Week One: Bonjour!

Hello and welcome to the WEEK ONE Main Thread for this challenge! 馃ぉ

 


Alright everyone - this is the thread where we'll all be posting our daily updates.    

Make sure you've read the rules before replying (<- click)

 

Twice a week between May 9-16 I hope to be reading your daily updates in this very thread right here!    


Please use the following format when commenting (feel free to copy & paste!):    

  • Piece you worked on:
  • One thing you found easy:
  • One thing you found difficult:
  • (Optional): a video of you performing it!

Sample daily update:    

  • Piece you worked on: Ravel's Prelude
  • One thing you found easy: Learning the notes, and rhythms were rather straight-forward, and not challenging!
  • One thing you found difficult: Shifting the Hands was a bit tricky to get smooth!

Feel free to make these updates as short or long as you wish! 

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    • Amy
    • Amy
    • 8 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Hello Everyone!

    This is my second time typing a post. Almost finished one and then somehow lost it.....rookie mistake! I'm now typing it in a separate file and will then cut and paste. ;-)

    Excited to be working on this Community Challenge. I have been working on Ravel's Pavane for a few months. I would like to use this challenge to get it performance ready by July.

    • Piece I'm working on: Ravel - Pavane Pour une Infante defunte
    • Thing I found easy: It wasn't easy initially, but now I feel I am able to play it well. It's the first seven measures of the piece, which require three different articulations at the same time: Legato in the soprano, staccato in the alto and portato in the bass. I used the practice techniques from Gwen Mok's Tonebase lesson on this piece, and feel like I was able to achieve the correct sound.
    • Thing I found difficult: The A2 section, which is the same melody from the first seven measures, but with rolled 10ths in the LH and staccato 16ths in the RH, underneath the legato RH melody. I am having a hard time making it flow smoothly. 

    I recorded those two sections and have included it here. Will keep working! 

    Like 6
    • Amy so beautiful!

      Like
      • Jenny
      • Jenny.1
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Amy This sounded beautiful, and everything so clear and light. You've inspired me to re-focus my efforts on a lighter touch for my own French piece. Lovely to listen to, thank you.

      Like
      • Juan Carlos Olite
      • Philosophy teacher and piano lover
      • Juan_Carlos
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Amy Sounds beautiful, Amy!

      Like
    • Piece I am working on: Faure鈥檚 Romance sans paroles, op 17 no 3
    • Found easy: Bringing out the melody over the accompaniment, though I am still trying to find the right balance. Also was able to get through both pages roughly in less than a week- a record time for me. 
    • Found difficult: Most of the fingering was pretty obvious (and I had a nice IMSLP version with good fingering). However, there was a section with huge stretches where you have to roll or redistribute between RH and LH. Measures 49-55 if anyone has suggestions or opinions.  I chose to move a couple of notes to the LH. Still working on that and putting it all together. 

    Link to short practice clip of the main theme (most of pg 1) attached.

    Like 6
      • Will Green
      • Mystic/Musician
      • Will_Green
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Vidhya Bashyam Beautiful!! Love it! 

      Like
      • Amy
      • Amy
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Vidhya Bashyam That's a beautiful piece, Vidha. I don't think I've heard it before, but the melody has a familiar sound. My piece also has two sections of big chords, although they are written to be rolled. My problem is making the rolling sound smooth and not clunky. Creative use of the sustain pedal as well as the soft pedal seems to have helped that. Not sure if that will help in your tricky spot, but thought I would mention it!

      Like
    • Brother Will Green Thanks. Like you, I haven鈥檛 played Faure before either. Pleasantly surprised by his works. 

      Like
    • Amy Thanks! I think I solved my problem by taking the lower note in the left hand. Good luck with your rolled chords! I love the pavane.

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    • Vidhya Bashyam Lovely piece, and playing! Well done! 

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    • Vidhya Bashyam lovely piece- thank you!

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      • Jenny
      • Jenny.1
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Vidhya Bashyam I haven't heard this before, but it does have a lovely restful melody. Great achievement to play like this in less than a week, my goodness! Thank you for sharing your progress.

      Like
    • Sindre Skarelven Thanks!

      Like
    • Angela Fogg Thanks!

      Like
    • Jenny Thank you!

      Like
      • Juan Carlos Olite
      • Philosophy teacher and piano lover
      • Juan_Carlos
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Vidhya Bashyam Charming melody, very well played Vidhya!

      Like
    • Vidhya Bashyam that was so beautiful and serene! Lovely playing. 

      Like
  • I have been working on Poulenc鈥檚 Three Novelettes. I鈥檝e been aware of them for years but never actually got around to play them.

     

    I鈥檝e discovered that the last one was compsed for the publisher Chester music Ltd, for a Centenary volume published in 1960. This publisher was based in Frith Street London and responsible for publishing a lot of 20th century piano music and is therefore one of my favourite publishers.


    This music is so beautiful, what I find amazing is that in both the third and the first he has such simple melodies, based on just two or three notes, but with his choice of harmonies they just sound exquisite.

    Such beauty!

    The one I find it most difficult is the second one as it is very skittish and jumps around all over the place adding and taking away accidentals willy-nilly. However, I鈥檓 really enjoying playing these pieces, and I hope to be able to record something fairly reasonable for next week.

     

    Thank you for the challenge, I so enjoyed listening to everybody else鈥檚 videos this morning.

    Like 4
      • Jenny
      • Jenny.1
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Angela Fogg I've just been listening to these on Youtube, and how lovely they are. Thank you for introducing them to me. I look forward to hearing how you get on with them. How wonderful to be able to even contemplate learning these! Bravo already!

      Like
      • Will Green
      • Mystic/Musician
      • Will_Green
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Angela Fogg Wonderful! 

      Like
    • Angela Fogg I love Poulenc! Can鈥檛 wait to hear you play these pieces.

      Like
    • Anthony Miyake
    • Work with numbers and statistics, but music is my true passion. Piano hobbyist.
    • Anthony_Miyake
    • 8 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Been tied up with a lot of things recently keeping me away from the piano, unfortunately, but really wanted to participate in this monthly challenge.  Here's my write-up for week 1.  

     

    • Piece you worked on:  Debussy's Reverie (1890)
    • One thing you found easy:  I thought the piece was relatively easy to read through--there's a lot of use of octaves and arpeggios--making the piece relatively easy to figure out.  But the piece is quite gorgeous despite its relative simplicity.
    • One thing you found difficult:  Think the phrasing and good use of dynamics will be the difficult part with the piece.  Think I've been applying dynamics more by feel, but there's so much "piano" and "pianissimo" markings in the piece so I often found myself playing certain sections relatively loudly, but then noticing they were marked "piano".

    Just started reading through and listening to everyone's week 1 postings.  Hope to record a progress video in week 2.

    Like 1
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