WEEK ONE Updates: Main Thread - The Journey Begins!

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 June 17th - July 8th I hope to be reading your daily updates in this very thread right here! 


Download the music:

Handel: Chaconne in G major HWV 435


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

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

Sample daily update: 

  • Variation you worked on: No. 1
  • One thing you found easy: Learning the notes, and rhythms were rather straight-forward, and not challenging!
  • One thing you found difficult: Playing the trills/ornaments in an elegant way was what challenged me the most.

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

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  • 8, 9 and 10 again

    In 8 I still have problems in bars 4 and 5 moving down the keyboard

    and in 9 I still haven麓t worked out what is going on in bars 6 and 7.

    8, 9, 10 end of first week practice - YouTube

    Like 3
      • Brett Gilbert
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • brett_gilbert
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      HI Richard George Littlewood Yes I had trouble at first with 8 and bars 4/5 until I wrote out a consistent fingering.  This might not work for everyone but this is what I ended up with that allows me to play that section at speed, in case you or others find this useful.

       

      Like 2
    • Brett Gilbert I would maybe take the combination 1-3 in the bar 69, instead of 1-2

      :)

      Like 2
      • Brett Gilbert
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • brett_gilbert
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Elena Nikitina A good suggestion as that might work much better for some.  I tried 3-1 at first but I kept tripping up until I switched to 2-1.  At least it worked for my hand a bit better. :)

      Like 2
    • Brett Gilbert Hi Brett and Elena. I tried 2 -1 as well at first. I have a weird problem in this bar, I don麓t like the sound of my piano here. It sounds harsh. But then it gets stranger, because on the recording it sounds fine, a nice mellow sound. For me, not liking the sound I am hearing makes bar 69 really difficult to play.

      Like 1
    • Richard George Littlewood I agree, the fingering is supposed to be your best ally but sometimes it takes you quite a time before you trace the best one. 
      All we can do is just stay humble and keep on exploring!

      Like 1
  • Hello everybody,

     

    my name is Elena, thrilled to be with you for this challenge:))

     

    I鈥檇 like to have a try on the whole piece, but of course this intention would go beyond the 3 weeks deadline.
     

     

    Variation I worked on:

    Currently I鈥檓 concentrating on the first G major block including Theme and first 8 Variations.

     

    One thing I found easy:

    Having played already Baroque music in my conservatory past I am still a huge fan of every Baroque genre, especially of Handel Oratorios. So the music texture is very familiar and difficulty level is also quite comfortable.

     

    One thing I found difficult:

    The Theme with its embellishments is a real challenge for me, since it has to be perfectly tailored to the slow tempo.

     

    I wish everybody a lot of enjoyable moments exploring this wonderful piece!

    Hear you around:))

     

    Elena Nikitina

    Like 5
  • Like 6
      • Brett Gilbert
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • brett_gilbert
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Elena Nikitina Sounds wonderful!  Your trills are excellent (a weakness for me and a challenge in this piece).  Like you I am working through the first 8 variations which form a nice block.  I find 5 and 8 to the most difficult to play at the tempo I'd like.  I watched a few other videos online and came across an urtext edition where there are no trills in theme bar 6 and less ornamentation in general.  I would be curious to know on what edition the tonebase version is based Dominic Cheli . 

      Like 2
    • Like 1
    • Elena Nikitina I loved your beautiful playing . It sounded so majestic and the embellishments were spot on in my opinion . Like Brett I am also wondering about the edition you used . I鈥檝e played my fair share of Bach and his trills etc seemed easier for me to figure out than this .

      I look forward to hearing more 

      Like
    • Brett Gilbert thank you for your flattering comment, in fact in fingering for ornament I mostly use the combinations of 1-3 or 2-4, as they are not tied too tight together and give usually more physical  freedom. This is a rule we learned with my classmates during our professional studies. 
      While playing trills I try to imitate the tipical sound of baroque ensembles with authentic historical instruments which I just adore:)) 

      by the way at last got the way they play trills - starting from the higher note and not from the main one:)

      Like 2
    • mariannejhampton thank you for your encouraging comment!

      As for the version I used the pdf attached to this challenge by Dominic. After that I found a recording of Murray Perahia which I love listening to while heading somewhere around:) his interpretations of Handel are just contagious, very convincing!

      Like 2
      • Dave B
      • Dave_B
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Elena Nikitina very nice Elena. I鈥檓 wondering how you settled on your tempo? 

      Like
  • Like 3
    • Brett Gilbert
    • Piano and classical guitar
    • brett_gilbert
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view
    • Variation you worked on: I continued to focus on theme/1-8 for this first week writing out fingering and figuring out my weak spots.  I peeked ahead a bit and looks like variations 5-8 might be the most challenging overall.
    • One thing you found easy:  On the surface it looks simple so I can play through it slowly but...
    • One thing you found difficult: Playing at close to the speed I want and hitting all the trills is still not there.  It's more of a challenge than I initially thought.  My trills and scales are weak.

    I had hoped to post a video but not ready yet, plus have to figure out how best to record videos.  For me part of the challenge is to try to get as close to performance-ready as I can, as if it was a recital piece.   Elena mentioned the Murray Perahia recording and I like his interpretation the best from what I've listened to - a nice light touch.  I'm also experimenting with putting a slight emphasize on the 2nd beat of most measures when appropriate, similar to sections of Bach's famous Chaconne in Dm for violin (one of my favorite pieces).

    Like 1
    • Brett Gilbert Since Ciaccona is generally a dance genre, it鈥檚 very important to emphasise the second bit of a bar, in order to pull out a dance feel of it:)

      Shall we dance?...

      Like 1
      • Tim
      • Tim
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Brett Gilbert One of the hardest things I鈥檝e done is post work in progress, so I totally get what you are saying! I am glad I did because tonight I鈥檓 posting my hands together finally, but seeing my improvement makes me feel great鈥nd I wouldn鈥檛 have it if I hadn鈥檛 posted it. 

      Like 2
  • Like 2
      • Tim
      • Tim
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Elena Nikitina wow! Awesome! Thanks for sharing! Stopping to wipe the sweat from your brow was great鈥 

      Like 1
    • Tim our body language reveals usually the struggle we have while working on certain pieces!

      Like
  • Today I鈥檓 going to go on the shadow side in g moll... is there any light of hope?..

    Like 2
    • Judy Phillips
    • Nurse Practitioner/Assistant Professor
    • Judy_Phillips
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    I just downloaded the music. I鈥檒l start practicing this daily. I look forward to learning from everyone 馃帀鉂わ笍

    Like 3
    • Natale Farrell
    • Piano Teacher
    • Natale_Farrell
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Here I am sight reading Variations 14 and 15.

    Like 3
      • Ben LaudeTeam
      • Head of Piano @ tonebase
      • Ben_Laude
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Natale Farrell You have a beautiful sound!

      Like 2
      • Natale Farrell
      • Piano Teacher
      • Natale_Farrell
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Ben Laude Thank you! 

      Like
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