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Do you fall in love a lot?
#2850821 05/21/19 04:42 PM
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Sibylle Offline OP
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With pieces of music, I mean.

First of all, hi again and sorry for being mostly absent in recent weeks. The short of the long story is that I'm buying a house and need a lot of extra money right now, so I'm working my backside off in both my daytime job and my freelance business, both of which involve computer screens. After spending up to 12 hours in front of these all day, I try to avoid them the rest of the time! It *will* change again in the future - I have very little time to practice the piano either, and that definitely has to change - but for now, it is what it is.

I hope you're all well and thriving. And practising, of course!

I thought today of the way I tend to "fall in love" with a piece sometimes. It's happened to me all my life. Usually it's a piece that's too hard for me to play, and when I grew up, these were my best motivation for practising and getting better. My lovely teacher was very understanding but she never gave me anything I wasn't ready for, so the current favourite functioned as a carrot dangling in front of my nose, haha.

Over the years, I fell in love with:
- "Fremder Mann" from Schumann's "Album für die Jugend" (I believe that was during my first year!)
- Schubert's A-flat major Impromptu (op. 90/4) when I was about 13
- Beethoven's Sonata Nr. 17 in d-minor ("Tempest") which I had heard from Pogorelich
- Chopin's Polonaise op. 44 (also inspired by Pogorelich)

It still happens today grin I've been through a huge Grieg-phase lately (in fact, that's still ongoing) and "Fra karnevallet" ("Carnival Scene") as played by Kissin is like cocaine to me right now. I suspect it'll be a while until I'll be able to play that - if it happens at all.

Very new is an obsession with a piece I've known for ages: Rachmaninov Prelude op. 3/2! Oh my GODS. I seriously dream of it these days. That, too, will be another while.

Does this kind of thing happen to anyone else? And do you usually end up playing the piece in question?

Last edited by Sibylle; 05/21/19 04:42 PM.

Sibylle


"Not a shred of evidence exists in favour of the idea that life is serious." -Brendan Gill
Re: Do you fall in love a lot?
Sibylle #2850830 05/21/19 05:02 PM
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All the time: I generally only play pieces I love.

This is the advantage of being an amateur.

Btw - i agree with you on the OP 44 Polonaise - it is brilliant and on my “To-do״ list

Re: Do you fall in love a lot?
Sibylle #2850868 05/21/19 07:21 PM
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These days, as an adult returner, I only learn pieces I actually love, and often memorise them so that I can play or perform them anytime, anywhere (as I've been doing daily on my vacation the past two weeks, where - conveniently - I had almost unlimited access to a decent Yamaha grand, but no access whatsoever to my music scores, because I didn't bring them because I didn't know there was a piano where I went smirk ). All others I just sight-read/play through when I'm in the mood.

Presently I have some 25 pieces that fall in that category. The others are waiting their turn to be learnt......and I might still add more pieces that I fall in love with.

There are many criteria that must be met before I can fall in love wink .

My lover must be melodious and harmonious and/or very rhythmic, and pretty quick on her feet, and/or prone to a large variety of moods. One who always moves deliberately in the same manner will never be mine........


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Do you fall in love a lot?
Sibylle #2850876 05/21/19 07:50 PM
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Many people who haven't kept up their playing, sometimes with a background of eight to ten years of lessons in their youth, have mentioned to me that they never got to play what they really wanted to. That used to puzzled me, since my teachers had an uncanny ability to choose pieces that I liked, that suited and motivated me (or my teachers made me see what I was missing in my opinion about those pieces). But, once I started totally working on my own and doing the choosing, I found out how hard it is. I am often quite smitten with things that I don't end up actually liking much, once putting fingers to keys. Particularly, I once fell for Chopin's E Major Scherzo, only to say "yuck" after reading it for a few days. So, I try not to get too carried away. 😆


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Re: Do you fall in love a lot?
Sibylle #2850901 05/21/19 09:46 PM
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I'm very guilty of this. Unfortunately, I often end up listening to them so much that I get bored with them for a while. One exception is the Schubert D 959 (see my name). I will literally never get tired of that piece and play it almost every night. The rondo is one of the best things ever written.

Re: Do you fall in love a lot?
Sibylle #2850932 05/22/19 01:23 AM
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No, certainly not, at least not in the sense of unmitigated, exclusive devotion to particular pieces. In my youth I felt strong affinity for certain types of music, much of which I played, and some of which I still play; classical ragtime would be a typical example. In later years, I was very impressed with the music of David Thomas Roberts and other contemporary ragtime derived music, but any analogy would stop far short of "falling in love" with it. I am probably a cold fish in my approach to music, especially over the last decade.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Do you fall in love a lot?
Sibylle #2850933 05/22/19 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Sibylle
With pieces of music, I mean....

I'm worse. I get married to them. grin

And yes, one at a time.

I'm preparing for the Boston amateur competition, and my first piece -- a short Chopin etude -- well, let's say it wasn't real great. ha
I mean, it wasn't terrible, but.... y'know, if you're gonna play a Chopin etude, it needs to be good, and it wasn't.
So, I drilled and drilled on it, concentrated some lessons on it, drilled and drilled it some more -- and now, I'm not real interested in playing anything else.

Really. The process of working on this piece, which could have led to utter boredom and disgust, fascinated me more and more, with the possibilities of this little piece, and I can't get enough of it. It takes about a minute and a half to play, so you can play it a whole lot of times in a day.
And I do. smile
No matter how many times I've played it, I want to play it some more.

I better get over this pretty soon, because I'm gonna have to play some other things too....
(one of which is that Polonaise)

Re: Do you fall in love a lot?
D959 #2850943 05/22/19 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by D959
One exception is the Schubert D 959 (see my name). I will literally never get tired of that piece and play it almost every night. The rondo is one of the best things ever written.


And the fascinating thing about it is that the main theme is a recycling of the middle movement of D537, but the whole structural plan is based in extraordinary detail on the last movement of Beethoven's Opus 31 no 1, a piece few people fall in love with! And the final bars of the Beethoven suggest the opening bars of the first movement of D959 ... have you ever thought of programming the both together and seeing if anyone notices?

Re: Do you fall in love a lot?
Sibylle #2850946 05/22/19 02:27 AM
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A life-long love affair with Bach's Goldberg Variations. To me, each of them is a different, exquisitely faceted little gem.

Re: Do you fall in love a lot?
Sibylle #2850959 05/22/19 03:22 AM
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I am getting a bit old to be falling in love but
for me it's the Schubert Impromptu in G flat
major which I am working at slowly but surely!

Re: Do you fall in love a lot?
Sibylle #2851007 05/22/19 07:46 AM
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Yes, regularly. Some pieces are perennials, others just ships that pass in the night, but it's all part of the pleasure. One of the benefits of joining PW has been the discussions here of what other people are playing, want to play and so on....


regards
Pete
Re: Do you fall in love a lot?
Sibylle #2851011 05/22/19 07:54 AM
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Yes, not just for playing music, but if I hear something I like a lot I'll then listen to obsessively for a while and sometimes too much so I get bored of it and I should stop doing that.

Re: Do you fall in love a lot?
Hatchestron #2851012 05/22/19 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Hatchestron
Originally Posted by D959
One exception is the Schubert D 959 (see my name). I will literally never get tired of that piece and play it almost every night. The rondo is one of the best things ever written.


And the fascinating thing about it is that the main theme is a recycling of the middle movement of D537, but the whole structural plan is based in extraordinary detail on the last movement of Beethoven's Opus 31 no 1, a piece few people fall in love with! And the final bars of the Beethoven suggest the opening bars of the first movement of D959 ... have you ever thought of programming the both together and seeing if anyone notices?


That's a really interesting observation about the Beethoven. As someone who has also played that piece, I'm surprised I never noticed that. Going to have to look for that later.

Re: Do you fall in love a lot?
Sibylle #2851196 05/22/19 03:12 PM
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Great question! And yes I fall in love with pieces often, sometimes for a short amount of time, some I’ve loved consistently since I was a child. As others have mentioned, these are the pieces I play now. When I was doing exams etc. I needed to think about programming, what worked together and gave a complete and rounded performance... now I just play the pieces that I love.

I get very little time to practice, so it takes me a long time to learn anything these days. If I don’t love the piece I just can’t stick with it!

The most recent for me was the Chopin ballades. I saw them mentioned in a thread here and thought “hmmm I’ve never actually listened to them.” And overnight I became obsessed with all four. What music! I only wish I’d known them when I was younger and could have learned them all faster! It will take me years now...

Re: Do you fall in love a lot?
Sibylle #2851226 05/22/19 05:10 PM
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I usually don't fall in love with pieces until I have gotten to know them better, but once I do fall in love I become obsessed.The process is very similar to what Mark_C said for me actually. An exception is Mahler's 9th Symphony which I for some reason already loved the first time I heard it.

Re: Do you fall in love a lot?
Sibylle #2851235 05/22/19 06:21 PM
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Great thread, Sibylle! I think I love my first (relatively) really big piece, the Liszt Consolation Db, and that Tchaikovsky piece as well (October). The others not as much.


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Re: Do you fall in love a lot?
almo82 #2851315 05/23/19 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by almo82
Btw - i agree with you on the OP 44 Polonaise - it is brilliant and on my “To-do״ list

Thinking back, I believe this polonaise is the most fun I ever had playing a piece. It's just... I can't say it any other way, it's so much FUN playing it! And if you slow it just a little bit from how fast some of the pros play it - it's a Polonaise after all, you're justified in not racing through it - it becomes fairly doable.

Bennevis, sounds like you're polyamorous when it comes to music! I love how you describe your process smile

Mark C: Exciting! Keep us updated (which I'm sure you're already doing and I just missed it because I've been absent from the forums for weeks). I much recognise the process of falling (more) in love with a piece the more you practise it. That's what happened to me with the Mozart Adagio. I first thought, oh well, pretty-ish piece, and the more I practised it the more heart-wrenching it become. By the time I heard it from Pogorelich in Feburary, I was in bits, actual tears running down my face.

Everyone, I can't even reply to all in detail but I'm certainly glad I'm not alone! Also, LadyBird, you're never too old to fall in love, be it with music or a fellow sapiens 2hearts


Last edited by Sibylle; 05/23/19 03:04 AM.

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"Not a shred of evidence exists in favour of the idea that life is serious." -Brendan Gill
Re: Do you fall in love a lot?
Sibylle #2851455 05/23/19 11:51 AM
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Shouldn’t the question be, do you fall in love too easily?



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Re: Do you fall in love a lot?
Sibylle #2851600 05/23/19 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Sibylle
Originally Posted by almo82
Btw - i agree with you on the OP 44 Polonaise - it is brilliant and on my “To-do״ list

Thinking back, I believe this polonaise is the most fun I ever had playing a piece. It's just... I can't say it any other way, it's so much FUN playing it! And if you slow it just a little bit from how fast some of the pros play it - it's a Polonaise after all, you're justified in not racing through it - it becomes fairly doable.

Bennevis, sounds like you're polyamorous when it comes to music! I love how you describe your process smile

Mark C: Exciting! Keep us updated (which I'm sure you're already doing and I just missed it because I've been absent from the forums for weeks). I much recognise the process of falling (more) in love with a piece the more you practise it. That's what happened to me with the Mozart Adagio. I first thought, oh well, pretty-ish piece, and the more I practised it the more heart-wrenching it become. By the time I heard it from Pogorelich in Feburary, I was in bits, actual tears running down my face.

Everyone, I can't even reply to all in detail but I'm certainly glad I'm not alone! Also, LadyBird, you're never too old to fall in love, be it with music or a fellow sapiens 2hearts


Thank you Sibylle, I agree .I probably have "gone out of fashion ",
being married to the same man for 49years.,We still love each other
after all this time.He also plays the piano and loves Schubert and
Chopin's music as I do.,So I suppose I am practicing the Schubert
to play to him.So I suppose I understand what you mean,at heart I
am as Romantic as you.
Enjoy the Mozart Adagio,I have fallen for that one as well.I once started working at it but thought the beginning was "so dark"
Then one day I sight read the first 2 pages and discovered
what a wonderful piece it is.Enjoy!

Re: Do you fall in love a lot?
Sibylle #2851609 05/23/19 10:42 PM
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Falling in love with pieces when I was young was a disaster. If I have one piece of advice to give beginners is TRY (real hard) to resist pieces your just not technically ready for. I can play those pieces now because I’ve come a long way in technique but honestly trying (and I mean for months!) when I was younger and having problems because I just didn’t have the chops has tarnished them a bit.


TH
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