This is a set of 5 live takes that I did of Hoffmeister's 3rd etude for Viola solo sometime around summer. I've only just had the chance to go back and listen to it... and I'm just noting down some criticisms of the takes.
There are some good things, and I think there is material that I can use. I prefer not to edit takes together... but in this case, I might need to. Unfortunate, but I will keep it to a minimum... partly due to lack of technical skill and time, but mostly I don't think that music should be the Frankenstein concoctions that the recording industry (of all genres...) pumps out to the unsuspecting public.
The critiques are of my own playing... and refer to the score above!
bengy · Hoffmeister Etude 3 for Viola (Take 1/5, LIVE)
The overall tempo for this first take is a touch too slow for my taste. It gives the piece a bit more of a stately character... however, it was also the first take and so I was a little bit hesitant to take it too fast! After all, there are some little tricky bits of passagework at near to the end which would be nice to have enough time to play in a less scrambled manner!
However, the slower speed might be more in keeping with the Allegretto marking. A little coy, cheeky... not necessarily like a hell for leather showcase!
Bar 9: Fluffed octave crossing. I'm not even really sure what happened here...
Bar 28: The top octaves don't really land well with the bow... sometimes scraping the wood against the string, but not producing the best sound.
Bar 31: Left Hand is not a clean crossing, making for plucked open strings sounding!
Bar 33: Top notes are not in tune!
Bar 36: The previous two bars should probably lead into this bass note, as it stands they just stand still....
Bar 38: Change into the minor is good... but could be better.
Bar 43: Left Hand is too slow to get around the chord change, or the Right Hand is too fast... It means that the bow is playing the string before the notes are correctly set in the other hand.
Bar 46: Oops... missed one of the bass notes!
bengy · Hoffmeister Etude 3 for Viola (Take 2/5, LIVE)
A touch faster.. not that much, but it makes for a nicer character.
Bar 13-16: This could use more development in the sound as the sequence rises. It is a bit ho-hum at the moment.
Bar 18: the tail end of the scale is a little out of tune, the end is okay, but it the several notes before it that are out.
Bar 37: Better transition from one pattern to another. Should keep this! However, it means that I can't play the same trick for the minor.
bengy · Hoffmeister Etude 3 for Viola (Take 3/5, LIVE)
Another version of the slightly livelier character. However, after a full listening, it was the least successful take so far!
Bar 13-16: Better development of the rising sequence.
Bar 20: Haha... I'm not sure what was going on in my head, but that was as graceful as a bunny tripping on it's feet and falling on it's face! A slight brain fart in the middle of what should have been an effortless and simple flourish!
Bar 26-27: Again, the top registered come across a touch uncontrolled.
Bar 31: This was a terrible transition, messy and bad timing. Like a person tripping over words when speaking without breathing.
Bar 33: These repeated figures lack meaning. They have different functions, one hesitating, the second moving.. Like rolling slowly over a hill. I didn't do it!
Bar 35: The tone of the instrument (due to the player) isn't really speaking fully. Not a good contact between string and bow hairs. Better weight/speed balance required!
Bar 40: Similar problem as earlier. The lower and middle register of the passage-work needs better tone.
Bar 42: The last chord is too early. It breaks before the time it should.
bengy · Hoffmeister Etude 3 for Viola (Take 4/5, LIVE)
A touch faster again! Still trying to keep the cheeky character and hopefully not falling over into fireworks for firework's sake... character over bright lights, after all, music is communication and not just screaming!
The character starts off well, but I start falling apart in the middle. I was wrong, this is definitely the worst take! So far....
Bar 9: Too many lengthened notes gives an impression of stumbling. Too much importance on little things stops the flow.
Bar 18: Last notes of the run sit just off centre of tuning. Close, but not quite.
Bar 19: Prefer the placing of these double stops.
Bar 26-27: Top notes again...
Bar 29: LOL... just splatter any random notes on the way down the passage...
Bar 31: Messy messy messy... probably too preoccupied with the slaughterhouse of notes that passed in the last couple of bars!
Bar 33: Woah.... missed and out of tune notes galore!
Bar 44: Haha... smack that low note... it is supposed to be a graceful and coquettish end to he piece. I think I was more pissed off about making a mess of the last 20 bars!
Bar 46-47: I think I've given up!
bengy · Hoffmeister Etude 3 for Viola (Take 5/5, LIVE)
Another of the higher tempo ones, with a touch more time taken when required. This started off being a good take, but I really screwed a run... however, I just backed up and restarted. Maybe it will be possible to salvage this take with a quick edit.
Bar 5: Good phrasing and timing.
Bar 29: Unfortunately I fall off the instrument and crash and burn. Such is the way of Live recordings. However, I did feel that this was a good take, so I backed up and continued in the hopes that I might be able to salvage a take by stitching it together.
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