WEEK THREE Updates: Main Thread - Wrapping up the party!

Hello and welcome to the WEEK THREE 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 November 15-22nd I hope to be reading your daily updates in this very thread right here!    


Download the music:

Brahms: 16 Waltzes op.39


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

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

Sample daily update:    

  • Waltz 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: 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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    • Waltz you worked on: finally started 4
    • One thing you found easy: Tempo
    • One thing you found difficult: too many notes in general. I am not used to changing the key signature so often. Slow sight reading.

    Hopefully I can make it to 5 before the challenge ends.

    Like 2
      • Sindre Skarelven
      • Pianist, composer and piano teacher
      • Sindre_Skarelven
      • 6 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      David Bermudez So nice to read about your progress threw the waltzes! 

      Like 2
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 6 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      David Bermudez What do you mean FINALLY! These are difficult pieces and I hope you're loving the process. Way to be! 

      Like 2
    • Monika Tusnady Thank you. I absolutely love it. I just spent too much time in number 1 and no 2 (mostly playing them repeatedly instead of moving on to the next waltz). I鈥檒l probably keep playing even after the challenge ends 馃榾

      Like 3
    • Sindre Skarelven thank u! Likewise.

      Like 1
  • Brahms Waltz 2 - YouTube

    This is the best I can do for the moment!

    It's a lovely piece. The more I play it the harder it gets... Keeping the rhythm constant was the hardest part for me.

    Like 4
    • Richard George Littlewood  It is such a pretty piece and I think you did very well . 

      Like 1
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Richard George Littlewood that is a fascinating interpretation of 3/4 time! Well done 馃憤!

      Like 1
    • mariannejhampton Thank you Marianne.

      Like 1
    • Monika Tusnady Thank you Monica. You made me laugh! I'm not sure if the way I played it is allowed1 I think I was stretching the beats at times.... anyway thank goodness this is not an exam!

      Like 1
      • Sindre Skarelven
      • Pianist, composer and piano teacher
      • Sindre_Skarelven
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Richard George Littlewood Well done Richard! We are all glad it's no exam, it's just enjoying learning music together! 

      Like 1
    • Richard George Littlewood No.2 was very difficult for me as well. Nice played btw!

      Like 1
    • Richard George Littlewood I enjoyed the sweet lullaby sound you brought to this piece! 

      Like 1
      • Juan Carlos Olite
      • Philosophy teacher and piano lover
      • Juan_Carlos
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Richard George Littlewood Very nice playing, with the viennese sweetness, well done!

      Like 1
  • Waltz you worked on: 1

    one thing you found easy: practicing 

    one thing you found difficult: keeping focus while attempting to make a video while playing from memory.

    Like 5
    • Susan I enjoyed listening to that. It's a very good start.

      Like 2
    • Richard George Littlewood thank you! Yes, i would like to get it a little bit faster and I need to keep working to get the second half more secure. I also need to record videos more often so I don鈥檛 get so distracted by it!

      Like 1
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Susan you chose to play the OCTAVES VERSION! Great performance of this first and most challenging waltz! The way you brought out the contrasting, lighthearted  middle section was very compelling. I鈥檓 sooo impressed! I wish this challenge lasted longer!

      Like 2
    • Monika Tusnady Thank you so much for your encouraging words! 馃グ I wish the challenge was longer too. I Iove these pieces, this has been my favorite challenge so far!

      Like 1
    • Susan gee very good. That鈥檚 a harder version!

      Like 2
      • Juan Carlos Olite
      • Philosophy teacher and piano lover
      • Juan_Carlos
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Susan Well done, Susan! This waltz is misleading, it seems easy but it is not because of the up and down leaps from one side to the other of the keyboard. And you play it very well.

      Like 2
    • David Bermudez thank you! Yes, the word 鈥渃hallenge鈥 really applies for me this time. 馃槀

      Like 1
    • Juan Carlos Olite Thank you! Indeed, it looked so sweet and innocent on that one little page before I started鈥

      Like 1
      • Juan Carlos Olite
      • Philosophy teacher and piano lover
      • Juan_Carlos
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Susan Exactly, how well you describe it!

      Like 1
      • Sindre Skarelven
      • Pianist, composer and piano teacher
      • Sindre_Skarelven
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Susan Well done, Susan! Sounds great, and good job playing it from memory :)   

      Like 2
    • Susan Well done Susan for accomplishing the piano technique and the audio technology!

      Like 2
    • Sindre Skarelven Thanks! Still having to think a little too hard in the second half. 

      Like 1
    • Roy James-Pike thank you! I actually have been so busy lately I did not take my new mic that I ordered off Amazon out of its package yet鈥. I would like to try another recording soon with the mic and see how it compares. Not sure if I can find the time before this challenge ends. 馃

      Like 1
  • What I worked on: Waltzes 12-16

    What was easy: participating in the Challenge moved me to FINALLY start learning the seemingly untouchable waltzes 鈥 7, 8, 13, 14, 16.

    What was difficult: striving to beat one of my most enduring dreadful habits 鈥 hesitating before the downbeat.

    We practice and overcome one hurdle at the time, as in anything in life: learning the music, understanding a little something about the character of a piece, finding what it brings to Op. 39 that is different from other waltzes, finding the courage to connect it to the waltz before it and the one that follows鈥epeat鈥epeat鈥epeat, with each repeat bringing its own set of inestimable rewards. I am grateful.  

    Like 6
    • Monika Tusnady well done!! I like your smile at the end, a job well done. Nice voicing with each hand!

      Like 1
    • Monika oh my! I enjoyed it so much I watched it twice in a row. So beautifully played and you definitely brought out the different character of each waltz. Your love of the music is clear.

      Like 2
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 5 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Susan O Susan, how kind of you! We work away at the music, don鈥檛 we, not knowing when or how we will reach a point of rest. Great expectations, as Dickens would say and worthwhile ones, too. 

      Like 3
    • Monika Tusnady it鈥檚 so great! I didn鈥檛 hear any wrong note! Great level of concentration. May I ask, do you have any advice in order to not make any errors? No matter how much I practice I always hit 2-3 notes wrong 馃槕 

      Like 2
      • Juan Carlos Olite
      • Philosophy teacher and piano lover
      • Juan_Carlos
      • 5 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Monika Tusnady 隆隆Chapeau!! Monika. What an amazing work have you done with this challenge. You play absolutely musically. I enjoy and admire your playing very much. Only I can say: 隆隆Chapeau!

      Tomorrow I'll try to make a video with three o four waltzes, it has been impossible for me to learn more this time (I've had a lot of work at school...)

      Like 3
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 5 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      David Bermudez O David, you are so sweet! In fact, I play many wrong notes but try to focus on 1. the right ones and, most importantly, 2. the direction of the music, the end goal of every phrase, and the shape the phrase needs to have to get there. We鈥檙e human, aren鈥檛 we, and perfection cannot be our (realistic) goal; what we can do is be a better pianist and person today than we were yesterday. 

      Like 3
    • Monika yes, very well said.

      Like 2
      • Sindre Skarelven
      • Pianist, composer and piano teacher
      • Sindre_Skarelven
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Monika Tusnady Wonderful playing, Monika! Well done getting threw the entire set, chapeau! 

      Like 2
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Sindre Skarelven Thank you, Sindre! Chewing my way through these waltzes has been unspeakably rewarding!

      Like 2
      • Gail Starr
      • Recently retired MBA (international consumer products/luxury goods/classical music mgt.)
      • Gail_Starr
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Monika Tusnady Simply gorgeous!  Your playing inspired me, sweet friend.

      Like
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Gail Starr Thank you! These challenges give me a reason to want to do well - which is a receding target, as we all know, but one that we see with increased clarity at every level of playing!

      Like
  • Well done Monika!  You've inspired me to look at No 16!

    Like 1
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Roy James-Pike That鈥檚 interesting! No. 16 was a killer for me: though I understand it as 鈥渢he last waltz鈥 before the last adieu, perhaps, the ending seems like such a quick adieu i.e., there鈥檚 still something there that I鈥檓 missing! Isn鈥檛 there always?

      Like 1
    • Monika Tusnady I agree that no.16 is the hardest! So contrapuntal and the right hand needs to have internal-hand independence!  Bravo!

      Like
  • Another week of distractions!  I focused on No: 3, No: 5, No: 9 and No: 15, none of which is in a condition that is ready to share.  I am using these challenges as a stimulus for scale and arpeggio practice, which I have evaded until now, to my detriment, so whatever the scale of the piece becomes part of my practice.  I am at one with G# Minor presently.

    Like 4
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Roy James-Pike It seems that these 鈥渄istractions 鈥 are very positive in your case! 

      Like 1
    • Roy James-Pike  That鈥檚 great that you鈥檙e still getting your practice in, even when you鈥檙e busy! 

      Like 1
  • Hey everyone! Just want to let you know that I was not able to practice Brahms this week. I suddenly got a few extra gigs coming up in short time that I need to focus on. So I will not be doing challenges for the next few weeks. 

    That being said, I will finish this project later and maybe post a video when it鈥檚 ready :) 

    I have enjoyed following everyone鈥檚 progress threw these waltzes, it鈥檚 been a great challenge and an awesome month Dominic has put together!  

    Like 3
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 5 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      @Sindre Skarelven  I stand with you in thanking Dominic for the wonderful Gifts of a Month of Brahms!

      Like 4
      • Juan Carlos Olite
      • Philosophy teacher and piano lover
      • Juan_Carlos
      • 5 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Sindre Skarelven Of course we will be waiting your video, as always, Sindre!

      Like 5
      • Sindre Skarelven
      • Pianist, composer and piano teacher
      • Sindre_Skarelven
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Juan Carlos Olite That's good to know! I will post a video then, when it's ready! 

      Like 2
    • Sindre Skarelven Enjoy the gigs! Look forward to seeing your 

      posts again when you return. I did watch the master class recording and I thought you did an amazing job with the Mozart! 馃憦馃徎  Yes, this month of focusing on Brahms has been delightful. I have so enjoyed all the livestreams Dominic presented, as well as the choice for the challenge!

      Like 2
    • Susan Sindre Skarelven  Monika Tusnady Thanks so much for your support!! I had a great time with this month of Brahms. And we will be continuing this "composer of the month" tradition moving forward on tonebase!

      Like 1
  • Brahms Waltz 9 - YouTube

     

    The hardest part was pulling back on the speed. I had to stop myself from playing more quickly and more loudly. For me it is a piece to enjoy quietly.

    Like 2
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Richard George Littlewood You are a hoot! You are the only person I know who can play a waltz in 4/4 time - and I love it! Don't ever stop being yourself - the world is richer for having people like you in it!

      Like 1
    • Monika Tusnady Are you half English? you write English very well! None of my students know that phrase.

      It's not 4/4! I just delay the 3rd beat, waltz-like.

      Like 1
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Richard George Littlewood 馃槀 What nationality do you think I am? BTW: You are still a hoot!

      Like 1
    • Monika Tusnady I had thought you might be French because that is where you are. And you look somewhat French. But now that you mention it Monika with a k doesn't look so French.

      Let me google that...

      ahh..

      ''Monika. Monika is a female name in German, Scandinavian, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Latvian and Hungarian (M贸nika) which can also be seen in India. It is a variation of Monica, stemming from the word "advisor" in Latin and "unique" in Greek.''

       

      So I think you come from the source of all good culture.... you're Greek!!

      Like 1
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Richard George Littlewood I wish! The Greeks invented everything; such a loss that the rest of the world (invaders) couldn't just leave them alone to keep inventing everything else.

      My ethnic origin is your excellent googled list, but not my nationality. I speak six languages - that's my final hint. 

      Like 1
    • Monika Tusnady I think you have Hungarian roots, and Canadian nationality.

      Like 1
      • Sindre Skarelven
      • Pianist, composer and piano teacher
      • Sindre_Skarelven
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Richard George Littlewood That was beautiful, Richard! This waltz could definitely be a piece in Alla Breve, brilliant! :D 

      You are a hoot, and Monika is hilarious! :D

      Like 2
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Richard George Littlewood YOU ROCK! 

      Like 2
    • Monika Tusnady There, you see. Sindre liked it, so it's not 4/4 time!

      Like 1
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Richard George Littlewood see what Google has to say about Alla Breve... Sindre and I also agree that your interpretations is just lovely!

      Like 1
    • Monika Tusnady Yes, it seems Sindre agrees with you! Maybe Dominic will defend me....

      Like 1
      • Juan Carlos Olite
      • Philosophy teacher and piano lover
      • Juan_Carlos
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Richard George Littlewood Well, we shouldn't think 2/4, 3/4, 4/4...馃槈 It simply flow, it has "melos" spirit. Well done, Richard; Waltz 9 is one of my favorites (minimalist, strange, but beautiful).

      Like 1
    • Juan Carlos Olite Thank you Juan Carlos. Yes it's a strange beautiful piece of music. And I agree we shouldn't get too caught up in the exact time signature. No one sings exactly in time, and you don't have to constrict yourself too much to the so called time signature. The music came before any time signature. What we see printed on the score is only a guide for that music. Anyway that's what I believe.

      Like 1
    • Richard George Littlewood Monika Tusnady Sindre Skarelven Juan Carlos Olite

      Hey guys! So I just listened to your waltz, Richard and I really enjoyed its feeling of sadness, with the sighing melodic right hand! Really original how you play it. To be VERY specific, I made this short little video showing how the piece can be played in 2/4 (more similar to how you are doing it Richard!) vs. 3/4. Notice the left hand particularly, and the quarter rests of the 3rd beat left hand in the 3/4 version!

       

      This is not to criticize but rather to define what we are all hearing just for our information!

       

      Let me know your thoughts! And I think it is really fascinating to examine!

       

      https://youtu.be/bJcqTpM1iNI

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

      Dominic Cheli Thank you, Dominic, for your clear explanation! Now I understand what you say.

      Like
  • Finally, I've had only time to play three Waltzes for the last video (7, 9 and 15). But, I have enjoyed a lot this challenge, it would have been perfect for Christmas holidays 馃檪...

    Like 5
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Juan Carlos Olite 

      Thank you for sharing your gifts and talents with this community once again. As always, I have nothing but admiration for your playing. A few things that stood out: 

      No. 7 has the same sense of grandeur that you also displayed in No. 1

      No. 9, in your hands, is infused with the innocence and simplicity one associates with children 鈥 it鈥檚 just charming. 

      No. 15 is so self-assured in your interpretation 鈥 none of that hesitation I associated with this set of waltzes; of course, this berceuse sounds great no matter how you dress it. 

      Wow and thank you!

      Like 1
      • Sindre Skarelven
      • Pianist, composer and piano teacher
      • Sindre_Skarelven
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Juan Carlos Olite Bravo, Juan Carlos! Outstanding performance there! I had to relisten 馃憦馃徎

      Like 1
      • Juan Carlos Olite
      • Philosophy teacher and piano lover
      • Juan_Carlos
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Sindre Skarelven Thank you so much, Sindre! I'll keep working this music.

      Like 1
      • Juan Carlos Olite
      • Philosophy teacher and piano lover
      • Juan_Carlos
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Monika Tusnady Thank you so much, Monika! You're always so attentive and thorough in your words. Thank you!

      Like 1
    • Juan Carlos Olite Beautifully played - very expressive. I enjoyed your video very much!

      Like 1
      • Juan Carlos Olite
      • Philosophy teacher and piano lover
      • Juan_Carlos
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Susan Thank you so much, Susan!

      Like
  • Juan Carlos Olite Well done for learning so much by memory in such a short space of time.  I commented on this already but it did not seem to arrive, so apologies if there is duplication.

    Like 1
      • Juan Carlos Olite
      • Philosophy teacher and piano lover
      • Juan_Carlos
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Roy James-Pike Thank you very much, Roy! I always try to memorize the pieces I am learning.

      Like 1
  • What I worked on: putting it all together.

    What was easy: hearing so many great performances over these weeks was a huge motivation!

    What was difficult: remembering which waltz follows which, and switching gears between waltzes. This is my first recording of the entire Op. 39, warts and all - apologies! - with my GoPro muffling the sound when it felt like it - more apologies! O well - it's the first time playing them through which is cause for gratitude and celebration 馃嵕馃!  From now on I will be able to practice with a much greater sense of perspective. 

    Like 4
    • Monika Tusnady Wow. That was good! l liked the last two most, when everything was quietening down. Fantastic Monika!

      Like 2
      • Juan Carlos Olite
      • Philosophy teacher and piano lover
      • Juan_Carlos
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Monika Tusnady Absolutely awesome, Monika! You have to feel very proud of this incredible outstanding job.  If I had to choose some of the waltzes of your performance, although they are all magnificent, I would choose numbers 12 and 16, you play them very, very beautifully. It motivates me to learn them. Thank you and congratulations!

      Like 1
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Richard George Littlewood You are a quiet kind of a guy, aren't you? Thank you for the kind words!

      Like 1
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Juan Carlos Olite Thank you! I bless every minute I spent learning this music and finally feel like I have something to move forward with. 

      There are so many faces Brahms can put on a waltz, aren't there? Like Dominic says, the music CAN get lost in all the notes; then again, once we have the notes under our hands, they take our heads and our hearts on a really long, complex, and worthwhile journey. Juan Carlos, I can easily imagine that you will learn all of Op.39. 

      Like 1
    • Monika Tusnady Bravo Monika! What a magnificent accomplishment. Yes, you should celebrate. I enjoyed hearing your Brahms very much!

      Like 1
    • Monika Tusnady Just watched the watch party and just wanted to commend you on a fantastic job . You even handled that minor slip in a professional manner ! Loved the rose on the piano too and the flowers before the video !

      Like
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      mariannejhampton Aw thank, Marianne! That was quite a problem I had in the opening of No. 4, wasn't it?It amazes me that I had to learn the whole set before I ever started to understand the meaning of the individual waltzes - it's the old "compare and contrast" from high school, I guess. I would dearly love to finish Op. 39 by Christmas and this challenge was a huge motivation to work with some seriousness. Again, thanks for your kind words. 

      Like
  • An unexpected family situation arose which took me away from the piano in these last days of the challenge. Therefore, I never got a chance to make a video of my progress. Now I am preparing for the holiday so unfortunately I will not be able to attend the watch party. Congratulations to everyone! Although I did not get a chance to complete the challenge, it has been my favorite so far because I just love this repertoire! I plan to keep working on it and hopefully will post more waltzes! Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate the holiday! 馃崄馃崅

    Like 1
  • To Dominic , Juan Carlos , Susan , Richard , Monica , Sandra , CK 

    Just finished watching the community watch party and just had to say how much I enjoyed everyone鈥檚 version of the waltzes . It was truly inspirational to hear you all and  all the hard work definitely paid off ! 
    Bravo ! Take care !

    Like 2
      • CK
      • br0wn
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      mariannejhampton thanks a lot to watch:)

      Like
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