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Topic: Thais

  1. #1


    ... "Meditation" from Thais, of course.

    This time the piano part is programmed, it was sitting on my hard drive since years waiting to mate with the CFX and with... someone playing the violin. That would be me, if you allow a bit of approximation .

    High and lows as usual, usual intonation issues.... but the tail - roughly the last minute - is not bad at all.

    I apologize for abusing the forum.... but as no-one seems to be around I'll just use it as my own playground


    ... and NO, those are slides, not glissandos

    I promise the next one will be something to LOL about. Guaranteed.



  2. #2
    Senior Member tedvanya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Canada,winter Mexico

    Re: Thais

    Yes, absolutely better, especially the last minute or so. The over all sound of your violin is better. I am a former violin player. The slides you are using are good but the volume of the slide in most cases should be accompanied with reduced pressure on your bow. This is not easy, and you, as the player should decide when do you wish to put more or less emphasis on the slide.
    Other than this, you are on the right road, let us hear more in the near future as your injury heals.
    Have a nice weekend


  3. #3

    Re: Thais

    Thanks for showing up, Ted.

    Yes, the sound seems better indeed and I really can not explain why. Same violin, same bow, same strings, same room, same spot in the room , a couple of days apart from the other recording, same mic, same eq (which is basically NO eq ) .... same "player" .... only mic positioning has changed. Go figure, that's what I was telling you in my other reply: recording a violin is really difficult.

    I did not know you played the violin, Ted. It would be nice to hear something from you, please do post. Do not pull out the story "it is 40 years that I do not play and I have arthritis", Ivry Gitlis is still going strong at 96 and I am playing with half a right hand . Let this virtual stuff alone and play some music, for C's sake! Playing only virtual instruments is like playing a basketball video game compared to holding a real leather ball in your hands and getting real sweat on your shirt!

    By the way, my injury won't unfortunately heal anymore. Post trauma arthritis pain will luckily get a bit better (and then kick back in strong as I'll age) but I won't recover full motion and sensitivity in the third and fourth fingers. I could not use a pen, a knife or a screwdriver... nowadays I somehow play the piano satisfactorily, I am happy. Violin is not a huge problem once I switched from a Franco-belgian bow grip to a Russian bow grip. You should know what I am talking about. Russian bow grip is less demanding on the "back part" of the hand, so the violin is the instrument I can play almost without limitations. The piano is ok.... picked guitar is fine but fingerpicking guitar is literally impossible. That's life.

    I never intentionally use slides or portamentos, unless written on the score (e.g. Zigeunerweisen which is full of portamentos and also wide chromatic glissandos.).
    My favourite version of Meditation is Clara Jumi Kang's:


    She's pouring out emotions in tide waves, amazing. Listen to her: she uses slides a lot more than I do and I have the neat impression that most of them are intentional. I never do that on purpose, I do not like them. Mine just happen by themselves. Say you are fingering a g4 on the second string with a first or second finger. Now you want to play a b3, legato, on the same string. You have no "available free finger" so you'll have to slide to b3, you will absolutely release bow pressure but there is no chance the slide noise won't be recorded if you are close mic-ing the violin. You play the violin so I know you are following what I say. Take Clara's recording at 0:38, she slides from b4 to b3 and that's your slide noise. Mine (same fingering) happen at 0:36 and, if you allow me, mine is even more gentle than hers. These things are unavoidable, you simply can not get rid of them. These are like the "clicks" when you rebow playing the detache'. They only vanish if you listen to a violin playing in a hall, being at a certain distance. Close mic-ing a violin will surely capture these details.

    Thank you for your words and thanks for showing up. You always do some good to this place, being caring and always present.
    Have a nice week end, too.


  4. #4

    Re: Thais


    I can most certainly hear the potential in you. You know what good music sounds like,
    as in the absolutely gorgeous example of Jumi's playing.

    You are a rough diamond and you need to polish and refine your playing.

    I also have played for a very short while the violin but then I prefered the piano.

    I think that the slides are used to get safely to a note that is positioned far from the previous
    note's position. If not used it would be a hit and miss situation.

    I have heard some incorrect notes in the piano, starting at 1:53 and on. Check that out.

    All the best,

    ~ Yudit ~

  5. #5

    Re: Thais


    of course you say that "I know how good music sounds like" because you are well aware that I like your music so much


    Thanks you for your words.
    Of course I am rough, it needs time to refine skills. Violin, in particular: I am 47. I started it at age 40 (unusual, at best) and I am completely self taught. I have solid theoretical background in music and some experience on other instruments, but still I have not much time to dedicate. You know... job, family and what's remaining has to be shared between books, sport and music. It also does not help that I never was able to choose just one instrument, putting the right focus into it.
    But I have no targets, to me the whole thing is a fun process that gives me lots of joy and little stress. Some pressure definitely helps when seriously tackling a musical instrument with a push to bring it to perfection, but this is a luxury I do not have/need.

    Slides... your point actually makes sense. You slide to the note far away and as soon as you hear the right tone you stop the sliding. But, sincerely, at least in the case of the masters, I do not think this is the case. These are musicians that, after thousands of scales and hours of playing time, just let the fingers fall in the right places. I mean, I stil need to look at the fingerboard to get some "visual" help, these are people that never look at it, they literally could play blindfolded. There is this story about Heifetz. He supposedly said that "he hit as many bad notes as anyone, only he was very fast in correcting them by micro-adjustements". I sincerely can not spot many bad notes in professional players...
    Back to that b4 to b3 slide we were talking about, now. If I want to play that as a legato, in the same bow stroke, if I do not slide I' ll have to release the finger on the b4 and - while getting to b3 - an a3 will get played. Not what you want. Sliding will keep the string "dampened" until you get to b3, there will be the sliding sound but no note. That's also why I was insisting these are not glissandos: in the glissandos, you clearly and intentionally play all the intermediate notes between the initial note and the target one.
    I spent some time in listening to other masters playing that section: all of them - in a more or less noticeable way - produce that slide. I can not be a mere coincidence.

    What made you choose piano over the violin? Just a curiosity, a "pour parler"....

    Thanks again and have a nice day.


  6. #6

    Re: Thais

    Quote Originally Posted by sec2 View Post
    What made you choose piano over the violin? Just a curiosity, a "pour parler"....
    I don't remember why exactly, but with a piano you can sit comfortably and play for hours,
    you don't need anyone else and you don't have to hold it...

    Whereas with the violin you usually stand, need to hold the violin in an unnatural position
    and usually need someone to accompany you...

    But the real reason must be that with the piano I felt I could express myself to the fullest!

  7. #7

    Re: Thais

    True! The violin... don't let the fact that it looks like a tiny innocent thing fool you! It can provoke some real pain! Collarbone, neck, shoulder and arm inflammations... you name it.

    You do not always need someone to play with you, though, there are solo pieces. I am tackling Bach's Fugue from the BWV1001 nowadays, and this is my adagio (I think I had already posted it):


    Anyway, lucky you. I suffer at the mere idea of ditching either one of them.

    ... hey, do not be so harsh on the "thing"... you know, the OTHER thread...

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