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What are you currently practicing?

Posted By: scottgreen94

What are you currently practicing? - 05/08/19 09:32 PM

What pieces are you currently working on at the moment? How long does it take you to learn pieces ?

I’m currently working on Schubert Impromptu op.90 no.4 in A flat. Going really well very repetitive which is a good thing. Just need to get the middle section with the chords down. I have the complete impromptus and moment musical which are just beautiful.
Posted By: gooddog

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/08/19 10:01 PM

I haven't been practicing much because I am still recovering from wrist surgery. I really wanted to revive Brahms' opus 119 for the Brahms/Schumann class at the VCM summer academy. Unfortunately, most of the pieces require large stretches which I still can't do without pain. I also wanted to perform the Schubert/Liszt "Gretchen am Spinnrade" but the pinkie work hurts. This morning, my hand surgeon told me to be patient. cry

I can play non-demanding music so for therapy, I've been learning the 3rd movement Bach's keyboard concerto in G minor BWV 1058. I've also been reviving the 2nd movement of Beethoven Opus 54. Both require good articulation but allow me to keep my hand spread small most of the time. I'm also still polishing the first movement of Mendelssohn's sonata Opus 6.

I usually come to camp with more pieces prepared. This summer I'll be doing less practicing and playing and more listening.
Posted By: dogperson

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/08/19 10:26 PM

Predominantly, Montagues and Capulets from Romeo and Juliet.... Chopin nocturne 55 1, and trying to keep a couple of things in good shape (Rach Elegie and Albeniz Evocacion)I really can’t answer ‘how long’ as the pieces come and go and I love working on them forever after they are ‘decent’. The longer I play them, the more I discover.
Posted By: BruceD

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/08/19 10:33 PM

Originally Posted by scottgreen94
[...]How long does it take you to learn pieces ?
[...]


The answer to that really depends upon
- how difficult the piece is
- how long the piece is
- whether the piece uses specific techniques that need more work
- on what is meant by "learn" - i.e. play reasonably well from the score, or memorized and ready for public performance.

These are all variables which make a single answer based on a time frame elusive.

Regards,
Posted By: MikeN

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/08/19 10:58 PM

Right now I'm working on the 1913 version of the Rachmaninoff 2nd Sonata. Currently I'm memorizing and bringing the 1st movement up to tempo.

I started working on it at the end of December. I started with the 3rd movement which I worked on until the 1st/2nd week of February where I felt I could play though the whole thing from memory 2/3rds 3/4ish tempo. Then, I started the 1st movement right after I stopped working on the 3rd and I think might get to where I left off the 3rd movement by the end of this month. Then I'm hoping the 2nd movement will go quite a bit faster because it's shorter and less physically demanding. So, maybe the sonata will be done in...July?

That said, on a good week I probably clock in no more than 5 hours these days, so I'm not too upset with it taking so long. It's a leisure project.
Posted By: newport

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/08/19 11:59 PM

Vladimir Horowitz - Czerny Variations "Ricordanza" on a theme by Rode (live 1945)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDDGEXU8O9A
Posted By: gooddog

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/09/19 12:10 AM

Originally Posted by dogperson
Predominantly, Montagues and Capulets from Romeo and Juliet....
I love that piece!
Posted By: thepianoplayer416

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/09/19 04:27 AM

Just finished submitting a piece to the recital so not working on anything especially challenging. At the moment going back to the Sarabande (slow movement) from Bach's French Suite #3 in Bm that I've heard a recording performed by Keith Jarrett in 1985. Worked on the piece a few years ago on an old piano and didn't get a good recording. Including the 2 repeats would take around 4m and 2m without the repeats. Getting the notes together would take less than a week hopefully.
Posted By: rach3master

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/09/19 05:23 AM

I've been recently relearning Ravel's Ondine from scratch, which I learned in college some years ago but was never able to play with 100% technical assurance. Currently trying to determine the most efficient hand movements for the descending right hand 3rds/4ths/5ths passage just before the climax.
Posted By: patH

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/09/19 05:46 AM

Chopin Scherzo #3 C Sharp Minor, op.39
Have been working on it for months, progress is very slow.
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/09/19 07:22 AM

I've had to take a break since March, but I'm due to resume in a couple of weeks, which is much later than I initially expected. When I last played, it was Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit, Miroirs, Gubaidulina's Chaconne, and Schumann's 3rd Sonata.

When I return, my priority will be Gaspard and the Schumann sonata. I know the Gubaidulina well, but it needs a lot of work, so I might leave Miroirs for later. I don't play any of them well BTW.

My hands seem to like Ravel more than Schumann. The Gubaidulina wasn't too bad apart from a couple of passages that I find almost unplayable. Other people manage though...
Posted By: Brendan

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/09/19 02:12 PM

I've been thinking about learning the Gubaidulina and think I know what passages you're talking about...great piece, though.
Posted By: computerpro3

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/09/19 02:46 PM

I think you would play the Gubaidulina very well.

The next thing I'm going to do is fill a large hole in my rep and learn some Chopin. I don't have any of his larger scale works, just stuff like etudes, polonaises, and maybe one or two preludes. Just never really connected with that much of Chopin when I was younger, but I think I'm going to learn the 4th ballade over the next few months.
Posted By: BigIslandGuy

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/09/19 11:20 PM

Just now 'putting the clear coat' on Bach's Partita #4 in D. My last "biggie" was all of the Goldberg Variations, which took about 2 years. Next will be another Partita. Three down, three to go of those.
Posted By: LarryK

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/10/19 02:50 AM

Originally Posted by BigIslandGuy
Just now 'putting the clear coat' on Bach's Partita #4 in D. My last "biggie" was all of the Goldberg Variations, which took about 2 years. Next will be another Partita. Three down, three to go of those.


Nice work! I love the Goldberg Variations and saw Angela Hewitt perform them not long ago. She’s playing the Toccatas and the English Suites 1-3 next week.

It is certainly a dream of mine to play Bach. I’d be happy with some of the easier inventions, anything, actually.
Posted By: BigIslandGuy

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/10/19 04:13 AM

Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by BigIslandGuy
Just now 'putting the clear coat' on Bach's Partita #4 in D. My last "biggie" was all of the Goldberg Variations, which took about 2 years. Next will be another Partita. Three down, three to go of those.


Nice work! I love the Goldberg Variations and saw Angela Hewitt perform them not long ago. She’s playing the Toccatas and the English Suites 1-3 next week.

It is certainly a dream of mine to play Bach. I’d be happy with some of the easier inventions, anything, actually.


Thanks. You're so lucky being at a place where you get to see someone like her playing them. To me, the Goldbergs are like perfect, exquisite little gems. Being written for a double manual harpsichord does make for a bit of a challenge though on a single keyboard. Enjoy next week's recital, you lucky duck! smile
Posted By: Pover

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/10/19 05:23 AM

I'm currently working on some etudes by Chopin and Rachmaninoff. It is sometimes difficult to judge whether it's better to let something rest for a bit or keep practicing it everyday to get that last 10%. Last week I got news that one of my favorite pianists will be in the country in August, and she used to arrange those music salons where people would come and play things according to a pre-determined or a free theme. I'm looking forward to perform some of those works so that gives me an incentive to work on getting them polished by then.

What I've been thinking about recently is my hesitancy to learn a large-scale work. I think, technically, I could manage something like a Chopin Scherzo with some practice, but I don't feel like I'd be up for the challenge of performing it to such a great level that I'd allow myself to do that. It is kind of weird working on a lot of etudes for a long time though, I'll give you that. I love the music so much, and I love overcoming the challenges, but I want to jump head first into a bigger project. I think part of the problem for me is the lack of performance opportunities; if I were to learn a large-scale work I'd want to play it for someone to be honest. It's actually sad how little music there is where I live, and how little anyone cares about classical music frown
Posted By: TwelfthRoot2

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/10/19 06:36 AM

Originally Posted by Pover
I think part of the problem for me is the lack of performance opportunities; if I were to learn a large-scale work I'd want to play it for someone to be honest. It's actually sad how little music there is where I live, and how little anyone cares about classical music frown


Well then you should feel proud to bring the music to people that have been less exposed to it smile After all, you wouldn't know about Chopin unless someone exposed you to his music right? Don't let the pressure of a large work overwhelm you. Maybe someone will get just as much joy from hearing something small like a mazurka? Op 67 no 4?
Posted By: Pover

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/10/19 12:32 PM

Originally Posted by TwelfthRoot2
Originally Posted by Pover
I think part of the problem for me is the lack of performance opportunities; if I were to learn a large-scale work I'd want to play it for someone to be honest. It's actually sad how little music there is where I live, and how little anyone cares about classical music frown


Well then you should feel proud to bring the music to people that have been less exposed to it smile After all, you wouldn't know about Chopin unless someone exposed you to his music right? Don't let the pressure of a large work overwhelm you. Maybe someone will get just as much joy from hearing something small like a mazurka? Op 67 no 4?


I wish that was the case. No one even bothers to listen smile I show them something on youtube or even play a passage and half way through it they're on their phone, sometimes even making a phone call lol. And it's not that I want the attention, but when a certain passage is so passionate or dramatic or even playful, I want to show them that but no one cares enough to listen for more than a minute. And I take my time to explain the music and tell them that this may require some attention from them but it's just futile so I sort of gave up on that hahaha. That's why I'm excited about the music salon in August... I get to spend time with the few people in my country who actually love music.

Anyway, rant over laugh
Posted By: Orange Soda King

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/10/19 01:33 PM

Two concert programs:

Clarinet/Viola/Piano:
-Mozart Kegelstatt Trio
-Bruch 8 Pieces, Nos. 3, 6, and 7
-Gordon Jacob Trio

Viola/Piano:
-Helene Fleury Fantaisie
-Aleksandr Winkler 2 Pieces, Op. 31
-Glazunov Elegie
-Winkler Sonata, Op. 10
Posted By: cmb13

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/10/19 04:38 PM

Debussy Clair de Lune...big piece for me. It's been three weeks and it's coming along but I suspect I'll be working on it for quite a while.
Posted By: agraffe

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/10/19 09:39 PM

I adore Clair de Lune, cmb13! While you are at it, or soon thereafter, you may want to try Debussy's First Arabesque. It is also short, lyrical and beautiful.
Posted By: MarkEm

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/11/19 07:55 PM

I’m working on Chopin’s Ballade no. 3 at the moment - I’ve been at it on and off since November and still have the last two pages of notes to learn... then plenty of time to refine it!

I manage very little practise time so it’s slow slow progress for me and I often end up spending time just catching up to where I was last time I played. But I’m sure I’ll get there so it will be worth it!
Posted By: AaronSF

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/11/19 10:10 PM

I'm working on a Bach Sinfonia in E, Debussy's "Minstrels" from his Preludes, Book 1, and Rachmaninov's Prelude Op.23, No. 4 in D.

Originally Posted by Pover
I think part of the problem for me is the lack of performance opportunities; if I were to learn a large-scale work I'd want to play it for someone to be honest. It's actually sad how little music there is where I live, and how little anyone cares about classical music frown


Performance opportunities are so rare where I live that I have organized a get-together of all of my teacher's adult students at my place next Saturday, just to practice performance.

I have a friend in California who books herself to play for free at senior centers just for the performance practice.
Posted By: One Ohm

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/11/19 10:18 PM

I like to have many pieces going at once. I try to mix shorter easier pieces with ones that will take me longer. Like AaronSF, I am also working on Rachmaninov's Prelude Op.23 No.4. Such a beautiful song. In addition, I'm working to polish up Chopin Prelude No. 17 and No. 21. Also working on Brahms Ballade Op. 118 No 3 and Chopin Nocturne Op 48 No1. If that was not enough, I'm working on the last movement of Mozart's Sonata K332 and working my way through Bach's WTC. I have a few easy pieces thrown in for times when I do not want to concentrate hard enough. I wish I could learn pieces faster!
Posted By: D959

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/11/19 10:50 PM

Beethoven Eroica Variations Op 35
Mozart Sonata K 309
Chopin Ballade no 3
Bach P&F in F# Major, Book 1
Posted By: Vilhelm Moqvist

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/12/19 08:27 AM

Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto no 2
Prokofiev Piano Sonata no 8 (this one is REALLY hard)
Posted By: FourEyes

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/17/19 04:33 PM

Originally Posted by gooddog
I haven't been practicing much because I am still recovering from wrist surgery. I really wanted to revive Brahms' opus 119 for the Brahms/Schumann class at the VCM summer academy. Unfortunately, most of the pieces require large stretches which I still can't do without pain. I also wanted to perform the Schubert/Liszt "Gretchen am Spinnrade" but the pinkie work hurts. This morning, my hand surgeon told me to be patient. cry

Is that the summer program in Victoria, BC? It's fantastic! I've been there a couple of times and loved it. Great program.
Posted By: Amy C

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/17/19 06:17 PM

I'm close to wrapping up (well, as much as anyone can ever "wrap up" Bach) the English suite no 5 in e minor. The sarabande, passapied and gigue on that piece blow me away - such gorgeous writing. Took me two months. I know I SHOULD commit it to memory, because I love it so much. But I also have a lot else that I want to work on.

Also doing Rachmaninoff's Corelli variations. I'm doing around a variation a week, give or take. Some may take a lot longer. Man do I love this piece more and more each time I work on it. It's really worth playing. If you give it a listen, I think Lugansky's version is best, with Ashkenazy close behind.

Beethoven's 13th sonata, which I am solidifying the first three movements and am two pages from have the last movement in my fingers. Then it needs a whole lot of editorial work. Gosh, what a lovely sonata. It's taken about two months, and probably another month really polishing it. I could have moved faster, but I'm not a professional anymore so I can go whatever pace I want grin

Finishing off Satie's Pieces Froids. I like to play these and look out the window at the leaves blowing about in the Spring wind. Makes me feel very French wink

Just started Handel's suite in F sharp minor. The fugue from that suite is, to my mind, one of the most beautiful I have ever heard. I could live in that music.
Posted By: Amy C

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/17/19 06:29 PM

@PatH that Scherzo is a toughie. Those beautiful cascading phrases are a PAIN to get in the fingers, to say nothing of the entire ending! I found that it was tough going for a long while and then it started "clicking" really quickly. Keep working!
Posted By: ShyPianist

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/17/19 07:59 PM

Quite a variety but I am really struggling for practice time at the moment what with work, family and yet another Labrador-induced shoulder injury 🤬 (underlining that “how long does it take you to learn a piece” is basically “how long is a piece of string”). I started playing seriously again in January after a 20 year gap.

Easing in pieces
Bach 2 part Inventions - I love them! I’m memorising them as I go, and only up to no 3!
Chopin Preludes - a mix of quick wins and bite size horrors

Beethoven project
I want to delve deep into the sonatas so I started at the beginning with Op 2 No 1. Got the first mvmt down and memorised, 2nd nearly memorised, working on 4th (and 3rd for completeness]. Struggling a little at the moment due to left shoulder problem.

New repertoire
Schumann G Minor Sonata op 22. Had it for a few weeks but have probably only spent a few hours on it so far! Never played Schumann before.

As and when’s
Ravel “Pavane pour un infant defunte”
Godowsky “The Swan”

Next challenge
I don’t want to go through Beethoven in order. I’m considering whether to pick up “The Tempest” again from my student days or launch into the Appassionata

What I really need is a clone that can practice while I work.
Posted By: dumka1

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/18/19 12:44 AM

Originally Posted by gooddog
Originally Posted by dogperson
Predominantly, Montagues and Capulets from Romeo and Juliet....
I love that piece!

I'm going to start learning it over the summer. Love it, too.

Working on movement 2 of Haydn's sonata in E minor (Hob XVI/34), while trying to polish the 1st movement. Bach, Prelude and Fugue in D minor from WTC book 1, Haydn's concerto in D major; just finished Tchaikovsky's "April." Will probably start "June" next. Too much beautiful music, too little time.
Posted By: Amy C

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/18/19 12:54 AM

@shypianist, I started playing seriously again in January after a 15-year break! You're smart for easing in slow, I haven't been doing that and I am starting to feel it in my wrists, arms and shoulders. The Chopin preludes are so wonderful - I did the full 24 back in the day, I'd love to re-do them again, and they seem like a good way to get back in the swing of things.
Posted By: ShyPianist

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/18/19 09:42 PM

No choice really, I just don’t have the time! But I did decide to start with a clean slate this time after a couple of aborted attempts at picking up old repertoire. I feel like I have some real gaps in core repertoire that I want to try and fill, hence turning to things like the Two Part Inventions which I really wish I’d studied as a child. In hindsight I think some pieces that my teacher assigned post grade 8 were that bit too hard at the time (the black key etude and Jeux d’Eau being a couple of examples) which meant I spent too long learning a handful of pieces instead of getting a broader sweep of core works. Decades later I’m trying to put that right!
Posted By: BDB

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/18/19 09:51 PM

Labor relations! Publicity! Solicitations of donations!

There are a lot of things one has to do to prepare for a performance season.
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/19/19 05:27 AM

Originally Posted by ShyPianist
No choice really, I just don’t have the time! But I did decide to start with a clean slate this time after a couple of aborted attempts at picking up old repertoire. I feel like I have some real gaps in core repertoire that I want to try and fill, hence turning to things like the Two Part Inventions which I really wish I’d studied as a child. In hindsight I think some pieces that my teacher assigned post grade 8 were that bit too hard at the time (the black key etude and Jeux d’Eau being a couple of examples) which meant I spent too long learning a handful of pieces instead of getting a broader sweep of core works. Decades later I’m trying to put that right!


I think there is a lot to be said for playing pieces at a higher level, sometimes even an almost impossibly higher level, but only up to a point, and for a specific reason. However, it should be something you choose yourself, and something you work on separately from your more conservatively chosen repertoire. Otherwise the student is turning up unable to do what she was able to do before i.e. make predictable progress from week to week, without the piano turning into a form of stressful torture. Jeaux d'Eau after grade 8? eek
Posted By: ShyPianist

Re: What are you currently practicing? - 05/19/19 07:38 AM

Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
No choice really, I just don’t have the time! But I did decide to start with a clean slate this time after a couple of aborted attempts at picking up old repertoire. I feel like I have some real gaps in core repertoire that I want to try and fill, hence turning to things like the Two Part Inventions which I really wish I’d studied as a child. In hindsight I think some pieces that my teacher assigned post grade 8 were that bit too hard at the time (the black key etude and Jeux d’Eau being a couple of examples) which meant I spent too long learning a handful of pieces instead of getting a broader sweep of core works. Decades later I’m trying to put that right!


I think there is a lot to be said for playing pieces at a higher level, sometimes even an almost impossibly higher level, but only up to a point, and for a specific reason. However, it should be something you choose yourself, and something you work on separately from your more conservatively chosen repertoire. Otherwise the student is turning up unable to do what she was able to do before i.e. make predictable progress from week to week, without the piano turning into a form of stressful torture. Jeaux d'Eau after grade 8? eek


Yes, my first teacher was wonderful in so many ways, but looking back now I feel things did go awry a little after Grade 8. I got an amazing grounding in technique and musicianship which I will be eternally grateful to him for, but I’ve been trying to come up with a list of the things I learned in the couple of years between getting Grade 8 and starting to prepare for college auditions and I can’t remember many at all! A couple from WTC, some Chopin Etudes, a Liszt Consolation, Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, Mozart Concerto no 20 2nd mvmt (played with school orchestra). After that I’m struggling to think of others although there must have been more. I do remember rarely having anything I could just sit down and play for people and I really regret that now.

Then just as I was preparing for those college auditions he announced he would no longer be teaching so I ended up being mentored through my preparations by my violin teacher with a couple of lessons from a nearby college professor. I was successful but it was incredibly stressful and unsettling!

My tutor at college then assigned me a load of different things which I see now were aimed at plugging gaps and getting to know a wider range of repertoire. Not sure I fully appreciated that at the time. Youth, as they say, is wasted on the young. Now, decades later, I feel I need several lifetimes to learn all the works I want to play!
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