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5 Minutes on Franz Liszt’s Funérailles

Pianist Daniel Barenboim, now celebrating 75 years, has published a series of short videos titled “5 minutes on…” in which he discusses well-known piano pieces. In this episode he talks about Franz Liszt’s Funérailles from the piano cycle Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Recitals Vs Concerts  (Read 12935 times)
« on: February 04, 2004, 12:01:32 PM »

Okay you're running a private piano studio and you want to explain the difference between a recital and a concert.  (We're talking for students, not professionals)
What would you include in your explanation?
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2004, 01:42:13 AM »

The word concert comes from the Italian “Concerto” meaning together. Therefore a concert is really several musicians playing together (e.g. an orchestra, or a string quartet). A pianist playing solo piano pieces would not qualify as a concert because he is all alone.

However a pianist playing with an orchestra (“concert” for piano and orchestra), or with another instrument(s) (e.g. piano trios, or music for two pianos) would qualify for the concert label.

Even a number of performers on one evening playing solo pieces one after the other would not be a concert. For that they would have to play together. So a concert is basically a combination of different performers.

A recital on the other hand refers to an occasion when only one performer is present (although sometimes the word may be used for two performers  - like in violin sonatas). Most books will tell you that Liszt invented the recital. He was also the first one to use the word “recital” for his one-man shows. However, contrary to popular belief he was not the one to place the piano in a position so that his profile was most visible, Dusek was the one who did that (although he did not play one-man recitals, but only concerts). Contrary to nowadays recitals which are quite formal affairs, Liszt’s recitals were very informal: in between pieces he would mingle and chat with the audience.

I hope this helps,

Best wishes,
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The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2004, 05:10:53 AM »

Thank you Bernhard, i had a feeling there was a difference but couldn't find out for the life of me.  

Embarrassed I have to admit I've been using the words incorrectly.

I had no idea what the difference was, and all other teachers could tell me was, they're the same thing.
Around here, they usually use the word 'concert' but are presenting one student at a time

I've been using the word recital, but didn't really know why - it just didn't feel like a concert to me.

So great!  It just so happens that I was organising an end of year performance which I was going to call "Concert" and have my students play together (I teach piano, keyboard, singing, guitar and recorder) so I was going to make lots of groups of them.

Isn't it ridiculous, I knew what the word concerto meant,  and the concerto grossi etc, but it didn't click. :-/

Thanks for the reply Bernhard, you've made my day Smiley
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