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Perception of the performance
#2998254 07/03/20 01:06 PM
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Hello,

I have a question. What is the difference in the way the performer perceives their piece while playing versus the way the audience that is sitting further away perceives it? When I record a piece, while performing it, I sometimes think that it is messy and the melody cannot be heard clearly, but when I listen to the recording, the melody is very clear and it is not nearly as messy as I thought it was.

Last edited by samwitdangol; 07/03/20 01:10 PM.
Re: Perception of the performance
samwitdangol #2998285 07/03/20 02:19 PM
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When you play for an audience in a hall on an open grand, the sound projects away from you as opposed to playing in small room where the sound bounces back at you. I always find it startling to play in a hall because I feel like I can't hear the piano.

You bring up an interesting point. What we, as pianists, think we hear, is intermingled with our memory of what the music should sound like and our busy inner conversation, (here comes that hard measure, don't forget to use your 2nd finger, don't get too loud, keep the rhythm even, etc.) During a piano lesson, my teacher, a professional performer, asked me what kind of feelings I was putting into the music. I was very surprised he asked because I thought my playing was dripping with feeling. He said that I was not projecting those feelings well at all and I needed to do more. He said you have to put the technique, score, inner dialog and nerves aside and fully listen to hear what the audience is hearing.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Perception of the performance
samwitdangol #2998332 07/03/20 04:14 PM
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You can find out for yourself by setting up a microphone further away from the piano. The sound is muddier the further you go, for obvious reasons, so you hear less imperfections.

Re: Perception of the performance
gooddog #2998353 07/03/20 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by gooddog
He said you have to put the technique, score, inner dialog and nerves aside and fully listen to hear what the audience is hearing.

I am sure this is excellent advice - though perhaps not easy to put into practice! The more so I would imagine, if you are in a hall and hence as you say, you can't hear the piano.

Re: Perception of the performance
David-G #2998364 07/03/20 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by David-G
Originally Posted by gooddog
He said you have to put the technique, score, inner dialog and nerves aside and fully listen to hear what the audience is hearing.

I am sure this is excellent advice - though perhaps not easy to put into practice! The more so I would imagine, if you are in a hall and hence as you say, you can't hear the piano.
It’s really hard for me to do this when I’m alone in the practice room. I try really hard to just listen but I habitually get caught up in the details. eek


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Perception of the performance
samwitdangol #2998390 07/03/20 06:49 PM
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I play somewhat differently these days compared to when I was a student.

Then I was only 'performing' for my teachers and my examiners, who would of course scrutinize what I did at close quarters, in small rooms. Tiny details mattered - rests needed to be observed, every detail of articulation noted, pedalling had to be clean, voicings should be just so etc, etc.

Exam days are now long in the distant past. In the intervening years, I've attended lots of piano recitals by all the greats, including a few who are no longer with us. I realized there is quite a difference between performing for an audience in a hall, compared to playing for one person sitting a few feet away from you. These days, I perform for audiences in a medium-sized hall, and the only criteria that matters is: am I projecting to them what I want them to hear and feel in the music? (Not what I think I'm hearing nor what I'm actually feeling - which could be something completely different).

Therefore, I play using much bolder strokes, with more vivid colors and clearer delineation of bel canto 'vocal' lines. Pedalling through rests, if needed, to sustain the atmosphere, as well as discreetly in passagework to give the warmth (both of which I hardly ever did when I was a student). Voicings more 'extreme', dynamics too. Pastel shades, yes, but only in a few pieces (which I tend to avoid anyway, as they aren't my cup of Earl Grey). Mostly I use primary colors, more Rembrandt than Monet whistle.

The greatest compliment I get is when people come to me afterwards to tell me that they 'experienced' all the shifting moods and emotions in the music - whether it's happiness or sadness, or pensiveness, or an undefinable pathos......or just unbridled joie de vivre; and that they knew what the composer wanted to convey (even if they didn't 'understand' the music - to which my reply is: there is no requirement to understand it - what matters is that they enjoyed the music and it meant something to them).


"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: Perception of the performance
bennevis #2998433 07/03/20 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
I play somewhat differently these days compared to when I was a student.

Then I was only 'performing' for my teachers and my examiners, who would of course scrutinize what I did at close quarters, in small rooms. Tiny details mattered - rests needed to be observed, every detail of articulation noted, pedalling had to be clean, voicings should be just so etc, etc.

Exam days are now long in the distant past. In the intervening years, I've attended lots of piano recitals by all the greats, including a few who are no longer with us. I realized there is quite a difference between performing for an audience in a hall, compared to playing for one person sitting a few feet away from you. These days, I perform for audiences in a medium-sized hall, and the only criteria that matters is: am I projecting to them what I want them to hear and feel in the music? (Not what I think I'm hearing nor what I'm actually feeling - which could be something completely different).

Therefore, I play using much bolder strokes, with more vivid colors and clearer delineation of bel canto 'vocal' lines. Pedalling through rests, if needed, to sustain the atmosphere, as well as discreetly in passagework to give the warmth (both of which I hardly ever did when I was a student). Voicings more 'extreme', dynamics too. Pastel shades, yes, but only in a few pieces (which I tend to avoid anyway, as they aren't my cup of Earl Grey). Mostly I use primary colors, more Rembrandt than Monet whistle.

The greatest compliment I get is when people come to me afterwards to tell me that they 'experienced' all the shifting moods and emotions in the music - whether it's happiness or sadness, or pensiveness, or an undefinable pathos......or just unbridled joie de vivre; and that they knew what the composer wanted to convey (even if they didn't 'understand' the music - to which my reply is: there is no requirement to understand it - what matters is that they enjoyed the music and it meant something to them).

thumb thumb thumb


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Perception of the performance
samwitdangol #2998436 07/03/20 10:10 PM
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Whatever you do and wherever your venue may be, make sure you put at least one Chopin in your program .. which everybody "understands"! :-)

Last edited by newport; 07/03/20 10:11 PM.

Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1
Wieniawski Legende Op.17 (piano)

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