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A very tasty and well fitting combo, and played very well, living up to your usual standards ( Five points to the first person to identify my source for that )  😉

 

The only remark I'd have is that in this piece, I wouldn't expect that many ornamentations. Those are simple (albeit beautiful) melodies that should come out clearer and get somewhat drowned in the ornaments. May be just my personal taste though...

 

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2 hours ago, RAc said:

A very tasty and well fitting combo, and played very well, living up to your usual standards ( Five points to the first person to identify my source for that )  😉

 

The only remark I'd have is that in this piece, I wouldn't expect that many ornamentations. Those are simple (albeit beautiful) melodies that should come out clearer and get somewhat drowned in the ornaments. May be just my personal taste though...

 

 

Hi Rüdiger,

 

thanks a lot for listening! I'm glad you like my take, and your remark is much appreciated as well. As to the ornamentations, I concur with you re beautiful simple melodies which should not be over-embellished. So you got me thinking as to why I chose to apply frequent ornamentations here. I guess I'm looking at them as a function of rhythm. The second tune (over which I stumbled in the Jeffries English thread...) is not - contrary to widespread belief - a waltz, however I didn't approach it as sort of an air either. Instead I instantly found myself playing the tune in the same accentuated manner as the well-known O'Carolan tunes in triple time. Anyway, the second tune seems to lead to even more embellishment this way - but I guess that's what I like for the moment.

 

Best wishes - Wolf

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Very nice, Wolf. I note in the second tune you're making good use of that non-standard low B, both for B minor and first inversion G major. I have it as a non-standard adaptation on all my Crane duets. I couldn't live without it!

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Nicely played.  I'd slow down a bit and thin out the infill.  The tempo and aggressive ornamentation create a bit of a calliope effect.  I think of these as somewhat pensive tunes that should flow more.

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10 minutes ago, wunks said:

Nicely played.  I'd slow down a bit and thin out the infill.  The tempo and aggressive ornamentation create a bit of a calliope effect.  I think of these as somewhat pensive tunes that should flow more.

 

Thanks a lot for your listening and commenting! The tempo was meant to be fast but however feels slightly too rushed at times, that's true I guess. As to the sound of a calliope (which I loved as a child) that's a fascinating and intriguing idea in fact, which leaves me feeling both confirmed and bewildered at once. There are (well, trumpety, brassy) moments in the "bass" I really love when going thru the track (can't hear the subleties of the sound as a player - I was altogether amazed now and had no use for any EQ with this first recording) which might just be part of this effect. Anyways, I'll surely have to explore what's in the (second, new to me) tune beyond my playing it this time.

 

Best wishes - Wolf

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1 hour ago, Little John said:

Very nice, Wolf. I note in the second tune you're making good use of that non-standard low B, both for B minor and first inversion G major. I have it as a non-standard adaptation on all my Crane duets. I couldn't live without it!

 

Thanks a lot John, very glad it's appealing to you and you've been listening that closely!

 

As to the low B, it's exactly the same for me. I was admittedly prepared to find out what single note I might add myself (as there's one accidental at the low end of any English concertina which can be deemed dispensable as it is enharmonically duplicated on the other side). In the treble range it clearly was the F (albeit having a F# would have been similarily nice as the low B here for tunes in D-maj), so I initially considered soldering a low Bb but then realised in an instant - just with my hands on the keyboard - how greatly the low B would fit with tunes in the very "English" key of G-maj (in both positions as you are mentioning). I couldn't even really warm up to the instrument without having this work done, which I managed to accomplish soon afterwards.

 

I thus absolutely agree - this single note is essential for my playing the lower-sounding tenor-treble (still mostly in the treble range, but with added low notes). Very nice to learn about your respective fondness, even "across the border"...

 

Best wishes - Wolf

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Posted (edited)

Upon repeated listening and further practice I've come to the conclusion that the first tune, Fanny Power(s), is in fact too uniformely embellished and thus to some extent alienated.

 

My solution would be: 1. variation, 2. acceleration (without compromising the beat), starting with a more basic presentation of the tune. Nevertheless, the melody line of Fanny Power(s) always seemed to invite me to ornament it more than usual, particularly in bars 3 and 4 where the melodic development appears to lack the usual progress; however part of the challenge for the player might well be to abide just with that...

 

Guess it will take me some time to get things right in an improved way - however from experience the freshness and exitement of a first recording (re the second tune, The South Wind) may never be regained at a later time... Thanks all for listening and commenting thus far!

 

And I'm still truly enthusiastic over sound and balance of this instrument!

 

Best wishes - Wolf

 

 

Edited by Wolf Molkentin

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You could try mixing in some more "passive" ornamentation such as slight variations in timing, volume and beat (as opposed to tempo).  Slurring or even lingering on the previous note, using a doublet instead of a triplet and extending a note with a mild tremolo also come to mind.

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3 hours ago, wunks said:

You could try mixing in some more "passive" ornamentation such as slight variations in timing, volume and beat (as opposed to tempo).  Slurring or even lingering on the previous note, using a doublet instead of a triplet and extending a note with a mild tremolo also come to mind.

 

Thank you for your ideas here - I might consider some of them (albeit tremolo I already have in the second tune and slurring or lingering on doesn't seem to fit with my style of harmonizing I reckon).

 

However in the current matter I'm rather planning just to reduce the lots of embellishment I already have, and my mentioning of variation (incl. occasional skipping) and acceleration was re these given ornamentations themselves.

 

Besides, in general I feel that ornamentations of my preference shouldn't at all played at maximum speed but have to be slowed down a bit or put in front of the beat and harmony instead in order to ring out beautifully.

 

It's just here (first tune) that it appears to be the other way 'round.

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Thank you Mike, good to listen to your rather strict playing (which I always admire for its steadiness and ease). A lot to consider (at least for variation), and I like the 8-7-6-5 bass run at the beginning of the B section...

 

That said I like to add that I greatly appreciate your replying musically - I guess this is what always could be done post-TOTM. I on my part am explicitly inviting anyone to add a recording of his or her own playing the tunes, or one of them.

 

Best wishes - 🐺

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June totm ?.. :)

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

That made me smile - very nice, very Français 😊 - thank you for chiming in, Thomas!

 

================================

 

besides - The South Wind, anyone?

 

 

Edited by Wolf Molkentin
going bilingual

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Thanks wolf 😉

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On 6/14/2018 at 11:27 AM, Wolf Molkentin said:

Upon repeated listening and further practice I've come to the conclusion that the first tune, Fanny Power(s), is in fact too uniformely embellished and thus to some extent alienated.

 

My solution would be: 1. variation, 2. acceleration (without compromising the beat), starting with a more basic presentation of the tune.

Wolf,

Your concertina certainly has a marvellous timbre. Interesting that you note that you used no equalisation on the recording - I'm always reluctant to judge an instrument by a recording, because what comes out of the speaker is often far removed from what went into the mic.

 

Now to your interpretation of Fanny Power. I agree that the ornamentation is too much, too aggressive, or whatever else has been said. Here are a few thoughts on the matter of ornamentation:

Carolan was Irish, and ornamentation is a typical feature of Irish music, so ornamentation is the name of the game, right? Well, wrong, actually! Ornamentation is a typical feature of purely melodic music, vocal and instrumental, and the traditional music of rural areas in Ireland (and Scotland) developed in an environment where one fiddler or one fluter played for dances, and one singer sang - unaccompanied - for entertainment and edification. Playing or singing the bare tune over and over gets boring very quickly - but the harmonic treatment that is possible for the urban musician in his band, orchestra or other ensemble was not available to the country musician of yore. So an important function of ornamentation is to hint at an underlying harmonic structure. As soon as there's a second voice or an accompanying instrument, ornamentation becomes unimportant, except perhaps here and there for special effect. I know that when I sing an Irish ballad unaccompanied, I feel the need to add ornamentation; when I sing it with the band or self-accompanied, I don't. 

 

Bear in mind that Carolan was a professional musician and, above all, a harper - so his compositions presume polyphonic capability, with ornamentation only for occasional emphasis.

 

Another point: what is ornamentation, as opposed to harmonisation? For me, ornamentation consists of grace-notes. which are defined as having no time value. They do not alter the rhythmic structure of the basic tune to which they are applied. They are, as I said above, gentle hints at a harmonic structure, and should not obtrude. Their shortness makes them inconspicuous, and it's a good thing to keep them quiet as well. (When I play Carolan on the banjo, I prefer to make grace-notes as hammer-ons and pull-offs, not as plucked notes.) With the concertina, this is not possible, which is why ITM anglo players just give their grace-notes a very brief tap of the button.

 

Your ideas for improving you interpretation are right on. Quite honestly, the linked version, with several iterations of (apparently) exactly the same arrangement, got me bored fairly quickly, I'm afraid. It would certainly be a good idea to start out by stating the basic melody, with only as many ornaments as you really feel you need, played as unobtrusively (short!) as possible. Then introduce a second line, and probably dispense with ornamentation, then play a fully harmonised iteration. Playing two or more iterations of the tune - whether bare melody, ornamented melody or harmonised arrangement - exactly the same way, is never a good idea.

 

From the recording I can tell that both you and your concertina are well capable of this!

 

Cheers,

John

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Hi John,

 

thank you so much for taking the time for your in-depth commenting and advising. Your contrasting ornamentation and harmonisation is new to me but appears to be quite suggestive, all the more with reference to a harpist. I will certainly experiment with the choice of either the one or the other, with possible stages in-between and probably some allowances as well. My true responding will of course have to be an improved recording which I'm eager to prepare and execute as soon as the workload both jobwise and private shall let me do that.

 

Your other points are well made too; I have been inclined to diversify running through a piece many-times but seem to fall back to the enthusiasm of immersing myself in the sweet sounds of the fully-developed version. With the second tune - which I primarily wanted to play and record - I have a "thinner" version included, not just in the treble range but even less spreaded. I really like this interposed reduction of volume and saturation...

 

As to the shortness of grace notes - IMO there's at least one exeption: an ornamentation which we - at least in the playing of Alistair Anderson - often come across in Northumbrian tunes (and maybe Irish as well), in endings like E - C - C there is a trill (Triller in German, I'm not sure about the proper name in any Anglo-Irish-American tradition) on the E, which seems to be waisted if played too rapidly. Re Fanny Power I absolutely agree with you and previous posters.

 

I'm glad over your words about the sound of my Tenor Treble Aeola - in fact I started my recordings with the Excelsior back in 2013  without any equalisation and later on added just a touch of that. The three recordings with the model 24 however seemed to need to be corrected to a higher degree in order not to, well, hurt... But with the Aeola, everything was lovely and perfect. I just added some digital reverb, but the sound was basically the same without.

 

So thank you again, and I will come back to the subjec(s) after some checking out and practising...

 

Best wishes - 🐺

 

 

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On 6/22/2018 at 2:25 PM, Wolf Molkentin said:

As to the shortness of grace notes - IMO there's at least one exeption: an ornamentation which we - at least in the playing of Alistair Anderson - often come across in Northumbrian tunes (and maybe Irish as well), in endings like E - C - C there is a trill (Triller in German, I'm not sure about the proper name in any Anglo-Irish-American tradition) on the E, which seems to be waisted if played too rapidly

Yes, there are other decorations than grace-notes, but I've only come across them in classical singing. What you're talking about may be what is known as a "turn". This is written as a sort of 90°-rotated "S" over a note, and involves hitting the written note, then a semiton above it, the written note again, then a semitone below it, then the written note again. All this spread over the duration of the written note. The notation is shorthand for a sort of quintuplet, and is sung with emphasis on the first of the 5 notes.

 

If you've got a recording of "O du, mein holder Abendstern" AKA "Wolframs Lied an den Abendstern" from Wagner's "Tannhäuser", there's a turn in it. It's over the syllable "Eng-" of the word "Engel" in the line "Wenn du entschwebst dem Tal der Erden, ein sel'ger Eng-el dort zu werden." (... if my memory serves me correctly - it's a long time since I sang it!)

Trills (Triller) and vibrato are other ornaments that are not grace-notes.

 

Cheers,

John

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