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Which piece should I learn (Read 824 times)

Offline zrz1127

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Which piece should I learn
« on: September 13, 2019, 06:53:47 PM »
I’ve been playing for about 3 or 4 years now. I just finished Chopin op10 no 12 and was wondering where I should go from there. I’ve also done simpler pieces like Rachmaninoff’s prelude in C# minor and Mozart’s K545. I was wondering if someone could tell me if it was possible for me to play Liebestraum or Un Sospiro. Or is there any other pieces you would recommend instead.

Offline j_tour

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Re: Which piece should I learn
«Reply #1 on: September 14, 2019, 07:30:34 PM »
Well, in truth I was thinking about eating some Flamin' Hot Cheetos and see what happens.

I'm really not sure what responses you'll get, but beyond the obvious "Well, what do you want to play?"  I dunno. 

So you've got a good LH, and can play octaves.  And by your short-list of things you're contemplating, you want to move forward, but in the same time period as your Chopin.

Since you like Chopin, why not do all of the Préludes?  Or, one of my favorites from Chopin, the variations on "La ci darem la mano."

I mean, you have some technique, so you can probably be trusted to play quite a few things.  I'd go with Bach, Debussy, and Beethoven, in that order.

Which pieces specifically from those composers?  I wouldn't know.  Whatever you want.  You can play scales and can persevere through a somewhat long and tedious piece, so to me that indicates you're able to develop whatever other technical skills you need, as they arise.

I'm still crushing my head about trying to keep in memory pieces from the Ars fuga, and I don't see why you couldn't play one or several of those.


Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Which piece should I learn
«Reply #2 on: September 15, 2019, 05:13:05 AM »
Just try sections of those pieces you think would be tough and see how you go, no one here can tell you what you can and can't do.

As for what pieces you should learn maybe browse through imslp.org, get listening to some music and get a list of pieces you like written down. Start with the easier pieces you like and go from there.
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Offline faa2010

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Re: Which piece should I learn
«Reply #3 on: September 16, 2019, 05:33:58 PM »
I think that if you have played the Revolutionairy Etude, then you can play whatever you like, unless it is one whose score has a lot of pages or if you are under time pressure to get it.

You can get another Chopin's Etude, like the op 10 no 2 or 3.

I think you can play something of Debussy like the Gradus ad Parnassum with no problem, so you can try the Arabesque no 1 or 2, get all the Children's Corner or Pagodes.

If you like Beethoven, you can try one of the movements of one of his sonatas, like this one:


And if you get motivated, you can get the other movements.

Well, that's my own opinion. Feel free to decide, the only thing I can utterly recommend you is to choose a piece which you have listened to the point which you wanted to listened again and again because you like it.

Offline zrz1127

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Re: Which piece should I learn
«Reply #4 on: September 17, 2019, 11:59:07 AM »
Well, in truth I was thinking about eating some Flamin' Hot Cheetos and see what happens.

I'm really not sure what responses you'll get, but beyond the obvious "Well, what do you want to play?"  I dunno. 

So you've got a good LH, and can play octaves.  And by your short-list of things you're contemplating, you want to move forward, but in the same time period as your Chopin.

Since you like Chopin, why not do all of the Préludes?  Or, one of my favorites from Chopin, the variations on "La ci darem la mano."

I mean, you have some technique, so you can probably be trusted to play quite a few things.  I'd go with Bach, Debussy, and Beethoven, in that order.

Which pieces specifically from those composers?  I wouldn't know.  Whatever you want.  You can play scales and can persevere through a somewhat long and tedious piece, so to me that indicates you're able to develop whatever other technical skills you need, as they arise.

I'm still crushing my head about trying to keep in memory pieces from the Ars fuga, and I don't see why you couldn't play one or several of those.

I was just wondering if those two pieces would be something that is doable for me. I've tried to play a bit of both pieces but knowing Liszt, only the beginning part is easy.

Offline dogperson

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Re: Which piece should I learn
«Reply #5 on: September 17, 2019, 11:44:30 PM »
Why are you looking at the beginning to assess difficulty?  Look for and assess the most challenging part of any piece first: if you can handle it ( maybe after significant  work), you know you can handle the piece in its entirety.

Offline j_tour

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Re: Which piece should I learn
«Reply #6 on: September 18, 2019, 08:58:15 AM »
I think you can play something of Debussy like the Gradus ad Parnassum with no problem, so you can try the Arabesque no 1 or 2, get all the Children's Corner or Pagodes

Just in the spirit of light-heartedness, gee, do you think the OP has the technique for the "Gradus" from Debussy?

Yeah, I'm pretty sure. 

Doing the whole "Children's Corner" would not be such a bad idea, you know? 

If I were the OP and looking into late romantics, and if I had any say, I'd try to encourage myself to think a bit in that direction, rather than doing more of those warhorse pieces.

The Henle edition is very good:  I know people say "get the Durand et cie," but for legibility and good fingering advice, the Henle is the one, IMHO.  I don't who edited it, but it's very good.

For Liszt warhorses?  At least the second Hungarian Rhapsody should be considered.  It's really not that bad.  I can almost play through it myself, and I basically suck, and haven't put any effort into it at all except just reading through it very occasionally at the keyboard.\

I shouldn't have been so glib about all of the Préludes of Chopin:  that would be a pretty darned major undertaking, and some of them are just frightening.  By no means all, though.  The first five, for example, would be excellent.

Or the Moszkowski étude, for example, in G minor from his Op. 72 would be a cute pairing with the Chopin étude.  Make a triple threat with the G major prélude of Chopin, and nobody would ever question your LH again.  And, that would be the beginning of a pretty fun (brief) recital offering.  I'd be interested in hearing someone play those three one after the other, anyway, just for the novelty of hearing those pieces put side by each.

Offline zrz1127

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Re: Which piece should I learn
«Reply #7 on: September 18, 2019, 06:27:43 PM »
Just in the spirit of light-heartedness, gee, do you think the OP has the technique for the "Gradus" from Debussy?

Yeah, I'm pretty sure. 

Doing the whole "Children's Corner" would not be such a bad idea, you know? 

If I were the OP and looking into late romantics, and if I had any say, I'd try to encourage myself to think a bit in that direction, rather than doing more of those warhorse pieces.

The Henle edition is very good:  I know people say "get the Durand et cie," but for legibility and good fingering advice, the Henle is the one, IMHO.  I don't who edited it, but it's very good.

For Liszt warhorses?  At least the second Hungarian Rhapsody should be considered.  It's really not that bad.  I can almost play through it myself, and I basically suck, and haven't put any effort into it at all except just reading through it very occasionally at the keyboard.\

I shouldn't have been so glib about all of the Préludes of Chopin:  that would be a pretty darned major undertaking, and some of them are just frightening.  By no means all, though.  The first five, for example, would be excellent.

Or the Moszkowski étude, for example, in G minor from his Op. 72 would be a cute pairing with the Chopin étude.  Make a triple threat with the G major prélude of Chopin, and nobody would ever question your LH again.  And, that would be the beginning of a pretty fun (brief) recital offering.  I'd be interested in hearing someone play those three one after the other, anyway, just for the novelty of hearing those pieces put side by each.

I think I'm not gonna tackle another etude any time soon since 10 12 was pretty hard, especially since I don't have great stamina.

Debussy does sound pretty good though. But personally I'm looking for something that can be played for non-musicans. So maybe Clair de lune since that's pretty popular, or maybe Arabesque. I initially thought about Un sospiro because it sounds more like a song rather than the usually crazy Liszt stuff.

Looking at HR2....yeah, maybe I'll wait for a few more years, since I haven't been playing for all that long.

Offline chechig

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Re: Which piece should I learn
«Reply #8 on: September 18, 2019, 08:38:06 PM »
Maybe it's easy for you, but you could try the Consolation n 3, by Liszt, beautiful music.

Ps: You say you've been playing for 3-4 years and you play the revolutionary etude, could you give me some advice to learn that etude?? I've been studying for 7 years now, and I dont even dare to have a look at the score...

Offline zrz1127

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Re: Which piece should I learn
«Reply #9 on: September 18, 2019, 10:49:32 PM »
Maybe it's easy for you, but you could try the Consolation n 3, by Liszt, beautiful music.

Ps: You say you've been playing for 3-4 years and you play the revolutionary etude, could you give me some advice to learn that etude?? I've been studying for 7 years now, and I dont even dare to have a look at the score...

I almost forgot they existed, the Consolations. I’ll go take a listen later.

In terms of advice, I’m probably no where as qualified as most people on this site but since I’ve gone through the piece, I’ll try to talk about my experience learning it.

The first thing, before you even start, is to prepare yourself. Could be just me but since it’s a Chopin etude, it will take really long time. I spent about a year on it, though I did learn other pieces while practicing it.

The piece itself in my opinion is really JUST the left hand. Most of the time right hand is just playing some octaves.

When practicing, just toss the sustain pedal out the window. You won’t need it until much later. Please don’t make the same mistake as me by using the pedal while practicing. If you do that, it will sound really choppy without it. At certain chromatic sections you just shouldn’t even use the pedal.

The piece looks scary but a closer look revels that it’s really just a bunch of patterns that repeats. The speed will come naturally after a while. It’s more the dynamic that is hard. This is a really fast piece and sometimes I just play ff even though the section may ask for a piano to forte crescendo that happens within 2 measures. And being able to play pp in a fast piece like this is much harder than playing a fast pattern. Don’t worry about hand size, it will fit into your hard perfectly after a while, I can’t barely reach a 10th.

Offline chechig

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Re: Which piece should I learn
«Reply #10 on: September 18, 2019, 11:00:40 PM »
Ok, thank you for your suggestions. I wouldn't dare to study it, even if I love that study.
The consolation it's not very difficult tecnically, but gettint it to sound nice...it's quite hard. I'm with it at the moment

Offline j_tour

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Re: Which piece should I learn
«Reply #11 on: September 19, 2019, 09:30:50 PM »
I think I'm not gonna tackle another etude any time soon since 10 12 was pretty hard, especially since I don't have great stamina.

Debussy does sound pretty good though. But personally I'm looking for something that can be played for non-musicans. So maybe Clair de lune since that's pretty popular, or maybe Arabesque. I initially thought about Un sospiro because it sounds more like a song rather than the usually crazy Liszt stuff.

Looking at HR2....yeah, maybe I'll wait for a few more years, since I haven't been playing for all that long.

Ah!  Well, if you're coming down on the side of Debussy, then you can't be all bad!

Sure, you can do the Clair de Lune or the Arabesque E/ C#m (I think that's the one you mean):  I've done those, and I've only time I ever used the Op. 10/12 occasionally if I felt like doing some octaves split between two hands, just for want of something to practice at.  So, if I can do those, pretty sure you can.

And, if you can't do it already, you need the 3:2 and 2:3 rhythms from the Debussy Arabesque.  Not just for Brahms (all over the place!  look at his exercises 0)), but certainly for Liszt.  Or Chopin's C major prélude, for that matter, after a fashion.

More importantly is if you actually like those pieces.  It won't take you long to sight-read them at a pretty good level.

There's a whole lot to Debussy's music, to understate the point.  But, as a point of history, think how much Debussy appreciated Chopin's music in particular.

So, even though the harmonies may be a bit strange at times, there's still the continuity.

I'd really, if I were you, think strongly about the Children's Corner suite:  since you seem to want some crowd-pleasers, there's plenty in there. 

And some of it is not so easy.  Yeah, the Gradus and the cakewalk are not especially demanding, from the perspective of someone who can play, but they are certainly crowd-pleasers, in their way.

Mmmmmm.......none of my young nephews nor extended family care for "Jimbo's Lullable," the few times I did it during some holiday or get-together, but they're just wrong!  :)

ETA
Quote from: zrz1127
think I'm not gonna tackle another etude any time soon since 10 12 was pretty hard, especially since I don't have great stamina.

Moszkowwwwwwwwski.....G minor.......oooh!  It's almost Halloween.

You might profit by building on your LH strengths.  The Moszkowski is maybe not the greatest bit of music ever written, but I'm pretty sure you could play it without too much trouble.  Give yourself a week or two, while doing other stuff.  Shouldn't be a problem. 

Elephant in the room:  the Brahms LH arr. of that Bach Chaconne in D minor.

That's something anyone can play, were it not so darned long and a PITA to learn.

So, those are two études you can do.  The Brahms would take quite a while to get all the notes and interpretation, but, you know.

I'd just do the Beethoven Op. 26:  the Trio and parts of the Rondo have plenty for the LH to do.  Or pick a Bach where you're constantly running in the LH. 

Show off your strengths, really. 

ETA OR, do something nice, but not necessarily short, like Scarlatti's K. 141.  That's a ball-buster of a piece, but instead of LH, you're going to be working overtime with the RH.  No, I haven't mastered it, so don't look to me for a masterclass on how to play it.

But, I'd look to live concerts or programmed albums by some of the greats.

Whoever your favorites are, it doesn't matter.

EETA do the Contrapunctus IX from the Ars fuga.  It's long, and somewhat complicated, but you don't have to play the whole thing once the exposition is complete:  with good ears and mind, you can just abridge it if you want and make up some ending when the tonality gets back to either F or the home key.

EEETA I think you'd be surprised what "non-musicians" would regale in hearing.  You could play a half-dozen of the Bach Sinfonias, and, likely as not, people will love it.

As long as it sounds good.

It's a balancing act, really, like a tightrope walker. 

If it's good music, and you play it good, you might be surprised at what people enjoy hearing.

Now, yeah, sure, I keep a few "Ohhh!!!!  I know that piece!" in my memory, but I think you'd be surprised how little it takes to please your average audience.  If it sounds good, and it's good music, they're going to be happy.

EEEETA Sure, I'll put in a plug for Beethoven's Op. 126.  As a complete piece, first through the last.  They're short bagatelles, for the most part, and you will develop different aspects of your technique.  I have always used the Brendel ed. from Wiener Urtest, but, hint, with a printer and scanner, you can condense the set into one double-sided page when printed, provided you can see that small and only need some cues to remember some of the pieces.  The ledger lines in the third piece are riduculous, but it's not so bad once you get the idea.