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Schubert - Impromptu Op.90 No.4 (Read 11818 times)

Offline emill

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Schubert - Impromptu Op.90 No.4
« on: December 06, 2009, 07:04:43 PM »
This was earlier played by my son Lorenzo, 13, at the Piano Teacher's Guild of the Philippines Festival on September 2008. We would appreciate comments on how it was played and suggestions.  Many thanks in advance. :)

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piano sheet music of Impromptu


Offline furtwaengler

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Re: Schubert - Impromptu Op.90 No.4
«Reply #1 on: December 06, 2009, 09:54:11 PM »
Hello! Welcome to Pianostreet.

Your son is a musician of great poise and maturity, clearly the product of not only abounding talent, but excellent, accomplished hard work which is producing great fruit; the Schubert here stands as good evidence. You and your son must be very proud at this still early stage. This is a great stage to be at...I remember never being more driven and hungry to learn than I was at age 13 and 14, exhausting the resources of the music library, checking out volumes of books and scores to learn about and sight read through every week. I learned so much in those days, truly a great time in my life. I hope you both can take it slowly and enjoy this time...it goes so quickly!

This brilliant, songful performance of Schubert's Op. 90 no. 4 demonstrates a naturally sense of pulse, structure, phrasing, and color. Your son has made good and appropriate choices on the whole. The architecture of Schubert's impromptu is readily apparent because of the excellent handling of the individual blocks which make up the structure. Everything works great and so any comments in difference to this interpretation can be seen purely as personal taste. I think there was probably a greater range in dynamics present in the room than the recording was able to convey. I can imagine it being there, so there's really no communication gap. I would try if I could to keep the right hand A-flat two measure before the trio sounding over everything else for as long as possible, and so not emphasize the G-flats in the accompaniment so much. Also in the trio I would prefer a little more drama and a longer swelling line, really building the sound from the bottom up, letting the low bass notes ring, and indeed accenting that low A at the height of the forte. There can be a greater contrast when the trio theme appears in C-sharp major emphasizing the major-minor contrasts Schubert has built into the blocks. This can be done not only with color and dynamics, but also a slight shift back in the tempo (not a ritard, but an actual sudden shift). Some would probably disagree, and I can understand the want for the integrity of a constant pulse. Also at this C-sharp major spot, second measure, try to avoid catching the theme in the right hand's accompanying off beats, for Schubert does not bring it to the A-sharp in the next measure, but keeps it on the G-sharp. It would be a fine idea otherwise. Ah...you are so great though!

Really a tremendous job presenting this piece! Congratulations on a wonderful achievement!

Dave
Don't let anyone know where you tie your goat.

Offline emill

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Re: Schubert - Impromptu Op.90 No.4
«Reply #2 on: December 07, 2009, 02:36:29 AM »
Dear Dave,

We appreciate a lot your constructive comments and suggestions. I am sure Lorenzo will be trying these out as soon as he gets home from school. You are so right, at 14 he devours so much related to music. Sometimes I wonder whether he is growing up in a "normal" way as his world has been revolving around the piano the last 5 years. He started "late" at 9 1/2 years in 2005.

Best wishes !   
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Offline hbofinger

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Re: Schubert - Impromptu Op.90 No.4
«Reply #3 on: January 19, 2010, 03:24:32 AM »
Your son plays this impromptu very well indeed. Technically, frankly, I could hear nothing wrong with it.

It did sound a bit harsh - though I think that's the acoustics and the instrument. The thing I may be able to say is that this piece is lends itself to a technical brilliant sound, but there is also, as ever so often with Schubert, a singing quality. This came through, but could be brought even further to the forefront. But this may be a technical issue related to the recording equipment, instrument, and playback over the internet.

But your son remained rather authentic overall - I hope he got a prize for this!

Offline emill

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Re: Schubert - Impromptu Op.90 No.4
«Reply #4 on: January 20, 2010, 03:18:09 AM »
Thank you (hbofinger)for your observation/comment ! :)

Yes, the piano of this theater really sounds more sharper than usual... even in the low notes the higher harmonics tend to be emphasized.  I am just a bit surprised it does not come as sharply in the recording ... well maybe because it is only an ordinary mike of the camcorder. The mike probably and the upload to YT has affected somewhat the audio dynamics, as the performance itself was very well received by those knowledgeable; although one can never tell if they were just being nice. ;D  Thank you again.  Yes, Enzo won the 1st prize.
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Offline furtwaengler

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Re: Schubert - Impromptu Op.90 No.4
«Reply #5 on: January 20, 2010, 07:27:34 AM »
Yes, Enzo won the 1st prize.

Aha! I notice you never declare such things, but not for lack of pride in your accomplished son. No, it is the performance that counts, the experience of communicating music, breathing life into the world. There is no prize on inspiration. (But I too am happy he won that prize. RESPECT!)  8) ;D ;)
Don't let anyone know where you tie your goat.

Offline rachfan

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Re: Schubert - Impromptu Op.90 No.4
«Reply #6 on: January 21, 2010, 12:20:56 AM »
Hi emill and Enzo,

I have not played this particular Impromptu, but am familiar with it.  There are many, many things to praise about this performance.  I liked the vitality and fluency of the opening section and his command of touches throughout the piece.  In the lyrical section, Enzo was playing with deep feeling and expressiveness which was effectively conveyed to the audience.  Phrasing was excellent and the pedaling was always well timed for clarity.  Foreground and background were generally kept in perspective and balance.  At all times the emphasis was on musicality.  In short, this was artistic playing!  Bravo!

Schubert was a transitional composer standing between Viennese Classicism and the Romantic Age.  In his time he contributed to both styles and traditions as his composing idiom evolved through his relatively short lifetime.   For this reason, there come moments when it is difficult to interpret his intentions, which make playing Schubert all the more interesting, as choices are made.  From what I hear in this performance, I would bet they'll be more Schubert in Enzo's piano studies.  By the way, if he thinks he started "late", he has more than made up for it!  ;D

emill, I wouldn't worry too much about so-called "normal development" whatever that may be.  Enzo might be traveling a more independent path.  He has much talent which he is developing as he studies music theory, works on his technique and performance skills, and participates in recitals and competitions.  It seems that he's really thriving and maturing quite well as he makes this journey of discovery.  It's wonderful too that you're so helpful in helping him to achieve his goals. 

Congratulations to Enzo, his fine teacher, and his supportive dad.
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline gerry

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Re: Schubert - Impromptu Op.90 No.4
«Reply #7 on: January 21, 2010, 03:10:47 AM »
Absolutely fully mature interpretation - far beyond his years and considering he begain studies only about 4 years ago, astonishing. I feel he has grasped the concept of this work quite well. I had to chuckle about the parental concern over his "normal" development - put me in mind of a line from the Fantasticks where the young female lead made a plea something to the effect of "Oh God, please don't let me be NORMAL!!"
Durch alle Töne tönet
Im bunten Erdentraum
Ein leiser Ton gezogen
Für den, der heimlich lauschet.

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: Schubert - Impromptu Op.90 No.4
«Reply #8 on: January 21, 2010, 09:29:13 AM »
Absolutely fully mature interpretation - far beyond his years and considering he begain studies only about 4 years ago, astonishing.

What the *** are they feeding that kid - and where can I get some??? Seriously - the brahms is killing me.

Offline emill

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Re: Schubert - Impromptu Op.90 No.4
«Reply #9 on: January 22, 2010, 01:48:29 AM »
Aha! I notice you never declare such things, but not for lack of pride in your accomplished son. No, it is the performance that counts, the experience of communicating music, breathing life into the world. There is no prize on inspiration. (But I too am happy he won that prize. RESPECT!)  8) ;D ;)

Honestly, it never seriously registered in my mind to mention his "awards", although I must say that it crossed a few times. ;D  My main purpose in "coming back" to pianostreet was to really get new inputs for Enzo to consider.  Please don't get me wrong, he is being mentored by probably the best available here and who is academe based, but I just felt, considering the variety of good talent and experience that abound here, that it would be like a fresh waft of breeze for Enzo.  And true enough in the short while after our return he has picked up from suggestions and has discussed many with his teacher. Although I can imagine, being the silent fellow that he is, those discussions would have been very brief! :)  And I must thank you Dave for being the 1st one to welcome us back and giving your thoughts about Beethoven No.13 and others in a clear and gentle way.
btw Dave ... as you hinted, we will wait patiently for your views on Bartok's Ostinato

xxxxx...By the way, if he thinks he started "late", he has more than made up for it!  ;D

emill, I wouldn't worry too much about so-called "normal development" whatever that may be.  Enzo might be traveling a more independent path.  He has much talent which he is developing as he studies music theory, works on his technique and performance skills, and participates in recitals and competitions.  It seems that he's really thriving and maturing quite well as he makes this journey of discovery.  It's wonderful too that you're so helpful in helping him to achieve his goals.   Congratulations to Enzo, his fine teacher, and his supportive dad.

It is difficult not to worry... but probably as many have told me, what is normal for kids like him may not be the same as what we usually see. An example is ... most, if not all of his friends are adults or much, much older than he is and he seems to enjoy a lot especially when they discuss music and the piano. A good number of them are university music majors. His interest in computer games, Nintendo and Playstation are minimal, these devices gather dust at home. But probably you're right and the concern is overblown in my mind ... as he seems to be quite interested judging from the way he looks at girls his age group and younger.  :o ;D   Thanks so much for the reassurances.

Absolutely fully mature interpretation - far beyond his years and considering he began studies only about 4 years ago, astonishing. I feel he has grasped the concept of this work quite well. I had to chuckle about the parental concern over his "normal" development - put me in mind of a line from the Fantasticks where the young female lead made a plea something to the effect of "Oh God, please don't let me be NORMAL!!"

Thanks Gerry ... like what rachfan seems to be suggesting and what my wife has been repeatedly drilling in my head .... I should probably relax and loosen up and consider that what he is going through is "normal" for kids like him.  Thanks! :)

Now, I feel strange ... it would seem I am the one learning more and should probably grow up !! ::) ;D

What the *** are they feeding that kid - and where can I get some??? Seriously - the brahms is killing me.

Fish...fish... and more fish...hehhee. :)  Good luck on that Brahms !!  
member on behalf of my son, Lorenzo

Offline prongated

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Re: Schubert - Impromptu Op.90 No.4
«Reply #10 on: January 23, 2010, 12:11:20 AM »
My main purpose in "coming back" to pianostreet was to really get new inputs for Enzo to consider.  Please don't get me wrong, he is being mentored by probably the best available here and who is academe based, but I just felt, considering the variety of good talent and experience that abound here, that it would be like a fresh waft of breeze for Enzo.

...fair enough, although I'd like to suggest that usually the most successful pianists are not the ones who have a list of 20+ teachers that they have played for in masterclasses and/or studied with. I mean, look at Evgeny Kissin - one teacher all the way! It makes sense too - in music, you want to develop a solid, authoritative, and personal playing style, and it's trickier when you have 20+ inputs, especially when they're all different!

Offline marmol33

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Re: Schubert - Impromptu Op.90 No.4
«Reply #11 on: March 27, 2010, 04:27:31 PM »
[/bfantastic! keep on with your piano playing!

Offline professorforever

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Re: Schubert - Impromptu Op.90 No.4
«Reply #12 on: December 18, 2012, 08:34:54 PM »
I just had the pleasure of listening to Lorenzo play this difficult impromptu, one of my special favorites. His maturity and expressiveness are remarkable, as is his accuracy. This piece has been graded 7, but I believe it should be graded 8, since it is unquestionably more challenging technically than Opus 90, Number 3. There's no question that this piece is one of Schubert's most imaginative creations, and it will always stand out, along with Number 3, in his incredibly extensive body of musical literature.

Offline johnmar78

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Re: Schubert - Impromptu Op.90 No.4
«Reply #13 on: December 21, 2012, 08:46:37 AM »
awesome, I enjoyed your interpretation. 10/10 ;)