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Finally accepting reality
#2880673 08/17/19 04:59 PM
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This is also partly self promotion.

I have finally concluded I have to give up on Bunte Blätter. I can only get its speed up to a little over half of what is expected and even then it is still a bit rough.

I still like how I play it and I have added a recording from today to sound cloud Bunte Blätter on Soundcloud even with my two obvious errors.

But this is it, I'm moving on from it, I would like to come back to it in a years time when hopefully I can do it justice then. I really like the piece.

I'm going to take a different approach with my Mendelssohn Song Without Words piece 19,2 which I've been learning for about the same amount of time. I'm much closer to the expected tempo with the SWW piece. I'm now going to try and memorise it and see if that can help me get over the line of better control at tempo. That worked for Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen even though I didn't make memorising a focus. In this case I will try and memorize SWW 19,2 and it will be an interesting experiment if by doing that I can reach a level above where I have currently hit a wall. I found that with memorising Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen I had more brain space for playing with the tempo and feel of the piece which I didn't have while also reading the score.

The reason for the different approach between these two pieces is I am still so far from how I want things to be with Bunte Blätter that I think it is just beyond me now. Whereas with SWW 19.2 there is a chance I can make it how I want and though this is an experiment, I think it is worth trying.

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Re: Finally accepting reality
KevinM #2880677 08/17/19 05:14 PM
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Kevin

I used to gnash my teeth and hang on...., too long. Now, I recognize there is no weakness in saying ‘I’ll be back later’. It does get easier the second time around. If you read the book by Alan Rusinberg re learning the Chopin Ballade, there were several concert pianists that mentioned working on it, putting it aside for Awhile and coming back to it. They repeated this process more than once

Good lesson to learn no matter what the music is,

Last edited by dogperson; 08/17/19 05:14 PM.
Re: Finally accepting reality
KevinM #2880679 08/17/19 05:26 PM
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I think you are being a bit hard on yourself. I bet everyone at all levels has worked on a piece, reached a certain point where not much more improvement can be made, and decided to shelve it. Why don’t you consider that you are shelving Bunte Blatter rather than giving up on in. I can’t tell you how many pieces I have shelved. Some of these I have returned to a few years later and some I probably never will play again. Just because you move on from a piece does not mean that you didn’t learn something that will help pave the way for better playing of other pieces.

I listened to your recording and thought it was pretty good. Yes, the tempo is slow but so what. I think the issue with the piece may be more in the voicing than in the tempo. The inner voices and LH accompaniment should be less loud than the melody. That will give the piece a lighter, airier feel to it with more depth. If you have a teacher, maybe that’s something you can talk to him/her about.



Re: Finally accepting reality
KevinM #2880681 08/17/19 05:31 PM
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I’m near that point with Clair De Lune. I’ve covered the whole piece, in 3 months, but it’s nowhere near fluent. I think it’ll take 3 more months to put it together. However, I’ve spent so much time on it that I think it’s time to move on. My time will be more productive on easier material, and I can come back to it in the future. That said, I’ve learned so much from it, including most importantly multiple voices. Also 9/8 time. Etc.

So no shame, it’s all part of learning.


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Re: Finally accepting reality
PianogrlNW #2880682 08/17/19 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by PianogrlNW
I think you are being a bit hard on yourself. I bet everyone at all levels has worked on a piece, reached a certain point where not much more improvement can be made, and decided to shelve it. Why don’t you consider that you are shelving Bunte Blatter rather than giving up on in. I can’t tell you how many pieces I have shelved. Some of these I have returned to a few years later and some I probably never will play again. Just because you move on from a piece does not mean that you didn’t learn something that will help pave the way for better playing of other pieces.

I listened to your recording and thought it was pretty good. Yes, the tempo is slow but so what. I think the issue with the piece may be more in the voicing than in the tempo. The inner voices and LH accompaniment should be less loud than the melody. That will give the piece a lighter, airier feel to it with more depth. If you have a teacher, maybe that’s something you can talk to him/her about.


My teacher and I have been over that, I think there is too much going on with other bits I struggle with including plenty of large jumps in the piece I don't have enough headspace to give the voicing to the piece it needs.

Perhaps more accurately would be "give up on it for now". That pushing at it, with my current skill level is not going to get the desired results.

Re: Finally accepting reality
KevinM #2880684 08/17/19 05:37 PM
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Btw I just listened to it and think it’s great. You’ve got it. Time to move on bc it’s done - enough anyway. You can come back to it and pick up the tempo if you want , but it sounded good to me.


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Re: Finally accepting reality
cmb13 #2880697 08/17/19 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
I’m near that point with Clair De Lune. I’ve covered the whole piece, in 3 months, but it’s nowhere near fluent. I think it’ll take 3 more months to put it together. However, I’ve spent so much time on it that I think it’s time to move on. My time will be more productive on easier material, and I can come back to it in the future. That said, I’ve learned so much from it, including most importantly multiple voices. Also 9/8 time. Etc.

So no shame, it’s all part of learning.


I agree with all of this and I don’t feel shame and I should probably have accepted reality earlier.

I can so well imagine Clair De Lune being a handful to get to grips with. I can see me giving it a go in a couple of years and then facing your current reality then.

Re: Finally accepting reality
KevinM #2880700 08/17/19 06:42 PM
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Even though your speed is quite a bit slower than this piece is usually performed, I think it works quite well at that speed. More importantly I thing you played it very well and don't at all agree with the poster who said your voicing of the melody vs. the other notes was not good. You also shaped the phrases well.

Re: Finally accepting reality
KevinM #2880775 08/18/19 01:40 AM
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I've just done the same with Mozart's Turkish March. I'm sure it was the right thing to do.

Re: Finally accepting reality
KevinM #2880778 08/18/19 02:03 AM
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I actually listened to that earlier when skimming your sound cloud channel and thought it sounded very good.

Re: Finally accepting reality
KevinM #2880875 08/18/19 10:24 AM
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Kevin, bravo - that's a fine performance of a very difficult piano piece! And the trouble is that many listeners, even many pianists, would not know how difficult it is simply by hearing it. But my fingers have been sculpting that little Schumann piece for decades, and I know how challenging it is - it's physically awkward. The smoothness and control of your playing are lovely.

As others have suggested, putting Bunte Blatter aside for awhile is not the same as giving up on it. Sure, move on, but come back to this gem now and again. Sometimes pieces improve inexplicably just by moving on to others, and then revisiting them later without an agenda.

Re: Finally accepting reality
KevinM #2880888 08/18/19 10:59 AM
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I definitely agree with many of the feedbacks: it’s about coming back when your techniques develop further. You did a great job to get to where it is now. Nice job.


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Re: Finally accepting reality
KevinM #2880894 08/18/19 11:10 AM
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It's a good example of how nice a piece may sound at a slower tempo. It's very enjoyable, and you played it well, Kevin.

But I would not agree with others, I think now it's important not to drop this piece off, but to maintain it in your repertoire by repeating it regularly and to watch how it grows and flourishes slowly month after month, like a bonsai tree.

Last edited by Iaroslav Vasiliev; 08/18/19 11:12 AM.
Re: Finally accepting reality
KevinM #2881243 08/19/19 09:58 AM
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Thank you for introducing me to this album of Schumann, Kevin! I went to IMSLP library right away and downloaded complete score for it (op 99) and Op. 19 (Blumenstück) as well. I never played Schumann as a child, but I started with Op 15 now and loving every note of it. There is nothing easy about it, nothing easy about Schumann period if you want it to sound fluent and with free breathing.

I agree with others - I really like your performance. I listened to all of your recordings on SoundCloud on my way to work today, twice! I really loved it. I think I like Schumann's music at slower tempo actually. Such wonderful harmonies and voices. And you do it justice, I think.

I can understand your frustration though. I'm having to step away from couple of pieces now and I feel like a failure. Coming back to piano only 9 months ago, it's a strange mismatch between my ability to get music in my hands and get all the right notes (this part is not a problem) and being able to play it at tempo (it's an issue) and the way I want it to sound (that is the biggest issue). I noticed something else too - at first, the moment I "know it", I record. And even though it would sound little "rough", but it would be free and almost fluent. I would obviously have fun with it. And then, I "work" on it for couple of weeks and then when I record again, I hear something that I don't like at all - it sounds too careful, almost halting and with no space for breath. I guess, we just need to give it time for the technical skills to catch up with the desire for beautiful music.

Good luck, don't give up! (this is what I'm telling myself too) smile

Re: Finally accepting reality
KevinM #2881258 08/19/19 10:44 AM
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Thank you for those very kind words initK.

I also love Schumann's Forests scenes, there was one from them in this last recital, Herberge I think it was called and it was great. There was also a piece from the same series in recital 54 and I think that one was called Prophet Bird.

I have yet started on any of them. There is so much great music to learn and so little time.

Do you have any plans for doing something like I am with soundcloud?

Re: Finally accepting reality
KevinM #2881259 08/19/19 11:05 AM
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Listening to your recital performance, I don't think you have anything to worry about. If a piece doesn't feel ready now, it will do in the not too distant future. Once you can play well, which you can of course, all the other bits and pieces will fall into place on their own.

Last edited by johnstaf; 08/19/19 11:05 AM.
Re: Finally accepting reality
KevinM #2881260 08/19/19 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
...here is so much great music to learn and so little time.

Do you have any plans for doing something like I am with soundcloud?


Yes! time feels very short and so much music to explore. But at the moment I'm trying to work on my patience as I can see clearly that technical side of it will take longer than I hoped (I mean getting back to the level where I left off as teenager if it's even possible).

I was going to look into SoundCloud as I'm not comfortable with putting my recordings on YouTube. I just want to see if there is any free options to temporary storage available, so for now I'm using OneDrive.

Re: Finally accepting reality
initK #2881280 08/19/19 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by initK
Originally Posted by KevinM
...here is so much great music to learn and so little time.

Do you have any plans for doing something like I am with soundcloud?


Yes! time feels very short and so much music to explore. But at the moment I'm trying to work on my patience as I can see clearly that technical side of it will take longer than I hoped (I mean getting back to the level where I left off as teenager if it's even possible).

I was going to look into SoundCloud as I'm not comfortable with putting my recordings on YouTube. I just want to see if there is any free options to temporary storage available, so for now I'm using OneDrive.


I have one drive as well. But you can get 3 hours of time you can upload stuff on sound cloud for free. I don't pay anything. Currently I've used less than 15 minutes. It is a bit annoying because there are little pushes everywhere in the soundcloud interface to upgrade. But it is going to be a long time before I fill up sound cloud with recordings of stuff I am going to consider done for at least the next year. Anything before that stays on one drive.

I didn't want to go the youtube route either.

I've actually asked around for an artist/designer I can pay to do some images for me, for tracks and playlists but so far no luck.

Re: Finally accepting reality
KevinM #2881288 08/19/19 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
I've actually asked around for an artist/designer I can pay to do some images for me, for tracks and playlists but so far no luck.

here


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Re: Finally accepting reality
Tyrone Slothrop #2881294 08/19/19 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by KevinM
I've actually asked around for an artist/designer I can pay to do some images for me, for tracks and playlists but so far no luck.

here


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