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Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1 (Read 14757 times)

Offline rachfan

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Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
« on: June 24, 2006, 07:23:45 PM »
Schubert--a transitional composer standing astride Viennese Classicism and Romanticism.

Update: I deleted the CD cut (438 downloads) and replaced it with the original tape recording for better fidelity.
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

piano sheet music of Impromptu


Offline piano121

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #1 on: June 26, 2006, 02:47:11 PM »
Well, very nice recordings. Iīm very fond of Schubertīs music. This pieces, along with the other impromptus, are such wolderfull exemples of perfection of form.

Offline rachfan

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #2 on: June 27, 2006, 12:38:47 AM »
Hi Piano 121,

Thanks so much for your nice comment on my playing.  It makes my day!  My sense is that Schubert doesn't have as large an audience as say Bach, Chopin or Liszt.  His music is often quite personal.   For that reason it's sometimes harder to formulate an interpretation of a Schubert piece.  You really have to live with it for awhile to gain some insights.  To be honest, I've never fancied myself a Schubert player--I'm more comfortable with Rachmaninoff and Ravel--but others have also told me that they thought I do a good job with Schubert's music, so maybe I should study more of that repertoire in the future.  I recorded some of the Moments Musicaux, and I could upload one or more of those too.  Thanks again!

RachFan
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Offline piano121

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #3 on: July 01, 2006, 03:14:30 PM »
Hi RachFan

I have listened to the other Schubert stuff oyu recently posted here. I must say itīs all beautifull stuff. You play it very well. Iīm just learning my firts Schubert piece now, and think he is one of the greatest composers of all. Interesting that he got under rated during his life time, but his music is just astonishing. Keep it up mate!

Offline rachfan

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #4 on: July 01, 2006, 10:44:59 PM »
Thanks, Piano 121,

I really appreciate your feedback on my playing of Schubert's Moments Musicaux.  Schubert was truly a transitional composer, falling between Viennese Classicism and Romanticism.  I'd probably categorize Beethoven's middle and later piano works as transitional too.  Listening to these two composers, they clearly aren't Mozart or Chopin either--definitely in between on the style continuum in a category all by themselves.   That's one thing that makes their music so interesting.  Good luck on studying that Schubert piece you mentioned.

RachFan
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Offline arielpiano

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #5 on: July 03, 2006, 05:49:02 AM »
Very nice playing!
I like your version. I do agree with piano121 that Schubert is one of the TOP best composers ever. I think you play it too slow, and when you need to play loud I think you should play a little louder. In principle, excellent!

Offline piano121

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #6 on: July 03, 2006, 09:20:23 PM »
yes, you did very well. The moment musicaux, are beautifully played, also your rach stuff, and the other 5higs you post here are very good. You got a very good level. congrats! how long have you being studying? I just started opus 90 n2, hope to post it here in the future. sheers!

Offline rachfan

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #7 on: July 03, 2006, 11:00:32 PM »
Hi arielpiano,

Thanks for your encouraging words on Schubert.  Tempo markings fall into ranges as you know, and often depend on taste and interpretation--which include some subjectivity to be sure.  But aside from that, I'm really glad you enjoyed listening.  Thanks very much!
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Offline rachfan

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #8 on: July 03, 2006, 11:20:14 PM »
Hi piano121,

I'm happy that you had a chance to sample some of my other recordings apart from Schubert.

On your question, starting at age 8, I studied with my first teacher, the late Nancy DeFrancesco Oliva, a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, who had studied with Miklos Schwalb, David Barnett, and Albion Metcalf among others.  She was an inspiring teacher.  Every year I entered the ajudicated National Piano Playing Auditions sponsored by the National Guild of Piano Teachers (American College of Music).  For me that culminated in the Paderewski Gold Medal and a the High School Diploma, also awarded by the National Guild.   During senior year of high school, I also participated in the North Shore Piano Teachers Competition at the New England Conservatory of Music and was a finalist, so was priviledged to perform in the Finalists Recital at Boston University.  Immediately after graduation I gave my own solo recital.   

But...  thereafter I didn't go on to a conservatory or university school of music, instead opting for a liberal arts education, followed by two business degrees.  But I never lost my love for the piano.  Some years later though, I spent 7 years studying privately with another wonderful artist-teacher, Michael Kramer, who had an Master's in Performance and who was a student of Anthony di Bonaventura at the Boston University School of Music at the time.  That period of study was very beneficial for me.  I learned a great deal more about musicianship and interpretation from him, and owe him a great debt.  So for me, piano has never been a vocation, but instead an avocation.  Thus, I remain just an amateur, but a serious one.   :) 

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Offline piano121

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #9 on: July 05, 2006, 05:02:35 PM »
Wow, you are very talented. you got a respectable repertoire, and play very well. good to sse people like this. I got back to study piano after a long pause, you and other people that can play so nicely, even thought not beeing pros, are a big enconragement to me. Hope to, some day, be on your shoes! :)

Offline rachfan

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #10 on: July 06, 2006, 12:29:58 AM »
Hi piano121,

On your "pause", I had a pause of 20 years between teachers!  But at the first lesson with my second teacher, I felt like there had been no pause at all.  So I know you'll do fine with your new round of studies.  And if you've drawn encouragement from me from hearing me play, then I'm very glad I posted my recordings here--it makes it all worthwhile for me knowing that.  Thanks!

David
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Offline piano121

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #11 on: July 11, 2006, 03:02:18 PM »
Hi David!

All right, thanks for the encouragement words. Actualy Iīm enjoying a lot geting back to study piano. I finaly managed to find myself a good teacher. That makes all the diference. I m studing new repertoire, but, i feel the old repertoire, slowly reapearing from the ashes....lots of fun....hahaha.... Anyway, I enjoy a lot your recs. Keep posting! :)


Offline rachfan

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #12 on: July 11, 2006, 11:20:43 PM »
Hi Piano121,

Great to hear you've found a fine teacher!  Formal study is very motivating as you know, because you need to practice diligently, be prepared for upcoming lessons, and show constant progress as you learn.  Yes, a pianist can certainly study alone, but the discipline and criticism that comes with exploring repertoire with a teacher is both stimulating and valuable.  Good luck with that!   :) 
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline arbisley

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #13 on: July 12, 2006, 06:14:21 PM »
Hi rachfan!
I remember this piece from when my cousin played it about3 years ago, and it's wonderful to be able to have a good recording of this piece. I have never played or heard any Schubert apart from this, but it's interesting to hear your marvellous interpretation of it, even though you say you're more of a Rachmaninov/Ravel type of person. I think I'm more or less in the same boat, enjoying particularly russian and french late romantic composer's such as Debussy, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev. I have not yet had the opportunity myself to study a particularly broad repertoire of piano music, but this will surely help towards my understanding of Beethoven and suchlike.
Many thanks indeed,
Anthony Schneider

Offline rachfan

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #14 on: July 13, 2006, 02:31:07 AM »
Hi Anthony,

Thanks for your kind words on my Schubert!  I'm glad you enjoyed it.  You may have already noticed it, but if not, I also posted another Impromptu, Op. 142, No. 2 over on page 2 of the Forum.  That impromptu has a different feel to it entirely, but is equally enjoyable.  You might like it.   

Yes, like you, I'm really more at home with Russian and French music.  When it comes to the Germanic repertoire, I seem to have that good connection to Schubert and some of Schumann.  I'd be the first to admit though that I'm not much of a Brahms exponent, even though I love to hear others play his music.  Because he thought so orchestrally, sometimes his composing seems not very pianistic to me (although Brahms was a wonderful pianist) to the point where the figuration sometimes strikes me as being awkward.  I've done a number of his short works and have his Ballades, Op. 10 on my "to do" list, but might leave it at that. 

Feeling the strong pull of Neo-Romantic music as long as I can remember, I'm more motivated to do some Scriabin now, so might concentrate my efforts there for awhile.   Unfortunately, I have very limited practice time, so that constrains progress.

Happy listening here at the Forum!           
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline arbisley

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #15 on: July 18, 2006, 02:31:02 PM »
Well, although you say you have limited time to practice, I'm impressed by the number of pieces you've submitted in such a short space of time! Actually, what I was coming to was that I actually unearthed my old scores the other day, and discovered that I had played Schubert before, the 3rd impromptu. No doubt you also know this piece! I was thinking how it was so peculiarly different from the other two if I'm not mistaken, since it seems to have more pedalling and a generally more "Chopinesque" effect, compared to the very clear cut, precise 1st and second impromptus. Since I plan to play this piece for my coming diploma, would it be possible for you to send me some advice on the interpretation?
Many thanks again for all the great recordings!

Offline rachfan

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #16 on: July 19, 2006, 12:20:09 AM »
Hi arbisley,

On the number of pieces posted in a short amount of time, the recording were done over a period of years, not all at once.   :)  Thanks a lot for listening to so many of them.  I really appreciate it!

On the Schubert Impromptus, I only studied the two I posted here, Op. 90, No. 1 in C and the other opus continue four impromtus as well, Op. 142, No. 2 in A flat. 

I assume you're referring to No. 3 from Op. 90 in G flat.  Again, I probably have just cursory ideas, having not studied it.  But here are some thoughts anyway:

Above all, this piece demands attention to the melodic line which is cantabile or bel canto.  So shape the phases and longer lines accordingly.  Sense of direction is important in Schubert.  As the RH is effecting a careful legato touch to support the cantabile melody, there is also accompaniment within the RH.  The LH is primarily, but not completely, harmonic in nature.  So this piece is really composed in layers.  You have the melody in the foreground, sextuplet figuration in the same hand that needs to be like a very serene, rippling "lake effect" which MUST be kept in the background.  You also need to strive for perfect evenness in executing those sextuplets, which all begin with a rest.  And finally the bass which is largely harmonic, requires proper balancing the two hands.  So you need to think of this piece as being constructed like a sandwich with three layers in which you will carefully layer the dyanmics.  I would certainly highlight the melody, then, within proper balance, give the LH harmonies second place, and the on-going filagree least emphasis as distant background.     

Note that the dynamic through much of the score is pp and sometimes ppp.  It's not easy to play an entire piece that quietly, except for a sforzando here or there.   Watch the dynamic markings like a hawk, including the cresc.-decresc. markings.  This will bring about needed differentiation in volume and mood.  Doing due diligence with this shading will enable you to create more variety to keep your listeners from dozing off in the quietude! 

Notice too there are some short scalar passages.  For example, look at measure 3 in the RH.  Scales have a special place in music, so you need to bring them out--but not in an exaggerated way.  Rather, do it with clarity of touch always within the legato framework.   These can also occur in the LH.  Regarding the left hand double-note chords, I would usually voice the bottoms.  But look at measure 4 in the LH half note chords.  There I would voice the upper notes, since they're scalar, while the lower notes are performing only a harmonic function.

Measure 19, LH.  At the end of the trill, smoothly blend it into the two-note appogiatura and then into the downbeat of 20.  Start the trill on the lower note, as it is more customary practice for the period. 

Without having played the piece, it's hard for me to comment on pedaling.  Note that Schubert wrote ONE "Ped." marking at the very beginning of the piece, as if to give the performer permission, or maybe even full discretion to use it.  You can group same harmonic passages in a pedal, changing it as harmonies change.  Also you can use it to etch out the cantabile as needed.  In 7 you have scalar passing tones, so that calls for changes on the quarter notes there.  Most of the notation is midrange, or in the tenor and low treble, discounting the bass.  The very quiet dynamic will enable you to get away with more pedal, but not as much as if there was more music in the higher treble.  So you ear has to be the guide to ensure than your playing of this is clean where it needs to be.  In difficult spots, you can experiment with half pedals and lifting the pedal to half, or quarter level or fully to effectively clear any possibility of clashes.  Schubert has pretty much left you on your own in that regard.

Well, I don't know if that helps, but good luck to you in learning this piece!  It has a nice sound to it, and I'm sure you'll enjoy doing it.

Don't overlook the fermatas in 54.

Looking ahead to 74, you have a long cresc. there.  Spend it wisely!  76 is actually ffz at the top of the cresc.    Another one at 81.

Throughout the melodic line there are some forzando accents.  The first ones are at 25.  You might want to take a pencil and color those in as better visual cues so as not to miss them.  Notice in those two instances, they are over whole notes.  The purpose there is to help combat tone decay, thereby sustaining sound for the full value of the notes. 

David



   

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Offline arbisley

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #17 on: July 19, 2006, 11:09:11 AM »
Gosh! that will surely be extremely helpful!
there are just a few things I find rather disconcerting:
My copy tells me it is in G major! the descriptions you have given me certainly correspond to the same piece, but otherwise I also find that I cannot identify some of the bar numbers, as for example for the trill LH, which I have for the first time bar38! But actually, it seems to me that the indications just have to be multiplied by two for me to see them! Are your sextuplets semiquavers or quavers? and is it in 4/4?
Otherwise, I find that I can certainly use all of your comments without reference to particular bars, and that they will certainly be most useful! Also, what do you mean by "fermatas"?
I am actually rather uncertain wether this is the piece, since I only have a photocopy with the inscription "III-Andante", which I therefore took to be the 3rd Schubert imptomptu!
Well, it goes without saying that I am extremely thankful for all you advice!
Regards,
Anthony

Offline piano121

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #18 on: July 19, 2006, 05:44:57 PM »
Thatīs interesting. I have a Barenreiter edition containing all 8 Impromptus. Actualy, opus 90 n3 was originaly wrinte in G flat, instead of G. Actualy, the other version was made driven by an economic interest. Years later an editor chagend it to G, afraid that pianists would get scared by the G flat Key signature, and skip the piece.  :P

I didīnt know there was actualy one of these versions around these days!

here is the pdf! enjoy!

Offline rachfan

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #19 on: July 19, 2006, 11:52:43 PM »
Hi arbisley,

Yes, piano121 hit the nail on the head--unfortunately, you have a transposed edition there.  The reason, as he stated, is that G is a much easier key signature to read, so, therefore, the piece would be more accessible to amateurs, and, therefore, more saleable as sheet music.  Incidentally, the very same shananagans happened to Schumann's "Romance" Op. 28, No. 2 in F#.   That one, as I recall, was also transposed to G.  Back to the Schubert, I use the Henle edition.  I would recommend that you always study a piece in the key conceived by the composer.  Transposition can change the sound of the piece.  Some of us even believe that, for example, a piece written in D flat and played in C# will sound different somehow!  Also, you're always better off with an urtext edition than with a heavily edited edition.  That way you can see what the composer wrote on the score, not an editor, who might have also been a terrible editor.  I think many of my suggestions to you will still be of value though as you work on the piece. 
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline arbisley

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #20 on: July 20, 2006, 06:07:52 PM »
Oh d***! Thanks for the pdf file! I'm slightly annoyed about that, maybe my teacher thought the original would be too hard for me when i played it about a year ago! But then, he also made me attempt Rachmaninoff's Moment musical No.3, which only had moderate succes! Anyway, that's what I was trying to say that I can still relate all your advice to the piece in some way. Many thanks again!
Anthony

Offline daniloperusina

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #21 on: July 21, 2006, 12:40:11 AM »
I cannot identify some of the bar numbers, as for example for the trill LH, which I have for the first time bar38! But actually, it seems to me that the indications just have to be multiplied by two for me to see them! Are your sextuplets semiquavers or quavers? and is it in 4/4?

I have both versions (but not here with me now), and if I remember correctly, the G version is in 4/4, but Schubert's original Gflat version is in 4/2 (or 2x4/4 and also "alla breve"), of course another concession o "amateurs" by the publisher...but that would explin why rachfan's bar 19 would be your bar 38!

Offline rachfan

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #22 on: July 21, 2006, 03:08:34 AM »
daniloperusina,

You are quite correct.  The time signature is two cut-time (alla breve) symbols similar to CC, and, of course, this equates to two whole notes per measure.   The tempo is marked andante.
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Offline arbisley

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #23 on: July 21, 2006, 09:50:09 AM »
yep, the's exactly true! well, I just have to get on and relearn the piece with 6 flats!
Adios amigos!
Anthony

Offline rachfan

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #24 on: July 21, 2006, 11:46:13 PM »
Hi arbisly,

The flats do present a bit of a challenge at first, but it's well worth the effort.  Good luck on that!  I know I really enjoyed playing this piece.

David
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Offline faj

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #25 on: December 19, 2006, 03:08:42 AM »
I 've downloaded this recording about a month ago and still like it a lot so I came here to say thank you ....
Sorry I cannot give any detail constructive comments since I haven't played this.
All I know just I like it a lot .... Thanks ...  :)

Offline arbisley

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #26 on: December 19, 2006, 11:45:09 AM »
I might as well add that I've since performed the Schubert impromptu No.3 many times (in Gflat) and that it's such a great piece to play.

And yes, same here, still loving the recording after so many listenings!

Offline rachfan

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Re: Schubert, Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 1
«Reply #27 on: December 20, 2006, 12:35:29 AM »
Hi Arbisley and faj,

Thanks so much to you both for your kind comments on my Schubert.  It had been relegated to the back pages of this forum for awhile, so I had lost track of it.  When it appeared tonight on the front page again, and I saw that over 900 people had clicked on it,  to say I was surprised would be an understatement!  I'm glad that you still enjoy my rendition after several hearings.  Sometimes I think that Schubert is a little underrated, and it's heartening to know here that he is in demand.

When I think of my playing, I usually consider Rachmaninoff and Ravel to be my stronger suits.  When I started recording some Schubert, I sent it to my first teacher of 10 years, and she was very enthusiastic.  At the time I wasn't exactly dismissive, but quite honestly didn't pay much attention.  She did mention that Schubert can sometimes be difficult to interpret, and that she thought I did a good job with it.  Then when this Impromptu drew several comments on this board, at the very least, it told me that I should study some more Schubert, which I will. 

This all leads me to believe that when we think we play a composer or two particularly well, others might perceive that another part of our repertoire is performed even better.   Thus, it makes me wonder, when thinking of professional artists who "specialize" in the music of certain composers: Perhaps in their early careers they were exponents of other composers, until consistent audience response to another segment of their repertoire convinced them otherwise, thereby bringing about a change in focus?  Who knows?

Thanks again for listening!

David



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