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#1991726 - 11/27/12 10:13 PM Repertoire for next semester- anybody else playing catch up?  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 182
DonaldLee Offline
Full Member
DonaldLee  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 182
Hello all!

I was just speaking with my piano professor, and he wants me to start picking my repertoire for next semester. I am, for one, honored that he trusts me to pick decent rep, although he is going to have the final say. He did tell me:
-The overall difficulty of my rep to increase every semester
-All of the pieces to should be substantial enough for a grad school audition
I just feel like I'm playing catch up, because my repertoire list isn't that full because of the limited practice time I had in High School due to marching band, AP/IB classes, and all of the other extra-curriculars I was involved in. I'm afraid that by the time I have to audition for grad school, my repertoire list will look empty in comparison to the other applicants, and that will hurt my chances of getting offered assistantships, even if I play spectacularly.

This semester (my first) was quite difficult. I worked on Les Adieux, Hungarian Rhapsody # 2, Ginastera Sonata 1, Shubert Impromptu op. 142 no. 3, Bach P&F no. 20 from WTCII. I also accompanied a Brahms cello sonata, the Heiden saxophone sonata, and 3 different singers with a total of 20 songs, 20 minutes of flute music, and the symphonic band. I'm cutting WAY back on the accompanying next semester, which should give me plenty of room to do more pieces.

I'm thinking about doing Scarlatti Sonata K. 141, Liszt Ballade no. 2, Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6, Rachmaninoff Moment Musicaux no. 4, Ligeti etude "L'escalier du Diable", and Chopin Etude op. 25 no. 11. I'd also want to begin Jeux D'eau before the summer break began.

Now for the reasoning: My [piano] repertoire list is weak in Baroque music, as I did all of my pre-college baroque study on pipe organ, so I think that I should do one baroque piece every semester/summer break to catch up. I'm still debating doing two Liszts at once, but I only have two Liszts in my repertoire right now. I started the Rach last spring but had to pause it (I just got too busy), and never went back to it, and think I should finish it before I forget the 70% that I learned. My repertoire list is also weak in contemporary/modern pieces, so I think I should do one every semester/break to catch up in that too. I stuck the Chopin in there because I haven't done a "major" work of his yet, just 5 waltzes and Fantasie Impromptu.

Does this seem balanced enough? Also, are some of these works superficial, or overplayed? If so, could I have suggestions on what to swap them with?

Thanks!


Donald Lee III
BM '16 James Madison University
MM '18 Cincinnati Conservatory of Music


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#1991776 - 11/28/12 01:23 AM Re: Repertoire for next semester- anybody else playing catch up? [Re: DonaldLee]  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 8,404
Carey Offline
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Carey  Offline
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Joined: May 2005
Posts: 8,404
Phoenix, Arizona
So help me understand Donald.....you're a freshman in college and you are worried about a graduate school audition which is three years away?

Or are you further along in your studies ?

Have you discussed your concerns with your teacher?

Some suggestions:

Scrap either the Ballade or the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 (you've probably played enough Liszt for now) and learn a major work by Chopin - but not the Opus 25 No. 11 which is hellishly difficult.

In the near future try to learn works by Brahms, Schumann, Debussy, Prokofiev and Scriabin.

Keep playing Bach, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.

Acquaint yourself with as many works as possible by the above composers. Stop worrying and take things one semester at a time.

Ultimately it will be the quality of your playing - as opposed to the size of your repertoire list - that will get you into grad school.



Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai CA-65
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
#1991857 - 11/28/12 08:23 AM Re: Repertoire for next semester- anybody else playing catch up? [Re: Carey]  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 182
DonaldLee Offline
Full Member
DonaldLee  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 182
Thank you for your reply! I am a freshman, and I know worrying about grad school so early seems strange, but I did voice these concerns with my professor, so we're both working together with that end in mind. I also really appreciate your suggestions. The is incredibly difficult, so I may replace it with scherzo or polonaise. Now that I think about, I may just scrap Liszt all together because I'm doing Totentanz in a concerto competition next fall, so I would have to start soon. Could you suggest a Brahms? I'm not as familiar with his oeuvre as the other composers you mentioned.


Donald Lee III
BM '16 James Madison University
MM '18 Cincinnati Conservatory of Music


#1991882 - 11/28/12 09:38 AM Re: Repertoire for next semester- anybody else playing catch up? [Re: DonaldLee]  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 8,404
Carey Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Carey  Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 8,404
Phoenix, Arizona
Donald -

As for Brahms - here are the works I've learned/performed myself over the years.

Opus 76 #6 and #7

Opus 79 #1 and #2

Opus 117 #1 #2 #3

Opus 118 #2

Opus 119 #1 and #4

And here's a website with links to ALL of the scores of Brahms' piano works.

http://www.bh2000.net/score/pianbrah/

Best -



Last edited by carey; 11/28/12 09:38 AM.

Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai CA-65
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
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#1991932 - 11/28/12 12:22 PM Re: Repertoire for next semester- anybody else playing catch up? [Re: DonaldLee]  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 788
the nosy ape Offline
500 Post Club Member
the nosy ape  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 788
Westford, MA
You really cannot go wrong with anything from Op. 116 through 119.

#1992073 - 11/28/12 05:39 PM Re: Repertoire for next semester- anybody else playing catch up? [Re: DonaldLee]  
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,891
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member
dolce sfogato  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,891
I think that the mentioned pieces reflect a certain gusto for the flashy and romantic side of the repertoire, the old masters between Bach and the Viennese classics are a bit in the shadows, try to get some good Mozart/Haydn/Beethoven/Schubert in the fingers, and don't be shy to let in the Baroque style, this is polite for: play Bach!


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
#1992083 - 11/28/12 06:11 PM Re: Repertoire for next semester- anybody else playing catch up? [Re: DonaldLee]  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,537
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BDB  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,537
Oakland
Consider spending some time listening to a wide variety of music and developing your taste. You can also ask others what they like, so you can get an idea of what sells, because if you want to stay in the business of music, you have to be in the business of music, which means selling the music to an audience that wants to hear you play.

Listen to the music that consensus undeniably finds great, whether it is piano music or not. For instance, become well acquainted with things like the Beethoven Symphonies. Find characteristics of that music that are attractive, and look for similar characteristics in music that you want to play. Develop an enthusiasm for that music, and aim to share it with others.

Remember that difficulty comprises two parts, technical difficulty and interpretive difficulty, and the former should always be subservient to the latter, never the other way around.


Semipro Tech
#1992181 - 11/28/12 10:15 PM Re: Repertoire for next semester- anybody else playing catch up? [Re: DonaldLee]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,664
Arghhh Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Arghhh  Offline
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Posts: 1,664
You mentioned you were afraid of not getting an assistantship. I think most schools would either assign you to teaching or accompanying. One large factor in being considered for this type of assistantship is your ability to sight read, so make sure that you work on this too.


Professional pianist and piano teacher.
#1992443 - 11/29/12 02:24 PM Re: Repertoire for next semester- anybody else playing catch up? [Re: DonaldLee]  
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 122
asthecrowflies Offline
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asthecrowflies  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 122
London, Cambridge, San Francis...
You probably want to start with some Bach, big time. Scarlatti k141 is fun, but lightweight and flashy, and lacks the important lessons in counterpoint, structure, etc from Bach. Get a major work or two under your belt, English Suite, Partita, Italian Concerto, etc.


Currently working on: Bach Partita 4, English Suite 2, Toccata d-minor, Chopin-op 10/1, Schubert Impromptus
#1992971 - 11/30/12 07:41 PM Re: Repertoire for next semester- anybody else playing catch up? [Re: DonaldLee]  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 182
DonaldLee Offline
Full Member
DonaldLee  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 182
Thank you all for the replies! I truly appreciate them. I have revised my list with a few goals in mind: have a more balanced approach stylistically, not study all showpieces (they are my weakness =/ ), and to broaden my musical horizons. I also want to put as much pressure on myself that I can take, so I don't feel lazy. Therefore, I'm thinking:

Bach: P&F in G Major from WTC I
Mozart: Sonata in D k.311
Liszt: Ballade no. 2 (this piece makes my world world go around right now)
Chopin: Winterwind (It's a major work, and fulfills my etude requirement, and I love it to death)
Heroic Polonaise (I need this for a competition next November)
Debussy: Preludes: 7 and 8 from book one
Ligeti: Either L'escalier du Diable or Fanfares. I'm leaning towards the former.

With this list, I'll never feel lazy, have more old masters, have competition pieces, play some of my favorites, have a chance to be introspective, and have a chance to be absolutely wild!

And Arghhh- I'm already a good sight reader thanks to my high school piano teacher. I'm also trying to get some experience in teaching that will look good by documenting piano tutoring I give to instrumentalists and vocalists. I'm also making sure that I keep in A in music theory and ear training, because those would be what I teach (most likely just ear training or class piano).


Donald Lee III
BM '16 James Madison University
MM '18 Cincinnati Conservatory of Music



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