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Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114486
07/19/06 11:25 PM
07/19/06 11:25 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 339
FL
dk21208 Offline
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Mel,

I am definitely noticing the improvements from the last full take. You are well on your way. You have absolutely set the standard for section I. And those deep bass notes ring out beautifully on your piano!!!

I still haven't put any effort into the last page. I have been trying to focus on trying some different ways of solidfying the other pages first. I guess I can't avoid it forever...

I have been working on a progress recording. I think my biggest issue is that I don't want save any of the takes that have errors in them, which obviously means I am not saving anything. So, I am sucking it up and posting it up. This is not complete. I stop shortly after the key change. I have been working from memory, and I have quit using the metronome until I am ready to push my speed up a little more. So trying to maintain consistant speed has been one of the big issues. I have been playing around with the dynamics because I don't think the written dynamics do this song justice. If you are so inclined feel free to give feedback. Also, as I keep listening, I now think I have brought out the left hand too much in this take. ShiroKuro, can I have your opinion on this since you are currently honing in on left hand issues in general?

Ok, I guess I have stalled long enough...

Dean - Croation Rhapsody - Partial - ??BPM


Dean
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Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114487
07/20/06 05:56 AM
07/20/06 05:56 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,044
not in Japan anymore
ShiroKuro Offline OP
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Woooooowwwwww Mel! You are making fantastic progress!! Wow, your tempo is way up, and you are getting very musical throughout! It's really exciting to hear your recording.

Oh, I have got to get working on this. I have not made any progress and all I do most of the time is just to to keep from losing the sections I can (barely) play.

And Dean, you are also sounding very good, very good and solid.

You are both at the point where it sounds like you're having really fun too.


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114488
07/20/06 08:41 AM
07/20/06 08:41 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,865
Connecticut
dannylux Offline
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Dean, great playing and wonderful progress!

I especially like how even your right hand touch is, and at a tempo of about 85, that's a real accomplishment.

Your arpeggios at the key change are perfect.

I listened to your recording 4 times and I don't think your left hand is too loud at all.

And I agree with you completely about the dynamics of this piece.

They definitely need to be expanded.

Since this is a work in progress, I don't concern myself with missed notes, my own or other peoples'. My recording shows me what needs to be worked on, and this increases my gratitude.

And thanks so much for your kind encouragement.

How was your vacation in the mountains? Nice, no doubt.

Thank you also SK, for your encouragement.

Mel


"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. You give because you love and cannot help giving." Katharine Hepburn
Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114489
07/20/06 02:22 PM
07/20/06 02:22 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 339
FL
dk21208 Offline
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Thanks for the commentary. I went back this morning and listened to my recording against the Kanemasu version that ShiroKuro linked. My left hand is actually perhaps softer than Kenji's. And it has really grown on me since last night. It really is exciting as this piece begins to fall into place!

Vacation was wonderful, thanks for asking. It is a tradition to go back each year to where my wife and I met. She likes to even take it so far as to go sit on the wall where she first saw me... Otherwise it is nice just to lounge around and have no agenda for an entire week. I also had a chance to read a music theory book last week while I was away from the piano. I hated theory as a kid, and it shows. It is unbelievable how much I have forgotten.


Dean
Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114490
07/21/06 03:10 PM
07/21/06 03:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 921
North Carolina
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Opus45 Offline
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North Carolina
Mel and Dean,

What an inspiration to the rest of us to hear for ourselves your amazing progress on the Croatian Rhapsody.

Awesome thumb thumb


Jeff
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Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114491
07/21/06 08:07 PM
07/21/06 08:07 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 151
Gulf Coast
petrof1 Offline
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I decided to "pop in" and see how you guys are all doing. I must say, Mel and Dean, I am really impressed!!Beautiful! thumb


Make music not war
Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114492
07/22/06 08:59 PM
07/22/06 08:59 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 989
Toronto
Kawaigirl1 Offline
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I haven't been in here in awhile..and WOW!! Mel and Dean...your recordings were FANTASTIC! Like Shiro says, it sounds like you guys are having sooooo much fun playing this piece.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114493
07/23/06 11:42 AM
07/23/06 11:42 AM
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Posts: 921
North Carolina
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Opus45 Offline
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North Carolina
I've been delaying my start into "Section I", instead spending a little available time trying to get sections A-H up to speed (am close to [1/4=72]) and these sections remain very challenging for me to keep up with at that tempo.

While working on "I" this morning I thought I remembered that Mel shared his fingering for that section in this thread.

I was right & found it on page 9 of this thread.

Just thought some of you might appreciate knowing that there are advantages to being slower than others in these learning groups. wink

Thanks Mel! smile


Jeff
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Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114494
07/24/06 07:16 AM
07/24/06 07:16 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,044
not in Japan anymore
ShiroKuro Offline OP
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Well, my recital recording is finished and linked (I decided to use a recording I got from last weekend, one that I didn't post yet.) So now that recital prep is off my agenda (and I have my practice-plan set for Carol of the Bells and GRYMG) I am finally back to more serious practice on CR. Until now I have really just been coasting, trying not to lost the little progress I had made. Now I'm hoping to get back to working on progress instead of just treading water!

Today I went back through the first three pages and re-did my practice-plan so that should help me to stay focused.

Are Jeff and I the only ones on the slow track here?


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114495
07/24/06 08:27 AM
07/24/06 08:27 AM
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Posts: 921
North Carolina
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Opus45 Offline
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North Carolina
The "I section" is tricky isn't it?

I devoted about 10-15 minutes last evening and about 5-10 minutes this morning before work...just trying to play the two hands together at a funeral march tempo.

I'm actually excited about getting this section under control because (for me) this little section is "THE" speed bump in this piece. Once I've got it under control, I'll sight read the rest of this piece into submission, then spend the next few months bringing it up to the speed Mel & Dean are currently playing.


Jeff
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Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114496
07/24/06 08:39 AM
07/24/06 08:39 AM
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Posts: 176
Pennsylvania
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I'm slow too. I have most of it up to the key change sort of vaguely playable, but other than the first two sections I have not worked any of it with the metronome. I got A and B up around 90, and I am playing the rest at slow but at least recognizable speed, but with some Einstein qualities.

"And Einstein's insights about the elasticity of Time are old news to any piano student who's ever played a piece without a metronome: easy bits at 138, hard passages at 54, with variable rests between phrases..."--quote from PW member

The C#minor section I have barely looked at. What is the point of that section anyway? It isn't enough difference to be noticeable, it is just different enough to confuse the poor pianist.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114497
07/24/06 10:32 AM
07/24/06 10:32 AM
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FL
dk21208 Offline
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Actually, I like the C#minor section. I think it does add to the overall experience when playing through. To me, the tension is just building up to the key change. At the key change everything has come to a head and the intensity of the music goes way up.

I do agree in the sense that I think the C# section is too long. I would possibly have preferred if there were no sections P and O, and therefore no repeat at the end.

I am glad to see that you guys are starting to focus on the good ol' Croat again. Things were really kind of quiet around here....


Dean
Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114498
07/28/06 10:03 AM
07/28/06 10:03 AM
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Connecticut
dannylux Offline
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Thanks Opus, Petrof1 and Kawaigirl1 for your supportive comments about my latest recording.

And you're right, it really is great fun to play.

For the last week I've spent all of my time practicing my 3 recital pieces.

Finally, I chose one and submitted it.

So now I can get back to CR and my problem areas, H and Q, and that run just before "I".

As I play the run, I always think about the approaching section "I" and get anxious, and that causes me to mess up.

It's a really easy run, just a G7 arpeggio, but having my hands spread so far apart is awkward.

It's just a question of more practice.

I've been recording all of my practice sessions for the last 2 weeks to overcome fear, sweaty hands, and sticky keys, so I have a recording of the CR at about mm=98, but I don't think I'll post it, unless someone wants it.

Maybe next week I'll have a better performance to post.

Quote
The C#minor section I have barely looked at. What is the point of that section anyway? It isn't enough difference to be noticeable, it is just different enough to confuse the poor pianist.
I love the C# minor section, especially P and Q.

P has that change in rhythm and Q has a much different sound to it.

And it certainly feels much different in the hands.

Mel


"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. You give because you love and cannot help giving." Katharine Hepburn
Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114499
07/28/06 10:48 AM
07/28/06 10:48 AM
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FL
dk21208 Offline
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Mel,

I am happy to listen to anything that gets posted. No pressure, though.

Funny how you get nervouse leading up to the famous "I" section. That part typically doesn't bother me. I get nervous as I am going through "I" which frequently makes me stumble at "J" and usually either miss with the right hand or forget to even move my left hand and I stall.

Not sure when it happened, but I have unconcsiously changed my right hand fingering through "I". It is not good and I actually have spent a few days not playing this piece until I am ready to fix the damage I have done. Somehow I have slipped over to playing the Bb with my thumb and then trying to slide up and play the C with my thumb too. I guess I am just going to have to slow it back down and retrain my mind and fingers to play it right.

OT ramble...
How have you been going through the recording process? When I am doing that I typically set to record each time I play through and then erase before I move on to the next attempt. This seems to recreate the tension for me every time I play through... Maybe that is good, maybe that is bad... I get better takes if I just record an entire session, but then I have to go and listen to it all over again, but that gets tedious and usually not worth my time. If only I had my own sound engineer who had to do all that for me.


Dean
Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114500
07/31/06 07:23 AM
07/31/06 07:23 AM
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Connecticut
dannylux Offline
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Dean, my experience with recording is pretty much the same as yours.

I record for 20 minutes, take a few minutes break, open up a new record window and record for about 20 minutes more, etc.

If the piece went really well, I'll stop playing and cut, paste, and export it, then get back to practicing.

When I finish practicing, I have as many as 5 open record windows in the tray, one for each piece.

Having to fish something out of a 20-30 min. recording session is not that hard using the scroll bar at the bottom of the page.

I can recognize the frequency patterns of my pieces.

From a 2 hour practice session, I'll save maybe 3 or 4 pieces. Most get deleted after several days and replaced by better takes.

It's a big help listening to some of my practice sessions, not for a measure or 2, but for whole pieces.

Listening to the recordings, I can spot problems that I didn't hear as I was playing, especially with tempos and dynamics.

Yesterday I did listen to 18 minutes of scales, though.

Mel


"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. You give because you love and cannot help giving." Katharine Hepburn
Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114501
07/31/06 07:44 AM
07/31/06 07:44 AM
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Connecticut
dannylux Offline
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I haven't spent too much time on the CR, but I did record yesterday and I was fairly pleased with my first take of the day.

Except for a few lapses in concentration and uneven touch here and there, which I'll continue to work on, it went pretty well.

The tempo is mm=97, which is what the composer indicates on the score.

My actual tempo seems to vary between 96 and 98.

There are less mistakes in this performance than in my previous posts, and it's my fastest tempo, but it's not as expressive as I would like.

It almost seems too fast to me.

Here it is:


Croatian Rhapsody


Mel


"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. You give because you love and cannot help giving." Katharine Hepburn
Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114502
07/31/06 09:21 AM
07/31/06 09:21 AM
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Toronto
Kawaigirl1 Offline
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Hi Mel,

To me that was fantastic! Txs for sharing.

I'm only at 3/4 of the way with tempo and making slow progress.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114503
07/31/06 06:53 PM
07/31/06 06:53 PM
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North Carolina
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Opus45 Offline
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Quote
Mel:
..it's my fastest tempo, but it's not as expressive as I would like.
Even so Mel, you've set an exceedingly high performance standard. There were some phrases where I held my breath, rapt, listening to this recording.

So very well done, indeed!


Jeff
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Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114504
08/03/06 12:51 PM
08/03/06 12:51 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
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FL
dk21208 Offline
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Mel, nice job. I am still doubting how expressive this piece can really be at its intended speed. Maybe that is why Huljic didn't really put much dynamic notation in there. I am going to still build up to full speed and see what I think, but I am guessing that once I have it polished will be playing it more in the 82-86 range. Primarily to put a bigger focus on creating a musical experience based on expressiveness instead of sheer speed.

Kawaigirl1: Have you made any recordings yet?

Has anyone been sticking with the Burrows transcription?


Dean
Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114505
08/03/06 12:59 PM
08/03/06 12:59 PM
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Toronto
Kawaigirl1 Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by dk21208:

Kawaigirl1: Have you made any recordings yet?

No recordings yet. I'm learning this piece at a snail pace frown

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114506
08/03/06 01:04 PM
08/03/06 01:04 PM
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Missouri
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Quote
Are Jeff and I the only ones on the slow track here?
I'm definitely on the slow track. I hurt my wrist and I've had to concentrate on the recital piece. Sounds like there are others, too!

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114507
08/03/06 01:26 PM
08/03/06 01:26 PM
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Posts: 339
FL
dk21208 Offline
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Incomplete/Slow/Imperfect progress recordings are good too! Personally, I just like to hear how other musicians are interpretting the different elements.

I can't imagine trying to play this with a hurt anything, though. Do be very careful while still healing. Of course, piano should be great rehab for hand and wrist injuries.


Dean
Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114508
08/06/06 08:12 AM
08/06/06 08:12 AM
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Posts: 4,044
not in Japan anymore
ShiroKuro Offline OP
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It's been a while since I've looked at this thread, but I see that I've missed a lot!

Mel, as always, you're flying ahead! Sounds really good. If you can get it up to that tempo, then getting it the way you want it, at that tempo, is just a step away. Was that recording from a week ago? I'd love to hear where you're at now.

I, on the other hand, am definitely on the slow track, but really enjoying that slow track.


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114509
08/06/06 11:17 PM
08/06/06 11:17 PM
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Connecticut
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During the last week, I've only played through the CR a few times and have not practiced any of my difficult measures, so I don't think there's any progress to report.

Mel


"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. You give because you love and cannot help giving." Katharine Hepburn
Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114510
08/07/06 08:37 PM
08/07/06 08:37 PM
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Phoenix, AZ
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Add me to the slow track list. Likely won't be up to speed for quite awhile.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114511
08/09/06 07:35 AM
08/09/06 07:35 AM
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Williamsburg, VA
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Well, we're back from Deutschland. Anthony signed himself up to play at church on the 20th and he plans to do the his take on the rhapsody. Yeah, real church music. I can't wait to see the reaction. laugh

He's had six weeks off the piano, so he'd better bust some butt to polish it off.

The week after that we're signed up to do a piano-French Horn duo. These mini-recitals are a great way to deal with performance anxiety. At least that's true for him. For me ...well.... I'll just panic.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114512
08/22/06 09:33 AM
08/22/06 09:33 AM
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Williamsburg, VA
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Hmmm, am I resurrecting a dead thread? :p

The performance of the Rhapsody went very well. The church was packed and he got a nice round of applause. It was offertory music, so people actually listened (while they were fleeced).

We may get a chance to record on good equipment tonight. I'll post if we do.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114513
08/22/06 09:44 AM
08/22/06 09:44 AM
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Posts: 6,467
Phoenix, AZ
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I hope you can record.

I'm having a great time over here visualizing the Rhapsody during offertory. It would never fly with the Episcopalians around here, let me tell you! laugh

In all seriousness, there is an Episcopalian church in Tucson (St. Philips in the Hills) that has an absolutely fantastic music director and music programs. They are scholars and performance artists. The music at their services is, without doubt, some of the finest I've ever heard.

I'm sure Piano*Son and the Croatian Rhapsody would fit right in! smile

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114514
08/22/06 10:26 AM
08/22/06 10:26 AM
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Williamsburg, VA
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Hey Nina, we DO go to an Episcopalian church, but not to the more traditional (staid??) Bruton Parish in downtown Williamsburg.

Our music director is an NEC grad. She encourages the kids to perform in public and we've got some good ones at the church.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group #1114515
08/22/06 02:29 PM
08/22/06 02:29 PM
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FL
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That must have been a rousing offertory. Definitely looking forward to an updated recording of Anthony's version. Congrats to you, Anthony, on your live performance.

I had been thinking about bumping this thread for a couple of days. I don't think it is dead, just resting. I imagine we were all relaxed while getting ready for last weeks recital. Perhaps it is time time to gear up again. I do have everything fully learned, and I can play it up to speed without too many hiccups. However, I have been trying to just keep on drilling the song into my mind and fingers, because I can never play it well my first time through. I want to be able to build up to playing it right the first time. I think it is just going to take some more time and familiarity. My fingers really just have to warm up to playing this piece.


Dean
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