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John S Stuart user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 12 Jul 09, 16:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Question concerning FM's Home recordings
http://www.queenzone.com/forums/1190356/question-concerning-fms-home-recordings.aspx

I just read the following thread with interest.
I could have written this answer there, but as this reply goes off on a tangent, I thought it may be a good idea to provide it with a life of it's own - so to speak.

To the point.

Sometime in the early 1990's not long after Freddie's death, I bought a home cassette tape from a certain gardener which I did not doubt as genuine. I have written about this in my 'Ultimate Collection' threads, but as a reminder:

Freddie Mercury: Jim Hutton Garden Lodge Piano Home Demos - 1988
Bach Prelude                        Unreleased: Home Mini-Disc
Send In The Clowns               Unreleased: Home Mini-Disc
Amazing Grace                     Unreleased: Home Mini-Disc

The tape was not part of the Barcelona collection because the Barcelona material was recorded on reel-to-reel. This material was just recorded on a bog standard home cassette tape, therefore I deduce that the two unconnected
The tracks are all piano instrumentals and do not conatain any banter or other external clues.

The fact that the tape came from Freddie is undisputed.
The fact that it was sold as genuine is also undisputed.
The fact the source was close to Freddie - so did not need to sell a 'fake' - is undisputed.
I do not know if the tracks are improvised, or sight-read.
There are certainly very few mistakes - even though it was recorded 'live' as it were, so the pianist does have some modicum of talent.

So it boils down to this - although everything checks out as 'kosher', (c20 years down the line and being far more cynical) how do I know the tracks were recorded by Freddie himself - and not Mike Moran, Peter Straker, or even someother household staff like Pheobe - or even Jim Hutton himself?

The tracks are from show-tunes.
I know Freddie was gay - but was 'musical theatre - a really big 'gay' thing back then too?

So is anyone experienced enough to tell the difference between Freddie's technique - and that of another pianist?



"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
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Posted: 12 Jul 09, 17:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Just to be clear, my comment was not directed at JSS but at another forum member.


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Posted: 12 Jul 09, 17:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Pim Derks wrote:

Just to be clear, my comment was not directed at JSS but at another forum member.

Do you mean TRS?








[QUOTE][QUOTENAME]innuendo1990 wrote: [/QUOTENAME]



im losing weight[/QUOTE]
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Posted: 12 Jul 09, 18:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



 



Pim Derks wrote:



Just to be clear, my comment was not directed at JSS but at another forum member.


That's OK Pim - as I did not think it was.

However, if another forum member has a copy of the same tape, does that mean that the existance of one idependantly collaborates the authenticity of the other? I really don't know.

I guess what I am really asking is - what are the undisputable identifiable 'hallmarks' of Freddie's piano techniques - so I know for a surity that it is him playing?
(Personally I can not tell one pianist from another - but then again, I am not a musician or musically trained).

Authentic gold or silerwear is hallmarked as such.
Painter's can be identified by brush-strokes, writer's by the frequency and consistency of words or phrases.
Some musicians by the keys they write in.
So what made Freddie's playing - Freddie?

I know that it is difficult without being able to hear the piece - but if someone can come up with a list of 'fingerprints', then I can later post samples to see if they are actually there.



"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
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Posted: 12 Jul 09, 21:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Fred usually used his right hand for broken chords and built-in melody (e.g. the Keep Passing the Open Windows 'solo') and his left mostly for octave bass, with little to no arpeggios... that's why the Bach things are probably basic (e.g. French overture would sound brill with his phrasing), and his renditions of other tracks are probably chord-driven. His left-right interactions were nice but occasional (e.g. Leroy Brown), and his rhythm sense is quite distinctive.

The 'lazy hand' thing he did would definitely have an effect on the Bach works... I wonder how he did to pass Grade IV - either standards were lower back then or his technique was more formally-acceptable during his childhood and he became 'sloppier' in his twenties.



John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 12 Jul 09, 21:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Sebastian wrote:

Fred usually used his right hand for broken chords and built-in melody (e.g. the Keep Passing the Open Windows 'solo') and his left mostly for octave bass, with little to no arpeggios... that's why the Bach things are probably basic (e.g. French overture would sound brill with his phrasing), and his renditions of other tracks are probably chord-driven. His left-right interactions were nice but occasional (e.g. Leroy Brown), and his rhythm sense is quite distinctive.

The 'lazy hand' thing he did would definitely have an effect on the Bach works... I wonder how he did to pass Grade IV - either standards were lower back then or his technique was more formally-acceptable during his childhood and he became 'sloppier' in his twenties.

Would it be fair to say that Freddie had a 'clunky' technique?
(Not that I am saying he lacked finesse - rather his touch was not on the light side?)

Also drop me a PM - and I will send a sample of the Bach bit - when I get round to it.






"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
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Posted: 12 Jul 09, 22:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

When he wanted, he could be somewhat 'choppy' (e.g. Death on Two Legs intro, or some easy but very well-played scales he did to introduce some songs on stage), but most of the time he was more relaxed, especially when the style required so. Think about it as when people slur their speech when acting or being in a rush or drinking.



John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 13 Jul 09, 10:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



John S Stuart wrote:



 



Sebastian wrote:



Fred usually used his right hand for broken chords and built-in melody (e.g. the Keep Passing the Open Windows 'solo') and his left mostly for octave bass, with little to no arpeggios... that's why the Bach things are probably basic (e.g. French overture would sound brill with his phrasing), and his renditions of other tracks are probably chord-driven. His left-right interactions were nice but occasional (e.g. Leroy Brown), and his rhythm sense is quite distinctive.

The 'lazy hand' thing he did would definitely have an effect on the Bach works... I wonder how he did to pass Grade IV - either standards were lower back then or his technique was more formally-acceptable during his childhood and he became 'sloppier' in his twenties.


Would it be fair to say that Freddie had a 'clunky' technique?
(Not that I am saying he lacked finesse - rather his touch was not on the light side?)

Also drop me a PM - and I will send a sample of the Bach bit - when I get round to it.





I can certainly make no claims of being a musician, but I do remember that something is mentioned of Freddie's piano-playing technique on the DVD Freddie Mercury, Lover of Life...The Untold Story. The only thing I can recall for sure is something about him attacking the piano keys more from the front than holding his hands over them, if that makes any sense. I can't see that this would be of much help to you with just an audio recording, though there may have been something more helpful on the DVD. Not exactly a chore to watch it.







Everyone thinks his own fleas are gazelles.
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Posted: 14 Jul 09, 15:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



John S Stuart wrote:

Question concerning FM's Home recordings
http://www.queenzone.com/forums/1190356/question-concerning-fms-home-recordings.aspx

I just read the following thread with interest.
I could have written this answer there, but as this reply goes off on a tangent, I thought it may be a good idea to provide it with a life of it's own - so to speak.

To the point.

Sometime in the early 1990's not long after Freddie's death, I bought a home cassette tape from a certain gardener which I did not doubt as genuine. I have written about this in my 'Ultimate Collection' threads, but as a reminder:

Freddie Mercury: Jim Hutton Garden Lodge Piano Home Demos - 1988
Bach Prelude                        Unreleased: Home Mini-Disc
Send In The Clowns               Unreleased: Home Mini-Disc
Amazing Grace                     Unreleased: Home Mini-Disc

The tape was not part of the Barcelona collection because the Barcelona material was recorded on reel-to-reel. This material was just recorded on a bog standard home cassette tape, therefore I deduce that the two unconnected
The tracks are all piano instrumentals and do not conatain any banter or other external clues.

The fact that the tape came from Freddie is undisputed.
The fact that it was sold as genuine is also undisputed.
The fact the source was close to Freddie - so did not need to sell a 'fake' - is undisputed.
I do not know if the tracks are improvised, or sight-read.
There are certainly very few mistakes - even though it was recorded 'live' as it were, so the pianist does have some modicum of talent.

So it boils down to this - although everything checks out as 'kosher', (c20 years down the line and being far more cynical) how do I know the tracks were recorded by Freddie himself - and not Mike Moran, Peter Straker, or even someother household staff like Pheobe - or even Jim Hutton himself?

The tracks are from show-tunes.
I know Freddie was gay - but was 'musical theatre - a really big 'gay' thing back then too?

So is anyone experienced enough to tell the difference between Freddie's technique - and that of another pianist?

Hi, John Stuart!

How are you?

I'm so glad you're back. I enjoy your posts a lot.

Have you sorted it out?

Are you convinced that's Freddie or the doubt still lingers? :op

Take care!

Yara




Yara
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Posted: 15 Jul 09, 03:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



cacatua wrote:



 



John S Stuart wrote:



 



 



 



 



Sebastian wrote:



 



Fred usually used his right hand for broken chords and built-in melody (e.g. the Keep Passing the Open Windows 'solo') and his left mostly for octave bass, with little to no arpeggios... that's why the Bach things are probably basic (e.g. French overture would sound brill with his phrasing), and his renditions of other tracks are probably chord-driven. His left-right interactions were nice but occasional (e.g. Leroy Brown), and his rhythm sense is quite distinctive.

The 'lazy hand' thing he did would definitely have an effect on the Bach works... I wonder how he did to pass Grade IV - either standards were lower back then or his technique was more formally-acceptable during his childhood and he became 'sloppier' in his twenties.



 


Would it be fair to say that Freddie had a 'clunky' technique?
(Not that I am saying he lacked finesse - rather his touch was not on the light side?)

Also drop me a PM - and I will send a sample of the Bach bit - when I get round to it.





I can certainly make no claims of being a musician, but I do remember that something is mentioned of Freddie's piano-playing technique on the DVD Freddie Mercury, Lover of Life...The Untold Story. The only thing I can recall for sure is something about him attacking the piano keys more from the front than holding his hands over them, if that makes any sense. I can't see that this would be of much help to you with just an audio recording, though there may have been something more helpful on the DVD. Not exactly a chore to watch it.








But those melodies on that documentary were played by another guy or what do you refer to?





You ain't seen nothing 'till your down on the muffin...;)
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Posted: 15 Jul 09, 03:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



John S Stuart wrote:

.

Sometime in the early 1990's not long after Freddie's death, I bought a home cassette tape from a certain gardener which I did not doubt as genuine.




I think it is so sad of Jim Hutton to sell those intimate moments shortly after Freddie's death. Really sad. Why? For the money? I just dont understand that.






You ain't seen nothing 'till your down on the muffin...;)
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Posted: 15 Jul 09, 10:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



 



Sunshine wrote:



 



 



 



 



cacatua wrote:



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



John S Stuart wrote:



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



Sebastian wrote:



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



Fred usually used his right hand for broken chords and built-in melody (e.g. the Keep Passing the Open Windows 'solo') and his left mostly for octave bass, with little to no arpeggios... that's why the Bach things are probably basic (e.g. French overture would sound brill with his phrasing), and his renditions of other tracks are probably chord-driven. His left-right interactions were nice but occasional (e.g. Leroy Brown), and his rhythm sense is quite distinctive.

The 'lazy hand' thing he did would definitely have an effect on the Bach works... I wonder how he did to pass Grade IV - either standards were lower back then or his technique was more formally-acceptable during his childhood and he became 'sloppier' in his twenties.



 



 



 



 



 



 



 


Would it be fair to say that Freddie had a 'clunky' technique?
(Not that I am saying he lacked finesse - rather his touch was not on the light side?)

Also drop me a PM - and I will send a sample of the Bach bit - when I get round to it.





I can certainly make no claims of being a musician, but I do remember that something is mentioned of Freddie's piano-playing technique on the DVD Freddie Mercury, Lover of Life...The Untold Story. The only thing I can recall for sure is something about him attacking the piano keys more from the front than holding his hands over them, if that makes any sense. I can't see that this would be of much help to you with just an audio recording, though there may have been something more helpful on the DVD. Not exactly a chore to watch it.








But those melodies on that documentary were played by another guy or what do you refer to?



I wasn't referring to anything recreated on the DVD, but to a statement that someone made about the way Freddie played the piano which, after writing that here, I was just noticing on the Rock Montreal DVD last night where they had a sideways view of him playing. He doesn't usually hold his hands over the keyboard, but attacks it from in front of the keys in a distinctive way. It is not something that would mean anything to me if I hadn't heard that statement on the Lover of Life DVD. I think Freddie's piano teacher was interviewed on it too, though the statement I'm talking about was I think made by someone else. I'd have to watch it again and look for it, as I wouldn't know where to look for it on the DVD, and I have no idea if it is of any value for this topic, nor do I remember if anything else was mentioned about his piano playing that would be helpful. This just stuck in my head for some reason. There were a number of people who knew Freddie who were contributing their memories on the DVD. It is also possible/probable that Freddie might have played somewhat differently when he wasn't on stage performing in a high-energy show.








Everyone thinks his own fleas are gazelles.
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Posted: 15 Jul 09, 18:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

You know what? I was at my workbench all afternoon so thought I would go through the Freddie Mercury, Lover of Life DVD and find this statement about his playing technique and see if anhything else was said, and unless my mind wandered at the wrong time, it isn't on there. I went through the whole set and didn't find it. Now I'm totally puzzled as to where I heard it, or wondering if I read it somewhere, though I've not done much reading of late. I was just sure it was on the DVD.

Sorry Folks, I guess I'm fulla crap as to the source.


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Posted: 16 Jul 09, 07:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The part about Freddie's piano playing style is on the Night At The Opera DVD if I'm not mistaken. I don't know which song segment though, I havent't checked.

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Posted: 16 Jul 09, 08:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ah yeah now i know what you mean.

Freddie's playing was very distinctive and yes, on the Opera dvd, Brian is talking about the preciseness of Freddie's playing. Technically, i dont consider Freddie as someone outstanding but the way he played was very original so to speak.

I remember being on piano lessons as a kid and the teacher kept on repeating i should 'hold a mouse' in my hand while playing and not like Freddie is playing in Montreal:)

And he turned out to become big with it and i am unknown..

I am going to sue that teacher...!


You ain't seen nothing 'till your down on the muffin...;)
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Posted: 16 Jul 09, 10:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Sunshine wrote:

Ah yeah now i know what you mean.

Freddie's playing was very distinctive and yes, on the Opera dvd, Brian is talking about the preciseness of Freddie's playing. Technically, i dont consider Freddie as someone outstanding but the way he played was very original so to speak.

I remember being on piano lessons as a kid and the teacher kept on repeating i should 'hold a mouse' in my hand while playing and not like Freddie is playing in Montreal:)

And he turned out to become big with it and i am unknown..

I am going to sue that teacher...!

LOL - Well that's sort of what I was thinking of, so maybe dementia hasn't set in after all!





Everyone thinks his own fleas are gazelles.