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Schubert impromptu 3

Posted By: Moo :)

Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/06/19 02:41 PM

I'm playing it for a performance in 3 weeks time. Next lesson is in 2 weeks and teacher didnt say too much last week. Does anyone any tips ? Thanks.

Posted By: Moo :)

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/06/19 03:19 PM

Here is my other piece i'm working on if interested

Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/06/19 03:41 PM

The Schubert is about half the speed this piece is usually played. The melody could be shaped better and the accompaniment softer.
Posted By: Moo :)

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/06/19 03:59 PM

Yes its still working progress so I keep it slow until its secure. I'm playing one in 3 weeks and both in I think 5 weeks time so time to get it better. Any tips to get it faster or just practice ?
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/06/19 04:01 PM

I completely agree with pianoloverus. The tempo is far too slow and the accompaniment needs to be not only softer, but - what's the right word? - more "blended" so that it's not a series of individual notes but rather a soft, "blended" murmur underneath the melody. With a more appropriate tempo, it will be easier to give the melody shape and direction.

Regards,
Posted By: Moo :)

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/06/19 05:06 PM

Thank you for the advise. I had a try at playing it faster and this was the result.

Posted By: Moo :)

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/06/19 05:30 PM

What did you think about the other piece?
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/06/19 05:31 PM

The usual timing for this piece is a little more than 6 minutes. So it is still 50% too slow. The problems with shaping the melody and keeping the accompaniment softer are still there. In fact, the accompaniment is louder than in the previous recording. If you're not ready to play it at the speed you chose n the second video with reasonable accuracy of the notes, what do hope to achieve by posting it? I think you should practice the piece using chords in the RH. This may help with learning the notes.
Posted By: Moo :)

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/06/19 05:44 PM

Just an experiment. I dont think it'll be doable to play it in 6 minutes in 3 weeks and rushing to get the speed will make the problems worse. I think I'll Brahms intermezzo in 3 weeks time and I think I'll leave these two pieces for 5 weeks performance when it'll be more secure.
Posted By: Kenny Cheng

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/07/19 03:28 PM

My teacher assigned this piece to me when I was working on tense problem.
You need to make sure you are very relaxing when playing.
You could rotate your wrist a little bit more. Sometimes, higher wrist would help.
You could work on 2 bars as a small section. Play 2 bars and then stop, make sure you are relaxing and then go on.
Posted By: Moo :)

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/07/19 08:14 PM

Hi Kenny. I didnt understand your suggestion. Why would you rotate your wrist ? Please explain. Thank you for your advice Bruce, helpful as always. I was experimenting today with playing the accompaniment softer and more constant. Thanks.

Posted By: jazzyprof

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/07/19 11:07 PM

There is a somewhat subtle adjustment you might want to try. The melody notes need to sing. Right now you're striking the notes, especially the opening Bb's rather forcefully, which produces a harsh tone and does not give a sense of flow. Try pressing the notes with your finger starting from the surface of the keys instead of starting from some distance above.
Posted By: Moo :)

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/07/19 11:15 PM

Thank you for the suggestion jazzyprof. Unfortunately when I learnt it I projected the melody by striking all the notes with the 5th like you have advised not to. My teacher advised me to do what you have done and not land on them so this is something I'm working on so it has improved since last week. Thanks again.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/08/19 11:31 AM

Originally Posted by jazzyprof
There is a somewhat subtle adjustment you might want to try. The melody notes need to sing. Right now you're striking the notes, especially the opening Bb's rather forcefully, which produces a harsh tone and does not give a sense of flow. Try pressing the notes with your finger starting from the surface of the keys instead of starting from some distance above.
If you watch these videos of Horowitz and Zimerman you will see that quite often they lift their pinky above the key, what you call striking the key.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxhbAGwEYGQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAxz16D4BlE
Posted By: Moo :)

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/08/19 01:33 PM

Interesting . My teacher had a middle line on this but it was definitely something mentioned. When he explained to me that when the melody is soft I should avoid striking as it creates a loundet and harsh sound. So there are certain parts I’ve avoided it whereas where you need a louder or accented part it is not an issue. Still a working progress for me but perhaps it will help shape the melody more.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/08/19 02:00 PM

Originally Posted by Moo :)
Interesting . My teacher had a middle line on this but it was definitely something mentioned. When he explained to me that when the melody is soft I should avoid striking as it creates a loundet and harsh sound. So there are certain parts I’ve avoided it whereas where you need a louder or accented part it is not an issue. Still a working progress for me but perhaps it will help shape the melody more.
The degree of loudness is determined by how fast one depresses the key(s) and not by whether one lifts one finger(s) off the key before depressing it. There are numerous spots in the videos where Horowitz and Zimerman play very softly but do not do what jazzyprof suggested.
Posted By: Waxwing

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/08/19 02:23 PM

Moo, singing tone is a myth. The only variables when playing a single note is volume and duration. So as pianists, we have to create the illusion of singing tone.

One reason why your performance doesn't sing is that you are playing very slowly. And so the melody note dies away too much to feel as connected to the next one as it should. Perhaps when you speed up, this problem will solve itself. But at the current speed, you need to either play it louder, or else play the accompaniment much quieter! When you say your teacher told you "when the melody is soft I should avoid striking as it creates a loud and harsh sound", then I'm a bit flummoxed. When the melody is soft, you have to play softly by definition!

I notice that you play with a collapsed fifth finger nail joint. This makes it harder for you to be in full control over the volume it produces. So I would certainly work on that if you can.

One other observation. Each melody note is pedaled, so why are you hanging onto it? By keep your fifth finger in place, you are subjecting the rest of the hand to unnecessary tension and twisting that makes control of the accompaniment harder.
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/08/19 02:37 PM

Originally Posted by Waxwing
[...]
One other observation. Each melody note is pedaled, so why are you hanging onto it? By keep your fifth finger in place, you are subjecting the rest of the hand to unnecessary tension and twisting that makes control of the accompaniment harder.


I would argue with this. Keeping the finger on the melody note is one way to give an anchor to the hand. With the fifth finger resting on the melody note, it is easier - in my opinion - to lighten the accompaniment.

Many teachers, including the ones I have had, say that using the damper pedal to hold a note that could (should!) be held by a finger when possible, is a crutch to avoid. The damper pedal's primary use is for colour and blending of sound, not as a crutch for less-than-ideal technique.

Regards,
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/08/19 02:41 PM

Originally Posted by Waxwing
Moo, singing tone is a myth. The only variables when playing a single note is volume and duration. So as pianists, we have to create the illusion of singing tone.
When the phrase "singing tone" is applied to the piano, it doesn't mean one is expected to be able to hold a note continuously with the same volume like a singer could.
Originally Posted by Waxwing
When you say your teacher told you "when the melody is soft I should avoid striking as it creates a loud and harsh sound", then I'm a bit flummoxed. When the melody is soft, you have to play softly by definition!
The teacher was explaining(although not too correctly IMO)how to play softly.
Originally Posted by Waxwing
One other observation. Each melody note is pedaled, so why are you hanging onto it? By keep your fifth finger in place, you are subjecting the rest of the hand to unnecessary tension and twisting that makes control of the accompaniment harder.
If you watch Zimerman and I'm guessing Horowitz and most every other great pianist play this piece, you'll see they hold these notes with their fifth finger and with the pedal. I think your approach would probably work but almost every professional holds the melody note down.
.
Posted By: Waxwing

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/08/19 03:59 PM

Playing with a stretched open hand should be avoided, if possible. And by using the pedal, it can be avoided. I have been playing this since my very early teens and always religiously held onto the top note but very recently, have realised that it serves no purpose and that I can play the accompaniment with non-isolated fingers and a closed hand. And it feels so much better!

The fact that professionals do something doesn't mean amateurs should emulate them. After all, they have been practising eight hours a days since their early childhood and their bodies are more habituated to movements that for the rest of us would be potentially harmful.
Posted By: Hakki

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/08/19 04:27 PM

According to the score these notes are to be held. You should hold them.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/08/19 04:46 PM

Originally Posted by Waxwing
Playing with a stretched open hand should be avoided, if possible. And by using the pedal, it can be avoided. I have been playing this since my very early teens and always religiously held onto the top note but very recently, have realised that it serves no purpose and that I can play the accompaniment with non-isolated fingers and a closed hand. And it feels so much better!

The fact that professionals do something doesn't mean amateurs should emulate them. After all, they have been practising eight hours a days since their early childhood and their bodies are more habituated to movements that for the rest of us would be potentially harmful.
I think part of the answer depends on hand size. Those with fairly large hands might not find it uncomfortable or difficult to play with a stretched open hand in this piece but those with a smaller hand might benefit. I just tried it on the piano after not playing it for 50 years and realized my natural or comfortable tendency is to hold the top note only part of the time. I think the note can held with the pedal or both the finger and pedal so I'm half taking back what I said a few posts ago haha.
Posted By: Moo :)

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/26/19 09:42 PM

Thank you for the tips. I am finding it difficult to do the suggestions and improving slowly. I am not sure why I am struggling with it. Does anyone have any tips ? I decided not to play it for a recital as I cant see it being ready for 2 weeks so am not in a rush now.



Thanks
Posted By: stephen22

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/28/19 10:22 AM

Originally Posted by Waxwing
Moo, singing tone is a myth. The only variables when playing a single note is volume and duration. So as pianists, we have to create the illusion of singing tone.

One other observation. Each melody note is pedaled, so why are you hanging onto it? By keep your fifth finger in place, you are subjecting the rest of the hand to unnecessary tension and twisting that makes control of the accompaniment harder.


There's an awful lot of psychology in making music. The pianist does a whole lot of things that have no effect whatsoever on his actual output. When did you last see a pianist sitting bolt upright making no unnecessary movements or facial expressions? But these grimaces contortions and cuddling of notes have a profound effect on how the performer himself experiences the music. So although Waxwing is (almost) correct in his analysis of the physics, maybe holding down a note unnecessarily can make better sense of the music as experienced by the performer. And if he is happier with his music maybe his actual output will be happier too.
Posted By: Moo :)

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/28/19 03:02 PM

I am holding the notes with the pedal because my teacher has taught me to play holding the notes down and not to let go and hold notes with the pedal. My teacher has given me some advise on shaping the melody yesterday. He explained that the time signature is odd, 4 minum in a a bar, with very long bars. So rather than it sounding like 8 crotchet beats it should sound like 4 minums beats. So when I have 4 crotchets in a row to play them (louder, softer, louder, softer). I found it very helpful. Thanks.

Posted By: Moo :)

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/28/19 03:04 PM

I think in future I'm going to rely on my teacher tips and not post progress videos again online. I think I just get inpatient. But thanks for the tips.
Posted By: Hatchestron

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/28/19 03:36 PM

Moo, I think it not a good idea to look for tips here, as you say. But I would also counsel you not to be too accepting of your teacher, or any teacher. To quote Neil Stannard: "If a student asks why he or she should do something a certain way, and the teacher doesn't have an answer, the student should ask for his money back!" Ask him what is the justification for holding onto a note when it is being pedaled in any case, given the strain it puts on your hand which in turn affects the evenness of the accompaniment.
Posted By: petebfrance

Re: Schubert impromptu 3 - 04/28/19 04:31 PM

Originally Posted by Moo :)
I think in future I'm going to rely on my teacher tips and not post progress videos again online. I think I just get inpatient. But thanks for the tips.

That's a shame because you pick such nice pieces! I have the D935 impromptus but not the D899. No 3 is really nice and I'm sure you'll get there with it. It's on my list.....
Thanks for posting - much appreciated.
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