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The Mendelssohn... is dead. #1424153
04/25/10 08:53 PM
04/25/10 08:53 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,288
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LiszThalberg Offline OP
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I have played the Mendelssohn concerto (op. 25) for almost a year and a half now. I won a concerto competition and got to play with an orchestra last March and now I tried the same thing at the MNTA state level competition.

It was my last shot with the piece, I've played it to death. Milked it for everything it's worth. I knew going into the competition that if I didn't win, it would be put in the vault.

At the competition yesterday, I was the only guy. All the concertos were romantic, but deep down I knew mine was the weekest. I flubbed the very opening A section after the octaves. My strongest section stabbed me right in the back. I tried explaining it to my parents after (known of who knew that any mistakes occured smile that I was like having to run a marathon and trying to win after shooting yourself in the foot.

I finished very strong but not strong enough to pull a win out. A girl that played the Liszt concerto nailed it. And a girl with the Chopin 2 came in second.


I really liked competing in that level of competition. I may not be there yet, but at least I'm trying.


With the Mendelssohn "dead" smile I'm looking to pick another movement for competition next spring. Does anyone have suggestions to take to my teacher on what would be a good competitor?

She owns most of the common concertos but has only played the Grieg and MacDowell with orchestras.... none of which really interest me. Any ideas guys? Rach 3? smile just kidding.

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Re: The Mendelssohn... is dead. [Re: LiszThalberg] #1424157
04/25/10 08:56 PM
04/25/10 08:56 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,728
not somewhere over the rainbow
Pogorelich. Offline
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not somewhere over the rainbow
Rach 2!!!!!!!



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
Re: The Mendelssohn... is dead. [Re: Pogorelich.] #1424173
04/25/10 09:32 PM
04/25/10 09:32 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Iowa City, IA
Kreisler Offline
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Do first movement of Prokofiev 3. It's a wonderful piece. Not quite as thorny as Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninoff, less common than some of the usual suspects, and an effective competition piece.

People often don't think of it at the pre-college level because Prokofiev 3 has a reputation for being extremely difficult, but the more treacherous spots are in the 2nd and 3rd movements.

If you want something even more obscure, you could try the Strauss Burlesque or even Bach d minor (a daring choice, but I think it could work very well in a competition.)

Otherwise, all the usual suspects are fair game. (Schumann, Grieg, Beethoven 3 or 5, etc...)


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: The Mendelssohn... is dead. [Re: Kreisler] #1424181
04/25/10 09:53 PM
04/25/10 09:53 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,783
Seattle area, WA
gooddog Offline
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Kreisler, is the Bach d minor enough for a competition? I view myself as only moderately advanced and I've polished almost all of it except the last two pages, (long story). It requires fairly strong "Bach" technical dexterity but isn't terribly challenging otherwise. I love the piece and would feel pretty proud of myself if you think it could stand up next to some of those other concerti. I thought of it as a beginner's concerto but maybe I'm wrong.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: The Mendelssohn... is dead. [Re: gooddog] #1424189
04/25/10 10:11 PM
04/25/10 10:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 6,651
Here, as opposed to there
stores Offline
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Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted by gooddog
Kreisler, is the Bach d minor enough for a competition? I view myself as only moderately advanced and I've polished almost all of it except the last two pages, (long story). It requires fairly strong "Bach" technical dexterity but isn't terribly challenging otherwise. I love the piece and would feel pretty proud of myself if you think it could stand up next to some of those other concerti. I thought of it as a beginner's concerto but maybe I'm wrong.


Of course it is. It's about WHAT you do with a work, not how difficult technically it may be (or not). I don't think of ANY of the Bach concerti as beginner's concerti.

As far as suggestions for the OP go I'd need more input on his abilities. If it were me and I were pulling a concerto out of the bag again I'd probably go with the Ravel. Concerti I still want to learn? Rach 3, Brahms 2, Khachaturian, the Faure Op. 19 Ballade, Saint-Saens 5. I think that about covers it haha.

Last edited by stores; 04/25/10 10:28 PM.


"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

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Re: The Mendelssohn... is dead. [Re: stores] #1424198
04/25/10 10:23 PM
04/25/10 10:23 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,161
South Jersey
DameMyra Offline
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South Jersey
How about Shostakovich 2?


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Re: The Mendelssohn... is dead. [Re: gooddog] #1424208
04/25/10 10:34 PM
04/25/10 10:34 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Iowa City, IA
Kreisler Offline
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Originally Posted by gooddog
Kreisler, is the Bach d minor enough for a competition


It is in the world I want to live in.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: The Mendelssohn... is dead. [Re: LiszThalberg] #1424245
04/26/10 12:02 AM
04/26/10 12:02 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,678
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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Back to the Mendelssohn : "...played it to death...", "milked it for everything it's worth..." "last shot" I'm sure are all relative terms, relative to your closeness to the piece at the moment. It is undoubtedly time to put it on the shelf for a while, but with all you've put into it, it could well be a life-time companion that you might comfortably live with.

It probably just needs a rest for the moment, but don't completely close the door on it. After a few years, you may want to revive or even resuscitate it; "Dead!" sounds so final!

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: The Mendelssohn... is dead. [Re: BruceD] #1424258
04/26/10 12:25 AM
04/26/10 12:25 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,488
Oakland
B
BDB Offline
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Oakland
You need to read the story about the competition at the Paris Conservatoire that Berlioz wrote. I think it is in Evenings with the Orchestra.

If you do not want that to happen at a contest you compete, maybe you should vary your choices. The first movement of the Stravinsky Capriccio or of the Hummel a-minor might be nice. Or perhaps the Tchaikovsky Second.


Semipro Tech
Re: The Mendelssohn... is dead. [Re: BDB] #1424407
04/26/10 09:56 AM
04/26/10 09:56 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,654
San Jose, CA
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jeffreyjones Offline
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San Jose, CA
Originally Posted by BDB
You need to read the story about the competition at the Paris Conservatoire that Berlioz wrote. I think it is in Evenings with the Orchestra.

If you do not want that to happen at a contest you compete, maybe you should vary your choices. The first movement of the Stravinsky Capriccio or of the Hummel a-minor might be nice. Or perhaps the Tchaikovsky Second.


*spit-take*

Sir, I know what the Tchaikovsky Second Concerto is like. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

Re: The Mendelssohn... is dead. [Re: jeffreyjones] #1424514
04/26/10 12:45 PM
04/26/10 12:45 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,488
Oakland
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BDB Offline
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Let people make up their own minds.


Semipro Tech
Re: The Mendelssohn... is dead. [Re: BDB] #1424566
04/26/10 02:06 PM
04/26/10 02:06 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 244
In a heap of trouble
H
hat Offline
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hat  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 244
In a heap of trouble
Do the Scriabin concerto.. it's so lonely!


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John Cage: 4'33"
Re: The Mendelssohn... is dead. [Re: hat] #1424610
04/26/10 03:35 PM
04/26/10 03:35 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,678
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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Originally Posted by hat
Do the Scriabin concerto.. it's so lonely!


"lonely"? ... because everyone ignores it?

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: The Mendelssohn... is dead. [Re: BruceD] #1424642
04/26/10 04:32 PM
04/26/10 04:32 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 244
In a heap of trouble
H
hat Offline
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hat  Offline
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H

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 244
In a heap of trouble
Yes?


Repertoire
John Cage: 4'33"
Re: The Mendelssohn... is dead. [Re: hat] #1424673
04/26/10 05:29 PM
04/26/10 05:29 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,660
D
Damon Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
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Long live the Mendelssohn!

Re: The Mendelssohn... is dead. [Re: hat] #1424675
04/26/10 05:31 PM
04/26/10 05:31 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 625
WV
xtraheat Offline
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WV
Originally Posted by hat
Do the Scriabin concerto.. it's so lonely!


It has one of the most beautiful second movements of all concertos


Currently working on
Prokofiev Piano Concerto 3
Beethoven Sonata Op.109
Chopin Op.10 No.1
Bach WTC II no. 15

--Sam--
Re: The Mendelssohn... is dead. [Re: xtraheat] #1424711
04/26/10 06:35 PM
04/26/10 06:35 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,327
New York City
pianoloverus Offline
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I think the most important criteria are:

1. An appropriate level of difficulty(your teacher being the best judge here)
2. You love the piece!

My personal recommendations would be Beethoven 1, 2, or 3. But like choosing a piano, what you like counts the most.

Re: The Mendelssohn... is dead. [Re: pianoloverus] #1424753
04/26/10 07:55 PM
04/26/10 07:55 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 79
Kansas City, MO, USA
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Arcturus Offline
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Posts: 79
Kansas City, MO, USA
Hehe... Tchaik 2... I remember listening to that for the first time and thinking - 'no wonder no one ever plays this'. Personally, I don't have many concertos under my belt, but the Muczynski Concerto No. 1 did win me a performance with orchestra. Its a pretty good showpiece.

Re: The Mendelssohn... is dead. [Re: Arcturus] #1425227
04/27/10 02:01 PM
04/27/10 02:01 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 728
South Carolina, USA
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wdot Offline
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South Carolina, USA
I'm very partial to the first movement of Beethoven 3. It's a very dramatic work with plenty of technical challenges, but it don't think it would be beyond the reach of the OP. It has a great cadenza. The first movement of the Schumann, while frequently played, also shows a lot of different aspects about one's playing. I believe it was originally composed to stand alone as a one-movement piece.

Matt, do you know these pieces from listening to them? As Pianoloverus said, a lot will depend on what you like.

Re: The Mendelssohn... is dead. [Re: wdot] #1425246
04/27/10 02:15 PM
04/27/10 02:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 11,008
Williamsburg, VA
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Originally Posted by wdot
I'm very partial to the first movement of Beethoven 3.


So am I. It is indeed a very dramatic work with plenty of technical challenges.

But in my brief experience listening to concerto competitions, winning with the Beethoven 3 is not easy. Mozart concertos seem to suffer competitive disadvantages as well. I suspect this is partly due to the assignment problem. Students who are not quite as advanced may get Mozart and Beethoven assigned to them, while more advanced players get the powerhouse concertos (or at least the bigger and more showy ones). I know that assignments like this don't necessarily make good sense, technically or musically. But this is often what I have seen. On the other hand, I have also seen this outcome even when the Beethoven is in the hands of a great young player. Prokofiev has a better chance, other things equal.

At some point though, this is something that just shouldn't matter. You play a piece because it speaks to you. And if you play it convincingly, let the judging take care of itself.

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