.

Thank you, stevedoz. It's actually not difficult to transcribe if you want to do your own arrangement. It's available on a couple of Pat Methany's albums.


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Finally I had a free afternoon to sit down and listen to the rest of the recital pieces. Great job everyone - I'm already looking forward to the next one!

01. Calavera - Forever Rachel I know nothing about video game music, but I know what I like, and I liked this. Great!

02. MarieJ - Luminous That was lovely Marie - Monica would have loved it!

04. QuentinP - WTK1 Fugue 1 C major Everything sounded very clear to me! Well done!

05. briangmoore - Chanson This was great - I'm a big fan of the Faber pieces for students. Loved it!

07. stevedoz - Danzas argentinas Op. 2, no 2, Danza de la moza donosa Wonderful balance between the hands. Loved it!

08. AndresVel - Piano Sonata No. 16 in C major, KV 545 Congratulations on learning the whole thing - and recording it too! Well done!

09. PianogrlNW (Ellen) - Sonata in E Major K 380 I played this one too, I'm pretty sure in one of the recitals. I like your tempo, but I think it could be faster and might have more energy at a more lively pace. Of course, we will never know exactly what Scarlatti intended. Well done!

10. Peyton - Etude #2 I played this one - I'm pretty sure in one of the recitals. I agree about when the octaves come in - pretty tough. I know you miss your grand, but this setup is sounding pretty good. Loved it!

13. peterws - Summertime Ended Summertime must be bit frantic where you are! Over here, the living is easy, fish are jumping, and the cottons high!

14. facdo - Elegie Op.3 No.1 Wonderful playing - simply great! Glad you got to play on the Bosendorfer.

15. Serge88 - Ballade pour Adeline I always love seeing your stuffed animals! This was well played and looked pretty difficult in parts. Loved it!

16. QuasiUnaFantasia - Fantasie in G major That was very interesting. I'll take your word about the next section and skip it. I would hate to ruin the favorable impression of Bruckner I got from this piece! Well done!

17. Ido - Waltz Op.70 No.3 The recording sounded fine - we are not expecting pros here! This one is not heard that often. I liked the balance between the hands, and the left hand trills. Well done!

18. lilypad - Nightfall Very nice. My wife was listening - she is a "level 3" Faber student, and has played this piece - she loved it!

19. thepianoplayer416 - Sonatina in G (Anh. 5): Moderato - Romanze Yes, we all have to play this a some point in our progression - brings back memories! Well done!

21. sandalholme - Les Folies Francaises ou les Dominos from Ordre No13 Very nice. I've always wondered if the dynamics are turned off when using the harpsichord sounds. And the pedal of course. I can hear "clunks" when you release, which is very authentic. I plan to get my harpsichord back into playing shape "real soon now". Well done!

22. Flygbladet - Monkey Island 1 theme music I know nothing about game music, but you played this with a lot of energy and it sounds like you love playing it. Well done!

23. Kepijapa - Partita No.6 In E Minor, BWV 830, 2-3. Allemande-Corrente This is difficult stuff - and you did very well. he syncopation can't be impossible, since you did it!

24. Jerzyk19 - Immortal Another wonderful interpretation. Loved it!

25. zsolpyW - Tell him Wonderful interpretation! Well done!

26. KevinM - Sonatina in D Opus 36 No 6 part 1 Nice balance between the hands - I can clearly hear the melodies and the left is not intruding. And I really like the overall volume - this is not Beethoven, obviously. Your reaction at the end was great too! Well done!

27. Marklings - Waltz Op. 64 n.2 in C sharp minor Yes, I love this one too - it is magical. There is even something about the title - C# minor sounds so exotic, mysterious, and so difficult. This is an ambitious first Chopin piece too - well done!

28. Rachtoven - Invention No. 8 I used to play this all the time - now I probably can't even start it. Love the energy! Well done!

29. kenbakermn - Letter From Home That is an excellent arrangement. Very clear, just the right amount of "extra stuff", and the accompaniment fits really well. Enjoyed it!

That's all folks!
Sam


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Originally Posted by Kepijapa
12. Ted Jones - The Fourth Ace Heavy stuff. I can hear some directions in it, some nice harmonies and melodies, but it is so evasive, never a real climax. Do you have a structure in your head beforehand, or is that too restrictive? It is clear a free mind is at work here. And you are absolutely right it doesnt make much sense putting a lot of effort trying to reproduce preprinted music over and over again, I often wonder what I am doing and why. About the missing ace, looks you discovered that after about 6 minutes and got very sad.

Thanks for listening and for your thoughts. No, broadly speaking, a priori pattern and structure interest me very little these days, although I was trained in them like most people and my earlier music used them. I see form as quite different from those two properties as it can arise organically and is more akin to biology than architecture. Our approach to music is highly arbitrary and a rightfully individual choice. The degree to which a creator embraces written notation as an integral part of creation has a tremendous influence on the sound of the result. Affordable means to record in high quality has only emerged in recent times. In the old days notation was the only means of preserving and communicating a piece of music but it is, after all, at best a poor visual approximation of spontaneous sound. This is especially true in the matter of rhythm and phrasing. Many players are quite happy with the traditional processes but I am not inclined that way any longer. It doesn't really matter and has no universal significance; music is big enough to embrace every worldview.


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Thanks Peyton, Rickster, peterws, MarieJ, and Sam S for your comments.

I have a few more:

22. Flygbladet - Monkey Island 1 theme music

You played this well, with a great deal of energy and nice dynamic contrast.

23. Kepijapa - Partita No.6 In E Minor, BWV 830, 2-3. Allemande-Corrente

Really nice playing, particularly given how difficult the Corrente sounds.

24. Jerzyk19 - Immortal

You did a great job with this, playing with passion and accuracy. I really enjoyed this.

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Next batch, and a pretty long one whoops.

17. Ido - Waltz Op.70 No.3
Nice! I did not find the recording too overpowering. The interpretation was well conceived and good job dealing with the double stops. The Kawai you are playing on has a nice tone which you are making good use of. Your left hand is actually rather clear too. If there is one small suggestion for improvement, is simply to shape your left and right hands more. Other than that, really nice.

18. lilypad - Nightfall
Good work! you invoke the mood of the piece well and your left hand has some shaping to it. Everything is very stable and well executed. The only thing to improve on is the balance between the hands (but it may be hard to make the right hand softer depending on the touch sensitivity of the digital piano you are recording on). Good work!

19. thepianoplayer416 - Sonatina in G (Anh. 5): Moderato - Romanze
Good rendition of it! I can appreciate the effort you are putting into making sure the left hand rests are adhered by using a deliberate motion to do that. You play it very accurately as well.
Your second movement has character and good contrasts between the various moods and motifs. The only things i would suggest to improve is firstly your crushed notes (the acciaturas) need to be faster or almost immediate. You can practice this by removing the crushed note and try to play it with the crushed note without changing the pulse of the music. From a technical standpoint, you may want to consider some finger staccato practice on scales and arms weight relaxation as you continue your journey. Also take note that your right hand wrist does dip quite a bit, which may be slightly impeding on your finger control (as other people have pointed out).

Overall good job with this, particular commendations to doing the whole sonatina. Hope to see you in the next recital!

20. Snejana - The Ones Out of Place
Nice harmonies and arrangement for this improvisation! Perfectly captures the sense of sadness, confusion as well as turmoil that the people of Ukraine are feeling. Also perhaps a sense of longing for things to return to normal? Very nice playing executing your intended effects. Very enjoyable!

21. sandalholme - Les Folies Francaises ou les Dominos from Ordre No13

This is gonna be a long one

First movement: typical Minuet/Sarabande style, nicely executed ornaments and very relaxed tempo.

Second Movement: Same thing as the previous, very nicely done ornaments. Perhaps some emphasis on the half notes to denote the long sustaining quality they are trying to evoke?

Third Movement: OK now this is starting to sound like a theme and variations lol. Nice executed of the dotted rhythms. Perhaps some transfer of the emphasis of the voices between the hands could happen? For example whichever voice is doing the dotted motif.

Fourth Movement: Your ornaments in your left hand should be commended. Overall this is pretty straight forward and well executed.

Fifth Movement: Your left hand voice leading is very clear here which gives a nice solid bedrock for this movement. Right hand has very nice shaping ideas.

Sixth movement: Same as the second movement, perhaps some emphasis on the half notes in the left hand as it does carry some voice leading significance.

Seventh Movement: Same as the previous movement, the whole notes can be emphasized to provide more harmonic backdrop for each measure. The ornaments have to be complimented as they are very in sync. If i didn't know better, i would have thought these were studies for ornaments.

Eighth movement: This is good too, nice choice of a legato articulation for the left hand which contrast with the more lively right hand motif.

Ninth movement: Well done as well, same suggestion as the third movement, there are some places for the left hand dotted motif to sing above the right hand.

Tenth Movement: Good work here too, perhaps bring out the voice leading in the two hands a bit more? For example, notice how right hand goes for B C# to D and left hand goes B A# B? These form the template for you to create some shaping based on harmonic direction and voice leading.

Eleventh Movement: Tastefully done! Very much in style.

Twelfth Movement: Oh this is tough haha. Good attempts to keep the ornaments in time with the piece. Once again, perhaps a bit of emphasis on the left hand entries, especially in the 3 or 4 places it enters with the first theme. Also can be done in its inverted forms in bar 4 for example.

Overall really well executed! This serves as a good bedrock for other baroque works like inventions and eventually, playing Handel or Bach suites.

22. Flygbladet - Monkey Island 1 theme music
Very nice! Good energy and dynamic choice (not sure if your sheet music has dynamic markings) This sound like a rather challenging song and you executed it rather well! Especially considering the amount of octave and double stops to deal with. Hopefully one day i can play something that is this challenging (chords and octave are something i have not touched yet).

23. Kepijapa - Partita No.6 In E Minor, BWV 830, 2-3. Allemande-Corrente
Finally some more Bach! Quite interested to see your rendition of these movements from the Partita.

Allemande: Very nice relaxed mood you are setting. Your voices are rather clear and your rhythms are where they need to be. I can see the attempts to bring out some voices over the others. The only obvious technical thing to point out is the evenness in the middle of the piece where the scales de-sync a little and some ornaments pull you out of the steady pulse. Also, perhaps you may want to consider signalling the entry of the main theme in the left hand whenever it appears. For example in measure 2, 3rd beat where it enters in its inverted form and alternates or its fragment in measure 7. The left hand could also use a tad more shaping throughout the work since your right hand has some very nice shaping ideas.

Courante: Good job dealing with the syncopation, this can be rather challenging and you are executing it well! Rather good execution of the fast broken chords in the right hand! In fact i have very little to critique for the right hand other than some little spots of unevenness, which is given considering the level of difficulty of this work. (As i mentioned this is a typical year 2 undergraduate work, you are doing rather well!) But its basically 90% clean!
I would like to draw my comments to the left hand, and would like to give some suggestions as a fellow Bach player. Firstly, consider placing some emphasis on the first beat of each left hand when it is in its 3 note broken chord forms. Notice how the first bass note of each bar forms a smooth voice leading which resolves to a perfect cadences in measure 13 and again in measure 18-19. The emphasis on each first beat can help to ground your sense of the 3/8 time signature as it is very easy for the syncopated right hand to throw off the sense of steady pulse whilst also providing a sense of harmonic direction, which is quite important for Bach.

Perhaps you could also consider some variations in articulation in places such as measure 60. You could start a long slur from the E4 to F natural 3 and then another slur on the next set of the sequence. In fact, notice how from measure 60 to 67, its just 5 notes descending pattern in a sequence? One way i was taught is to think how a cellist would play those notes, drawing attention these sequences and harmonic direction in the left hand give a sense of shaping, creating the dialogue that we seek when we are playing Bach.
Hopefully these comments help you in some way, and really great work, hope to see even more from you!

24. Jerzyk19 - Immortal
I do love songs that make tasteful use of extended 9th 11th harmonies etc. Your playing really nice and is rather relaxed. Good sense of the textures and harmonies and good pedaling as well! I would say if you were on an acoustic, your touch would be rather good considering how aligned your body is in the video. You make it like you have good control over the piece even though you say you found it hard. Very beautiful and heartfelt ending. Please do give us more in the next recital laugh

25. zsolpyW - Tell him
That Kawai you are playing on looks so much like my teacher's piano haha, and it has a wonderful tone as well (maybe even a little better than my teacher). Wonderful touch and you are playing with a good amount of ergonomic efficiency. For example, i notice how your torso is free and you are allowing to aid your left hand arpeggios. You also have a good sense of dynamic control with your arm weight. Nice shaping too, your Wife must be very happy to have this as a Birthday Gift. And thanks for sharing your wonderful playing with us!

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Originally Posted by tyschoco
Next batch, and a pretty long one whoops.

19. thepianoplayer416 - Sonatina in G (Anh. 5): Moderato - Romanze
Good rendition of it! I can appreciate the effort you are putting into making sure the left hand rests are adhered by using a deliberate motion to do that. You play it very accurately as well.
Your second movement has character and good contrasts between the various moods and motifs. The only things i would suggest to improve is firstly your crushed notes (the acciaturas) need to be faster or almost immediate. You can practice this by removing the crushed note and try to play it with the crushed note without changing the pulse of the music. From a technical standpoint, you may want to consider some finger staccato practice on scales and arms weight relaxation as you continue your journey. Also take note that your right hand wrist does dip quite a bit, which may be slightly impeding on your finger control (as other people have pointed out).

Overall good job with this, particular commendations to doing the whole sonatina. Hope to see you in the next recital!

Thanks for your comments. Will work on the RH & the grace notes...

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tyschoco, many thanks for your in depth comments, I will certainly work on your suggestions. To start I wrote the number of the measures into the score smile. You are really dedicating a lot of effort and time into your comments, it is much appreciated. I do not have time to do it, but most of all I dont even have the knowledge to do it, so it is really very valuable for us.

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I've finally been able to start listening to the submissions. The turnout was a little lower than usual, but there seems to be no shortage of enjoyable performances. There's an appreciable amount of variety to boot.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my submission! Here are some quick thoughts on the first pieces.

02. MarieJ - Luminous
Einaudi has never been my cup of tea, but this sounds like a clean performance and you seem to have captured the mood quite well. Really nice job with the velvety sound too. I was surprised to hear that you'd achieved this with Pianoteq.

03. Sam S - Idyll
I love those duets you submit. This one really sounds like a tranquil poem. Keep them coming please!

04. QuentinP - WTK1 Fugue 1 C major
This Bach piece sounds tricky but I can clearly hear both voices. Nice playing.

05. briangmoore - Chanson
Nice phrasing and very pleasant to listen to.

06. pianist685 (Constantin) - She's a lady
Due to the singing and old school feel, I thought I was listening to Rickster's submission. A nice catchy tune, and great playing and singing!


Originally Posted by AndresVel
01. Calavera - Forever Rachel I always enjoy your submissions very much Calavera. Thank you also for the short historical background on the development of the consoles. I am sure it played a definite role in the way composers approached the composition of video game music back in the day. I have always praised your capacity to generate tension and and playing with tempo in al your pieces. It always sounds very musical and not forced at all. Very lovely submission for this recital. I really enjoyed it.

Thanks for your comment AndresVel, and I appreciate your observation about the playing not sounding 'forced'. I actually took some liberty with the arrangement in terms of dynamics, because I thought it was a bit overdone in the middle section.

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@petersw

Thanks for your comments
Originally Posted by peterws
27 Marklings

Great work you do here. If I might; the usual ornaments need clarifying, and strengthening. The piece could aslo be a lot more dynamic, and perhaps a less of an even rhythm would make it a more strident piece, full of life.
This was my wife's favourite which she played on our old Broadwood grand when we had it. She played it about your speed (it's usually much faster, but I personally prefer otherwise).
But you did a fine job.
!

I am still kind of struggling with this, so the less than perfect rendition:
- More dynamics, agreed, it's testing my technical skills ! I especially find extremely difficult the repetitions in pp
- More rubato, I hear you say, I agree; I am studying this with a teacher that is forcing me not to do too much rubato until the piece is strengthened to a point where it still not is . . .

I should add my mother used to play this so I can relate to the familiar feeling it evokes . . .

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Originally Posted by marklings
@petersw

Thanks for your comments
Originally Posted by peterws
27 Marklings

Great work you do here. If I might; the usual ornaments need clarifying, and strengthening. The piece could aslo be a lot more dynamic, and perhaps a less of an even rhythm would make it a more strident piece, full of life.
This was my wife's favourite which she played on our old Broadwood grand when we had it. She played it about your speed (it's usually much faster, but I personally prefer otherwise).
But you did a fine job.
!

I am still kind of struggling with this, so the less than perfect rendition:
- More dynamics, agreed, it's testing my technical skills ! I especially find extremely difficult the repetitions in pp
- More rubato, I hear you say, I agree; I am studying this with a teacher that is forcing me not to do too much rubato until the piece is strengthened to a point where it still not is . . .

I should add my mother used to play this so I can relate to the familiar feeling it evokes . . .

Well, I'm not a teacher, so feel free to discard my input. But I have heard it played in such a way I describe. The trills, prevalent throughout, (they may be leading notes, I'm not sure, makes little difference) could be accentuted to sound rather less than that they're being played together, if you get me, to give it that crispness. A bit hard to describe, sorry!


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08. AndresVel - Piano Sonata No. 16 in C major, KV 545

Nice clean crisp play. Clear dynamics. Incredible ABRSM 6 piece under 2 years playing. (Tempo can be faster.) May I ask how many hours you practice every day? I still areńt able to play it, but I can comment you here. ;-)


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Originally Posted by Jethro
Can I ask what your typical practice regimen consists of? Do you just play pieces or do you practice scales, exercises? Method books? I’m interested how you achieved this level of play in only 1.5 years.
I spent a little time on scales and a few exercises the first couple months. I bought Hanon, Czerny and "The complete book of scales, chords, arpeggios & cadences" during my first week, but I've only practiced three Hanon exercies, completely ignored the Czerny and barely looked at the other book. Aside from that, I've exclusively spent my time on pieces. I could elaborate and try to summarize it all, if you're interested.

Originally Posted by Jethro
Also have you tried this piece on an acoustic piano? Notice any difference? Does your left hand get fatigued?
I have. There's a piano store right next to my current workplace, and I've recently tried out a few grands. The CA-79 is actually on the heavier side, the acoustic pianos were noticably lighter to play. The physical requirements of the sonata are quite frankly a breeze compared to high-level Guitar Hero. Although I haven't played the game in a decade, the dexterity hasn't left me. Fatigue has yet to be an issue, but I fully expect to struggle if I ever decide to tackle Erlkönig or something similar.

Originally Posted by Jethro
I hope you keep it up.
So do I, but keeping motivation up is proving to be difficult. This started out as a solution to boredom during the pandemic. As my main hobby had literally became illegal, I had to find something to do with my time. Now that all the public measures have ended, the old hobby is slowly taking its spot back. To put my dip in motivation into perspective, I'd estimate I spent on average 1.5 hours on the piano every day the first six months, while everything was still new and exciting. These last six months however, that number has decreased to around 15 minutes.

Originally Posted by Peyton
Can't wait to hear you in another year and a half. Listz etudes? smile
Originally Posted by peterws
What's the next 18m gonna bring?
I'm not particularly fond of Liszt's etudes. I could probably forsake musicality for a bit and make some shoddy recordings of some virtuosic pieces already. Luckily, I don't want to go that route.

It may not happen any time soon, but I'd like to tackle the Bach-Busoni Chaconne at some point. I should perhaps become more comfortable with Henle 6-7 repertoire first, though. One of my long-term goals is to feel confident playing Henle 7-8 pieces.

Originally Posted by Ido
You've asked for critical comments, so let's start:
You duped me with that first sentence, I was pleasantly surprised as I continued reading.
Originally Posted by Ido
Wow
Oof, such harsh critique.

Flygbladet, Rachtoven, Bart K, AndresVel, marklings, QuentinP, Ido, Sam S, Rickster, Jethro, Peyton and peterws, I appreciate you taking the time to listen, comment, critique and encourage. One of my goals is to have something prepared for each new quarterly recital. The response here is more than I could have expected, and it's certainly helping with my motivation.

Joined: Nov 2015
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Posts: 15
To Agrajag
I can see you have Henle notes, if you missed the technical video tips on Pathetique, from Mozarteum by Henle, then here it is (For example thumb under early in scales). As talented as you are, take at least som lessons with a good teatcher. There is one video on interpretation also.



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Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 703
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Posts: 703
23. Kepijapa - Partita No.6 In E Minor, BWV 830, 2-3. Allemande-Corrente
I’d say you did both movements thorough justice. I wasn't aware of tension; you achieved a relaxed flow with a tricky composition. A enjoyable listen!

You asked about the way I set up Pianoteq for ‘Luminous’. Einaudi felted his Steinway D for his latest album, so I started with the Steinway D Felt preset. But I altered several of the parameters from there, including felt thickness, voicing and action, to try to come closer to the sound I wanted.

03. Sam S - Idyll
Delightful; it’s a privilege to share your wonderful musical partnership. My very best wishes to Tootles for a successful outcome from her surgery.

01. Calavera - Forever Rachel
I always look forward your selections, Calavera, and I wasn’t disappointed with this one. It was lovely, and your enjoyment of the music sparkles throughout.


[Linked Image] [Linked Image]XXXVIII-LXVI

My Yamaha C3 and Kawai ES110 with Pianoteq: the best of both worlds?
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