Schumann, Robert - op15/12 Child falling asleep

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mc1
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Schumann, Robert - op15/12 Child falling asleep

Post by mc1 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:40 pm

here is a recording of my arrangement of robert schumann's kinderszenen number 12, child falling asleep.

any feedback or constructive criticism of the arrangement, playing, or recording is most appreciated.
child_falling_asleep.mp3
the sheet music is available in the scores forum here:
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=74841
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Last edited by mc1 on Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Schumann, Robert - op15/12 Child falling asleep

Post by mc1 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:56 am

anybody?

would it help if i mentioned that i have but played guitar for many years, but i am very much an amateur player and arranger? i play nailless these days, and recorded it on my zoom h2n. i then e.q.'d out a little of the very low end and added some reverb. it stills sounds too 'close', or something to me. i was hoping for some advice on how to improve the quality of the sound or the playing. thanks.

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Re: Schumann, Robert - op15/12 Child falling asleep

Post by tateharmann » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:43 pm

Hi mc1,
I'm not familiar with this piece of music but I really enjoyed it. I'm going to check that score out. As far as the recording goes; it sounded good, To my ears I can tell that it's nail-less and I prefer the sound of the nails. Is there a reason you went nail-less? However, nails or no-nails, it's a fine recording. How close did you have the zoom to your guitar? What sort of room did you record in?

Thanks,
Tate
2013 Joseph Redman Lutz/Wenge
Antonio Aparicio AA70 Spruce
"Never practise softly. " - Ernest Shand, op. 100

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mc1
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Re: Schumann, Robert - op15/12 Child falling asleep

Post by mc1 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:01 pm

tateharmann wrote:Hi mc1,
I'm not familiar with this piece of music but I really enjoyed it. I'm going to check that score out. As far as the recording goes; it sounded good, To my ears I can tell that it's nail-less and I prefer the sound of the nails. Is there a reason you went nail-less? However, nails or no-nails, it's a fine recording. How close did you have the zoom to your guitar? What sort of room did you record in?

Thanks,
Tate
hi tate,

thank you for listening and commenting! i really appreciate them. i play nailless simply for convenience. i seem to always be breaking them or needing to file them. the technique seems just a little bit different, and it's so nice not to have to fuss with them. i should grow them out short again and give it another try.

i recorded that in an upstairs bedroom. that room is away from the refrigerator and furnace noise, and not too echo-y. i haven't spent much time considereing the room environment, other than reducing background noise. the zoom h2n was about 14" away, pointing at where the neck meets the body.

Pragueguy

Re: Schumann, Robert - op15/12 Child falling asleep

Post by Pragueguy » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:42 pm

I’ll make a few comments about your performance/interpretation, which I think is the biggest area you need to work on. Also a little bit about the transcription. I basically focused on the first few measures.

I admire you for transcribing Schumann, he was a superb composer of so many beautiful pieces and melodies. It’s too bad he didn’t write for the guitar! I know how difficult it is to do a good transcription: I have tried and so far have never been satisfied!

The piece is about a child falling asleep and is marked “p” on the piano score. I think the performance should be really quite soft and sensitive, not loud at all and even gently beautiful. So far this is not how it sounds from what I can hear.

There are at least two voices here: the bass and the treble. In general, I don’t think that in this small piece the bass is the theme therefore it should not be the loudest sounds, yet you immediately start in with a very loud and even unpleasant-sounding bass “b” note: this needs to be much quieter and gentle. It should set the rhythm and harmony in place, but it is really echoed by a sort of rocking sound of the treble, I mean the final two 1/16th notes in the first measure: f sharp and b.

I can only slightly hear the lowest note, the ‘e’ on the 6th string along with the ‘b’, but it’s actually more important than the ‘b’ at this point since it helps establish the key of E minor and also since the bass is basically a descending: ‘e’, ‘d’ sharp, then ‘e’, then ‘d’, then ‘c’, then ‘b’…

The syncopated g note in the treble of the 2nd measure should get more emphasis, which you give it but I think still far too much and it isn’t a very nice sound, either!

I think that how you are playing the f sharp on the 4th string in the 1st measure is also way too strong, this f sharp is played considerably more strongly than the highest f sharp on the 1st string which follows, which I think doesn’t make musical sense. I actually would probably play both f sharps on the 1st or 2nd string (actually probably on the 2nd string based on my quick fooling around with this, it gives a warmer sound).

I think also that at the end of the 4th measure you need to find some way to incorporate the ‘d’ sharp note, otherwise the harmonic progression is too vague and misses this really critical half step leading note.

I played around a little bit with my guitar and I might end up just forgetting about using the 6th string, play the very first chord in the 1st measure as an E minor on the 2nd-4th strings, play the ‘c’ on the 1st fret of 2nd string, etc.

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Re: Schumann, Robert - op15/12 Child falling asleep

Post by mc1 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:02 am

pragueguy, thank you for taking the time to listen and give detailed feedback. you've given me a lot to think about and work on.

kefka

Re: Schumann, Robert - op15/12 Child falling asleep

Post by kefka » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:02 pm

mc1,

I have never heard this piece before. It sounds very guitaristic. You play this piece very melancholy. I like it very much! My only critisism would be to accent the notes on the first string a bit more. I have never played nailess before so I dont know if that is possible for you to do. Try and play those notes louder then? The F# on the 1st string is barely audable. I have never seen the original Schumann piano score, but according to your transcription, marvelous by the way, it seems as if the composer is doing an echo effect, where as, he composed simular notes in diferent octaves, and those notes should be accented justly.

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mc1
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Re: Schumann, Robert - op15/12 Child falling asleep

Post by mc1 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:52 pm

thank you, kefka, for listening and commenting! it is certainly possible to bring out the upper voice while playing nailless, provided one has the technique. i will be working on that, although i also decided to try and grow some nails after many years. the piece does seem rather guitaristic to me as well. :)

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tateharmann
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Re: Schumann, Robert - op15/12 Child falling asleep

Post by tateharmann » Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:24 pm

tateharmann wrote:...To my ears I can tell that it's nail-less and I prefer the sound of the nails...
Somehow I stumbled upon this post while searching something else on the forum. I official retract this statement! haha

I've spent the last 6 months or so studying the possibilities of playing without fingernails. The writings of E. Pujol, and F. Sor have been particularly influential in this study. I've also been listening to more lute music than ever before (the majority of lutenists play without nails) and have also cut my own nails off.

I can't say that I prefer the one sound over the other (nails vs no nails) but I do officially declare that there's nothing wrong with playing without nails! ha
2013 Joseph Redman Lutz/Wenge
Antonio Aparicio AA70 Spruce
"Never practise softly. " - Ernest Shand, op. 100

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