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Topic: Should I start this piece?  (Read 8499 times)

Offline persona

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Should I start this piece?
on: June 07, 2007, 07:20:03 PM
I love the fourth movement of Debussy's Suite Bergamasque (Passepied), but I'm not that advanced a performer. I'd say I'm around level 5 or 6 out of 9 (CPE Bach's Solfeggieto level). The thing is, I found the sheet music on a web page that classified it as level 5/9, but it sounds far more difficult. Those of you who know it, what do you think? Are my ears tricking me, or should I leave this piece for later?
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Offline shingo

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Re: Should I start this piece?
Reply #1 on: June 07, 2007, 07:46:28 PM
Although I do not know the peices well enough to give you a specific answer, generally what I have found is that sometimes the challenge coupled with natural love for the peice is a refreshing playing experience and will more often that not make up for the grade difference. This can be very satisfying once completed and give you a broader playing range afterwards now feeling more confident. However it is very easy to start out on something like this and end up spoiling the peice for yourself, and thus it is sometimes better waiting. Just be careful in evaluating the leap, others will be able to advise you about this I would have thought but if you think you can do it go for it. I am sure you are aware of both of these but I just thought i'd have my say.

Offline dnephi

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Re: Should I start this piece?
Reply #2 on: June 07, 2007, 07:54:40 PM
You will very likely butcher the piece and waste your time.

I've done it myself,

Dan

Edit:

I'm ashamed of myself after seeing someone else be helpful AND realistic.

Thanks.
For us musicians, the music of Beethoven is the pillar of fire and cloud of mist which guided the Israelites through the desert.  (Roughly quoted, Franz Liszt.)

Offline counterpoint

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Re: Should I start this piece?
Reply #3 on: June 07, 2007, 08:03:57 PM
I love the fourth movement of Debussy's Suite Bergamasque (Passepied), but I'm not that advanced a performer. I'd say I'm around level 5 or 6 out of 9 (CPE Bach's Solfeggieto level). The thing is, I found the sheet music on a web page that classified it as level 5/9, but it sounds far more difficult. Those of you who know it, what do you think? Are my ears tricking me, or should I leave this piece for later?

I would suggest to try the Passepied. If it turns out to be too difficult, you could play some pieces from Children's Corner, which are a bit easier than Suite bergamasque.
If it doesn't work - try something different!

Offline persona

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Re: Should I start this piece?
Reply #4 on: June 07, 2007, 09:15:22 PM
That's the thing, counterpoint. I can play Doctor Gradus Ad Parnasum moderately well, and it's graded 6 on this website. And Passipied is graded 5, but my common sense tells me it's far more difficult.

I have butchered pieces in the past (dnephi) and spoiled them for myself (my lack of common sense and the inaccuracy of this website are both to blame). I know that's a terrible thing to do and yet, no begginer that I know of can help falling for that. This is why I'm asking...

I mean, for the love of god, how on earth am I supposed to play, among other things, this: (RH, all lagato)

Offline pianowolfi

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Re: Should I start this piece?
Reply #5 on: June 07, 2007, 09:30:31 PM
To me "Passepied" is a very delicate and very challenging masterpiece and requires a lot of experience to perform it accurately. Especially the staccato and legato at the same time and the very subtle dynamic changes. Playing 3 against 4 should be mastered completely before starting on this. I think the most "easy" one of this Suite is "Clair de Lune", though a bit overplayed, a very beautiful piece.

Offline nightingale11

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Re: Should I start this piece?
Reply #6 on: June 07, 2007, 09:45:23 PM
The grade of the piece doesn't matter because it says nothing of the piece. A bach piece graded 8 will require a much different technique from a let's say a romantic piece like the chopin etudes/preludes. Then technique may not be the matter here-- the difficulty may lie in memorisation and interpretion etc.

The only thing that matters when playing a piece from a composer that is not among his/her easier pieces is your experience with that composer(in that case you may want to try some of the easier pieces first-if you like them),
Your motivation to learn it(extremly important- if you are not interested in playing it you will never ever be able to play it well)
and thirdly the way you encounter the piece. You should do a thourogh analysis of the piece and memorise the sound of the whole piece - decide on the correct interpretation(in short, mental playing). Then organise the learning sequence, dividing the piece into practice sessions etc. After you do that learn it by practice correctly and effiecient.

For More on how to do that:

https://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,5767.msg56133.html#msg56133
(huge collection of links)

https://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php/topic,9159.msg92755.html#msg92755
(m1469s index of the forum)

Offline amelialw

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Re: Should I start this piece?
Reply #7 on: June 08, 2007, 01:03:40 AM
"That's the thing, counterpoint. I can play Doctor Gradus Ad Parnasum moderately well, and it's graded 6 on this website. And Passipied is graded 5, but my common sense tells me it's far more difficult."

what do you mean by moderately well?define it. I've learnt Doctor Gradus Ad Parnasum  to perfection and it is'nt that easy a piece. According to the rcm syllabus both are Grade 10 RCM pieces. They both teach you different skills. So Passepied might not be that hard, it just poses a different kind of challenge.
J.S Bach Italian Concerto,Beethoven Sonata op.2 no.2,Mozart Sonatas K.330&333,Chopin Scherzo no.2,Etude op.10 no.12&Fantasie Impromptu

Offline persona

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Re: Should I start this piece?
Reply #8 on: June 08, 2007, 02:35:29 AM
amelialw:

I mean, if I'm well rested and warmed up, I can get all the notes right at regular tempo, with some modest attempt of phrasing it somehow close to what it's supposed to sound like (stressing the right voices). Of course, I'm well aware I'm no professional who will phrase the music exactly the way he wishes 100% of the times he plays, but I can make each note sound close enough (according to my standards). That's why I say I can play it moderately well.

pianowolfi:

let me tell you, I master staccato against legato pretty well, but I've never even dared try and play any piece that included a "3 against 4" passage. This would be my very first.

Offline debussy symbolism

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Re: Should I start this piece?
Reply #9 on: June 08, 2007, 06:15:12 AM
Greetings

I noticed that you mentioned how you want to be able to play this piece because you like it. To me this is important, should you strive to play something beautifully and as intended by the composer or style, or just play the notes. If you are in for the latter, and I hope you are not, then feel free to start the piece, even in in little sections, and learn all or most of the notes correctly. If however, you are striving to execute the wonderful music, you also have to consider not only the notes, but the sound behind the notes. After all, this is Debussy, and you have to watch out for the nuances, the colour, the shading, and the pedal work is just as thorough as the finger work, so mastering the notes only will not make the piece sing.

However I really see nothing wrong with striving for challenging pieces, just don't spend all of your time on it. Take it by sections and learn the notes first, of course.

Offline ryan2189

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Re: Should I start this piece?
Reply #10 on: June 08, 2007, 01:22:28 PM
I have played the Passepied before, and I also learned it with the same mindset that you mentioned in your posts. At the time, Passepied was by far the most difficult piece I was attempting. I made a promise that in three months I would have it ready to play at a concert. Since I knew I had a goal to work towards (combined with a great passions for the piece) I believed that I could play it well. One thing that you must look out for is the interpretation, however. Just a few days ago, I reviewed a tape of me playing that piece at the concert that I just mentioned. Now almost a year and a half later, I thought that I had a pretty mediocre performance. If I went back to that piece now, I would probably be able to perform it again without error in terms of both notes and interpretation. But when I learned it before, I gave my all by breaking it down into practice sessions and so on. I followed that routine very diligently. What I am trying to say is that you can learn this piece now and definitely be able to get through it. But just keep in mind that some minor aspects of the piece may suffer if you feel that this is a large leap for you. But do not let it prevent you from learning the piece by any means. Anything is always worth a try.  :D
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