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Author Topic: Top-tier solo works vs. top-tier concertos.  (Read 618 times)
beethovenfan01
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« on: October 14, 2017, 12:00:17 AM »

Just want to start a general discussion about this. Which do you think are more valuable to learn and perform--the elite, top-tier solo pieces like the sonatas of Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Schumann, Prokofiev, Scriabin, and other works of similar length and difficulty (like Gaspard de la Nuit, Petrushka, et al.)? Or the famous concerti like the Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 1, or Rachmaninoff's concerti? I need not name all of these, as they are well known.

What are the pros and cons of focusing on one or the other, or balancing? Which are more demanding to learn and perform, musically and/or technically? Does either group have more musical merit, do you think? And of course there are always going to be odd-balls ... let's leave Sorabji out of it, shall we? I'm talking about the general repertoire. What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear from people who have significant (or even moderate experience) performing in both arenas.

Thanks!
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Practicing:
Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 1
Chopin Ballade Op. 47
Shostakovich Prelude and Fugue No. 3
Chopin Etude Op. 25 No. 6
rachmaninoff_forever
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2017, 05:39:32 AM »



Most of the time concertos are completely useless because it's so hard to find an orchestra to play it with you
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beethovenfan01
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2017, 03:08:07 PM »

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Most of the time concertos are completely useless because it's so hard to find an orchestra to play it with you

Said the person learning Rach 3 ...

I hear the words of a cynic.  Wink

Seriously, though, good point. I must remember that. But what about piano-only accompanists?
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Practicing:
Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 1
Chopin Ballade Op. 47
Shostakovich Prelude and Fugue No. 3
Chopin Etude Op. 25 No. 6
mjames
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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2017, 04:43:05 PM »

You can just learn concertos as solo works. Some of them (prokofiev no. 2 chopin) are so rad they're worth the effort, even if you'll never play with an orchestra.
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Composing/improvising

Chopin's 4th ballade and 3rd sonata.
Scriabin Op. 42 no. 1, 2, and 3.
Bach Partita No.4
tnan123
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2017, 02:27:00 AM »

It really depends on your goals. Learning both soloist works and concerti come with unique challenges that help you grow as a musician in different ways.

Focusing on solo works you improve musicianship by really delving deep into the the piece and making it your own. You are more free to interpret the piece. You can choose your own rubato, voice chords the way you want, focus on articulation and dynamics a lot more. You can do all that without having to think of how the orchestra fits in. Plus, the big pro of easier opportunities to perform those works.

On the other hand, working on a concerto will force you to collaborate with others, a very valuable skill in the music world if you can do it well. Another big pro is that you need to think in a new way about how the piano fits in. You develop better listening skills in music.
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visitor
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2017, 02:39:46 PM »

You can just learn concertos as solo works. Some of them (prokofiev no. 2 chopin) are so rad they're worth the effort, even if you'll never play with an orchestra.
and then there's the solo transcription (read plays as a sonata essentially)  for Rachmaninoff no 3 i have by Peng Peng Gong, crazy cool score, I was sorta shocked when i found it in bargain bin at the vintage book shop, i think it was t here by mistake. best 4 bucks spent on a score a few years ago
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beethovenfan01
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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2017, 06:20:49 PM »

Quote

It really depends on your goals. Learning both soloist works and concerti come with unique challenges that help you grow as a musician in different ways.

Focusing on solo works you improve musicianship by really delving deep into the the piece and making it your own. You are more free to interpret the piece. You can choose your own rubato, voice chords the way you want, focus on articulation and dynamics a lot more. You can do all that without having to think of how the orchestra fits in. Plus, the big pro of easier opportunities to perform those works.

On the other hand, working on a concerto will force you to collaborate with others, a very valuable skill in the music world if you can do it well. Another big pro is that you need to think in a new way about how the piano fits in. You develop better listening skills in music.

Thanks! I do enjoy playing with other people. I asked this question because I'm trying to decide between devoting the next three months of my life preparing for a concerto competition (playing Beethoven's 3rd), or else focusing on my other solo-rep goals (Chopin Ballades, Beethoven Appassionata, Liszt Dante Sonata ... not necessarily all at once, but you get my drift). The thing is, the concerto competition won't always be around ... and this year is my last chance to compete in the student category, where I might actually have a chance at winning. The solo pieces, on the other hand, are very attractive to me ... and I've already done a substantial amount of work on each set, so finishing all of them over the next six months or so is a plausible goal for me.

But the concerto competition ... I really want to try it. I already missed two last year, and have felt crappy about it ever since.
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Practicing:
Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 1
Chopin Ballade Op. 47
Shostakovich Prelude and Fugue No. 3
Chopin Etude Op. 25 No. 6
rachmaninoff_forever
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2017, 05:07:46 AM »

Thanks! I do enjoy playing with other people. I asked this question because I'm trying to decide between devoting the next three months of my life preparing for a concerto competition (playing Beethoven's 3rd), or else focusing on my other solo-rep goals (Chopin Ballades, Beethoven Appassionata, Liszt Dante Sonata ... not necessarily all at once, but you get my drift). The thing is, the concerto competition won't always be around ... and this year is my last chance to compete in the student category, where I might actually have a chance at winning. The solo pieces, on the other hand, are very attractive to me ... and I've already done a substantial amount of work on each set, so finishing all of them over the next six months or so is a plausible goal for me.

But the concerto competition ... I really want to try it. I already missed two last year, and have felt crappy about it ever since.

dude just do the concerto competition  this is your last year
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