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Topic: Clementi sonatinas op 34 - why so fast?  (Read 504 times)

Offline shelal

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Clementi sonatinas op 34 - why so fast?
on: July 07, 2023, 09:15:45 AM
I have returned to classical piano at 70, having reached RSM Grade 5 as a youngster and have been happily playing Clementi Sonatinas on the way to some easier Chopin, Mendelssohn etc.  Until I went on Youtube and realised the professionals were all playing Clementi at breakneck speed!  I realise that at my age there will be some physical and mental limitations on how fast I can play, and I am only playing for my own enjoyment so it doesn't really matter, but my question is whether these Sonatinas were really composed to be played so fast?  To be honest, sometimes it seems to me that they are spoilt by this breathless pace which can blur the fastest parts - but that might just be sour grapes!  Would welcome opinions on this; as I play and learn on my own, it can be hard to know what I should reasonably be aiming for.  Thanks.

Offline ego0720

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Re: Clementi sonatinas op 34 - why so fast?
Reply #1 on: July 08, 2023, 12:10:20 PM
You aim for what works for you. Focusing on speed should be the last priority when learning. The limiting step are your thoughts.  Get the multiple dimensions of piano right and do them slowly. The trap ppl get to is with focus on getting fast and faster and ignore other components. Once you get it right and bake it into your memory… if u r still motivated then challenge yourself to go faster and faster. But when playing for laymen other than them saying “wow” .. the music appreciation remains or decreases. It becomes a “look what I can do” moment and ppl generally lose interest in listening if speed is all they hear.

Sonatinas are main-slow-fast movements. Even with vivace I don’t play too fast (definition faster than allegro slower than presto or 156-176). I play faster than previous movement so it’s a relativity comparison. Tbh I might actually play 110-115. I’m not a speedster myself bc I have found sufficient things to work on in my limited time at the piano. And due to my ADHD I don’t have motivation to continue with speed at that point bc I am not sure if it translates to the musical experience for the group I play for for the stated reasons.

Offline shelal

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Re: Clementi sonatinas op 34 - why so fast?
Reply #2 on: July 08, 2023, 02:17:16 PM
Thanks, ego, that's very helpful. Tbh I am a bit bored of Clementi now and feel the need to explore some new pieces/composers rather than slogging away trying to get up to speed!  Your post has reminded me that there is so much to master with the piano and I should take my time to do that, rather than rushing to achieve competence and speed on a piece at all costs and asap.
 

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