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Topic: My program and some feedback  (Read 1634 times)

Offline Jef_ye

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My program and some feedback
on: January 19, 2005, 05:45:31 AM
Hi everybody, i just found this site and thought it was cool that there would be some place to talk about piano stuff.

I've been working on my program for awhile  (6 months?) and at first I wasn't really sure about the music (not super popular) but its kinda grown on me and it would be great if other people gave some feedback on these pieces. (Besides my teacher that is)

Beethoven Op. 7 E flat major Mv. 1 (I'm gonna learn the other three later)
Debussy Prelude no. 5 book 2 "Bruyeres" (Easy but my teacher said it was to give my audience a "break")
Debussy Prelude no. 12 book 2 "feux d'artifice"
Prokofiev No. 4 in C minor Mv. 1 "Allego con brio, ma non leggiere" (strange music, very hard to memorize due to chromatics but it does kind of grow on you)
Liszt Ballade no. 2 in b minor (wow... 22 pages.. fun  :'()

I like the debussy but the Beethoven is deceptively hard and I don't know how far I can take it. The prokofiev is also hard so I would definitely appreciate some comments on these pieces from an objective observer. Some help on memorizing the Liszt would also be nice.
Thx everybody, and btw I'm 16 and have played since I was five...

Offline steinwayguy

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Re: My program and some feedback
Reply #1 on: January 19, 2005, 06:34:52 AM
Yes, Opus 7 is an extremely challenging sonata, 2nd most to Hammerklavier, according to Charles Rosen. But...

An excellent program you have assembled here, most of the pieces I dont' really know, seeing as how I am also 16 and don't know too much rep. I like to memorize things by "understanding" them. Thoroughly examine every phrase of your Ballade, the harmony, the different voicings, the rhythm, the tone quality- everything. You will memorize it much easier that way I believe. Also, keep in mind, I like to think that everythign I have memorized I would be able to write down on staff paper, note for note. (Although don't try this with Liszt or Prokofiev, as I have found  :))

Good luck

Offline pianowelsh

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Re: My program and some feedback
Reply #2 on: January 20, 2005, 03:05:32 PM
Hi Wow I'm impressed these are Big works for a 16 year old. I can only say Good Luck! I played the Beethoven op7 (there is a reason why most people don't play it - you found it!!) I remember struggling with getting over the rapid broken 8ves (not difficult in themselves but its getting into them and out of them) interpretively it's quite elusive to I remember it being a while before i REALLY UNDERSTOOD IT. Your teacher is absolutely right  - that's a nice pairing of preludes after a LONG sonata like op7. I can only assume your very brave tackling something like Prokofiev 4th sonata in the same prog as op7 Beethoven. Nearly all Prokofiev is a pig to memorize (I just got done playing some Debussy etudes - similar to mem. I have to hear melodies everywhere - for me dry analysis remains dry analysis and isn't terribly helpfull, but steinwayguy is right  - as with any piece you just have to know each bit and component part inside out before prioritising later and listening for the bigger picture - you have to let it become automated - an excellent book for understanding 'learning' is Susan Hallams book ( i belive there is a web somewhere?!). The Liszt Ballade is excellent to finish up with - lots of glitter!!! (excellent!!!!) Again especially with this kind of music its about melody and fantasic chords I always approach this rep by singing along so the sense of melodic progression becomes built in from the start. Whilst your playing then you can pay more attention to the aural effect the chord progressions make and make sense of them musically (i don't mean sit down and write 1 V 1Vb under each - not necessary!) but be aware of the voice leading and play over some of the outline harmonies whilst singing the melody - it has to be natural at the end of the day and it will be if you have a feeling for the harmonic melodic and structural shape.
Happy learning - you've got a lot of work on your hands but it will be a pretty awesome prog when your done! - Are you preparing for an audition or competition of any kind or are you just building repertoire at the moment?

Offline SteinwayTony

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Re: My program and some feedback
Reply #3 on: January 20, 2005, 07:26:10 PM
Suggestions:

- Add (or substitute in) more slow music, both for the audience's listening pleasure and for your health and stamina.

- Consider learning either the Prokofiev or the Beethoven sonatas in their entirety.  I view the "picking and choosing" road to be complete.  Sonatas are pieces and they deserve to be presented as one unit so the relationships between movements become prevalent and the meaning of the piece is made more apparent.  But, if time does not permit, then that is that.  If it were me I would choose the Beethoven, only because you already have two Debussy pieces and Debussy and Prokofiev are considered composers of the same period (if not the same style).  Prokofiev the Impressionist...that would be the day.

- You want an intermission.  If this is your first solo recital, you don't want to learn this the hard way.  Even if it's not your first recital, the energy your pieces require is enormous and you will need a break.  Go out with a "bang."  I suggest playing the Ballade right before intermission.  Feux d'Artifice would be a perfect piece to end the program with. 

- Choose at least two encores beforehand.  It should be 1 - 3 minutes in duration.  Better a shorter piece than a longer one.  There have been threads on encore pieces on this forum, so do a search for it.

Good luck with your program!
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