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#1957764 - 09/12/12 08:58 AM Help! Picking a first concerto!  
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So after years and years of waiting my teacher finally gave me the thumbs up to start working on a concerto! After a long discussion, he gave me the chance to pick my own concerto and to start working on it from there; he trusts that I won't choose something overly bombastic such as things like Brahms, Rach, Tchaik,etc.
After thinking about it, i've narrowed my choices to be down to the romantic era. Problem is, I CAN'T DECIDE. There are just too many beautiful gems to pick from!

It would be amazing if someone could share me an insight about this and perhaps even suggest some wonderful romantic concertos!

P.S I don't really want to choose a overplayed concerto such as the Grieg and Mendelssohn.

Thank you soo much in advance! smile

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#1957766 - 09/12/12 09:05 AM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Gould]  
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chopin 1 if you can handle it

#1957770 - 09/12/12 09:22 AM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Gould]  
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The Chopin 1 isn't a great beginner concerto. It's significantly hard. All the romantic era concertos are incredibly hard if you remove the Grieg concerto from the list. Why not try one of the last 8 mozart concertos or Beethoven's 1st or 2nd concerto as your first concerto and then try a romantic concerto.


Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.7, Op.10 No.3
Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor
Scriabin: Prelude, Op.11 No.11
#1957775 - 09/12/12 09:53 AM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: arpan70]  
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Didin't want to choose a classical concerto because I simply have no interest in classical works, haha. Though I seriously adore and love listening to them being played; I don't really have much interest in actually learning a classical concerto. The only classical concerto's that I would have wanted to play would probably be far beyond my reach, cough Beethoven 4,5 Mozart 20, 24, etc.

p.s Yes, I do know that I sound a tad bit overambitious. :P

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#1957776 - 09/12/12 09:56 AM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Gould]  
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In sheer technical terms, Mozart 20, 24 are easier than the Grieg Concerto.


Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.7, Op.10 No.3
Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor
Scriabin: Prelude, Op.11 No.11
#1957780 - 09/12/12 10:05 AM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: arpan70]  
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Perhaps in general terms, but haha, Mozart is terribly difficult in his "own" way I suppose. Clarity, clarity, clarity! Ahhh. What a pain it is.

#1957781 - 09/12/12 10:05 AM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Gould]  
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Arpan is right, that's why I said "if you can handle it" lol. I actually love Mozart's 23rd concerto. So pretty. Try that one.

#1957785 - 09/12/12 10:10 AM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: JoelW]  
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I do love the 23th concerto! Especially the heartbreaking second movement! But as I originally stated. I have no interest in learning a classical concerto! smile

#1957787 - 09/12/12 10:17 AM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Gould]  
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What do you have in mind?

#1957792 - 09/12/12 10:32 AM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: JoelW]  
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Some of the MANY wandering concertos floating in my fickle minded mind are smile
G.Pierne's Concerto. It's truly an amazing concerto and definitely deserves a lot more public eye!

Scriabin's Concerto, same thing applies like the Pierne. Wonder why no one plays this work often...

Teacher suggested either Liszt 1,2 or the Yellow River concerto (not romantic but still.)

As of now I am in a dilema! Soo many to choose from!

#1957800 - 09/12/12 11:00 AM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Gould]  
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What's your current playing level?

#1957811 - 09/12/12 11:21 AM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: JoelW]  
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Hey there. Not really sure how I can properly answer that question. I guess I should generally be fairly average I hope!

#1957824 - 09/12/12 11:44 AM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Gould]  
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Try Shostakovich No. 2. No. 1 isn't too difficult, either, compared to Prokofiev, etc.

Gershwin's Concerto in F has some scintillating moments.


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#1957836 - 09/12/12 12:07 PM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Gould]  
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Originally Posted by Gould
The only classical concerto's that I would have wanted to play would probably be far beyond my reach, cough Beethoven 4,5 Mozart 20, 24, etc.

p.s Yes, I do know that I sound a tad bit overambitious. :P

And yet you say your teacher recommends Liszt? Not sure I'm following the thought process here... also, why not play Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninoff if you're at that level?


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
#1957837 - 09/12/12 12:08 PM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Gould]  
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Why a concerto? Do you want to play something for 2 pianos, or do you want to play with an ensemble. If the former, why not play something for 2 pianos? If the latter, why not play some chamber music?


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#1957840 - 09/12/12 12:15 PM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Derulux]  
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Originally Posted by Derulux
And yet you say your teacher recommends Liszt? Not sure I'm following the thought process here... also, why not play Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninoff if you're at that level?

Well, my piano teacher gave me Rach2 right after I finished the Beethoven Pathetique. I didn't even want to play Rach2. My playing level was far below the music's demands.

Some teachers are trying to live vicariously through their students, you know?


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#1957854 - 09/12/12 12:44 PM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Gould]  
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Yes, the Scriabin Concerto is gorgeous. I find the orchestration far superior to that of the Chopin concertos. However, the Scriabin concerto is incredibly difficult, especially if you are going to play it with a second pianist, because of the abundance of poly-rhythms. If you can play the Liszt concerto, why not do the second one. I find the first a bit dry. And to bring up a current topic in this forum, "why no love for Mozart and Beethoven?" .

Furthermore, I'd highly recommend you play some chamber music before trying a concerto. Try finding a good violinist and do a Beethoven violin sonata. If you are felling a bit more romantic you can also try the Grieg sonatas or the Brahms sonatas. This will develop your communication skills immensely.


Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.7, Op.10 No.3
Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor
Scriabin: Prelude, Op.11 No.11
#1957862 - 09/12/12 01:01 PM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Gould]  
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Originally Posted by Gould

P.S I don't really want to choose a overplayed concerto such as the Grieg and Mendelssohn.

How about Mendelssohn's 2nd piano concerto? I much prefer it to the first. Rarely played, lots of romanticism, and a beautiful 2nd movement.

#1957871 - 09/12/12 01:29 PM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Gould]  
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Originally Posted by Gould
Hey there. Not really sure how I can properly answer that question. I guess I should generally be fairly average I hope!


A list of your current repertoire would be much more helpful than "fairly average I hope."

I am not sure, however, that I fully understand the question. When you say that there are too many beautiful ones from which to choose, it sounds as if you are familiar with most of the Romantic concerto repertoire. If that is so, then what sort of suggestions can we make? Anything not main stream may be hard to find, but, ultimately, we can't choose for you, that's something you and your teacher ultimately have to do.

I would rely on my teacher - who knows my skills, my musical and artistic needs as well as my likes and dislikes - to help me decide which concerto to choose.


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#1957981 - 09/12/12 05:53 PM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: AZNpiano]  
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Derulux
And yet you say your teacher recommends Liszt? Not sure I'm following the thought process here... also, why not play Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninoff if you're at that level?

Well, my piano teacher gave me Rach2 right after I finished the Beethoven Pathetique. I didn't even want to play Rach2. My playing level was far below the music's demands.

Some teachers are trying to live vicariously through their students, you know?

Yep, I can follow you there. I guess I'm trying to figure out this person's actual ability level (as separate from "fairly okay I guess"). Several contradicting statements do not lend to a straightforward and simple reply unless we clarify them. wink


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
#1958003 - 09/12/12 06:47 PM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: BruceD]  
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Not really expecting to get a final choice from the forums but rather was hoping to find suggestions and help towards choosing the concerto. Some works that i've recently finished over the past months Schubert A minor Sonata (d784), Liszt's 2 legendes, Mendelssohn's Rondo Cap., Bach P&F WTC 2: B minor

#1958021 - 09/12/12 07:03 PM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Gould]  
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I'd go with a Mozart concerto. And wait a week or so before starting the Mozart concerto, so you can listen to this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlhbFk2GbcY

this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrNbmFM6O60

and this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj1i_fL5QCw

all over and over again to help understand the heart of Mozart. The center of Mozart was opera, and its influence is VERY in his pieces.

#1958077 - 09/12/12 10:34 PM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: arpan70]  
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Originally Posted by arpan70
However, the Scriabin concerto is incredibly difficult, especially if you are going to play it with a second pianist, because of the abundance of poly-rhythms.


Not only that, the whole piece is awkward beyond belief. However difficult the Scriabin concerto may sound, it's about 10x more so.

#1958082 - 09/12/12 10:47 PM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Gould]  
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In addition to the Mozart, there are a couple Bach concerti that rarely see the light of day. If you're looking for something obscure, I'm sure Thalbergmad (I believe he visits these forums) has a long list of easier Romantic and Classical concerti that could be worth taking a look at.

#1958093 - 09/12/12 11:19 PM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Gould]  
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Romantic - Bombastic - Overplayed = Nothing Left.

Maybe the Strauss Burlesque?
Franck Symphonic Variations?
MacDowell #2? (too bombastic?)

Why not Ravel? Why not Beethoven 3?

If this isn't for a potential competition or orchestral performance, then chamber music also a good idea - if you have string players at your disposal, maybe Mozart g minor quartet, one of the Op. 1 Beethoven trios or a Mendelssohn trio?


"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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#1958097 - 09/12/12 11:38 PM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Kreisler]  
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
Romantic - Bombastic - Overplayed = Nothing Left.

Maybe the Strauss Burlesque?
Franck Symphonic Variations?
MacDowell #2? (too bombastic?)

Why not Ravel? Why not Beethoven 3?

If this isn't for a potential competition or orchestral performance, then chamber music also a good idea - if you have string players at your disposal, maybe Mozart g minor quartet, one of the Op. 1 Beethoven trios or a Mendelssohn trio?


It isin't for a competition but it is for a performance with my teachers orchestra for next year. Though chamber music is wonderful I would rather prefer to learn a concerto for now. I didin't want to choose the Ravel or Beethoven because I am positive that it would be negatively received by the unfortunately less musically inclined audiences around my area. In other words i'm searching for a concerto that can be universally loved by the masses; i.e trying to promote classical music towards audiences that don't usually think highly of it.

Your suggestions were amazing! Listening to them at the moment. smile

Last edited by Gould; 09/12/12 11:40 PM.
#1958098 - 09/12/12 11:42 PM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Kreisler]  
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Originally Posted by Kreisler

(too bombastic?)


Sorry, I said that wrongly. When I said bombastic I was referring to ridiculously difficult concertos in technical terms, stamina, etc. Such as Brahms 2, Tchaik 1, etc.

#1958108 - 09/13/12 12:36 AM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Gould]  
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I think a "less musically inclined" audience would love something like Ravel, Shostakovich 2, or even Kabalevsky 3. The latter two especially are underplayed, and all three are a bit jazzy.

Kabalevsky 3 gets a bad rap for its subtitle ("Youth"), but it's completely delightful. Besides, if it's good enough for Gilels, it's good enough for ANYBODY:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ILILmNuPZI
(an old recording, out of tune, but it's Gilels, so it's still awesome)


Originally Posted by Gould
Originally Posted by Kreisler
Romantic - Bombastic - Overplayed = Nothing Left.

Maybe the Strauss Burlesque?
Franck Symphonic Variations?
MacDowell #2? (too bombastic?)

Why not Ravel? Why not Beethoven 3?

If this isn't for a potential competition or orchestral performance, then chamber music also a good idea - if you have string players at your disposal, maybe Mozart g minor quartet, one of the Op. 1 Beethoven trios or a Mendelssohn trio?


It isin't for a competition but it is for a performance with my teachers orchestra for next year. Though chamber music is wonderful I would rather prefer to learn a concerto for now. I didin't want to choose the Ravel or Beethoven because I am positive that it would be negatively received by the unfortunately less musically inclined audiences around my area. In other words i'm searching for a concerto that can be universally loved by the masses; i.e trying to promote classical music towards audiences that don't usually think highly of it.

Your suggestions were amazing! Listening to them at the moment. smile


"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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#1958111 - 09/13/12 12:50 AM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Gould]  
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Or consider a concerto that can be played as a chamber work. That was an option for the concertos that were published during Mozart's lifetime, K.413-449, all of which are pretty interesting works.


Semipro Tech
#1958113 - 09/13/12 12:51 AM Re: Help! Picking a first concerto! [Re: Kreisler]  
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The Kabalevsky 3 had always been on my mind but... (don't kill me) it feels a little condescending and unimpressive to have that concerto in my rep., partially due to the infamy it received as being a "Youth"/Beginner concerto.

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