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Topic: Post performance depression  (Read 4342 times)

Offline donjuan

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Post performance depression
on: June 18, 2004, 07:38:32 PM
I find after performances, I feel so miserable- I come home and dont feel motivated to do anything.  I feel sick of the piano, so I dont practice.  I also feel sick of people in general, so I want to be alone.  The feeling doesnt let up for about 2 days.  Does anyone else experience this depression after a performance?
donjuan

JK

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Re: Post performance depression
Reply #1 on: June 18, 2004, 07:52:07 PM
I have only ever had this feeling after playing one particular piece, Rach2. It had always been an ambition of mine to play this piece and it was the first full concerto that I learnt. There was a big build up to the concert and my friends were really excited and so was I. The concert went well and afterwards my friends, familly and teacher celebrated etc.etc. Then I woke up the next morning, not feeling brilliant anyway because I'd had too much free wine the following evening (after the performance I must add!), and went downstairs to practice as usual. It was at that moment that it hit me that the concert that I had been working so hard for for such a long time was over and that I would not play this piece again for a while. After realising this I was depressed for at least 2 weeks because I really missed playing the piece, it was like saying goodbye to a best friend that's going on a round-the-world tour for a year!!!! :)

Offline donjuan

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Re: Post performance depression
Reply #2 on: June 18, 2004, 08:52:02 PM
Its funny how this feeling comes up only after really successful performances.  When a performance doesnt go well, I have no problem going to the piano to work.
Interesting esperience, JK.
donjuan

Spatula

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Re: Post performance depression
Reply #3 on: June 18, 2004, 09:16:30 PM
Quote
Its funny how this feeling comes up only after really successful performances.  When a performance doesnt go well, I have no problem going to the piano to work.
Interesting esperience, JK.
donjuan


Yeah true in some ways!  I ususally feel somewhat uneasy after an exam...but there have been some where I pump my fists saying YES! because I felt I did well, and I did.  But I guess I haven't put like more than 1 year into a piece for a recital.

BTW, JK, how long did it take you to master Rach 2?  Did you perform it with a full ensemble?  or a duet?  
I'm guessing 2 to 3 years to prep for that.   I'm not surprised if it took longer like 4-5 years.

JK

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Re: Post performance depression
Reply #4 on: June 18, 2004, 10:19:49 PM
Quote
BTW, JK, how long did it take you to master Rach 2?  Did you perform it with a full ensemble?  or a duet?  
I'm guessing 2 to 3 years to prep for that.   I'm not surprised if it took longer like 4-5 years.


It's a piece that I've been looking at on and off for around about 4 years. At first I found most of it too hard to learn (especially the 3rd movement!) but bit by bit as I improved I managed to learn more and more. Then last year I won a competition at the junior departemnt of the Guildhall school of music and drama in London, where I study on Saturdays. This gave me the oppurtunity to perform a concerto with the symphony orchestra and I chose Rach2. After choosing it I had about 6 months to perfect it. Gradually I increased the intensity of my practice on it and must have spent about 2 months practicing nothing but Rach2 5-6 hours a day.

Then I played it with the orchestra and it is the most amazing experience that I've ever had, and I really want to play it again soon!! :) :)

Offline Motrax

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Re: Post performance depression
Reply #5 on: June 18, 2004, 10:50:49 PM
Hah, I'm jealous.  ;D I started Rach 2 on June 3 (yeah, I'm remembering the date). Not only is it probably my favorite piece of music, but it has some other special significance as well.  :o ;) I plan on spending about a year and a half on it before taking the piece to a competition they hold at the University of Maryland. If you win the competition, you play with an orchestra. So I hope to be able to do that!

But, back on topic, I think I know what you mean Donjuan. As a rule, I don't touch the piano for a full day after a competition or concert, whether or not I feel like practicing. I make sure to relax - watch a movie, read a book, drink some tea... this also puts my mind off the fact that I've just completed a piece.

Moreover, when you play something at a concert, there's no reason you should drop it. I'm keeping up about 2.5 hours of dusty old reperatoire, which I go through every 2 or 3 days, along with the couple new pieces I'm working on. It's always shameful to lose a piece you worked really hard on.
"I always make sure that the lid over the keyboard is open before I start to play." --  Artur Schnabel, after being asked for the secret of piano playing.

Offline liszmaninopin

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Re: Post performance depression
Reply #6 on: June 19, 2004, 04:34:41 AM
This is an interesting coincidence-I'm also working on the Rach 2.  I have basically this summer and fall to perfect and memorize it.  I will be performing it with an orchestra this winter, but the date is uncertain as of yet.

Do you have any particular suggestions about performing this piece with orchestra?  I am considering playing Rach's D minor Sonata in the same performance, as a compliment to the concerto.  Can you suggest any works that might go well between these two large scale works?  I might want to pick something by a different composer-and am kind of leaning in the direction of Prokofiev, Bartok, Ravel, or maybe Beethoven.  I don't know really yet-the director of the orchestra might very well dictate to me what to play.

Offline donjuan

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Re: Post performance depression
Reply #7 on: June 19, 2004, 04:40:04 AM
wow...you get to play with an orchestra.! congratulations! Ill never be that good..

With such emotional pieces, you will need some silly piece in the middle to refresh the audience.  Beethoven was a great jokester.  Why dont you try for something like the "Fury over the lost penny"?

I wouldnt play Bartok..bleah!!!
donjuan

Offline liszmaninopin

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Re: Post performance depression
Reply #8 on: June 19, 2004, 04:42:39 AM
If you really work at it-you can do it too, I'm confident.

This will be my first concerto performance-I really don't know what to expect, but am more than a little nervous about messing up.  I hope to get my technique in the piece basically bulletproof, because the whole orchestra and performance counts on the pianist.  In a solo, at least you can improvise or cut it short if you need to.

It's a good idea, including something light and fun sounding.

Don't you like Bartok?

Offline Antnee

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Re: Post performance depression
Reply #9 on: June 19, 2004, 04:51:14 AM
I know what you guys mean...

I am experiencing a similar thing right now... Only with practice.

I took a little break from the piano for a couple of days  (too busy) and didn't get to sit down at it until this evening. I praticed hard though... I warmed up, did a few technical exercises (dohnanyi) and played through each piece I was working on and working slow and using all the helpful practice methods on the rough parts etc. Anyway I took breaks when I started to feel cramped or restless. So my grand total practice time was about 3 1/2 hours. And when I finished I knew it was time to stop becasue I also strated to feel tired, and strangely... depressed. I just have like a hazy feeling. I don't really want to do anything now, just sit here and go to sleep, which happens often after hard, productive sessions... I think my brain is telling me to rest to process all of that info...

-Tony-
"The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music they should be taught to love it instead." -  Stravinsky

Offline liszmaninopin

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Re: Post performance depression
Reply #10 on: June 19, 2004, 05:04:23 AM
I know what you mean about the hazy feeling.  I don't really get depressed, but I just feel like I don't want to do any more work.  I want to grab a bowl of ice cream, watch a movie, and disengage my brain after an especially long day of practice.  I think it's only natural-the brain can only do so much work in a day.  By the way, to those of you who've performed and polished concertos-what did you find the most useful way of preparing them?  By this I mean, did you do slow practice?  I am finding that helpful with the Rachmaninoff, a few more days and I should be good with the first mvt.

JK

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Re: Post performance depression
Reply #11 on: June 19, 2004, 01:08:54 PM
http://Liszmaninopin wrote:

Quote
This is an interesting coincidence-I'm also working on the Rach 2.  I have basically this summer and fall to perfect and memorize it.  I will be performing it with an orchestra this winter, but the date is uncertain as of yet.

Do you have any particular suggestions about performing this piece with orchestra?  I am considering playing Rach's D minor Sonata in the same performance, as a compliment to the concerto.  Can you suggest any works that might go well between these two large scale works?  I might want to pick something by a different composer-and am kind of leaning in the direction of Prokofiev, Bartok, Ravel, or maybe Beethoven.  I don't know really yet-the director of the orchestra might very well dictate to me what to play


Wow, the dm sonata as well! I found the concerto plenty enough for me in one go! As far as playing with the orchestra goes it partly depends on how good they are. It is obviously important to keep contact with the conductor at key moments such as changes of tempo and there are moments where I found I needed to follow the conductor because there was no way the orchestra could here what I was playing, for example just before the recap in the first movement where you have the alternating chords between the hands and a big rit. However when it comes down to it sometimes you have to put your head down and play, hoping that the orchestra will follow, the need to keep the orchestra with you shouldn't affect your interpretation of it too much.

You say that the first movement is nearly done, have you looked much at the other movements yet? If not I would reccomend that you start working on the first subject in the last movement now. This is by far the hardest part of the piece and on top of this it is basically unaccompanied. In fact I found this section was very hard to pull off when playing the piece through. I could play it perfectly well on its' own however when playing in the context of the overall piece, bearing in mind that when you get to this point you have already been playing for 20 minutes, it is hard not to overanticipate the speed and I had a tendancy to rush, which is suicide in this piece!!

A personal feeling that I have about this piece, you may not hold the same opinion, is that nothing in it should be too over done. Of course there are big tunes and massive climaxes but in the calmer quieter sections, such as the second subject in the first movement, I think it is a good idea not to over-romanticise it. This will then make the climaxes even more powerful.

A last thought on playing with the orchestra. It is a good idea to get a score. In the sections where you need to make sure the orchestra is with you but have too many notes to look at the conductor, try and remeber which section of the orchestra to listen for, I'm thinking specifically about the development section in the first movement. If you know who to listen for then this gives you a much better chance of staying with the orchestra.

Hope this helps and that I haven't just told you stuff that you already know!!

Good luck! :)

Offline Tash

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Re: Post performance depression
Reply #12 on: June 19, 2004, 02:35:52 PM
yeah i get that feeling. i'll do the performance and be really happy that i did it and it went well and blah, and then after about 15 minutes i'll be thinking did i really play it that well? and then mope about it for a day and then snap out of it become determined to perfect it moreso for the next time. the worst i've been after a performance was after our trial exam performance and it wasn't that bad but i was disappointed with my performance and got really depressed about it for about 2 weeks and the only reason why i kept practicing was cos i had an exam coming up and wanted to do well in it, however my practice was very unprodutive and unmusical so was probably pointless. thank god my friend helped me get out of it and i caned the exam so it was all good again after that.
'J'aime presque autant les images que la musique' Debussy

Offline liszmaninopin

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Re: Post performance depression
Reply #13 on: June 19, 2004, 04:04:24 PM
JK,

Thanks for all your suggestions!

Does this mean that you think it would be wise to have the score in front of me and a page turner, even though I hope to have it memorized?

About the movements-I've played through the whole thing, but really only seriously worked on the first yet.  I'll probably move on to the second in a few days; and when I finish that, the third.

Also, about the D minor sonata.  That won't be so bad; I had already learned the notes a while ago; granted, I haven't played it for quite a while, but relearning it shouldn't be as tough as learning it was the first time.

I definitely agree with you about the over-Romanticizing!  There is only one spot when I might do a bit of that-those rising chords in the right hand that come after the section of rolled chords.  To me, that's one of the most powerful points in the piece.

JK

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Re: Post performance depression
Reply #14 on: June 20, 2004, 01:58:18 AM
http://Liszmaninopin wrote:

Quote
Thanks for all your suggestions!

Does this mean that you think it would be wise to have the score in front of me and a page turner, even though I hope to have it memorized?


That's alright! As far as having a score goes I wouldn't play with it but study it and follow it when you listen to the piece. You don't have to know all the details but just make a mental note of key instruments to listen for, for example there are little bassoon solos in the second movement.

Quote
I'll probably move on to the second in a few days; and when I finish that, the third.


I know that it makes logical sense to learn the movements like this, however I would strongly recommend that you don't learn it so methodically. A lot of the hardest music technically lies in the third movement of this piece, therefore as soon as I started working on this piece properly I worked on the opening of the third movement. It is also good to have lots of bits from different movements to work on, this firstly helps your memory, it stops you getting fed up and stuck on one bit and it helped me to focus on the hardest technical problems in each movement.

I found the hardest technical moments were the 8 bars after the first time the piano gets the tune in the first movement, the couple of pages before the development in the first movement, the cadenza-type bit in the second movement when it becomes rediculousy hard and fast in the right hand, the first subject in the third movement, the fugato in the third (notoriously hard to play well with an orchestra! It's a good idea to practice this bit lots with a second piano!), also the bit just before the presto in the development section of the last movement. For me highlighting these hard areas and focusing a lot of my technical practice on them, alternating my practice with more musical insights into the lyrical sections, helped me to overcome their difficulties and become to feel comfortable playing them.

Quote
There is only one spot when I might do a bit of that-those rising chords in the right hand that come after the section of rolled chords.  To me, that's one of the most powerful points in the piece.


I agree totally!!!! That's one of those moments that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up!!! :D

Spatula

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Re: Post performance depression
Reply #15 on: June 20, 2004, 04:47:35 AM
JK,

How many concertos have you learned prior to this to work up?  They may not have been with an accompliment, but have you done any other ones?  And as well, how many years have you studied piano prior to starting R2?  

Spatula

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Re: Post performance depression
Reply #16 on: June 20, 2004, 04:52:30 AM
Along with that, if I do start my first concerto, it'll probably be after my AR diploma (which I still have to finish gr 10 piano)

I'm thinking of first starting with Grieg PC (overplayed but a good start to the world of concertos)

Then maybe either schumann or chopin #1

Then maybe Rhap on paganini to have my first taste of a rach ensemble.

JK

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Re: Post performance depression
Reply #17 on: June 20, 2004, 11:58:27 AM
http://Spatula wrote:

Quote
How many concertos have you learned prior to this to work up?  They may not have been with an accompliment, but have you done any other ones?  And as well, how many years have you studied piano prior to starting R2?  


I learnt one other concerto before Rach2 this was the Grieg, I've only ever played the first movement of the Grieg in concert as it's very hard to find orchestras that want to include complete concertos in their programs! Rach2 was the first full concerto that I ever performed. I had been playing the piano for 10 years before I started looking at it, and it was only really in the year before the concert that I felt able to play it properly and pull it off well! It's one of those pieces that is so big and emotional that sometimes you can feel intimidated by it whan playing it, almost as if it's too big for you. The only way to get over this is experience, hard work ie practice and rehersal with the orchestra.

Quote
Along with that, if I do start my first concerto, it'll probably be after my AR diploma (which I still have to finish gr 10 piano)

I'm thinking of first starting with Grieg PC (overplayed but a good start to the world of concertos)

Then maybe either schumann or chopin #1

Then maybe Rhap on paganini to have my first taste of a rach ensemble.


The Grieg is an excellent concerto to strat with, it is by no means easy but is ideal to get started on. It is played a lot but is no more overplayed than the Rach concertos. There is a very good norwegian pianist at the moment called Leif ove Andsnes, when he was about 19-20 he played nothing but the Grieg and it was the only concerto he could play. As a result he became famous worldwide for the way he played Grieg, this just shows how you don't have to start on a really hard piece! As far as the paganini rhapsody goes, this is not my favourite piece I have to say, for me it is too much of a showpiece for the sake of it whereas the concertos for me show more of Rachmaninovs' actual emotion. :)

Spatula

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Re: Post performance depression
Reply #18 on: June 21, 2004, 03:48:27 AM
Quote
http://Spatula wrote:


As far as the paganini rhapsody goes, this is not my favourite piece I have to say, for me it is too much of a showpiece for the sake of it whereas the concertos for me show more of Rachmaninovs' actual emotion. :)



I think Rach wrote this after the 4th PC, noticing how little filled the score espcially for the piano was, as compared to Rach 3.  I think he was aiming more for simplicity and beauty in that, rather than what looks like sheet music and someone flicking black paint off a paint brush to make notes, splatting it all over the page (of course this is just about as true as Chinese parents slapping their kids head and seeing whatever sound they make, hence their name, which both is DEFINITELY false.
:o

Yeah today I could only think of playing Rach2 in my head over and over again, many of you get that feeling (not just general music stuck in your head, but moving with it)
 

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