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Topic: Average To Above Average  (Read 1292 times)

Offline flyusx

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Average To Above Average
on: September 09, 2022, 01:23:23 AM
I have a month until my next piano competition. My main issue is my Beethoven's Op90 sonata (first movement). I can certainly play it well, just not really well. Obviously, middle (or at least in my opinion, late) Beethoven takes time and effort to perfect, and the hardest Beethoven work I've played was Op10No3.
How did you all get from the 'I can play it' stage to the 'I can play it really well' stage?
I do intend on posting a recording here sometime. That is, if I can find a good way to record audio.
Currently Working On
Beethoven Sonate №7
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Offline bwl_13

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Re: Average To Above Average
Reply #1 on: September 09, 2022, 04:12:31 AM
This seems to be a question about polishing. I don't have a specific answer for you, it takes a lot of time, it's the reason so many people have teachers, and it differs from piece to piece, person to person. The best advice I can give you is to record yourself frequently.

Also, how long have you been playing this? It's good to sit with music for a while. Time can be your best friend (so long as you don't grow complacent).
Second Year Undergrad:
Bach BWV 914
Beethoven Op. 58
Reger Op. 24 No. 5
Rachmaninoff Op. 39 No. 3 & No. 5

Offline nightwindsonata

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Re: Average To Above Average
Reply #2 on: September 09, 2022, 02:27:53 PM
Some things I would recommend:

Record tiny bits for yourself to listen back, really refining each phrase to be exactly the way you want it to be, analyzing things like rubatos (which should not be large unless they are written in), articulations, phrases, dynamic shapes, etc.

Practice slowly without pedal. This will reveal any places that you are 'cheating' or not playing with the correct touch, or catching wrong notes.

Play through it from memory in half tempo. Once again, this will reveal any weaknesses.

Take it to a masterclass if you can--you will get new insights from a different teacher.

Perform it, a lot. Beethoven Sonatas are some of the hardest pieces in the repertoire to bring to a high level, since they are so very transparent, and there are many, many possibilities for phrasing each note.

Wake up at 3 AM and play it through (on a keyboard with headphones if you need). Once you can do it at 3 AM, half asleep, you can do it anywhere.

Hope these help!
1st-year Master's Program:
- Ravel Piano Concerto
- Liszt Ricordanza
- Liszt 3 Liebestraums
- Liszt 3 Sonnets

- Rhapsody in Blue
- Dante Sonata
- Schubert Sonata D.780
- Mozart Piano Quartet in Gm

Offline sdphins

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Re: Average To Above Average
Reply #3 on: September 09, 2022, 08:48:10 PM
By far the best way to really perform something comfortably is to have the piece like an old friend. That is to say, learn it, drop it, relearn, drop it, learn again... and so on. By about the third time you do this performing and playing the piece is incredibly comfortable, almost second nature. But in regards to your current situation you only have a month so I'd say:

A ton of practice(Seems obvious but it's the best strat)

Hands separate from memory in sections

Play around with different metronome speeds and try and get some of the trickier passages above performance tempo so on the big day you're not straining yourself at the top end of your technique

Everything nightwind said

Perform for some friends and family

Offline flyusx

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Re: Average To Above Average
Reply #4 on: September 10, 2022, 11:30:09 AM
Also, how long have you been playing this? It's good to sit with music for a while. Time can be your best friend (so long as you don't grow complacent).
I've had it since summer this year; but I agree, the best thing is time (Op55/2 certainly taught me that).
Currently Working On
Beethoven Sonate №7

Offline anacrusis

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Re: Average To Above Average
Reply #5 on: September 23, 2022, 12:08:34 PM
Apart from letting pieces mature like wine, which takes time, the quickest way to improve IMO is
1) record yourself, listen carefully to your recording and reflect on what you need to improve
2) get feedback from teachers and colleagues

Do post a recording here and we can help you with the feedback part!
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