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How to Prepare for a Piano Competition – an Interview with Mariam Batsashvili

Soon after the 10th International Franz Liszt Competition Utrecht, Piano Street’s guest writer Alexander Buskermolen spoke to its most recent winner: the Georgian 21 year old pianist Mariam Batsashvili. The main theme for this interview with the first female winner of this particular competition in The Netherlands: how to prepare for a competition and what happens if you win? Mariam Batsashvili should know. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Schumann-what it takes  (Read 3669 times)
verywellmister
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« on: June 16, 2006, 06:32:03 PM »

I have never done German music like Schumann before and I may learn one of his pieces in the near future, but what makes his music difficult? 
I have heard some people use heavy rubato or tempo changes throughout his pieces and some who don't.  This really puzzles me.  Could someone give me an example of a schumann interpreter?  Thanks.
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i thought i heard my washing machine playing Ondine
Mozartian
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2006, 07:12:12 PM »

Clara Haskil and Cortot play beautiful Schumann, as does Gilels. I will also admit to liking a lot of Pollini's Schumann as well. Argerich plays some good Schumann (her recordings of his chamber works are particularly wonderful). Cziffra rules at Schumann- he plays an AMAZING op. 26 Carnaval, and also check out the Schumann recordings of Kempff, Horowitz, Rubinstein, Demus, and Alvanis. The (unfortunately very few) recordings of Schumann that Kapell and Lipatti made are divine, and Fiorentino's Schumann is unbelievably satisfying- oh to play like he did...

Schumann is very flexible, I think his works are really open to a lot of different interpretations. Just think the pieces through, develop a vision of your own of them- I feel that they're very literary in a sense, and once I realized that it was much easier for me to interpret the pieces.

The notes themselves are often awkward and unpianistic to play, so be forewarned. You definitely will have to experiment with fingerings when learning his works. His works tend to have a lot of layers, and it can be difficult to bring the several layers out just right. It's a bit too easy to overpedal and lose the layers, resulting in an unpleasant mushy mess. So pedaling is also key- really listen to yourself playing, make sure you're playing it as you hear it in your head.

Enjoy your foray into German music! It's definitely my favorite musical nation. Smiley

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[lau] 10:01 pm: like in 10/4 i think those little slurs everywhere are pointless for the music, but I understand if it was for improving technique
thierry13
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2006, 03:24:15 AM »

Enjoy your foray into German music! It's definitely my favorite musical nation. Smiley

Mine is russian Smiley Cheesy
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