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#2390388 02/24/15 02:21 PM
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Kiiro Offline OP
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Hello everyone, I'm new here and very happy for I found this forum.
(Sorry for my bad English)
In May, I'm going to participate a contest. The Sonata in A minor D 845 by Franz Schubert is the piece I'm going to play.
Main problem is my technique is not that much good and learning theme of the Sonata. Moreover, I can't really imagine what the sonata or some notes are going to say.
Can you, please, help me to understand this piece?

Kiiro #2390396 02/24/15 02:46 PM
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Hello, and welcome!

The main thing that I get from your post is, I wonder why you are choosing this piece for the contest in view of what you are asking. This is a piece that is very challenging, and the main challenge is "understanding" the piece, and having a good feel for "what the notes say." The piece is a very great challenge even for people who do feel that they understand it fairly well! (Most Schubert is like this.)

I know that you said your English isn't very good (although I think you did quite well with it in your post!), and so maybe you don't really mean this the way it seems; maybe you don't really mean that you are far from feeling like you understand the piece, or knowing what the notes are saying. But if you do mean it that way, I wonder if it would be possible to consider some different pieces for the contest.

Kiiro #2390413 02/24/15 03:10 PM
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Everything Mark said, and I'll add: how far are you into the piece? I get the feeling you haven't started it yet (in earnest), but that could be the language barrier and my misunderstanding. I ask because, with 8-10 weeks prep time, you're on a very truncated time table considering the questions you've asked.


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.
Kiiro #2390416 02/24/15 03:27 PM
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My guess is that the choice of the piece is not his but mandatory by the contest rules. Otherwise why would anybody select such a piece for a contest.

In any case I advice at least listening to a reliable recording.
For example like Brendel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIYK-e34zuI

Kiiro #2390427 02/24/15 04:05 PM
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One thing that can help with Schubert is that don't restrict yourself and play as if you are improvising the piece at the moment.
You can understand that with composers with such massive amount of output in a very limited time that is usually the case and Schubert is no exception.
He was known to compose extremely quickly.

Hakki #2390580 02/24/15 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Hakki
My guess is that the choice of the piece is not his but mandatory by the contest rules. Otherwise why would anybody select such a piece for a contest....

I wondered about that, but......that would raise very similar questions too. Why would someone want to enter a contest that requires a piece that he isn't sure he has the technique for, doesn't feel he understands, and wouldn't pick on his own? There are lots of contests and competitions, and nobody is putting a gun to his/her head and saying he/she has to enter this one. Or at least I hope not. grin

Kiiro #2390786 02/25/15 01:05 PM
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Thank you very much Mark_C, Derulux and Hakki.
A reason why I chose , it's free to free to any piece but have to play at least one movement of Sonata, is when I hear D 845 of first movement, it's the one I'm going to play, I imagine what is going on generally. For example, in my opinion, in the beginning of it I image that somebody ran across (maybe he was thinking about sth or walking) someone's death, then his expression appears in accords in un poco ritard. After that another person again met that death, then another expression but it seems similar to first person's but quite different.
Of course I had variety of choice, Mozart's Sonatas are having something like treasure and very rare (I don't really know how to put in words), Beethoven's Sonatas are deep as like ocean that very expressional. Thus, I just can barely play them -- not good for competition -- is the another reason.
For Deluxus, I already started practising 2 to 3 hours per day (maybe it sounded very short, it's because of my high school start 8AM to 5PM)
For Hakki, Brendel's interpreting was really good, I've listened, and others'; especially I liked Mitsuko Uchida's.
For Mark_C I hope I answered your question.
Again everyone thank you very much and if you have any idea about the learning theme or imagination please share smile

Kiiro #2391069 02/26/15 01:57 AM
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Thanks for the additional post. It sounds like actually you are not as far from understanding the music as it seemed from the first post.

I don't think that most of us try to have such specific stories about what the music represents, but I know that some people like to have such images in mind.

The way I would approach this music is just to try to have a sense of the feeling of the movement (or each movement, if you are playing the whole sonata) and of each section of the movement, and to try to make sure that my playing is succeeding at giving those feelings. Perhaps other members might want to say more. It seems like you do have a good basic sense of the piece.

Good luck!

Kiiro #2391140 02/26/15 10:11 AM
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Hello Kiiro,

I have a great love for this piece and have performed it before. I studied it first with my professor in college, the year after he completely rehabilitated my technique, then I put it away and didn't look at it again until maybe 10 years later.

Most of the technical difficulties are in the 2nd movement (the andante with variations.)

Here were some things that were important to me in preparing the 1st movement for performance. I don't know if they will be important to you too, but maybe they will prompt some ideas:
A single tempo, not playing the unison theme slower and the other themes faster.
Having different tone colors among the forte sections -- not playing every forte the same.
Finding ways to create a large-scale sense of drive throughout several sections that build to a climax, for example, by keeping the tempo consistent while playing the LH downbeat slightly louder each measure.
Making the most of the rests.
Thinning out the pianissimo at the beginning of the coda as much as possible to make it very ghostly.


Heather W. Reichgott, piano

Working on:
Beethoven - Diabelli Variations Op. 120
Beethoven/Liszt - Symphony no. 7
Tommy (whole show)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music

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