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#1850562 - 02/24/12 04:52 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: bessel]  
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I have been so busy lately that I haven't been able to post much. It sounds like everyone is making good progress!

Bessel, I love piano shopping! It is such fun testing out the different feel and sounds of a variety of pianos in one place. When I first bought my M&H BB in the states, there were three of them side by side. They all sounded and felt slightly different. When I found the one for me, it was love at first touch. Here I have an AvantGrand because I live in an apartment, but it was the same feeling when I found it. Buying a piano is wonderful fun.

My AOTW is a realization that I am not making nearly as many errors as I used to. A few months ago I could not play through anything without half a dozen or more major bloopers. Now, I am making few errors, and I can play through them. Progress!

My second achievement is I have 2 1/2 major pieces committed to memory out of my goal of 10: Clementi Sonatina 36.1 and Chopin Waltz in B minor as well as the 2nd movement of Mozart's Sonata in C Major. Yeah!

And then there is Bach. My goal this week is to slowly, smoothly play through the whole thing without falling apart. I am getting there. Chopin's Nocturne in Eb Major is so much more fun....

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#1850569 - 02/24/12 05:48 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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No particular achievement, but the Chopin Ballade is inching towards completion. Because my reading is soooo much better now, I don't have to struggle to figure out what the notes are. The struggle is memorizing the music and getting my hands to learn the movements so they can go fast enough (and of course voicing and bringing out the melody and all that good stuff).

I am missing only about 12 measures in the right hand and just a bit more in the left, and then I will have the entire piece down. I can't wait!! laugh laugh

I'd love to have it ready for next recital, but I'm not sure whether I'll have a piano to record it on at that time, in which case I will save it for the recital after that, since I plan to purchase (hopefully) something in the Yamaha C7 range when I move back to Los Angeles after this year (and a pair of really good microphones that can do this piece justice).


Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
"You can play better than BachMach2." - Mark_C
Currently Butchering:
Chopin Ballade no 1 in G minor Op.23
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#1850574 - 02/24/12 06:09 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Busy busy time!

Oudeis - trills, pedal and jumping about the keyboard - I watched the video and that piece looks very challenging indeed! - It has a very Spanish sound to it, but the composer's name doesn't look Spanish..... do let us hear it when you have it prepared to your satisfaction!

Cebukid - welcome back! I can't imagine not playing for 2 months then starting up again! ack.
Wannabe PT - you are tuning your own piano. That's one of my goals too. Unfortunately there aren't any courses here,and so that means practicing on my own....which is ok, except that of course I can only do that just before the tuner comes in case (or rather because I will) mess it up!

Bessel - It sounds like your teacher has really got a good approach for systematically going through your pieces with you- and you are piano shopping. That is so exciting. Do keep us posted on your search for YOUR piano!

SwissMs - you have a lovely set of pieces in your repertoire! Congrats on realizing how much progress you're making - that is inspiring, isn't it?

Sam Rose - Great that you are making progress on reading music - that will open up so many doors...(pages!) of music for you!


I've started making some headway on my Chopin Waltz in A minor, and a new blues piece smile

It is such good fun to switch from one to the other.

I'm making recordings so that I can benchmark my progress - I want to see how long it takes me to get them up to "presentation" level - and I also want to listen to hear where the rough spots are. I find that when I'm playing I don't always catch the errors or realize how big the hesitations are. I have also found that regular recording is taking the edge off of my "red dot jitters".

All in all, it is a good thing to do!


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#1850693 - 02/24/12 11:52 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Cas, I just started on a Chopin waltz too -- C# minor. This is a piece that I have wanted to play for years, and now I'm going to learn it! I abandoned Mussorgsky's The Old Castle after my lesson this week. After working on it for a few weeks, it was sounding plodding and clunky, and I wasn't thrilled by it. My teacher said I shouldn't feel bad about not completing a piece. His view is that for every piece you learn, you should either love it or learn something from it. And I didn't need the Castle for that. So now I'm going to work on something that I love! smile

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#1850701 - 02/24/12 12:05 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Originally Posted by Sam Rose
No particular achievement, but the Chopin Ballade is inching towards completion. Because my reading is soooo much better now, I don't have to struggle to figure out what the notes are.

Congratulations, Sam Rose. Reading is such a useful to skill to have. Congratulations on the big improvement.


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#1850703 - 02/24/12 12:06 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Originally Posted by casinitaly
I've started making some headway on my Chopin Waltz in A minor, and a new blues piece smile


I love that waltz - I played it this morning (hmm, read through it this morning - playing not so much). I can't wait to hear it in a recital or two? wink


  • Debussy - Le Petit Nègre, L. 114
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#1850731 - 02/24/12 12:48 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Andy Platt]  
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Originally Posted by Andy Platt
Originally Posted by casinitaly
I've started making some headway on my Chopin Waltz in A minor, and a new blues piece smile


I love that waltz - I played it this morning (hmm, read through it this morning - playing not so much). I can't wait to hear it in a recital or two? wink


There is a good chance of that! - or if not a recital, at least in the piano bar smile

I'm still stumbling through the first 16 bars or so....but even making a hash of it is still rewarding - and hey...it can only improve!



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#1850780 - 02/24/12 01:57 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: MaryBee]  
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Originally Posted by MaryBee
Cas, I just started on a Chopin waltz too -- C# minor. This is a piece that I have wanted to play for years, and now I'm going to learn it! I abandoned Mussorgsky's The Old Castle after my lesson this week. After working on it for a few weeks, it was sounding plodding and clunky, and I wasn't thrilled by it. My teacher said I shouldn't feel bad about not completing a piece. His view is that for every piece you learn, you should either love it or learn something from it. And I didn't need the Castle for that. So now I'm going to work on something that I love! smile


What a beautiful piece!!
I can't wait to hear you playing it.

Something I'm finding very very interesting is that having listened to several Chopin Waltzes this past week, I'm noticing "themes" of tones and style that weren't apparent to me before. I just love when I gain a new level of understanding and appreciation of a set of works.

MaryBee I also agree with your teacher -love it or learn from it - (ideally both!). When I deviate from the assigned pieces I tend to rationalize my diversion by explaining to my teacher exactly what I think the new piece will teach me. She can't help but laugh.

It seems we're on a real Chopin wave here in AOTW-world. I think that is just a blast!!!



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#1850783 - 02/24/12 01:58 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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That is an absolutely beautiful waltz, Cas, it would make a wonderful recital piece. Go for it!!!

#1850842 - 02/24/12 02:59 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Originally Posted by casinitaly

It seems we're on a real Chopin wave here in AOTW-world. I think that is just a blast!!!


Okay, I've got to ask for my own benefit... what do you think is the easiest piece by Chopin?


Started playing: February 2011. Still having fun.
#1850849 - 02/24/12 03:09 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I would have to say Prelude in E minor, Prelude in B minor, Prelude in A major, Waltz in A minor (the posthumous one, not Op.34, no. 2), Albumleaf (posthumous), and Cantabile in Bflat Major are amongst the RELATIVELY easier ones. None of them are easy, as far as I am concerned. I took a serious stab at Prelude in Em about a year ago. I have been thinking of returning to it now. I abandoned it because I felt that my "heavy" left hand sounded very ugly. I love the piece too much to play it horribly.

A very nice collection, if you are interested (it contains all of the above and much more!) is Chopin, an introduction to his piano works (Alfred CD edition).


Christine










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#1850861 - 02/24/12 03:23 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: GlassLove]  
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+1 thumb agree across the board.

Some of these are not too hard to play the notes, but playing musically with full expression may be a different story.

Butchering our first Chopin (as I did) is sorta a rite of passage grin

I should add these "easier" Chopin pieces are FUN to play...whether butchered or not.



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#1850866 - 02/24/12 03:28 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Oh goody, I've been thinking about picking up the Prelude in E minor (inspired by the TED talk that uses it... Benjamin Zander's TED talk )
... here comes the butcher!

Last edited by bessel; 02/24/12 03:29 PM.

Started playing: February 2011. Still having fun.
#1851053 - 02/24/12 07:52 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Ohhh!! That TED talk is remarkable. It made me love the piece even more. I first saw it before I started butchering!!! Perhaps it made me too sensitive to it?


Christine










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#1851201 - 02/25/12 01:52 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Chopin's pieces are really great!! Mazurkas collection is very nice and I think most of them are easier than Waltz.

My AOTW : Just finished learning whole piece of Beethoven Op129 and my teacher will guide me to play with pedal and some details next lesson. Happy Happy!!!

Another challenging to play a group of trills continuously for Beethoven variation, hope to play nice.

Have a nice weekend smile


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#1851207 - 02/25/12 02:29 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I have played the original 1902 Entertainer all the way through! Now I have to work on maintaining a consistent tempo. I also started on the Weeping Willow Rag......my new favorite. I also learned that I will never buy another compilation book that is bound!!!! They suck......I'm thinking of taking a circular saw to my Joplin book to get rid of the binding......I'm sure there is a YouTube video of someone losing their fingers screwing around with a circular saw.....so I guess I have to be more careful with my next purchase!


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#1851233 - 02/25/12 04:25 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Christine thanks for flagging the book (my hubby is going to shake his head when he sees ANOTHER book on my table!)

Bessel - I watched the TED talk - wow........ that was wonderful. I 'm already hooked, but he had so much to say that went beyond a love of music. I was moved.

Yuki - you think the mazurka's are easier? Interesting - I am intimidated by the speed.. maybe I'm mistaken. I'll have to do some listening and check them out. Congratulations on you Beethoven success!

Michael - what fun you're really getting into ragtime! I agree with you on the bindings, I'm, thinking of getting several of mine re-done with spiral bindings.

Hope everyone has a wonderful musical weekend!


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#1851316 - 02/25/12 08:17 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Casinitaly- Yes, I think waltz need much skill to play...for those waltz like Op34 no1,Op18 made me crazy.
I think Mazurka are easier than waltz but does not mean they are very easy.


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#1852080 - 02/26/12 03:11 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Playing in the church for the kid's choir went great - one minor flub that I'm pretty sure only me & the choir director noticed (not that he mentioned it but he can hear a bad note in eight part harmony so I'm pretty sure!). I also had to act as cantor for the first time - much more scary (cantor means singing solo) for a short piece.

Oh, and my piano got tuned and the squeaky pedal fixed. smile smile smile


  • Debussy - Le Petit Nègre, L. 114
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

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#1852084 - 02/26/12 03:31 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Andy Platt]  
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Originally Posted by Andy Platt
Playing in the church for the kid's choir went great -


thumb

Fun stuff.

Cathy


Cathy
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#1852114 - 02/26/12 04:50 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Andy Platt]  
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Originally Posted by Andy Platt
Playing in the church for the kid's choir went great - one minor flub that I'm pretty sure only me & the choir director noticed (not that he mentioned it but he can hear a bad note in eight part harmony so I'm pretty sure!). I also had to act as cantor for the first time - much more scary (cantor means singing solo) for a short piece.

Oh, and my piano got tuned and the squeaky pedal fixed. smile smile smile


Glad it went well Andy - and that you have your squeaky pedal fixed. All in all, a good week, eh?


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#1852322 - 02/27/12 01:03 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I played moonlight sonata 1st movement. It's the first piece of classical music I've ever learned. Not the highest achievement but I have been playing for about 5 years off and on without ever having lessons and I never strayed much past pop material.

It felt especially gratifying considering the hard way I learned it. 11 youtube video tutorials of the piece broken down into about 10 minutes each. Took me 5 days.

#1852355 - 02/27/12 03:21 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Heyo, that's excellent. I know that feeling and it keeps me coming back for more.

Andy, I think at some point I'd like to play at church. It sounds fun. I used to play guitar at church and I enjoyed it.

Tonight I played Chopin's nocturne in B-flat minor, Op. 9-1 at tempo for the *first time* woohoo! The middle section needs more musicality, but it's getting there. It should be ready for the next recital.

What really got me excited was that yesterday I tore through one of Grieg's lyric pieces (Hjemad / Homeward) and memorized a huge chunk in an hour. It was so exciting, it got me fired up about piano--more than I've been in a while. It was as if suddenly this stuff was getting easier than my fears indicated.

Tonight, I decided to make a list of pieces, so that once having learned them I will buy myself an expensive grand piano. Here is the list:

Grieg, Hjemad
Schumann, Op 76/2 (submitted the A part of this ABA march for ABF recital, but need to bring the B section to speed)
Brahms waltz Op. 39 #15
Schubert Moments Musicaux #3, #5
Chopin Sonata #3, just the Largo (pt. 3)
Chopin Nocturne #7, Op 27/1
Chopin Etudes op. 10 #1/#12
Schubert Wanderer Fantasy (just the Allegro -- memorized, but need to bring up to tempo)

At that point, I'd feel justified owning an expensive instrument. I'd like to have this done by next summer (2013). We'll see!!

Disclaimer city: If any of these pieces prove insurmountable, that doesn't mean no piano--just need a new justification! Oh, and I reserve the right to exchange a piece for another like piece.


Only in men's imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life. -Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski
#1852493 - 02/27/12 11:32 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: JimF]  
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Originally Posted by JimF
+1 thumb agree across the board.

Some of these are not too hard to play the notes, but playing musically with full expression may be a different story.

Butchering our first Chopin (as I did) is sorta a rite of passage grin

I should add these "easier" Chopin pieces are FUN to play...whether butchered or not.



Is murdering worse than butchering? I usually murder my pieces. They really do sound like they're being strangled sometimes! laugh


Currently working on: F. Couperin - Preludes & Sweelinck - Fantasia Chromatica
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#1852620 - 02/27/12 04:17 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Eglantine]  
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Quote
Is murdering worse than butchering? I usually murder my pieces. They really do sound like they're being strangled sometimes!


Well, of course you have to murder it first. Then you butcher it. Butchering it live would be too over the top. cry


Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


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#1852628 - 02/27/12 04:39 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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HAHAHAHAHA
I love this conversation.

Look at my signature laugh laugh


Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
"You can play better than BachMach2." - Mark_C
Currently Butchering:
Chopin Ballade no 1 in G minor Op.23
My Piano Diary: http://www.youtube.com/sirsardonic
♪ > $
#1852686 - 02/27/12 06:23 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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If you said you "killed it" I might have thought you played it really well. "Butchering it" is clearly bad. "Murdering it"... I'm not sure! In baseball that's a big hit... so maybe in piano you have to butcher it before you can murder it. smile


Started playing: February 2011. Still having fun.
#1852784 - 02/27/12 09:33 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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My achievement was more one of process than anything... It finally occurred to me that it would be helpful to use the record and playback on my DP to practice the LH of a piece I'm struggling with (another Bach minuet). Since the manual for my piano is in Japanese, I couldn't figure that out, but I did record it on my iPhone instead. It has really helped a lot. It's also made me realize I need to use the metronome more!! And that I should print out an English version of my piano manual.


#1853000 - 02/28/12 09:16 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I have no achievements, since I’m finding many problems in the second part of the prelude by Bach that I’m working on. But I just wanted to say I read this thread often, and I always see it so inspirational.

Cheers!


#1853042 - 02/28/12 10:24 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Ah, the Froberger sarabande - on the harpsichord - is sounding more musical. The first part at least. Chord spreads - many - are working well.

The second part is now a reasonable work in progress, with middle voice fingers/hand shared out.

I'm still not convinced I've got all the suspended note lengths absolutely correct, but given this was the era of unmeasured pieces and notes 'inegales' I think a bit of artistic licence is permissible.

I'm really enjoying being able to play this piece.


Currently working on: F. Couperin - Preludes & Sweelinck - Fantasia Chromatica
J.S. Bach, Einaudi, Purcell, Froberger, Croft, Blow, Frescobaldi, Glass, Couperin
1930s upright (piano) & single manual William Foster (harpsichord)
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