Tuesday, November 11, 2008

First Recital Submission

You may or may not know that the deadline to submit an the 12th Quarterly Pianoworld.com recital is this Friday evening, 9:00 PM Eastern time, November 14. And while I know I still have a couple of days left, I am also honest with myself. This recording of Ombre is going to have to do. Feel free to listen while you read.

Ombre - Aw2pp

While there are a handful of mistakes in this recording (see below), and there is an overall lack of smoothness / musicality, it’s actually a pretty good attempt for me. No sense pretending to be better than I really am. If you gave me 20 cracks at running through Ombre, this would probably be better than 19 of them. That said, I am beyond the point to where I think I can measurably improve on this recording anytime soon. More (most?) importantly, I am ready to put Ombre to bed for now. I’ve been playing this a lot over the last month. Our poor piano is going to start wondering whether or not there is any other music to be played. “Oh, no, he’s playing this again…”

I MUCH prefer this over the Limbo recording I shared with y’all about a month ago. First off, while I downplay the quality of my performance, it’s still an improvement, musically, over the Limbo recording. Second, Ombre is more interesting than Limbo. I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating; Limbo sort of wanders around in one place, never really getting anywhere. At the end, you find yourself exactly where you started, with nothing resolved. Ombre builds on some very simple themes, and (in theory) takes you somewhere with them, decorating the themes along the way with new layers of complexity. I’m glad to have worked on it. I have read that there are some LH patterns used in this piece that are reused in other, perhaps more sophisticated pieces. Hope so.

Anyhow, as I am listening to the recording, here are a few comments.

First 20 seconds – Some full note LH chords. I could stand to be a little more synchronized on these.
0:46 – This could be smoother.
1:09 – Trying to mix up the tempo a little the way Einaudi does.
1:12 – Worked awhile to get those triplets right.
1:27 – Missed a grace note there.
1:57 – Would like to have been bolder on the RH. This is me “playing timid” like I mentioned last time.
2:11 and 2:15 – Missed a note at 2:11, throwing off my concentration for a moment and resulting in a second error at 2:15.
2:23 – Should that first whole note chord be that quiet? I’ll need to check the music on that.
2:35 – Made an edit here, removing about 6 seconds of dead space. In real life, I was shuffling papers. The music for Ombre is 5 pages long, but I can really only fit three pages on the music desk of the Ap-200.
3:30 – You can hear me pausing ever so briefly, hunting for these LH octaves.
3:49 – Another missed note, but I recovered quickly this time.
4:40 – Would like to have boomed these low notes a little more.

Overall that’s four missed notes and a couple of things I would like to have differently. Now, mind you, I’m no perfectionist. But I am competitive. And after awhile, it got to the point to where this wasn’t so much a piece of music, but rather a competitive challenge to be overcome. This is good for now. And while it leaves room for improvement, it’s not so bad that the crowd on Piano Hero** would have booed me off stage.

* - No, really, I’m not. Stop snickering.
** - You know, if there were such a thing. Now THERE’S an idea…


Sue said...

it is awesome!
Just like you!


pdxknitterati said...

I'm listening to the recital right now! Don't be too hard on yourself; you sound great. The things that you notice when you go over your recording with a fine-toothed comb aren't noticeable to someone just listening. Music is ephemeral; in real life you give it as a gift and it exists in a moment. It's the overall feeling that's important.


AnthonyB said...

I thought it was a great first recital submission!

I played and played and played my recital piece over and over and over to get a decent recording. I submitted pretty much right when the recital opened and never updated the file again despite being able to make some better recordings some weeks later. If the original was good enough for the recital then I wasn't going to lose my spot. :)

I had such nerves recording my first recital piece that I really didn't get the second time around. Hopefully if you were a bit nervous playing for the red dot then you will have an easier time next time around.

I do look back and can almost laugh at some of my earlier attempts but that just helps to show me some of the progress I've made already in a short time.

Keep up the good work and I hope to hear more in future recitals.