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Schubert impromptu 3
#2836049 04/06/19 10:41 AM
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I'm playing it for a performance in 3 weeks time. Next lesson is in 2 weeks and teacher didnt say too much last week. Does anyone any tips ? Thanks.


Re: Schubert impromptu 3
Moo :) #2836065 04/06/19 11:19 AM
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Here is my other piece i'm working on if interested


Re: Schubert impromptu 3
Moo :) #2836076 04/06/19 11:41 AM
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The Schubert is about half the speed this piece is usually played. The melody could be shaped better and the accompaniment softer.

Re: Schubert impromptu 3
Moo :) #2836084 04/06/19 11:59 AM
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Yes its still working progress so I keep it slow until its secure. I'm playing one in 3 weeks and both in I think 5 weeks time so time to get it better. Any tips to get it faster or just practice ?

Re: Schubert impromptu 3
Moo :) #2836086 04/06/19 12:01 PM
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I completely agree with pianoloverus. The tempo is far too slow and the accompaniment needs to be not only softer, but - what's the right word? - more "blended" so that it's not a series of individual notes but rather a soft, "blended" murmur underneath the melody. With a more appropriate tempo, it will be easier to give the melody shape and direction.

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Re: Schubert impromptu 3
Moo :) #2836112 04/06/19 01:06 PM
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Thank you for the advise. I had a try at playing it faster and this was the result.


Re: Schubert impromptu 3
Moo :) #2836121 04/06/19 01:30 PM
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What did you think about the other piece?

Re: Schubert impromptu 3
Moo :) #2836122 04/06/19 01:31 PM
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The usual timing for this piece is a little more than 6 minutes. So it is still 50% too slow. The problems with shaping the melody and keeping the accompaniment softer are still there. In fact, the accompaniment is louder than in the previous recording. If you're not ready to play it at the speed you chose n the second video with reasonable accuracy of the notes, what do hope to achieve by posting it? I think you should practice the piece using chords in the RH. This may help with learning the notes.

Re: Schubert impromptu 3
Moo :) #2836126 04/06/19 01:44 PM
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Just an experiment. I dont think it'll be doable to play it in 6 minutes in 3 weeks and rushing to get the speed will make the problems worse. I think I'll Brahms intermezzo in 3 weeks time and I think I'll leave these two pieces for 5 weeks performance when it'll be more secure.

Re: Schubert impromptu 3
Moo :) #2836410 04/07/19 11:28 AM
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My teacher assigned this piece to me when I was working on tense problem.
You need to make sure you are very relaxing when playing.
You could rotate your wrist a little bit more. Sometimes, higher wrist would help.
You could work on 2 bars as a small section. Play 2 bars and then stop, make sure you are relaxing and then go on.

Re: Schubert impromptu 3
Moo :) #2836507 04/07/19 04:14 PM
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Hi Kenny. I didnt understand your suggestion. Why would you rotate your wrist ? Please explain. Thank you for your advice Bruce, helpful as always. I was experimenting today with playing the accompaniment softer and more constant. Thanks.


Last edited by Moo :); 04/07/19 04:14 PM.
Re: Schubert impromptu 3
Moo :) #2836544 04/07/19 07:07 PM
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There is a somewhat subtle adjustment you might want to try. The melody notes need to sing. Right now you're striking the notes, especially the opening Bb's rather forcefully, which produces a harsh tone and does not give a sense of flow. Try pressing the notes with your finger starting from the surface of the keys instead of starting from some distance above.


"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP
Re: Schubert impromptu 3
Moo :) #2836547 04/07/19 07:15 PM
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Thank you for the suggestion jazzyprof. Unfortunately when I learnt it I projected the melody by striking all the notes with the 5th like you have advised not to. My teacher advised me to do what you have done and not land on them so this is something I'm working on so it has improved since last week. Thanks again.

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Re: Schubert impromptu 3
jazzyprof #2836694 04/08/19 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by jazzyprof
There is a somewhat subtle adjustment you might want to try. The melody notes need to sing. Right now you're striking the notes, especially the opening Bb's rather forcefully, which produces a harsh tone and does not give a sense of flow. Try pressing the notes with your finger starting from the surface of the keys instead of starting from some distance above.
If you watch these videos of Horowitz and Zimerman you will see that quite often they lift their pinky above the key, what you call striking the key.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxhbAGwEYGQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAxz16D4BlE

Re: Schubert impromptu 3
Moo :) #2836731 04/08/19 09:33 AM
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Interesting . My teacher had a middle line on this but it was definitely something mentioned. When he explained to me that when the melody is soft I should avoid striking as it creates a loundet and harsh sound. So there are certain parts I’ve avoided it whereas where you need a louder or accented part it is not an issue. Still a working progress for me but perhaps it will help shape the melody more.

Re: Schubert impromptu 3
Moo :) #2836743 04/08/19 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
Interesting . My teacher had a middle line on this but it was definitely something mentioned. When he explained to me that when the melody is soft I should avoid striking as it creates a loundet and harsh sound. So there are certain parts I’ve avoided it whereas where you need a louder or accented part it is not an issue. Still a working progress for me but perhaps it will help shape the melody more.
The degree of loudness is determined by how fast one depresses the key(s) and not by whether one lifts one finger(s) off the key before depressing it. There are numerous spots in the videos where Horowitz and Zimerman play very softly but do not do what jazzyprof suggested.

Re: Schubert impromptu 3
Moo :) #2836758 04/08/19 10:23 AM
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Moo, singing tone is a myth. The only variables when playing a single note is volume and duration. So as pianists, we have to create the illusion of singing tone.

One reason why your performance doesn't sing is that you are playing very slowly. And so the melody note dies away too much to feel as connected to the next one as it should. Perhaps when you speed up, this problem will solve itself. But at the current speed, you need to either play it louder, or else play the accompaniment much quieter! When you say your teacher told you "when the melody is soft I should avoid striking as it creates a loud and harsh sound", then I'm a bit flummoxed. When the melody is soft, you have to play softly by definition!

I notice that you play with a collapsed fifth finger nail joint. This makes it harder for you to be in full control over the volume it produces. So I would certainly work on that if you can.

One other observation. Each melody note is pedaled, so why are you hanging onto it? By keep your fifth finger in place, you are subjecting the rest of the hand to unnecessary tension and twisting that makes control of the accompaniment harder.

Re: Schubert impromptu 3
Waxwing #2836771 04/08/19 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Waxwing
[...]
One other observation. Each melody note is pedaled, so why are you hanging onto it? By keep your fifth finger in place, you are subjecting the rest of the hand to unnecessary tension and twisting that makes control of the accompaniment harder.


I would argue with this. Keeping the finger on the melody note is one way to give an anchor to the hand. With the fifth finger resting on the melody note, it is easier - in my opinion - to lighten the accompaniment.

Many teachers, including the ones I have had, say that using the damper pedal to hold a note that could (should!) be held by a finger when possible, is a crutch to avoid. The damper pedal's primary use is for colour and blending of sound, not as a crutch for less-than-ideal technique.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Schubert impromptu 3
Waxwing #2836772 04/08/19 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Waxwing
Moo, singing tone is a myth. The only variables when playing a single note is volume and duration. So as pianists, we have to create the illusion of singing tone.
When the phrase "singing tone" is applied to the piano, it doesn't mean one is expected to be able to hold a note continuously with the same volume like a singer could.
Originally Posted by Waxwing
When you say your teacher told you "when the melody is soft I should avoid striking as it creates a loud and harsh sound", then I'm a bit flummoxed. When the melody is soft, you have to play softly by definition!
The teacher was explaining(although not too correctly IMO)how to play softly.
Originally Posted by Waxwing
One other observation. Each melody note is pedaled, so why are you hanging onto it? By keep your fifth finger in place, you are subjecting the rest of the hand to unnecessary tension and twisting that makes control of the accompaniment harder.
If you watch Zimerman and I'm guessing Horowitz and most every other great pianist play this piece, you'll see they hold these notes with their fifth finger and with the pedal. I think your approach would probably work but almost every professional holds the melody note down.
.

Re: Schubert impromptu 3
Moo :) #2836804 04/08/19 11:59 AM
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Playing with a stretched open hand should be avoided, if possible. And by using the pedal, it can be avoided. I have been playing this since my very early teens and always religiously held onto the top note but very recently, have realised that it serves no purpose and that I can play the accompaniment with non-isolated fingers and a closed hand. And it feels so much better!

The fact that professionals do something doesn't mean amateurs should emulate them. After all, they have been practising eight hours a days since their early childhood and their bodies are more habituated to movements that for the rest of us would be potentially harmful.

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