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#2263541 - 04/18/14 12:46 PM A new performance experience... Need advice.  
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Our teacher arranged a concert for me and a girl i've been playing piano together for a while with, for next saturday, telling us to invite whoever we can. It's my first experience of this kind, I've never played at a concert where the only performers are me and a person i'll be playing with.

Together, we will be playing A great modern piece for 2 pianos - Tüür - sonatina c minor, it's about 6,5 minutes long.

But the whole thing should go for 45 minutes, or else it would really be too short to invite anyone to listen. We were supposed to play 3-4 pieces each and then the 2 piano piece, but the problem is, that the only thing she can play right now is the Mendelssohn piano concerto no. 2 Ist mvt. - 10 minutes long. That is, if her teacher, who should accompany her, is present.

I have to fill in the leftover 30 minutes, and these are the pieces i will be playing:

Rachmaninoff - prelude c sharp minor
Mendelssohn - etude op. 104 b flat minor
Chopin - etude op. 25 no. 2
Chopin - etude op. 10 no. 12
Beethoven - moonlight sonata Ist mvt.
Pärt - Partita op. 2 (atonal nightmare)
Grieg - wedding day at troldhaugen
Shostakovich - prelude and fugue no. I.

(Most of it is things i'm learning right now and am almost finished, some are pieces from 1-2 years ago that i still remember and can play decently.)

Thing is, The most pieces i've ever played at any recital/exam, is 4. I don't have any idea in which order i should play these pieces, should i arrange them by era, duration, genre? All advice is welcome.

Last edited by Svenno; 04/18/14 12:49 PM.

Prokofiev - Toccata
Ligeti - Etude "Der Zauberlehrling"
Rachmaninov - Piano concerto no. 3 mvt 1 (w/ ossia)
Bach - WTC I P&F no. 9 in E-major
Kangro - "Display II - portrait of Mozart)
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#2263565 - 04/18/14 01:32 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
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Originally Posted by Svenno
The only thing she can play right now is the Mendelssohn piano concerto no. 2 Ist mvt. - 10 minutes long. That is, if her teacher, who should accompany her, is present.

Perhaps you could accompany the Mendelssohn in addition to playing your program. One other thing - get rid of the Beethoven or play the other two movements.


Regards,

Polyphonist
#2263578 - 04/18/14 01:49 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Polyphonist]  
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by Svenno
The only thing she can play right now is the Mendelssohn piano concerto no. 2 Ist mvt. - 10 minutes long. That is, if her teacher, who should accompany her, is present.

Perhaps you could accompany the Mendelssohn in addition to playing your program. One other thing - get rid of the Beethoven or play the other two movements.


Learning 20 pages of accompaniment in a week isn't going to happen, even with the sheet music, i won't be accompanying her.

Learning the last 2 movements of the moonlight performance-ready in just a week isn't going to happen either. I don't understand why you think one could not play the moonlight sonata 1st part separately from the rest of the sonata. I've already performed it once, seen other pianists perform it separately, and told by every teacher i've known that it's ok to play the 1st or 3rd part separately, just not the 2nd part.

Actually, what i asked for, was in what order should i play the pieces. I can't just get rid of/add any pieces, because this is my whole repertoire (which i've just begun building recently.) As i already mentioned, most of it is stuff that i'm learning right now, but the chopin op. 25 no. 2, the grieg, the Shostakovich and the rachmaninoff are from a year-two ago. It's all i got.

Last edited by Svenno; 04/18/14 02:18 PM.

Prokofiev - Toccata
Ligeti - Etude "Der Zauberlehrling"
Rachmaninov - Piano concerto no. 3 mvt 1 (w/ ossia)
Bach - WTC I P&F no. 9 in E-major
Kangro - "Display II - portrait of Mozart)
#2263596 - 04/18/14 02:14 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
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What Schumann?

By the way, it's never a good idea to run yourself into a corner so that you have to stuff your entire repertoire into a recital and barely have enough, therefore no flexibility.

Perhaps I wouldn't object if it were a different Beethoven sonata, but playing the first movement of the Moonlight alone is simply too cliche, for lack of a better word.


Regards,

Polyphonist
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#2263604 - 04/18/14 02:26 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Polyphonist]  
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
What Schumann?

By the way, it's never a good idea to run yourself into a corner so that you have to stuff your entire repertoire into a recital and barely have enough, therefore no flexibility.

Perhaps I wouldn't object if it were a different Beethoven sonata, but playing the first movement of the Moonlight alone is simply too cliche, for lack of a better word.


The Shostakovich, my bad.

Well, I didn't run myself into this corner. A week ago, our teacher told us about this idea of her, and we thought it would be a great performance experience for both of us, so why refuse? At that point, the girl i'll be playing with said that she has 3, maybe 4 pieces she could play, and i said i can easily find 3-4 pieces too, more if necessary, so we agreed. But apparently, that wasn't true, yesterday she notified me that she actually only has 1 piece (the mendelssohn 1st mvt) that she's ready to play. At this point, calling it off wouldn't be a good idea, since a lot of people have already been invited and everything has been arranged.

I think that playing the 3rd mvt of the moonlight alone is as much, or even more of a cliche than playing the 1st mvt alone, yet many pianists have played either of them alone, at recitals.



Could you finally Please tell me in what order do you think i should play these pieces?

Last edited by Svenno; 04/18/14 02:34 PM.

Prokofiev - Toccata
Ligeti - Etude "Der Zauberlehrling"
Rachmaninov - Piano concerto no. 3 mvt 1 (w/ ossia)
Bach - WTC I P&F no. 9 in E-major
Kangro - "Display II - portrait of Mozart)
#2263610 - 04/18/14 02:35 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
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Originally Posted by Svenno
I think that playing the 3rd mvt of the moonlight alone is as much, or even more of a cliche than playing the 1st mvt alone, yet many pianists have played either of them alone, at recitals.

I disagree, and which pianists are you talking about?


Regards,

Polyphonist
#2263612 - 04/18/14 02:38 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
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Originally Posted by Svenno
Could you finally Please tell me in what order do you think i should play these pieces?

Mendelssohn, Grieg, Chopins, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Part.


Regards,

Polyphonist
#2263613 - 04/18/14 02:39 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Polyphonist]  
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by Svenno
I think that playing the 3rd mvt of the moonlight alone is as much, or even more of a cliche than playing the 1st mvt alone, yet many pianists have played either of them alone, at recitals.

I disagree, and which pianists are you talking about?


Perhaps i was wrong about it, but i've seen one Estonian pianist (whose name i can't remember) play the 1st mvt as an encore.

Also, i've seen/heard plenty of fellow students of mine play the 3rd mvt separately in exams, but i guess it's not really the same thing as a recital. I might have something mixed up.

Last edited by Svenno; 04/18/14 02:42 PM.

Prokofiev - Toccata
Ligeti - Etude "Der Zauberlehrling"
Rachmaninov - Piano concerto no. 3 mvt 1 (w/ ossia)
Bach - WTC I P&F no. 9 in E-major
Kangro - "Display II - portrait of Mozart)
#2263615 - 04/18/14 02:40 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
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Originally Posted by Svenno
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by Svenno
I think that playing the 3rd mvt of the moonlight alone is as much, or even more of a cliche than playing the 1st mvt alone, yet many pianists have played either of them alone, at recitals.

I disagree, and which pianists are you talking about?


I won't answer your question until you've stopped ignoring mine.

Make sure you're right before you post things like this.


Regards,

Polyphonist
#2263618 - 04/18/14 02:45 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Polyphonist]  
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by Svenno
Could you finally Please tell me in what order do you think i should play these pieces?

Mendelssohn, Grieg, Chopins, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Part.


Thanks. I love it how you purposefully left the beethoven out, even though i told you numerous times that there's no way i can leave it out of the program, but never mind, i'll probably play it before the mendelssohn.

Last edited by Svenno; 04/18/14 02:46 PM.

Prokofiev - Toccata
Ligeti - Etude "Der Zauberlehrling"
Rachmaninov - Piano concerto no. 3 mvt 1 (w/ ossia)
Bach - WTC I P&F no. 9 in E-major
Kangro - "Display II - portrait of Mozart)
#2263619 - 04/18/14 02:48 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
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Originally Posted by Svenno
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by Svenno
I think that playing the 3rd mvt of the moonlight alone is as much, or even more of a cliche than playing the 1st mvt alone, yet many pianists have played either of them alone, at recitals.

I disagree, and which pianists are you talking about?


Perhaps i was wrong about it, but i've seen one Estonian pianist (whose name i can't remember) play the 1st mvt as an encore.

Also, i've seen/heard plenty of fellow students of mine play the 3rd mvt separately in exams, but i guess it's not really the same thing as a recital.

It isn't.


Regards,

Polyphonist
#2263620 - 04/18/14 02:49 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
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Originally Posted by Svenno
I love it how you purposefully left the beethoven out, even though i told you numerous times that there's no way i can leave it out of the program...

Why can't you leave it out? Your program is already enormously lopsided, and that will make it more so, but it would still be better than playing it.


Regards,

Polyphonist
#2263623 - 04/18/14 02:53 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Polyphonist]  
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by Svenno
I love it how you purposefully left the beethoven out, even though i told you numerous times that there's no way i can leave it out of the program...

Why can't you leave it out? Your program is already enormously lopsided, and that will make it more so, but it would still be better than playing it.


Alright alright, i'll consider it, it would just make the recital 5 mins shorter but i guess that's not a big deal.

Also, could you please explain to me what you mean by "Lopsided" in this context? english isn't my native language.


Prokofiev - Toccata
Ligeti - Etude "Der Zauberlehrling"
Rachmaninov - Piano concerto no. 3 mvt 1 (w/ ossia)
Bach - WTC I P&F no. 9 in E-major
Kangro - "Display II - portrait of Mozart)
#2263626 - 04/18/14 02:56 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
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Originally Posted by Svenno
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by Svenno
I love it how you purposefully left the beethoven out, even though i told you numerous times that there's no way i can leave it out of the program...

Why can't you leave it out? Your program is already enormously lopsided, and that will make it more so, but it would still be better than playing it.


Alright alright, i'll consider it, it would just make the recital 5 mins shorter but i guess that's not a big deal.

You don't have a single Bach, Scarlatti, Mozart, Haydn, etc, etc piece you could substitute to make the recital less lopsided (Romantic-heavy)?


Regards,

Polyphonist
#2263631 - 04/18/14 03:03 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Polyphonist]  
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a
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by Svenno
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by Svenno
I love it how you purposefully left the beethoven out, even though i told you numerous times that there's no way i can leave it out of the program...

Why can't you leave it out? Your program is already enormously lopsided, and that will make it more so, but it would still be better than playing it.


Alright alright, i'll consider it, it would just make the recital 5 mins shorter but i guess that's not a big deal.

You don't have a single Bach, Scarlatti, Mozart, Haydn, etc, etc piece you could substitute to make the recital less lopsided (Romantic-heavy)?


I don't, but many pianists (and this one i know for sure) have had concerts where they play only romantic works, only baroque works, etc. even only the works of one composer (e.g. all Rachmaninoff preludes). For example Joel Hasting's concert, where he played all the chopin etudes from op. 10 and 25.

So, is lopsided really a bad thing? or did i misunderstand something?


Prokofiev - Toccata
Ligeti - Etude "Der Zauberlehrling"
Rachmaninov - Piano concerto no. 3 mvt 1 (w/ ossia)
Bach - WTC I P&F no. 9 in E-major
Kangro - "Display II - portrait of Mozart)
#2263632 - 04/18/14 03:04 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
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But you're not doing a recital like that.


Regards,

Polyphonist
#2263716 - 04/18/14 05:33 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
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For students there's nothing wrong with playing single movements of multi-movement pieces. Polyphonist wishes they wouldn't do it, but everyone does, and there are even occasions where it is required smile Professionals wouldn't, but that's another matter.

I think that for maximum comfort in the short term you should really bring back pieces you mastered previously that are easy for you. Maybe some newer pieces on the program but don't pack the concert with recently-learned pieces that are a challenge for you to play. Surely you didn't begin your piano study with those pieces (and surely your partner didn't begin her study with the Mendelssohn.)

Sometimes students think of pieces from 2-3 years ago as unimpressive, but an audience is much more delighted by easier pieces that sound good than harder pieces you're stumbling through... and you will be much happier performing if you aren't stressed out by every piece!

Last edited by hreichgott; 04/18/14 06:11 PM.

Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

Working on:
Fauré, Preludes Op. 103
Beethoven trios for an original ballet
Four-hands program of Mozart, Corigliano, Schubert and Barber
And... Nunsense II (whole show)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
#2263860 - 04/18/14 09:24 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
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I absolutely second what Heather said. What would be wrong with a charming piece you played a few years ago? Certainly, you would play it better now, and there's NOTHING wrong--and everything right--with a simpler piece played wonderfully by an advanced pianist. It gives you an easy way to build a longer program while actually serving a terrific musical purpose by giving contrast and emphasis to some of your more difficult etudes.

A Bach invention? Something Mozart or Haydn?

Go simple and charming, then rev it back up with an etude. Play something open, baroque and structured, then hit 'em with Grieg. Maybe a slightly more uptempo prelude and fugue from WTC (but still something you're solid on), and then go Shostakovich prelude and fugue.

#2263864 - 04/18/14 09:34 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
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Wise words.


Regards,

Polyphonist
#2263914 - 04/19/14 01:17 AM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
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I think that someone here is overlooking the facts that
- this is a suggested performance by the teacher for some friends of the performers
- this is an initial performance experience
- there is no time to learn new works, and
- this is not Carnegie Hall, for goodness sake!

Play what you feel comfortable with, whatever the so-called professional opinion is concerning single movements from multi-movement works.

The most important thing to consider is getting this performance under the belt as comfortably as possible which means, in my opinion, playing works that you know and feel able to play well under some stress. ,

As for "clichés" what first, second or even tenth student performance experience isn't laden with clichés? I don't know the Part or the Shostakovich, but putting the Beethoven in the middle of what seems to be a list of rather up-tempo pieces is not necessarily a bad idea.

Regards,


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#2264005 - 04/19/14 08:49 AM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
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I agree with Poly. I'm sure you're a wonderful pianist, but it sounds like a boring program. It's all Romantic or Modern.

Yes, we classical music lovers all go to narrowly-focused concerts now and then. But that's when it's a type of music we particularly like. For a general audience, a more diverse program works better.

I think you should subtract some of your planned Romantic pieces and add a couple of Baroque and/or Classical ones.

Are you insisting on playing from memory? Why? The audience doesn't care. So don't. Take the music for a Bach or Scarlatti piece that you played years ago and play from the music. The audience will love it.

A chronological ordering seems like the default for a general audience. But Shostakovich and Part together might end your segment on a down mood for a general listener. I'd sprinkle them through your program and end with the Grieg. The Grieg is a well-known crowd-pleaser.

Why do you want to do the Moonlight Sonata? For any listener, it invites them to compare your performance to all the famous recordings of it everyone has heard. And while it's a lovely piece, do we need to hear it yet again?

Just my two cents. Good luck with your concert! Remember, the audience is a group of your friends, not examiners or talent scouts. Your friends want you to do well.

#2264016 - 04/19/14 09:21 AM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
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It seems to me that some just don't know how - or don't bother - to read!


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#2264032 - 04/19/14 09:53 AM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: BruceD]  
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Originally Posted by BruceD
It seems to me that some just don't know how - or don't bother - to read!

Well, Bruce, I don't know who you mean, but I assume it's people like me.

I read Svenno's post, and I got this out of it:

1. He's very stressed about having to play so many pieces, particularly so many that are at the top end of his current ability range.

2. He doesn't have any thoughts on which order to play them.

That tells me that he's (quite understandably) very focused on a. his own performance, and b. what his teacher wants.

I think he's probably a very good pianist, and because of that he can afford to focus instead on THE AUDIENCE. After all, a performer's goal is to provide a pleasant experience for the audience, isn't it?

And, BTW, Svenno pays the teacher, not the other way around. So I wouldn't worry too much about what the teacher wants except as to how Svenno's choices affect the other student. The other student's situation is a valid concern of the teacher.

I think Svenno would be less stressed, and the audience would enjoy the recital more, if he played some easier (for Svenno) pieces from earlier time periods.

Who cares if he brings the sheet music? I know it's the convention that pianists play from memory. It's a silly convention. In a piano concert I often wonder if that guy up there on stage could play that piece without looking at his hands the whole time. So let's not assume the audience cares about the same things the teacher cares about.

#2264104 - 04/19/14 01:00 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: BrainCramp]  
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Originally Posted by BrainCramp
I think you should subtract some of your planned Romantic pieces and add a couple of Baroque and/or Classical ones.


Like i said before in almost all of my posts in this thread: the pieces i listed above are all i've got. All i've got means that these are the only pieces i still have sheet music to - the only bach or works of other baroque composers i played years ago - the opus numbers of these pieces, let alone notes, i don't remember anymore. The sheet music is lost.

Quote
Are you insisting on playing from memory? Why? The audience doesn't care. So don't.


memory isn't a problem for me. I find performing with sheet music annoying. We have to play the the 2 piano piece with the sheet music - it's very annoying having to turn the sheets in the middle of the piece. Having a page turner would be even more annoying.

Quote
And, BTW, Svenno pays the teacher


I didn't mention this before, but nobody pays no one in this school. Estonia is a small country - And our music school being one of the few great music schools in the country, everything is funded by the our departement of education and the EU.

Also, she isn't, how do i put this - our "main" teacher, she's just the teacher who gives us the piano duo lessons. We have different solo piano teachers, and they don't even know about this upcoming recital yet.

Anyway, thank you for replying, and thanks for wishing me luck.


Prokofiev - Toccata
Ligeti - Etude "Der Zauberlehrling"
Rachmaninov - Piano concerto no. 3 mvt 1 (w/ ossia)
Bach - WTC I P&F no. 9 in E-major
Kangro - "Display II - portrait of Mozart)
#2264251 - 04/19/14 06:10 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
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Kuanpiano Offline
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Kuanpiano  Offline
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Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,194
Canada
I don't think the "all-romantic" aspect is as much of an issue as the "all fast, minor key" sort of things.

Personally, I would open with the Rachmaninoff, as it's slow, arresting, and makes it easy to get settled.

I would insert the first movement of the Moonlight after a few pieces (probably the Chopins).

I think finishing on the Grieg would be fun, since it is a real contrast to everything else. I like saving fun pieces for last (my personal preference).

Welcome to the challenging world of arranging concert programs, and good luck!


Working on:
Chopin - Nocturne op. 48 no.1
Debussy - Images Book II

#2267325 - 04/26/14 09:29 AM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 593
Svenno Offline
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Svenno  Offline
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Posts: 593
Estonia
I messed up everything. I stumbled at least twice in every piece, and in the mendelssohn god damn etude, i got a complete memory lapse, and jumbled around the middle section for at least 15 seconds, until i managed to continue, somehow.

in addition to that, i also:

*in the leaflet where i put the list of pieces we will be playing, i forgot to put our names on it, and the date of the "concert".
*i didn't know i had to make an opening speech before i started to play, i was told this pretty much seconds before i went on the stage, and i somehow stuttered and jumbled my way through it.
*i didn't know you're supposed to stand up and bow, when people clap in between pieces.

The only good thing is, that only 8 people were there listening to me. Of course, they all told me "oh it was great" etc. etc. but you know, that's what they always say. The only honest person there was the girl i was playing with, she told me that she thought my technique was impressive, and then pointed out the various things i should improve on.

Of course, she forgot that it's her fault that i had to play all the 8 pieces, instead of us just playing 3-4 pieces both.

I don't want to play the piano ever again. I know i've already come so far, but i've had it.

Last edited by Svenno; 04/26/14 09:34 AM.

Prokofiev - Toccata
Ligeti - Etude "Der Zauberlehrling"
Rachmaninov - Piano concerto no. 3 mvt 1 (w/ ossia)
Bach - WTC I P&F no. 9 in E-major
Kangro - "Display II - portrait of Mozart)
#2267338 - 04/26/14 09:53 AM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,036
TwoSnowflakes Offline
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TwoSnowflakes  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,036
Oh dear. If I could give you a hug, I would.

Don't despair. You will feel better soon and then you'll get over it. I had a recital in February and I only played one piece, and it was fairly simple. I still @#$@% it up, and seriously just wanted to cry. I had that same yucky feeling afterwards when you're standing there with a drink and folks wander up to you to say "oh, it was so nice!" and you KNOW they're just saying it, etc.

Eh. Now I'm over it. And ready to get knocked down again in June. smile

You'll feel better, you will!

#2267340 - 04/26/14 09:56 AM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,036
TwoSnowflakes Offline
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TwoSnowflakes  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,036
Also, you should know that your experience was very unusual. The number of pieces and the incredibly short time for preparation. The fact that you were responsible for the program, the audience, and then a speech at the last minute, surprising you right before you have to sit down to play. If this had gone off flawlessly, I'd have been more shocked than I am to find out there were problems.

Do not use this as a real barometer of how you feel about piano playing and performance.

#2267393 - 04/26/14 12:52 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
Joined: Mar 2013
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Polyphonist Offline
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Polyphonist  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 9,273
New York City
Originally Posted by Svenno
*i didn't know i had to make an opening speech before i started to play, i was told this pretty much seconds before i went on the stage, and i somehow stuttered and jumbled my way through it.

What was the speech about? Did you have to discuss all eight pieces? How long was it?

It would have been perfectly appropriate to refuse to give the speech if you didn't feel confident about it, because it's ridiculous for them not to give you any notice.

Originally Posted by Svenno
*i didn't know you're supposed to stand up and bow, when people clap in between pieces.

You don't have to get up and bow every time. Just acknowledge the audience when there is applause, and gauge for yourself when it's a good time to get up and take a full bow, perhaps go backstage for a moment and then return.


Regards,

Polyphonist
#2267419 - 04/26/14 02:11 PM Re: A new performance experience... Need advice. [Re: Svenno]  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,689
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013
ClsscLib  Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,689
Northern VA, U.S.
Svenno, I admire your courage in doing such a challenging program on short notice and under some irregular circumstances.

I'll bet there aren't many pianists who haven't had a sub-optimal performance experience.

Consider what there is that can be learned from it, put it behind you, and face forward.

I'd bet long odds that no one else will remember that you had any trouble at this event.


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