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Topic: Recital Repetoire  (Read 2322 times)

Offline Joseph_Hoffman

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Recital Repetoire
on: June 10, 2004, 03:59:06 PM
Hi,

I'm new here and I was wondering if you guys would be able to review the programme I have decided on for a recital I am giving at my local theatre.

In no particular order...

Scriabin: Etude Op. 2, no 1
                Etude Op. 8, no 2
                Poem Op. 32, no 1
                Poem Op. 72 (Vers La Flamme)

Chopin: Ballade no. 1
              Scherzo no. 2
              Ballade no. 4
              Mazurkas op. 17
              Any of the Etudes

Rachmaninoff: Elegy Op. 3, no. 1
                           Humoresque Op. 10, no.5
                           Prelude Op. 32, no 10
                           

Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 (Why not?)

The audience I am playing for will not really consist of many people who are attuned to classical music, so (with the exeption of Vers La Flamme) I have tried to choose repetoire that is not too challenging to listen to.

I would be greatly appreciative if any of you guys could suggest some sort of order for the programme (Note: not all works have to be included)

PPS: I can also play any of the 'old favorites' (ie. Liebestraum no. 3, Clair de Lune etc) if you think the repetoire will be too much for an unenlightened audience.

Offline Hmoll

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Re: Recital Repetoire
Reply #1 on: June 10, 2004, 07:04:43 PM
Quote


I'm new here and I was wondering if you guys would be able to review the programme I have decided on for a recital I am giving at my local theatre.

In no particular order...

Scriabin: Etude Op. 2, no 1
                Etude Op. 8, no 2
                Poem Op. 32, no 1
                Poem Op. 72 (Vers La Flamme)

Chopin: Ballade no. 1
              Scherzo no. 2
              Ballade no. 4
              Mazurkas op. 17
              Any of the Etudes

Rachmaninoff: Elegy Op. 3, no. 1
                           Humoresque Op. 10, no.5
                           Prelude Op. 32, no 10
                           

Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 (Why not?)

The audience I am playing for will not really consist of many people who are attuned to classical music, so (with the exeption of Vers La Flamme) I have tried to choose repetoire that is not too challenging to listen to.

I would be greatly appreciative if any of you guys could suggest some sort of order for the programme (Note: not all works have to be included)

PPS: I can also play any of the 'old favorites' (ie. Liebestraum no. 3, Clair de Lune etc) if you think the repetoire will be too much for an unenlightened audience.


It's a very unimaginative program. Almost everything is overplayed. Why don't you add something outsinde of romantic/late-romantic rep.?
There's tons of music that an audience "not attuned to classical music" could still enjoy.

Just a thought.
Good luck.
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

f0bul0us

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Re: Recital Repetoire
Reply #2 on: June 11, 2004, 01:44:20 AM
Quote


It's a very unimaginative program.

We all end up playing some of those at some point, and to be any kind of success you need to show that you can pull-off a few Chopin and Rachmaninoff pieces. If anything, he's smart for playing pieces that not only are "pleasing" to the ear, but make the transitions to other more difficult works a lot easier in upcoming recitals.

Good luck! ;D

Offline Hmoll

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Re: Recital Repetoire
Reply #3 on: June 11, 2004, 11:42:42 AM
Quote

We all end up playing some of those at some point, and to be any kind of success you need to show that you can pull-off a few Chopin and Rachmaninoff pieces. If anything, he's smart for playing pieces that not only are "pleasing" to the ear, but make the transitions to other more difficult works a lot easier in upcoming recitals.

Good luck! ;D


The program is unimaginative, not because it contains some overplayed pieces. It's unimaginative because it consists almost entirely of overplayed pieces. Also, it's not imaginative because the program seems thrown together.
Programming a recital takes some thought.
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline Saturn

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Re: Recital Repetoire
Reply #4 on: June 11, 2004, 01:15:14 PM
Quote


The program is unimaginative, not because it contains some overplayed pieces. It's unimaginative because it consists almost entirely of overplayed pieces. Also, it's not imaginative because the program seems thrown together.
Programming a recital takes some thought.


I have to agree.

Though the pieces are overplayed, they're all great pieces in their own right.  But I think a program like this would be tiring for me to listen to (and much more so for the audience you'll be performing for!).  It just lacks variety.  There are a lot of great pieces out there (where are the sonatas?).

If you're performing for an "unenlightened" audience, you might take this as an opportunity to educate them rather than merely giving them "unchallenging" pieces.  After all, if they're coming to your recital, it's to see something new and interesting.  That's not to say that you should pelt them with the entire Well-Tempered Clavier in one sitting.  But if you put some good pieces in your program, and give it some variety, then you may find that even people who think of classical music as boring may have developed a greater appreciation for it by the end of the recital.

Because, if you just seek to entertain, you might as well play a simple classical melody, and back it up with some techno beats.  Add some lyrics while you're at it.  Stage a light show, those fog machines, and some pyrotechnics.  There you go, a kickass show which anyone can appreciate.  No need to thank me, buddy, just cut me 20% and I'll be satisfied.

- Saturn

Offline Joseph_Hoffman

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Re: Recital Repetoire
Reply #5 on: June 11, 2004, 03:03:52 PM
Hi thanks for the insight,

On the whole I agree with what you all have said.
I am just a little worried that the rest of my current repetoir would simply be too much for the type of audience I am playing for.

Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Scriabin are my true loves
but I am a hue fan of the late, atonal, Scriabin as well as the music of Medtner and Berg and various other atonal and modern composers. (Carl Vine)

Also, while these pieces seem like overplayed warhorses to us, I can promise you that the majority of the audience will not have even heard of Rachmaninoff, let alone Scriabin.

Personally, I am not a huge fan of the time honoued tradition of playing a recital of chronological value .(ie. opening with Baroque works then moving on to classical works etc.) as I feel one still achieve a sucessful recital if the works are all based around a centeral theme.

Thanks for your input, I have taken it to heart and I offer this programme as a replacement. What do you think?

In no particular order (That is another question)

Scriabin: Etude Op. 2, no 1
                Etude Op. 8, no 2
                Poem Op. 32, no 1
                Poem Op. 72 (Vers La Flamme)
                (Sorry, can't live without these.)
                 'Black Mass' sonata
               
Chopin: Sonata no. 2
               Ballade no. 4 OR Ballade no. 1
               (I have to have at least one Ballade in.)

Balkeriev: Islamey

Alkan: 1st Mvt. of the Piano Symphony
     
Chua: Theme and 12 Deviations (no, not variations)

Rachmaninoff: Prelude in B minor Op. 32, no 10
(I really love this...sorry)

I know I am still very much dominated with the romantic repetoire but I really do feel that the merits of serialisim will be lost on the audience. (I may throw a piece by Berg in as an encore.)

Still, I do think that this programme migh simply be like too much chocolate. It is still a bit 'big' so to speak. Any sugesstions? I would really like to avoid the baroque and classical repetoire as I will be giving a recital early next year at the same venue of such works.

f0bul0us

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Re: Recital Repetoire
Reply #6 on: June 12, 2004, 01:23:03 AM
Programming a recital takes some thought.  

That's true, but what I think is that near the end of him finishing all these pieces he thought the best thing to do would be to play it in a recital. I'm sure that if he knew he was going to play in a recital ahead of time, and not just enter a recital because he got the pieces finished he would have a larger variety of composers in his repertoire. But (ugh, I promised I'd never start a sentence with a conjunction. In this case, however, there was no exit :() I don't know, maybe now (like most people when they enter the concert/recital league) he's just whipped by Chopin. :P

Good luck!  ;D

Offline Joseph_Hoffman

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Re: Recital Repetoire
Reply #7 on: June 12, 2004, 06:04:46 AM
I can also play all of the WTC as well as all of Mozart's sonatas and a few of Beethoven's sonatas.

But I really want this recital to be based around the romantic theme.

Offline shatteringpulse

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Re: Recital Repetoire
Reply #8 on: June 12, 2004, 07:24:29 AM
I like the bravura of looping Ballade in F minor, Islamey, and the Alkan. But, however insane I am, I'd have to disagree. And I'm beginning to question that if you can play three definite warhorses and musical revelations like those, then why on earth can't you construct a cohesive, interesting program or order of program?  :o

My first suggestion: Don't put Scriabin in the first half, especially since this is, as you say, an audience full of non-'classical' people. Sure, Etude 2/1 is pretty romantic and easy on the ears for the unprepared. But keep all of the Scriabin together, and definitely save it for last.

Ok, my suggestions:

First, I'd begin with a Beethoven sonata. Or even Mozart. But preferably Beethoven. Make sure you choose one that is essential a microcosm of your program, as a kind of introduction to the musical material. Beethoven seems conducive to this concept, since his sonatas cover so much of the human experience in musical terms. Or, if you feel uncomfortable with Beethoven, I'd definitely include, as I've suggested elsewhere, the first PF of Book I of the WTC. The C major tonality is incredibly non-threatening, and it serves the same purpose as opening a perfume flask of all the musical concepts to follow (theoretically). It's a skeleton of music itself. Or, if you don't want to inflict Bach, choose Chopin's Etude 10/1 also in C major. There's something absolutely comfortable and logical in starting in C major--because C major has so many friendly and open-ended characteristics. So choose something as a preamble--and plan the journey through the keys and the emotions. I think I've suggested this elsewhere, so please forgive me for being redundant! Heck, even Mozart's sonata for beginners would be an ideal preamble.

Now, after this, where do you want to go? Obviously the next logical choice will be determined by your end goal--and that is up to you. I would not actually program Islamey. It should be a treat, afterwards, for the audience and for you--if you do a job that warrants a weighty encore! Haha. I'd pick Black Mass, the Alkan, or the F minor Ballade. One should serve as the end of your first half, the other of your second, whichever you view as more your end goal rather than y our midway point. Honestly, I'd c hoose Black Mass at the very end, and F minor ballade to finish the first half. Unless y ou know the entire Alkan symphony--then, why the heck aren't you playing the entire thing in the second half???!

So now it becomes a matter of "building" to those pieces, both in terms of emotions, techniques, and tonalities. If we want to get to the F minor ballade, what should prepare us, in all ways? Of course some of Chopin's earlier works, along with the other romantics that fit the bill. ANd what of the second half? How do you build to Scriabin? Through Rachmaninoff, of course.


Here's my recommendation.  Take it for its worth. I admire Scriabin's work, but I'm a horrible Scriabin interpreter! You're lucky. Of course I'm awesome at Prokofiev's sonatas.  ;)

Bach: WTC Book I, PF No. 1

Chopin: Ballade in Gm (It begins on a C octave!)
             Scherzo in Bb (The minor third of Gm!)
           
Now here's where I would include a selection of Mazurkas and miscellaneous works. However, you run into program problems if you haven't played a major sonata like piece at this point. I suggest you play Pathetique in between Bach and Chopin. Or, to be less overplayed, I'd choose Beethoven's Op. 27, No. 1 in E-flat. A selection of pieces here would be ideal to break up the intensity, for you, the performer. Some of the later nocturnes would be fantastic. I can't make more recommendations without a knowledge of your repertoire.

And then you land at Chopin Ballade in F minor. Right here you should be a round 40-45 mins in, I imagine.

The second half is easy to construct, now. Start, of course, with Rachmaninoff. Play a selection of preludes or etudes, but none of the fantasy pieces by themselves. I'd suggest the following:

Rachmaninoff: Op. 16 No. 3 (The one in Bm)
                      Prelude in Bm
                      Etude-Tableau in Cm (op. 39, no. 7!)

Now you have unified the second half to the first. What does the end of the F minor ballade signify? These following pieces are all impressionistic of funeral marches and loss. Suited well after the terrifying coda of the F minor ballade. And they need not be honoring the death of one person--they just signify loss in general. And something is definitely lost by the protagonist of the F minor ballade. That's up to you to decide. What d o you do in the aftermath? In any event, the last etude lines you up well to begin experiencing Scriabin. I'd get ride of the etudes and only play the two poems Op. 32/1 and 72. However, I'd include the White Mass along with the Black Mass. In fact, you may want to do away with the poems altogether. And then you'd have a terribly unified program. The f minor ballade serves as fulcrum for the following half--it's about loss and what happens after the cataclysmic coda of the F minor ballade.

I wouldn't even offere an encore. It'd destroy the presentation, now t hat I think about it. You programs should be so finely constructed that an encore destroys their integrity and cohesion.

Best of luck, and tell us what you ultimately decide. I wish  I could play either o f the Masses convincingly!  :) ;D
--Shattering Pulse

Offline Joseph_Hoffman

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Re: Recital Repetoire
Reply #9 on: June 12, 2004, 05:53:32 PM
Hi Shatteringpulse,

Your post has been most informative. I have taken notice of what you have said and have put it to great thought.

BTW, as regards to your comment...

Quote
And I'm beginning to question that if you can play three definite warhorses and musical revelations like those, then why on earth can't you construct a cohesive, interesting program or order of program?  


My piano playing of the last decade or so has consisted of primarily locking myself in a room and working. The majority of public playing I have done has been on an informal basis and I have only just started to attempt scheduled recitals again. (The last time I played in public was at my son's graduation)

Anyway, the programme I am currently thinking about is this.

(In this order)

Bach/Tausig: Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor
(I am not totally convinced by the whole 'C Major thing' and I think that a favorite of the musically 'uneducated' public will provide an easy introduction to the concept of a piano recital)

Mozart: Sonata no. 13 in Bflat Major.

(These two will be tied to Chopin (they were his favorite composers)

Chopin: All four Ballades.
(This may seem a little too much at first but I feel that unity can be achieved by the exposition of a complete set. Ax played the complete scherzos at a concerto I went to and it worked very well!)

<INTERVAL>

Rachmaninoff: Complete Fantasy Pieces op. 3
                           Prelude in B minor Op 32, no 10

Scriabin: Etude op. 2, no 1
                Etude op. 8, no 12
                Vers La Flamme
                (I just can't bring myself to omit these.)
                Black Mass Sonata.
                 (I don't play the White Mass very well)

Either Islamey or Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 as an encore. (Remember, these people know nothing about 'classical' music and I feel that they may need some grounding after the atonality of Scriabin. Scriabin is certainly an aquired taste.

P.S. I will do some oral explination of the music I am playing in order to help the audience understand the Scriabin. (I am thinking of hooking up a colour projector that changes with the chord changes. You know of Scriabin's musical colour system I presume.
(A musical friend of mine can operate it.)


You see, I am even worried that the Mozart Sonata will be a little bit beyond them.

How does this sound?

f0bul0us

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Re: Recital Repetoire
Reply #10 on: June 12, 2004, 07:19:25 PM
Quote
I can also play all of the WTC as well as all of Mozart's sonatas and a few of Beethoven's sonatas.

Is anyone else starting to doubt his credibility? Could you please state your entire repertoire?

Offline Joseph_Hoffman

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Re: Recital Repetoire
Reply #11 on: June 12, 2004, 07:44:53 PM
Sir, (or madame as the case may be)

I am offended by your comment.

To what purpose would I lie?

I have been playing all my life (I am currently 58 years old) and I have devoted my life to the extension of my repetoire.

I know there are many young people on this forum and thus, many people assume that everyone here is young. My repetoire has been the work of a lifetime and I have reached a point at which I focus more on keeping my repetoire up to standard than continuing to expand it.

Seeing as you insist however:

Chopin:
4 ballades
4 scherzi
Barcarolle
Fantasie op. 49
All 14 waltzes
Complete Nocturnes
Complete Etudes
Sonata no 2
Most of the Mazurkas

Rachmaninoff:
Complete Op. 3 and Op. 10
Op. 25 no's 1,3,5,7
Op. 32 no's 1,2,10,12
Polka de V.R.
Kriesler Transcriptions
Schubert - Wohin transcription

Scriabin:
Sonatas no 1,3,5,7,9
The forementioned pieces
Complete preludes op. 11

Beethoven:
'Named' sonatas
Pathetique
Appasionata
Walstien
Tempest
Les Adeux
Moonlight
A collection of Early works

Alkan:
Symphony for solo Piano
Op. 38 no 1 and 4

Mozart:
All 19 Sonatas

Bach:
WTC books 1+2
Complete 2+3 part inventions
Sinfonias

Debussy:
Preludes

Berg:
Piano Sonata, Op.1

Schoenberg:
Six little piano pieces
Complete op. 33
Suite for Piano op. 25

Webern
Variations Op. 27

Balkeriev:
Islamey

Liszt:
Hungarian Rhapsodies no's. 2,6,10,13,14,15
Complete Consolations and Liebestraums
Selection of Paganini and Transendental etudes
(Not very well. I don't really like Liszt very much)

Plus much more (I can't remember, single works by composers, mostly obscure short works by obscure 20th century composers, or works I haven't played for years)

This may seem large to anyone just beginning their study of piano but when one has been around as long as I have and has applied oneself to their work, a repetoire like this is within easy reach. I am no great pianist but I do like hard work and have mastered the art of concentration. Just learn each piece one at a time and it does not seem so hard.

Note: I do not profess to play all of these works 'well' but they are all pieces that I can play to a 'finished' standard.

I am sorry if this seems to be unrealistic but I am somewhat hurt my your comment regarding my authenticity. I do appreciate the anonimity of the internet but do not see it to serve the purpose of liars.

I am interested, why would I lie about my ability to a group of people I will probably never interact with in the outside world? What feeling of achievement would I derive?

f0bul0us

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Re: Recital Repetoire
Reply #12 on: June 12, 2004, 07:52:01 PM
Quote
To what purpose would I lie?

I have been playing all my life (I am currently 58 years old) and I have devoted my life to the extension of my repetoire.

I know there are many young people on this forum and thus, many people assume that everyone here is young. My repetoire has been the work of a lifetime and I have reached a point at which I focus more on keeping my repetoire up to standard than continuing to expand it.


Ahhhhhhhhh! ok, lol. I thought you were one of those people that come here and "make-up" repertoire. My mistake!  ;D

Offline Joseph_Hoffman

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Re: Recital Repetoire
Reply #13 on: June 12, 2004, 08:13:53 PM
I forgive you.

I do admit that I didn't make myself totally clear at the beginning.
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