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Topic: Outstanding Waldstein performances  (Read 1425 times)

Offline ravelmaniac

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Outstanding Waldstein performances
on: July 04, 2005, 03:53:52 AM
         What makes for a uniquely oustanding Waldstein sonata performance? I know this is a vague question, but I'm learning the piece for my conservatory auditions, and I know its often played.  Any comments? Thanks.

Offline steinwayguy

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Re: Outstanding Waldstein performances
Reply #1 on: July 04, 2005, 03:57:35 AM
Well it's a bad piece for conservatory auditions. All they're going to listen to is the first minute, so they'll end up hearing you play some repeated chords, a couple scales and an arpeggio or two. But! It needs to be as exciting as possible- a rhythmic vitality and huge dynamic contrast are two of the things that will help you stand out.

Offline thalberg

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Re: Outstanding Waldstein performances
Reply #2 on: July 04, 2005, 04:01:37 AM
Well, I heard Murray Perahia teach a master class on this piece.  He gave a lot of attention to the sound of the opening theme.  I guess it can sound like a jackhammer if you're not careful.

I really think if you can play the opening theme really softly (which few people can manage), with lots of energy and good sound quality, and not make it sound like road construction, you're on the right track.  One memory is really hazy, so take it with a grain of salt--I think he said something about grouping those repeated chords in twos.


Offline ludwig

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Re: Outstanding Waldstein performances
Reply #3 on: July 04, 2005, 05:28:56 AM
I agree with the above comments, I would also say to observe the musical directions very carefully for all Beethoven sonatas, do what it says and don't do anything dramatic it doesn't say. Precision in Waldstein is important in every aspect, and think of the general phrases which will carry and shape your playing, especially repeated notes and chords... Know where the important melodic lines are within chordal and arpeggiated sections, don't play all the notes the same, give sufficient bass at times, but make it clean, clarity's important :) goodluck
"Classical music snobs are some of the snobbiest snobs of all. Often their snobbery masquerades as helpfulnes... unaware that they are making you feel small in order to make themselves feel big..."ÜÜÜ

Offline pianonut

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Re: Outstanding Waldstein performances
Reply #4 on: July 04, 2005, 08:08:19 AM
i really liked the comments too, and the idea about rhythmic vitality.  having a masterclass from murray perhia must have been great!  laughed about the road construction and jackhammer stuff, but so true!  you practice it over and over (to get all the way through) at the same tempo with the metronome, and then finally have to get it fast enough to 'make sense.'  once you're playing it as fast as you need to, it finally soars on it's own.  don't give up before you get it off the ground.  precision CAN be very hard in certain sections (so really work them).  esp trills.

lastly, i learned you can change fingering to make things easier on yourself.  playing the piano doesn't have to look and sound hard.  the more you make it look easy and are relaxed, the better you will play.  fingering that allows for speed and no hops in between.  say, at measure 239 last beat, my book called for using the fourth finger.  i preferred to used my fifth and then on the first beat in 240 to use my third - and going back up to the C with complete 321,212345.  then i did what used to be a no no in my mind.  i crossed the 5 with 4 and used 432 on D C B nat. (at the same time as crossing - move hand over slightly).  this seems to have helped me play the passage smoother, faster, and better.  just a little change.

also, you'll come to a 'roadblock' (excepting the fact, they probably will stop you before this section) at mm. 154, 155.  i use in the rh 54321234543212345 321432132143212)  and, mm. 164 rh second beat 5432123454321234543212345 321432132143212)  to me, the advantage is speed.

mm. 183 in the last mov't. is another roadblock to speed.  in the lh you'll see finger 2 used twice for A-flat and B-nat.  i use 4 on the B-natural (454321 54321 323454 323454 54321 54321 323454 323454)  this makes it faster for me.  please excuse if i got any fingerings off, but yo get the idea.  using the whole hand (flat) makes you play much faster than sticking in fingering that trip you up.




do you know why benches fall apart?  it is because they have lids with little tiny hinges so you can store music inside them.  hint:  buy a bench that does not hinge.  buy it for sturdiness.
 

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