Dowland, John - If My Complaints (a galliard) - Video

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David Norton
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Dowland, John - If My Complaints (a galliard) - Video

Post by David Norton » Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:51 pm

For a snowy November day, music of the Elizabethan composer John Dowland (1563-1626) seems appropriate.

"If My Complaints" is a song which was set to the rhythm of a galliard. Dowland also wrote a lute solo using this music, "Captain Piper's Galliard", dedicated to the English pirate Digory Piper. As to whether the song or the lute solo came first, it's difficult to prove. The sung version was published in 1597, and the lute solo has been dated to 1590, but that doesn't confirm which came first by any means.

I am using my Robert England guitar for this video, a fairly new instrument which is developing very well indeed. The whole story of this guitar can be found under the Delcamp thread "Canary Wood".

"If My Complaints" (a galliard)

David Norton
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Erik Zurcher
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Re: Dowland, John - If My Complaints (a galliard) - Video

Post by Erik Zurcher » Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:48 pm

I enjoyed that, David. Very musical and nice clarity of tone. :bravo: :merci: :bye:
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"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

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David Norton
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Re: Dowland, John - If My Complaints (a galliard) - Video

Post by David Norton » Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:40 pm

Thank you Erik. I am using the process of recording these videos as a sort of self-improvement program, and (ideally) I'm listening to them more critically than I did for the videos I made earlier. Each one seems tougher to get a result I am happy with. The Sanz Pavanas I did a month ago was done in 3 "takes", and I probably should have done a few more, as in one or two spots I think it's it's sub-par. Eh, live and learn. The Tarrega Prelude I made last week took 5 takes, but I am quite pleased with the result. This Dowland one I am also quite happy with. It nearly drove me to distraction, with over a dozen takes to get the one I like. Getting some of those rapid hand-stretcher chord formations to come out cleanly is none too easy. I don't mind the takes where I screw up early-on, but when there's a fatally missed note or chord in the last phrase of the last repeat? It's a heartbreaker! :)
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Re: Dowland, John - If My Complaints (a galliard) - Video

Post by Erik Zurcher » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:07 pm

I didn't notice the missed note. The only improvement I can think of, is a more mellow tone. You know the piece, now work on your tone. Try not to pluck with your right hand, but dig deeper into the strings with your right hand. In short, concentrate on your right hand. Try different angles until you find your most loveliest tone. Push your stings a little deeper down towards the soundhole and see if it makes a difference. Best of luck.
Reedition Domingo Esteso by Conde Hermanos 2004; Kenny Hill, model Barcelona 2001
"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

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David Norton
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Re: Dowland, John - If My Complaints (a galliard) - Video

Post by David Norton » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:16 pm

Thank you for the suggestion. I'm curious if you have the same observation for the Tarrega Prelude (different guitar was used)?

You didn't notice a missed note, because in THIS version there wasn't one. I think it was Take #7 where I honestly though I had nailed it, and I was nearing the end, let myself get distracted, and then the big downward shift to that chord in 2nd position was a ruination. So you didn't see that version. :)
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petr
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Re: Dowland, John - If My Complaints (a galliard) - Video

Post by petr » Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:46 am

Nice piece and nice played.
Petr.

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andi33x
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Re: Dowland, John - If My Complaints (a galliard) - Video

Post by andi33x » Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:07 am

Hello David,
this is a nice performance with the right Dowland feeling. :bravo:

Eric said something about the mellow tone you should look at. I want to add also my opinion about it here (but it's only an opinion). I also had a look on the Tarrega. The tone is a bit better but also has the characteristic which -I think- Eric means. I believe there are 2 aspects about it.
First this (raspy) characteristic is always present if you use a normal video camera or digicam to record it. I also have this experience. These cameras deform then tone. I believe if you have good micros the tone will get very much more mellow.
Second: the tone production in your playing. With these micos I cannot really criticize it. The string should vibrate more perpendicular to the guitar top. I think this is also what Eric meant. It depends also on your nails.

Best wishes
Andreas
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Les Backshall
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Re: Dowland, John - If My Complaints (a galliard) - Video

Post by Les Backshall » Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:47 am

David_Norton wrote:Thank you Erik. I am using the process of recording these videos as a sort of self-improvement program, and (ideally) I'm listening to them more critically than I did for the videos I made earlier. Each one seems tougher to get a result I am happy with. The Sanz Pavanas I did a month ago was done in 3 "takes", and I probably should have done a few more, as in one or two spots I think it's it's sub-par. Eh, live and learn. The Tarrega Prelude I made last week took 5 takes, but I am quite pleased with the result. This Dowland one I am also quite happy with. It nearly drove me to distraction, with over a dozen takes to get the one I like. Getting some of those rapid hand-stretcher chord formations to come out cleanly is none too easy. I don't mind the takes where I screw up early-on, but when there's a fatally missed note or chord in the last phrase of the last repeat? It's a heartbreaker! :)
Hi David, I enjoyed this piece and I hope you won't mind me making a couple of comments. Following from what you say above, it does sound a bit as if your primary concern is getting the notes right. As you say, this was a song, and I think that if you were to play (or sing) just the melody line, and work on that, you would end up with a much more flowing and lyrical performance. At the moment it sounds nice and clean, but a little 'flat' and a bit staccato-ish in places.

Les
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Erik Zurcher
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Re: Dowland, John - If My Complaints (a galliard) - Video

Post by Erik Zurcher » Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:15 pm

David, I hope that my remark about your tone does not put you off. I really like your recording as it is. I merely tried to suggest room for improvement. Reading back the comments made after me, you may get the impression that we didn't like it. I hope that you will not see that way. You are a fine guitarist and I enjoyed your recording.
Reedition Domingo Esteso by Conde Hermanos 2004; Kenny Hill, model Barcelona 2001
"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

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David Norton
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Re: Dowland, John - If My Complaints (a galliard) - Video

Post by David Norton » Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:08 am

Erik,

I am not upset in the least about the commentary. If I didn't want feedback, I wouldn't ask for it! :) What I was questioning was whether using a different guitar made much difference in the sound. The Robert England is a fairly bright-sounding guitar, almost like a negra in some respects. That sound is desirable (to me), but may come across as excessively strident on video.

As for your well-meant comment that I am "a fine guitarist", that one I will take exception with. I'm mediocre at best, and fully realize this. The trouble is, there's no high-level CG tutelage available in this area. The nearest top-flight teachers around here are Ricardo Iznaola or Jonathan Leathwood. They are both in Denver, which is a 10 hour drive each way. (That is about equal to you driving from Den Haag down to Vercelli Italy to study with Maestro Gilardino). None too convenient for weekly lessons.
David Norton
Salt Lake City, UT
First person to complete the Delcamp "Let's Learn Sor's Opus 60" project

kurt guitar

Re: Dowland, John - If My Complaints (a galliard) - Video

Post by kurt guitar » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:27 am

Hi. i thought your recording was prestine and clean with lots of intensity. I like everything by Dowland. He can do no wrong. i have heard this piece also as "If my complaints could passions move," but that is when there are vocals. I like the arrangement of this piece for solo guitar. thanks for this. Where did you aquire the score? An origonal transcription?

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