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#367919 - 07/15/01 06:15 AM Maintaining repertoire  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 513
yok Offline
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yok  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 513
New Zealand
How much time does everyone spend keeping up pieces so that they can be played when the opportunity happens to arise, or simply when you feel like playing a piece instead of working on one?

I guess this varies depending on whether you're is a professional, a serious student, or an amateur. But whatever your situation, I would be curious to know how much practice time you think should be devoted to maintaining repertoire, and what your warhorses are.

I'm afraid I am always eager to try new pieces and the little time I give to playing pieces already learnt is often more of a run-through than proper practice. As a result, I have only a handful of all the pieces I've tried over the years ready to play:

- the Finale of Beethoven's Op.14/1 sonata
- a Scarlatti sonata in C (can't remember the Kk)
- Padarewski's Minuet in G (corny, but people like it!)
- Schubert's Impromptu Op.142/2
- Chopin Waltz in E minor Op posth.
- Ravel Sonatine, 1st movt

That's very little, and I'm determined to add a Brahms Intermezzo, some Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Schumann, Debussy - but it all takes time to keep up. How do you balance it in your practice?

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#367920 - 07/15/01 11:07 AM Re: Maintaining repertoire  
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BruceD Offline
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BruceD  Offline

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Victoria, BC
Yok:
It does make you wonder, doesn't it, how amateur pianists - to say nothing of performing professionals - with a fairly large repertoire keep them up. I usually find myself in the position of having several pieces not quite totally memorized and not quite ready for performance - but almost. Those that I have well into my fingers and into my memory - not that many, alas! - I try to play through a couple of times a week, and every once in a while, I make an effort to play through them, very slowly, from memory.
I guess it depends on how good a memory (both mental and digital) you have, and how much time it takes to bring something back from the past.
A most interesting question; I'll be interested to hear what others have to say in response.
Regards,


BruceD
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#367921 - 07/15/01 12:57 PM Re: Maintaining repertoire  
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CrashTest Offline
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CrashTest  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,111
Thats a very good question, and an issue for any pianist of any level. I usually play through all of my pieces everyday, not only rushing through them, but with the score in front to look for more expression marks and other little things,(even though they are all memorized).
This takes a while especially when playing through more than one Beethoven Sonata and long Polonaises and Hungarian Rhapsodies, all of which need the most careful detail to be counted.
I made up a schedule, timing exactly how long and when I play my exersizes and pieces, so everything gets done with good time. I can manage playing a fairly large repetoire daily, but if yours is too big or time is short, I would advise splitting it up into a few days, so you can dedicate more time to polishing those pieces.
Memorizing is just the fisrt part, the hard part is making it shine, which takes longer.

[ July 15, 2001: Message edited by: CrashTest ]

#367922 - 07/15/01 07:36 PM Re: Maintaining repertoire  
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Posts: 5,736
Brendan Offline
Brendan  Offline


Joined: May 2001
Posts: 5,736
McAllen, TX
Quality, not quantity.

With the exception of concert pianists like Richter (who could play 25 programs and never repeat a piece), most professionals tour with a few pre-selected programs that they keep in regular maintenance. I'm not a professional, but I try to do the same thing for competitions and recital, occassionaly substituting a new piece for an older one to get more performance experience with it. The point is that the programs that they use are top-notch because they've been playing them forever or they aren't juggling other musical obligations at the same time.

As far as actual practice goes, you've just got to spend your time on what needs the most work. For example, I played a recital last month, and one of the pieces that I programmed was Franck's Prelude, Choral, et Fugue. This is an old piece for me and didn't take a lot of work to bring back to life, which allowed me to concentrate on the other pieces on the program. If you mix old and new, the old will most likely require a run-through every other day and occasional spot-checking if needed.

Brendan

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#367923 - 07/16/01 09:36 PM Re: Maintaining repertoire  
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PianoMuse Offline
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PianoMuse  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 902
Philly, PA
Unfortunatly ( and nobody likes to hear this) it takes practice practice practice! The more repetoire you put in to your memory, the more time you will have to spend on the peices. As a serious piano student, I have learned that the best way to keep up a peice even after a while is to play it every other day, and try playing it in different styles. Say, one day play it really legato. another day prestissimo. another day play it stacatto. This really works it into your fingers. Then, of course, you can obviously play it straight a couple times. This helps keep the peice fresh and also in your memory.


"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." ~Rachmaninoff

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