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Hi everyone! I got this piece to work on by my teacher, and I wonder, what technical difficulties can one find in this piece? My teacher says this is the best piece to play out of Schubert's op 90 impromptus if you want to improve technique, but when I am looking at the score, I considered it being the opposite... Is the piece even difficult? I mean, I can almost sightread through the first five pages or so... Can anyone help me understand what my teacher means? The piece is wonderful, I must say, although, I prefer the op 90 no 2 and the op 142 no 3, which were the two I wanted to play, but my teacher said this one was better for technique and more difficult, and I find it hard to agree her two opinions.. What do you guys think?

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Perhaps difficult in terms of musicality? It is Schubert after all. :P

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Okay sure, musically, but technique? :S I don't know..

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It's such a great piece - to me this is the one of the set that most fits the term "impromptu". I can almost envision Schubert playing the initial theme, and then just doing some off the cuff riffing on that theme - just what I see in my mind's eye.

Your teacher may think that this piece will help to work up technical skills you need - you and your teacher would obviously be able to assess that better than anyone here as we know practically nothing of your level/technique. While it may not be the most technically demanding of the set, don't dismiss this as "easy" - it does have some tricky sections, such as the part with the melody in the upper right hand while also playing the rippling 16th note figure. And yes, bringing it all together musically is a challenge too.

My take would be, don't fight it - rather than be disappointed in what you're _not_ playing, enjoy what you are playing. The other impromptus will always be there...


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Also, FWIW, I studied 90/2 with my teacher way back when, and then learned 90/1 on my own. Nowadays, I rarely play 90/2, but I do bring out 90/1 on occasion. As technically "fun" as 90/2 is, I just don't find all that much musical interest in it any more.


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Thanks 8ude. Well, I love op 90 no 1, just not as much as the other two I mentioned. I have already played op 90 no 3 and 4 and my aim is to learn all of them. Would you like to answer these two questions for me?
1. Which one did you find more technically difficult of op 90 number 1 and number 2?
2. Which one would you say was the most technically rewarding one to play out of these two?

Thanks again! smile

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My personal experience is that the 90/2 is probably more technically demanding. But that said, it's very much a one-trick pony. Once you have the RH runs down, you're pretty much done. Whereas the technical demands of 90/1 may not be right up with 90/2, they're more varied, such as the melody-plus-16ths-accompaniment in the RH, some 2 against 3, some RH jumps, etc.

More technically rewarding - I'd have to say 90/2. But more musically rewarding - I would give that to 90/1.

If your aim is to learn them all, then does it really matter which you tackle first? If you've already done 3 and 4, then 1 and 2 should both be well within your grasp, so I don't know that I'd stress too much over which one you work on now.


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Originally Posted by Franz Beebert
[...]The piece is wonderful, I must say, although, I prefer the op 90 no 2 and the op 142 no 3, which were the two I wanted to play, but my teacher said this one was better for technique and more difficult, and I find it hard to agree her two opinions.. What do you guys think?


Why are you trying to get us to contradict your teacher's opinions? She knows your technique as well as your technical and musical needs. Why do you not trust her?


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I agree with Bruce. She probably knows better what you need right now (also based on how you play other pieces, your weaknesses and strengths).



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I find the left hand more challenging in #1, (it's easy to play the left hand notes but difficult to play them well), and the right hand more challenging in #2. Maybe your teacher feels your left hand would benefit from the challenges of #1.

They're all beautiful and rewarding pieces.

Tomasino


"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

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Originally Posted by Franz Beebert
I mean, I can almost sightread through the first five pages or so... Can anyone help me understand what my teacher means?


Good, then you won't have to waste time learning notes and can get right to polishing up the technical intricacies.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Originally Posted by Kreisler
Originally Posted by Franz Beebert
I mean, I can almost sightread through the first five pages or so... Can anyone help me understand what my teacher means?


Good, then you won't have to waste time learning notes and can get right to polishing up the technical intricacies.


+1



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

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I have never yet met a professional musician who regards any music as "easy". Once basic technical difficulties are solved, following and agreeing with Kreisler's post, then the never-ending process of reaching for a more satisfactory performance begins(the one in your head). This is not just a musical process: striving for that specific tone, that articulation, pushes our technique along.

Franz, can you play the pp passages in Op90/3 without the una corda pedal, reserving it for the ppp passages? If so, great. If not, try it. It makes a difference. Then look at Op90/1. Can you do the same here? Should you? Pedalling - helpfully not provided in the Urtext. Again, technique and musicality combine.

To quote Tovey on the Waldstein: "There is not a page in this Sonata that could not be read at sight by a good sight reader. But if you are a good sight reader you should all the more realise that there is an enormous hill to climb from the good sight reading of such music to the adequate playing of it." Note the word "adequate", not "good", or "perfect".

I'm sorry to be negative - my posts rarely are. But Schubert deserves respect and humility, as does all great music. It's not a "been there, done that" process.

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Speaking of Schubert, the more I learn of his music (including, but not limited to, piano), the more I am in awe of his compositions!

My wife is working on his piano sonata D664. It encouraged me to explore his other piano sonatas which I had previoulsy overlooked. Some outstanding music there, rarely heard, I think. For instance, I can't remember attending a performance that included one.


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Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by Kreisler
Originally Posted by Franz Beebert
I mean, I can almost sightread through the first five pages or so... Can anyone help me understand what my teacher means?


Good, then you won't have to waste time learning notes and can get right to polishing up the technical intricacies.


+1


Yes. Technical difficulty is not just fast notes.

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Originally Posted by Franz Beebert
Can anyone help me understand what my teacher means?


Franz - You're paying for the lessons. You need to ask your teacher for clarification - not us. wink



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Have you listened carefully to recordings of 90/1? - there are many available at the click of a mouse on Youtube by Zimmerman, Perahia, Baremboim and others. Each will have his own slant on the interpretation and will be worth careful study. My suggestion is for you to do that and then revisit your playing of the work to work up your own interpretation - you may be surprised at finding a level of musical complexity beyond the simple playing of the notes.


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Originally Posted by sandalholme
I have never yet met a professional musician who regards any music as "easy". Once basic technical difficulties are solved, following and agreeing with Kreisler's post, then the never-ending process of reaching for a more satisfactory performance begins(the one in your head). This is not just a musical process: striving for that specific tone, that articulation, pushes our technique along.

Franz, can you play the pp passages in Op90/3 without the una corda pedal, reserving it for the ppp passages? If so, great. If not, try it. It makes a difference. Then look at Op90/1. Can you do the same here? Should you? Pedalling - helpfully not provided in the Urtext. Again, technique and musicality combine.

To quote Tovey on the Waldstein: "There is not a page in this Sonata that could not be read at sight by a good sight reader. But if you are a good sight reader you should all the more realise that there is an enormous hill to climb from the good sight reading of such music to the adequate playing of it." Note the word "adequate", not "good", or "perfect".

I'm sorry to be negative - my posts rarely are. But Schubert deserves respect and humility, as does all great music. It's not a "been there, done that" process.


+1


Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

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