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I find Mozart's directness very easy to understand. I especially appreciate it because--at least for me--it makes memorizing his music very easy.
Haydn is harder for me because both as listener and player, I'm not as comfortable with his high degree of ornamentation, especially in slow movements.
As for Schubert, I liken his music to wandering around in the woods--with all the pros and cons this entails! Sometimes, it feels like going in circles. Other times, you stumble into some of the most gorgeous spots ...
The biggest challenge in playing Schubert, though, is to make it sound "sung"--the tone has to be just right; the balance between hands has to be exact; pedaling and voicing have to be crystal clear.
Sorry if this stirs up trouble--I read someone's post about Mozart sonatas as their "after Sunday Dinner music", and this got me thinking about Mozart and Schubert.

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Mozart's music is operatic, Haydn's is 'string quartetish', Schubert's is song-like.

Most people who love Mozart also love Schubert, and perform both; but there're many pianists who play Mozart and Schubert but can't get into Haydn. Me included.....


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Mozart's music is operatic, Haydn's is 'string quartetish', Schubert's is song-like.

Most people who love Mozart also love Schubert, and perform both; but there're many pianists who play Mozart and Schubert but can't get into Haydn. Me included.....


... but what glorious music Haydn wrote for string quartet, for the symphony and for voice, chorus and orchestra in The Creation and The Seasons.

Regards,


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It's an informing comparison, because, by not bringing Beethoven into the mix, it seems very clear to me that Schubert belongs to the romantic period.

Tomasino

Last edited by tomasino; 05/21/12 11:11 AM.

"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

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I find Schubert's sonatas to be some of the most beautiful ever written, particularly the d958, d959 and d960. but also the others. smile i love listening to the various "masters" (brendel, kempff, perahia) however... but when it comes to playing them... ugh, i give up. A, I don't have the patience. B, i don't have the time (particularly the longer ones). and C) I can't make them "sing". I recently learned the d784 A minor, but gave up halfway through memorizing it, because my playing sounded so unpolished and crass. smirk it's easier to just bang out another chopin etude or something. smile


Currently working on: Bach Partita 4, English Suite 2, Toccata d-minor, Chopin-op 10/1, Schubert Impromptus
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Originally Posted by asthecrowflies
however... but when it comes to playing them... ugh, i give up. A, I don't have the patience. B, i don't have the time (particularly the longer ones). and C) I can't make them "sing". I recently learned the d784 A minor, but gave up halfway through memorizing it, because my playing sounded so unpolished and crass. smirk it's easier to just bang out another chopin etude or something. smile


I don't know anything about your playing, but this is what makes Schubert so hard! Often times, you don't have so many notes to hide behind that you do in Chopin etudes, or any other big Romantic piece, or even Bach/Haydn/Mozart/Beethoven (although they are very transparent in their own ways, too)!

Strangely enough, Schubert is actually a better fit for me than most other composers. I just bought a book of his two sets of impromptus and the Moments Musicaux (don't worry, I got Henle) and I have been reading through 90/2 (or 899/2, depending on if you go by Op. or D.) and figuring out which fingerings to use. smile

I LOVE SCHUBERT SO MUCH OH MY GOODNESS YEAH YEAHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!ASLERIGHAELIRHAILRUGLAEIRUGLAEIURGLIAEURGLIA
ERUGIAELURGILURAEGIRAELUGIUAREGIURAELHGIULR
AEGIURAELGHAREILUGAILUREG

Last edited by Orange Soda King; 05/21/12 05:34 PM.
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LOL less orange soda for you. Maybe some camomile tea instead? wink

I've also more or less played all the Impromptus except for 142/4. Again, they're devilishly tricky to play well. In particular I've found both 90/2 and 90/4 to require a lighter touch than I possess. As for fingering, I'm using Barenreiter and there are definitely a number of places where I feel they're a bit awkward.


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Hmm, regarding Op. 90 No. 2 and touch, you need to actually be sinking your weight for very smooth maneuvering up and down the scalar figures. I can explain what I mean in greater detail in private messages if you're interested.

I can also give you the fingering I use for the virtually the entire 90/2 (I wrote that out/figured it out earlier today). It's ESSENTIAL that you use a great fingering for anything you play, whether it's what the editors write*, something you figure out yourself, or a combination of both so your best bet is to sit down at the beginning of learning the piece and figuring out fingerings for all the passages.

I haven't tried out 90/4 yet.




*Oh, and regarding editorial fingering... The fingering the editors pick works for them. It may not work for you. Figuring out fingerings for yourself is a very, very vital skill!! That's not to say that editor's fingerings are bad. Often times, they can be great! It just depends on the person and the specific passage.

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Mozart or Haydn is to Schubert as ragtime is to stride.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Mozart or Haydn is to Schubert as ragtime is to stride.


+1

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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King

I LOVE SCHUBERT SO MUCH OH MY GOODNESS YEAH YEAHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!ASLERIGHAELIRHAILRUGLAEIRUGLAEIURGLIAEURGLIA
ERUGIAELURGILURAEGIRAELUGIUAREGIURAELHGIULR
AEGIURAELGHAREILUGAILUREG


Me too.

Tomasino


"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

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Oh, definitely D. 958-960! I've played the two A Minors--sorry, can't recall both D. numbers--and while I'd love to tackle all three late ones, I only have D. 960 in Braille. I could probably learn the others by ear--but I want to see exactly what the composer wrote, not just copy someone else playing it to me.

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Oh, I agree! Schubert is more Romantic than Classical--but in an entirely different direction than Beethoven was.
To me, it seems that Schubert embodies unbridled creativity--he composed so much so fast.
Beethoven, on the other hand, was more about pushing the boundaries of what music was doing to fit what he wanted to say. In many cases, we're still leagues behind him!

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Hi Dotted, I take it you are blind? Interesting! Tomorrow, I'm going to hear Nobuyuki Tsuji play the Prok 3 with the Philharmonia Orchestra here in London. I'm very excited, ever since I watched the live stream of his Chopin Etudes at the Van Cliburn... brilliant.

The two A-minors are 784 (A-E-D#-E) and d895 (E-D-C-E). If I were to tackle another Schubert sonata, I think the d895 would be next... but sonatas are such a commitment, and there are so many sonatas (i.e. beethoven, bartok, prokofiev, scriabin) i'd like to learn as well. decisions, decisions. smile


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I love Prokofiev! Wish I were there for that concert, too.

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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Hmm, regarding Op. 90 No. 2 and touch, you need to actually be sinking your weight for very smooth maneuvering up and down the scalar figures. I can explain what I mean in greater detail in private messages if you're interested.

I can also give you the fingering I use for the virtually the entire 90/2 (I wrote that out/figured it out earlier today). It's ESSENTIAL that you use a great fingering for anything you play, whether it's what the editors write*, something you figure out yourself, or a combination of both so your best bet is to sit down at the beginning of learning the piece and figuring out fingerings for all the passages.

I haven't tried out 90/4 yet.




*Oh, and regarding editorial fingering... The fingering the editors pick works for them. It may not work for you. Figuring out fingerings for yourself is a very, very vital skill!! That's not to say that editor's fingerings are bad. Often times, they can be great! It just depends on the person and the specific passage.


I played op 90 no 4 in a concert last week! The piece is absolutely gorgeous, espesially the trio section. The arpeggios are hard, but after practising them for hours one has to remember that they are not the main thing (the melody) in the piece. For example in the beginning of the piece the six chords in measures 5 and 6 are the important thing, not the two cascades of arpeggios that precede the chords.
IMO 90/4 is often played too fast (check Brendel). It's allegretto, not allegro or vivace!

The A flat impromptu op. 142 no. 2 is also wonderful (I just played it). Op 90. no. 1 is also quite beatiful, as is op. 142. no. 3 (my favourite impromptu)


Working on

Chopin: op. 25 no. 11
Haydn: Sonata in in Eb Hob XVI/52
Schumann: Piano concerto 1st movement
Rachmaninoff: op. 39 no. 8

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Haha 142/3 is currently my favorite, too!!

90/2 and 90/4 are etude-like in some aspects, I think. Similar to Chopin's etudes, they have a technical challenge in once hand, and the harmonic and rhythmic foundation in one hand. Of course, like most of Alkan's Op. 35 etudes, they go much farther in musical development.

(I find them more musically interesting, too!)


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